Pat Robertson Declines Election Prediction For Fear Of Rooney Razz

TV preacher Pat Robertson says God told him who’s going to win the 2008 presidential election – but he won’t say because he’s afraid “60 Minutes” commentator Andy Rooney will make fun of him.

Speaking on his “700 Club” Jan. 2, Robertson said he had had a conversation with God and added, “He told me some things about the election, but I’m not going to say, because some old man on ‘60 Minutes’ would make fun of me, so I’m not going to tell you who the winner’s going to be.”

He then laughed and added, “I’ll just keep that to myself and look with horror at what may be happening.”

The reference to the CBS television program was apparently to a flap between Robertson and Rooney that occurred in 2004. Rooney delivered a sarcastic commentary on “60 Minutes” after Robertson claimed on the air that God told him George W. Bush would be reelected in a blowout.

In the commentary, Rooney said God had spoken to him as well and that the Almighty mentioned Robertson and controversial actor and film maker Mel Gibson.

Rooney said that God told him, “Andrew, you have the eyes and ears of a lot of people. I wish you’d tell your viewers that both Pat Robertson and Mel Gibson strike me as wackos. I believe that’s one of your current words. They’re crazy as bedbugs, another earthly expression.”

The Rooney salvo hasn’t stopped Robertson from making predictions. The Christian Broadcasting Network chairman claims that he talks with God annually about what lies ahead for the next 12 months. 2008, Robertson said, will usher in a tumultuous period.

Robertson said oil will reach $150 per barrel, and the dollar will continue to lose value.

“I also believe the Lord was saying by 2009, maybe 2010, there’s going to be a major stock market crash,” he added. “Not just a little bit, like we’ve had, but a major crash.”

The Virginia Beach evangelist added, “The Lord is saying that there’s going to be violence and chaos in the world. This is not going to be a peaceful year.”

Robertson also predicted a mass conversion in China, saying, “God’s going to give us China, and China will be the largest Christian nation on the face of the Earth. They’re going to come to Jesus.”

Critics noted that Robertson’s predictions generally fall into two categories: safe bets (such as claims that there will be continued strife in the world) and spectacularly wrong. In January of 2007, for example, Robertson predicted a terrorist attack on U.S. soil involving nuclear weapons that would kill millions.

Acknowledging the failed prediction, Robertson told his audience, “So did I miss it? Possibly. Or, on the other hand, did God avert it? Possibly. But whatever, it didn’t happen, so I think we can all rejoice.”