- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 1, 2020

President Trump said Thursday night that anti-Catholic bigotry “predominates in the Democrat Party,” and vowed that he won’t allow bias to derail the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

In a recorded address to the 75th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner in New York, the president said he was honored to nominate Judge Barrett, a Catholic who sits on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“We will not stand for any attacks against Judge Barrett’s faith,” Mr. Trump said. “Anti-Catholic bigotry has absolutely no place in the United States of America. It predominates in the Democrat Party, and we must do something immediately about it, like a Republican win. And let’s make it a really big one.”

Some Democrats in Congress have previously raised questions about Judge Barrett’s faith. Since her nomination last week, some in the media have also made an issue of her Catholicism, questioning whether it would lead her to vote on the high court to outlaw abortion.

Mr. Trump said the right to life “is so important to the Supreme Court” in this election year.

Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden, who is Catholic, also spoke in a recorded address. He said the COVID crisis has tested Americans’ faith.

“The losses are so catastrophic,” Mr. Biden said. “But the American people don’t give up. There is no quit in America. One day we will look back and recall not how far we fell, but how fiercely we fought back as a country.”

The annual charity dinner commemorates the late New York Gov. Al Smith, who in 1928 became the first Catholic nominated to run for president. In presidential election years, the major party candidates are invited for what is traditionally a light-hearted roasting of each other.

This year, the dinner was a virtual event due to coronavirus restrictions. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, hosted the event from his residence adjacent to St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

After the video addresses of Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump were aired, Cardinal Dolan quipped, “Did we just see a rather peaceful transition? A peaceful transition of the microphones? It wasn’t so bad, was it, Mr. President?”

The cardinal also said of the candidates, “I dare remind them that Al Smith was a happy warrior, but he was never a sore loser.”

Mr. Trump also reminded the audience that he favors school choice, and that his administration procured federal aid for Catholic schools this year during the coronavirus crisis.

“It was my great honor to help the Catholic Church with its schools,” Mr. Trump said. “They needed hundreds of millions of dollars nationwide. And I got it for them, nobody else. I got it for them. I hope you remember that on November 3rd, but I got it for them.”

The president said his administration is “defending the sacred right to life — remember that when you vote.”

“That’s so important, and so important to the Supreme Court,” the president said.

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