National Catholic Register: "Courting Catholics - While Democrats Bicker, McCain Makes His Case"
The May 11-17 issue of National Catholic Register has the latest in a series of Register articles cheerleading on behalf of ESCR supporter John McCain:
WASHINGTON — In a week when Catholics flocked into Washington to see Pope Benedict XVI, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and members of his presidential campaign reached out for their support.
Following the papal visit to the White House, the campaign hosted a Catholics for McCain event at the Metropolitan Club, as co-chairmen Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and supporter Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., met with other Catholics and discussed McCain’s candidacy.
McCain also joined attendees at the White House dinner in honor of the Holy Father’s birthday on April 16, and the National Catholic Prayer breakfast April 18 at the Washington Hilton, as Pope Benedict left for New York.
Cindy McCain spoke to the Metropolitan Club gathering about her husband’s character and emphasized the core principles of his campaign, including life, marriage and family.
“I was really impressed with Cindy McCain’s speech, said Dorothy Fleming, who attended from Minnesota. “She really came off as gracious and humble and seemed to be a lovely role model.”
Catholic author Deal Hudson was also present, and noted that McCain was steadily improving his relations with Catholics nationwide.
“McCain is being received very well among Catholics; he has a natural appeal to them,” said Hudson, “They are getting word that he is both pro-life and pro-family and they appreciate his patriotism.”
Hudson also noted that some Catholics were attracted to McCain’s softer tone on immigration, and others were watching his views on nominating judges. Campaign manager Rick Davis reassured Catholics at the event that McCain would nominate strict constructionist judges for the Supreme Court.
“A lot of people don’t realize how pro-life he is,” added Hudson, noting McCain’s 25-year pro-life record. “Most of the Catholics I talk to are surprised.”
Last month, McCain received the quiet endorsement of the National Right to Life for the general election, although the organization has had a rocky relationship with him in the past. In the 2000 presidential primaries, National Right to Life campaigned against McCain and endorsed his rival George W. Bush.
Catholic voter Bernard King of Kentucky said that it was disappointing to end up with McCain as the Republican nominee.
“On the issue of embryonic stem cells, McCain voted the same as both Clinton and Obama,” he said, “There’s a reason that we didn’t support him in 2000, and I think that it’s outrageous that we are expected to vote for him today.”
Hudson said that it was not so much McCain’s political stance on the issues, but rather that McCain was perceived by some as “aloof” and not as eager to reach out to religious groups.
“I think that he is talking about religion in a more positive way and having some good meetings and discussions with religious voters,” he said. Hudson has joined the list of Catholics who are supporting McCain and has given the campaign some informal advice on Catholic outreach.
[Read the whole thing]
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
John McCain Gains Support From Prominent Catholic Pro-Life Advocates
More McCain Cheerleading by National Catholic Register
National Catholic Register: "McCain and Pro-Lifers"
Associated Press: Brownback Working To Persuade Christian Conservatives To McCain
How the Catholic Left Will Tackle McCain
Brownback: “Pro-Lifers Can Trust McCain”
McCain Endorsed by "Republicans for Choice"
National Catholic Register: "McCain Sits Down for Life"
National Catholic Register on Candidate Endorsements by Pro-Life Catholics
Sam Brownback Lobbying John McCain on Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Two Catholic Pro-Life Advocates Endorse John McCain's GOP Presidential Bid
McCain Gets Help from Brownback to Lure Catholics