McCain Campaign Plans "Very Aggressive" Outreach to Catholic Voters
(Hat tip: Opinionated Catholic)
Looks like McCain's Catholic outreach people have finally decided they need to get serious. At this point, however, they'll be playing catch-up to Obama's extensive Catholic outreach efforts:
John McCain is preparing to ramp up his efforts to reach out to Catholic voters with a “very, very aggressive” campaign, spearheaded by his newly created Catholic Outreach Coalition, reports Catholic News Agency.My Comments:
Frank Donatelli, the Deputy Chairman of the Republican National Committee, spoke to reporters and Catholic media on a conference call this morning about the efforts that the McCain campaign is planning to reach Catholic voters.
Donatelli described the Catholic Outreach Coalition, chaired by Sen. Sam Brownback and Frank Keating, as “first-rate” and said that it will be “very well-funded.”
Calling McCain’s Catholic campaign "very, very aggressive," Donatelli said it will involve literature, sending speakers to parishes and Catholic gatherings, a direct mail program and statements by Sen. McCain on issues of concern to Catholics.
The coalition plans to explain to Catholic voters how McCain is a stalwart opponent of abortion, has a strong appreciation for the social conscience of the world and that he is in favor of an immigration policy that defends the nation’s borders but also is humane in its treatment of illegal immigrants.
As has been noted in the past, one issue that John McCain differs with Catholic teaching on is his position on embryonic stem cell research. CNA recently discovered a description on the McCain campaign’s website that says:
“As president, John McCain will strongly support funding for promising research programs, including amniotic fluid and adult stem cell research and other types of scientific study that do not involve the use of human embryos.”
It may be too little, too late.
And McCain's Catholic outreach people better be ready to explain how McCain's position on Iraq (and, potentially, Iran) can be squared with what a great many Catholics believe is a failure to properly apply just war principles.
And they need to honestly address McCain's shortcomings on issues like ESCR and marriage protection (and, thereby, hold his feet to the fire) where McCain's record in the Senate leaves much to be desired.
Finally, they should also be prepared to highlight McCain's excellent record on opposing torture (in addition to his views on immigration mentioned in the above article), which has been closer to the Church's position than what other Republicans have been advocating, especially since the Obama Catholics are attempting to use issues like torture and immigration as a means of offsetting their candidate's deficiencies on other pro-life matters.
Suffice it to say, I don't believe McCain's Catholic outreach people will be nearly as reticent as Obama's Catholic outreach people have been in reaching out to Catholic media outlets to explain their candidate's positions.
But they sure have piddled around long enough in getting the ball rolling.