Obama campaign denies anti-Mormon message aimed at Catholics

Wednesday, October 3, 2012
 | 
Russ Jones (OneNewsNow.com)

The Catholic Association is taking to task a pro-Obama group for an "incredibly intolerant" polling effort in Ohio, suggesting Catholics should not support Mitt Romney because he's a Mormon.

A group calling itself "Catholics for Obama" is conducting push-polling in The Buckeye State, attempting to make Romney's Mormonism an issue. Obama supporters making phone calls on behalf of the group have several Catholic organizations outraged about the nature of the calls. In a scripted phone message, Catholics are being asked: "How can you support a Mormon who does not believe in Jesus Christ?"

Maureen Ferguson is senior policy advisor for The Catholic Association.

Ferguson

"We're deeply concerned about it, but frankly not that surprised given this president's abysmal record on religious liberty," says Ferguson. "He has chosen to pick a fight with people of faith over and over again in his administration. So it's very disappointing and a very disturbing report."

Ferguson's group has described Congressman Paul Ryan, the GOP vice-presidential candidate, as a "smart, serious Catholic [who] has been steadfast on issues of fundamental principle - defending religious liberty, life, and traditional marriage." Contrary to what Catholics for Obama contend, Ferguson says many Catholics support the Romney/Ryan ticket.

"This [polling by Catholics for Obama] is incredibly intolerant, not to mention the fact that the Constitution prohibits any religious test for office," says the senior policy advisor. "And also just shocking in that it comes from a president who has done nothing but try to divide people based on religious grounds."

An Obama campaign spokesperson issued the following statement to U.S. News, which broke the story: "As a campaign, we have made it unequivocally clear that a candidate's religion is out of bounds. The activity that is being attributed to the Obama campaign and our Catholics for Obama program is categorically false."

Stephen Schneck, professor of political science of The Catholic University of America and director of the University's Institute for Public Policy and Catholic Studies (IPC) and the acting dean of social work, is a co-chairman for Catholics for Obama.

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