CAT GOT YOUR TONGUE?
As pro-Romney Catholics have gone silent following Romeny's most recent flip-flop on abortion, Catholic efforts for the Obama-Biden effort far exceed the Republicans.
Catholics for Obama - Biden organized debate watch parties throughout the country Thursday night.
And it’s not the only way the Obama campaign and liberal groups are using Thursday’s debate to organize Catholic voters, one of the country’s big swing voting constituencies.
Beyond encouraging Catholic watch parties, the Obama campaign has been visiting Catholic colleges in swing states and dispatching Catholic campaign surrogates to address Catholic groups in the leadup to the debate. Romney has made no apperences at Catholic colleges.
President Obama has regular briefings on the campaign's Catholic outreach with Roderick Johnson, the campaign's Catholic outreach director.
Independent Catholic groups that aren’t officially connected to the Obama campaign have been even more vocal in attacking Ryan from a Catholic perspective. “Some of his positions are fundamentally at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church,” said a Ryan critique issued this week by dozens of Catholic theologians and other Catholic scholars.
With Paul Ryan, progressive Catholic groups have taken particular aim his proposed budget, which passed the House but not the Senate.
A letter to Ryan from faculty at Georgetown, a Catholic university, summed up the Catholic opposition to the proposal: “We would be remiss in our duty to you and our students if we did not challenge your continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few.”
And then there is the “nuns on the bus tour” to decry the Ryan budget’s slashing of programs for the poor. This week, the nuns reprised the tour, criss-crossing Ohio just in time for the vice presidential debate. “He clearly has not been where I’ve been," Sister Simone Campbell, an organizer of the tour, told MSNBC of Ryan. “He just is out of touch.”
The Romney campaign rolled out a Catholic outreach effort much later than the Obama-Biden campaign and has been hurt by the stridency and harsh rhetoric of their right-wing Catholic supporters. The Romney campaign continues to approach nervously those who tell undecided Catholics they will go the Hell or be denied Communion if they vote for the President.