- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 4, 2020

The battle for the faith vote heated up over the weekend as the Biden campaign launched a trio of ads aimed at winning over churchgoers, prompting blowback from pro-life Catholics who said the message was at odds with the Democrat’s record on abortion and religious freedom.

The seven-figure ad buy, which features two television spots and one radio ad, emphasized former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s Catholic faith and upbringing.

“We are running these ads to highlight to faith-motivated voters that Joe Biden is the clear moral choice in this election,” Josh Dickson, Biden campaign faith-engagement director, told the Religion News Service. “Religious voters matter to this campaign and are a key part of our broad, diverse, and robust coalition.”

The first 30-second ad, “Principles,” highlights shots of Mr. Biden as a young man at church, and later meeting with Pope Francis, as he speaks to Father Matt Malone, saying that “the cardinal sin of all sins is the abuse of power.”

 



The second television spot, “Morning,” shows Mr. Biden at the pulpit quoting Psalms, saying that “weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning,” while the one-minute radio ad discusses his attendance on St. Joseph on the Brandywine, his church in Wilmington, Delaware.

 

“Even now, when Joe is at home, we see him at mass on Sunday,” says the narrator, Bernadette, who identifies herself as a parishioner. “You can tell how important Joe’s faith is to him.”

The ads are slated to run in 14 states on religious stations, which reportedly include affiliates of the Relevant Radio Network, a pro-life Catholic station.

 

 

Brian Burch, executive director of CatholicVote, called the ads “deceptive,” saying that Mr. Biden has pursued an “anti-life and anti-faith record and policy agenda.”

“Religious voters across America aren’t fooled by Joe Biden’s deceptive ads featuring his Catholic faith,” said Mr. Burch in a statement. “Joe Biden has pledged to gut religious schools, strip away fundamental religious freedoms, and for the first time in American history, force taxpayers to directly pay for abortion. Look no further than the unprecedented assault on the Little Sisters of the Poor that Joe Biden has pledged to restart if elected.”

Mr. Biden announced last year that he had reversed his longstanding support for the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for most abortions.

CatholicVote began last month a $9.7 million campaign in battleground states to discourage Catholic voters from supporting Mr. Biden, who was the first Catholic vice president and would be only the second Catholic president in U.S. history if elected in November.

“We agree with Joe Biden that there’s a battle for the soul of America but unfortunately he’s on the wrong team,” said Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America.

Relevant Radio addressed the pro-Biden ads in a Friday email, according to the Catholic News Agency.

“Listeners in some of our markets will begin hearing political ads next week,” the email said. “The content of these ads do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Relevant Radio and its sponsors. We take seriously our obligation to protect our broadcast licenses which allow us to evangelize and bring Christ to the world through the media.”

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