NEW ORLEANS -- "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson on Thursday urged his fellow Republicans to bring their party back to God as it seeks its way forward.
Speaking to the Republican Leadership Conference here, the bearded Louisianan said the party and the country have moved too far away from the founding fathers' vision of religion's role in American government -- and that the current version of the separation of church and state is a "lie."
"GOP, you can’t be right for America if you’re wrong with God," Robertson said. “You want to turn the Republican Party around? Get Godly.”
Robertson spoke in a somewhat meandering fashion for about half an hour at the conference, where he was a late addition.
He recently courted controversy by telling a reporter that homosexuality could lead to bestiality and that he doesn't remember things being so bad for African Americans prior to civil rights laws. He was briefly suspended from the TV network that airs his show, but was quickly reinstated after conservatives cried foul.
On Thursday, Robertson decried racism -- "The color of your skin doesn't determine the character of your person" -- and later alluded to his unlikely role as a speaker at the GOP confab, recalling when conference organizers asked him to come.
“I guess the GOP may be more desperate than I thought to call somebody like me," he said.
Robertson, who was introduced by Sarah Palin, closed the speech with a minutes-long prayer, said "Amen, I'm done," and walked off.
Update: Here's a clip from the Democratic super PAC American Bridge: