How Catholics could affect the GOP race for president

Catholics — making up about a quarter of the Republican primary electorate — could form a formidable voting bloc in the months ahead.  And so TIME magazine looks at some of the choices:

There is no natural fit for the conservative Catholic voter. Or, as Deal Hudson, who directed Catholic outreach for both Bush/Cheney campaigns, recently put it to my TIME colleague Elizabeth Dias: “All of the potential nominees will have their challenges with Catholics.”

That assessment, of course, excludes Santorum from the definition of “potential nominee.” Because if you’re a purist conservative Catholic, Santorum is your man. His credentials on the social issues are beyond dispute. The defining issue of his Senate career was the fight he led to ban so-called “partial-birth abortion.” “If I’m a conservative non-compromising Catholic,” says Rozell, “then I probably like Rick Santorum and want to give him support in order to make a statement.” Unfortunately for Santorum, only 1% of Republican voters appear to fall into that category.

Herman Cain might once have been a reasonable option for conservative Catholics. But his confusing statements on abortion have all but eliminated that possibility. At best, Cain’s remarks indicate a lack of familiarity with the political debate over abortion. And at worst, he sounds like a pro-choice politician. He can talk to Rudy Giuliani about how that works out in Republican primaries.

As with the Republican electorate overall, conservative Catholics currently seem to be divided between Mitt Romney and Anybody But Romney. Stephen Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at Catholic University, sees more pragmatic Catholic voters drifting over to the former Massachusetts governor. “Establishment Catholic Republicans are lining up behind Romney,” says Schneck. And Romney doesn’t have the same problem with Catholics as he does with evangelicals when it comes to his Mormon faith. “The Mormon issue is not an issue for Catholics,” explains Hudson. “Catholics as a group are highly sensitized to religious identity and freedom. They have been through that.”

But while Catholics may not care about the specifics of Romney’s faith, they are, if anything, more concerned about his record and position on abortion than evangelical voters are. That may be the frontrunner’s biggest obstacle to attracting meaningful Catholic support. As Michael Sean Winters pointed out this week on the National Catholic Reporter, Romney’s health care law in Massachusetts provided direct government funding for abortions. For Catholics who have voiced outrage over the possibility of indirect funding of abortion through Obama’s health reform law, this is a problem.

Check out the link for the rest.

Comments

  1. friscoeddie says:

    Of course Catholics will not choose a president on the abortion issue alone. You cannot fool the people that any president has the power to reform abortion law when we all know that GOP presidents have not been able to overturn Roe even when they appoint a majority of the Supreme justices. Romney gave direct tax aid to abortion in Massachusetts while Obama signed an executive order to not fund abortion. The RC Church considers Mormonism to be a cult, and does not recognize its baptism, [unlike other main line Protestant churches ]. a position the same as any evangelical minister who has taken heat for calling Mormonism a cult. I live in the west and have found Mormon family values to be envied by Catholics and Protestants alike. But how will Mormonism play back east with conservative Catholics who have not lived with them?.

  2. Dave in IA says:

    Santorum isn’t perfect but he reflects my values as closely as anyone in the race. Being in IA we have a lot of opportunities to exam all the candidates and I met him a couple weeks ago in a coffee shop. The SANTORUM sign is now in my yard.

  3. While must of what this article says has some truth, what is also true is that one candidate that a Catholic cannot support is the one in the white house now, Obama. He has been the most pro abortion president in my lifetime. His exec order mentioned above by friscoeddie was a sham to get his ObamaCare through which the USCCB stated very clearly supported abortion. Obama is also leading his minnions in the attempt to remove any conscience clause on several key issues of non negotiable Catholic teaching values.

    It is also important to get as many Republicans in both houses of congress so that with a Republican president, the Democratic party which supports all abortion will have less ablity to block judicial appointments that are solid pro life. We have weak Supreme Court Justices when the democrats hold numbers in the Senate. And if we do get solid Republicans in office, we will then clearly have the voting block power to hold their feet to the fire on issues important to our faith and what would be expected in a nation driven by the Judeo Christian values our country was founded upon. These values served us well before the godless group decided God had to be removed from every part of our society.

    Having said all this, my choice is not yet final, but Santorum is a number one candidate. However, one must also support a choice which will defeat Obama. Any Catholic who does not go all out to end Obama and the party of death control is simply not paying attention on abortion. If all Catholics simply made a firm decision to not give a single vote to the Democratic Party until they dropped support of abortion in every way, we would end legal abortion in this country in less than 10 years. This will save thousands of lives each and every day and make killing a baby the same as killing a child outside the womb. It would also mean bring solid justices to end some of the ongoing attacks on religious belief in this country and return our country to one nation UNDER GOD. But some refuse to listen to Catholic teaching on non negotiable issues and as a result, babies are slaughter by the thousands each and every day.

  4. Don from NH says:

    Santorum will be gone after New Hampshire.

    The “choice” will be Romney who will be speaking from both sides of his mouth (on the abortion issue and anything else he thinks will hurt his chances) at the same by the time he clears New Hampshire.

    And when Romney wins the nomination, come November all the talk and concern about abortion will be will be for not because the Republicans and Republican Catholics included will vote with eyes closed and noses covered for Romney not because of abortion but because of the hate for Obama.

    Hate hate hate will guide the votes of Republican Catholics this November not abortion no matter what Romney beliefs are.

    So while all the pro life people order us how we are to vote in the end it wont matter.

  5. Deacon Jeff says:

    The author of the article has fallen prey, intentionally or not, to the same misstatement concerning Cain’s position on abortion.

    I believe Mr. Cain’s statement is purposefully being mis-reported by the entrenched Republican Party bigwigs precisely because he’s not “with them” and will not bow to the party hierarchy. It’s evident that “they” have preordained Romney is “our” man and now will do all they can to convince the public at large of that.

    Cain has, in my opinion, clarified his comment and though I am not associated with his movement in anyway save I have made one small donation, allow me to paraphrase what I heard him “say he meant”.

    Mr. Cain is 100% PRO-LIFE in all it’s forms, phases and meanings and he will PERSONALLY fight for those beliefs. He however went on to explain that as PRESIDENT he would be obligated to enforce the law as presented by Congress and validated by the Judicial. Any 8th grade Social Studies class will teach us that.

    It therefore is OUR responsibility as voters, as Catholic voters, to make sure the Office of the President gets a Congress that will enact laws that reflect our prayers.

    As an aside…the current occupant of the Office has repeatedly moved to show he has no desire to operate the Office as demanded by the Constitution. Mr. Cain simply pledged that he understood the limits of the job-title.

  6. friscoeddie says:

    Please post any, if you have any, violations of Obama’s executive order banning federal funds for abortion..

  7. naturgesetz says:

    Don,

    I suppose it makes you feel good to believe the fantasy you have invented as to the motives of Republican voters.

    But your fantasy is not reality.

  8. Henry Karlson says:

    The most pro-abortion president? That was Nixon.

  9. Henry Karlson says:

    Deacon Jeff

    What exactly is different from Cain’s position — he will support the law of the land – with Pelosi — who also says it is the law of the land and she can’t change it?

  10. Henry Karlson #8:

    “The most pro-abortion president? That was Nixon.”

    How so?

    I know that he was president when the Roe v Wade became law, but that was the Supreme Court’s decision.

  11. Henry Karlson says:

    HMS

    He found it good for use with undesirables in the United States and worked for its use for population control. Even later in life, he continued his support for abortion.

    This should tell you how deeply involved he was with its use in Africa:

    http://fathersforlife.org/health/population_control.htm

    Or

    http://www.population-security.org/journal-spes.htm

  12. I don’t see how Catholic’s will have any ‘conservative’ push to the 2012 candidates. Catholic’s voted en-mass for Obama who has positions contrary to Catholic values.

    “Incoming US President Barack Obama has won back a significant proportion of the Catholic vote previously lost to George Bush, electoral analysts say. ”

    Heck, even Pope Benedict publicly stated he supported Obama.

    Most Catholics are Catholic in name only not in spiritual values.

  13. As far as the revisionist posts above, here is the real story:

    “After the Supreme Court’s January 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, Nixon had made no public statement.”

    Some how this makes him the most ardent supporter of abortions in US history …. meanwhile … Obama pubicly supported abortion, prevent prosecution of abortion law violaters, and provided funding to increase the number of abortions in Africa and the USA.

    November 24, 2008 – Obama appoints Ellen Moran, the former director of the pro-abortion group Emily’s List as his White House communications director.

    November 24, 2008 – Obama puts former Emily’s List board member Melody Barnes in place as his director of the Domestic Policy Council.

    January 22, 2009 – Releases statement restating support for Roe v. Wade decision

    January 23, 2009 – Forces taxpayers to fund pro-abortion groups that either promote or perform abortions in other nations. Decision to overturn Mexico City Policy sends part of $457 million to pro-abortion organizations.

    January 26, 2009 – Obama nominee for Deputy Secretary of State, James B. Steinberg, tells members of the Senate that taxpayers should be forced to fund abortions.

    January 29, 2009 – President Obama nominates pro-abortion David Ogden as Deputy Attorney General. – The Vatican has rejected three Obama ambassador nominees because of their positions in favor of abortions.

    February 27, 2009 – Starts the process of overturning pro-life conscience protections President Bush put in place to make sure medical staff and centers are not forced to do abortions.

    I can go on and on if you need more proof.

  14. I and many others will be voting for Obama come next November, and the crop of Republican candidates won’t make it a difficult choice.

  15. George #12:

    “The Vatican has rejected three Obama ambassador nominees because of their positions in favor of abortions.”

    How do you know that? I am interested in your source.

    I thought that the Vatican denied that they had rejected any ambassador nominees for the post.

  16. Don from NH says:

    #7 no fantasy at all.

    I’ll put it plainer there Hypocrites

  17. Fiergenholt says:

    How about an insight from a secular point of view.

    Simply speaking (1) about 1/3 of the active electorate are declared Republicans and would vote for anyone who carries that banner; and (2) same is true on the other side of the coin, about 1/3 of the active electorate are declared Democrats and — again — would vote for anyone who carries that banner.

    That leaves about 1/3 who declare themselves “Independents” and are the real political power here since neither the Republicans nor the Democrats can win without them.

    The responsibility, then, of either party is to prove — not to themselves but to the Independents — that they deserve to be in office. BOTH parties, then, have to quit “preaching to the choir” and get out into the trenches and find out what the “hot-button” issues really are that will motivate the independent voters to voting their way.

    That is what is so fascinating about the Republican debates — the party is “preaching to the choir” and not really attracting the voters they have to have to win.

  18. Donal Mahoney says:

    It is my hope that Santorum will soon have the same political standing as Arlen Spector, the pro-choice Republican candidate for the Senate that he endorsed some years back, helping to defeat the pro-life candidate in the Republican primary. Spector won the primary and the election and then became a Democrat, the party in which he always belonged. Santorum is a true pro-life Republican, something he can savor, I hope, for many years in private life. I would never vote for him under any circumstances despite agreeing with him on so many issues. You don’t vote for pro-choice candidates and you don’t endorse them.

  19. Henry 11, went to your links which by the way are clearly anti Catholic..

    It shows nothing there that has Nixon supporting abortion. In fact, when the Democrat on the commission Nixon asked to look at issues around world population came back with a strong support of abortion, Nixon rejected it in total with the impression being that he did the unforgivable of listening to the Roman Catholic Church.

    The crime of the Catholic Church was to be against Roe and abortion according to your links.

    Also, found this interesting at the one site..

    http://blog.fathersforlife.org/2009/01/25/obama-legalizes-funding-of-abortions-abroad/

    There is a lot more there about Obama and his strong support of abortion. there are of course a lot of video’s one can watch with candidate Obama promising the planned parenthood of his undying support of abortion and their mission including bringing them into every decision.

    By showing this link,

    http://www.population-security.org/journal-spes.htm

    you show yourself to be clearly and firmly anti Catholic. As such, it is interesting to see how often you are in full agreement with Deacon Greg ordained in the Catholic Church.

    Deacon Greg, take a look at the link Henry provided

    http://www.population-security.org/journal-spes.htm

    that you allowed without comment or editing. It has the following links showing on the very page he posts..

    *the 150 year history of uninterrupted papal hostility to the freedom of speech

    * the Vatican blueprint for the infiltration and manipulation of the American Democratic process at all levels

    And by the way, I love it that liberals are saying Nixon is worse on abortion than Obama as some kind of defense of a statement Obama is the worst president on abortion ever. Even wanting to trot out Nixon as your guy, the one the liberals hated forever, it fails because there is not a single statement that Nixon supported abortion, only a concern over population growth and that he dropped it when the democrats in the commission added abortion to the mix. Amazing.

  20. Thomas More certainly had the line that most Catholic Democrats should think about on election day..

    MZ..Don NH..and any others for the Democrats…

    Why Catholic Democrat, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the sake of the Party… but at the price of unlimited and unending abortion?

    Who can support the coninued slaughter of 4,000 babies a day being done legally with the support of the Democratic Party alone or the 54 million already in heaven awaiting justice on the last day? Please give a solid proportiante reason. I long to hear it. I would imagine many Germans struggled after WWII for a reason they supported the Nazi party which killed 6 million in the death camps. Can anyone think of a single reason they could have given other than we did not know and does anyone believe they were not aware of the ongoing bashing of the Jews in Nazi Germany or what happened when they were taken away.

  21. I was a Republican Greta. Wave the bloody flag of abortion all you want. You’re still just marching under the banner of the rich, and it is their interests you are serving, not the unborn.

  22. Don from NH says:

    M.Z. I agree, and while the Catholic Republicans are waving the flag the rest of the Republicans are laughing all the way to the bank and not concerned one bit about the born once they get here. (Actions speak speak louder than words.) or concerned about the poor, the disadvantaged, the immigrants, the middle class worker, the students, education, health care, senior citizens, social security, medicare, decent wages and of course they are for the death penalty.

    So much for “pro life”

    One issue voters will loose all the time.

    As they take one step forward on pro life they take 26 steps backwards on pro life every time they support the likes of the “on your own”corporate thugs of america.

    And when the church speaks on these issues, supporting all the other issues that Republicans dont stand for, our so called Catholic Official Spokes-people
    here in the states will dismiss these church supported stands as “coming from a minor office in Rome” or explain it away in some other fashion such as it does not come from the words of the “magisteriam” (oh oh I used that word before Greta did.)

  23. MZ. You need to explain how voting to support the murder of 4000 infants a day each and every day is in any way Catholic. You seem to be tied to the mobs in occupy with the bash the rich as the single issue of concern. That thinking would have fit in quite well with the death Camps in Germany. If you take all the money from the rich in this country, do you think it will solve a single issue for the poor? However, if we can stop support of the Democratic Party of death, we will make a huge difference in this country. Obviously you have found your answer in issues of wealth that to you trump life itself. Your single comment clearly shows what you place over life

    Thus, this fits well..

    Why Catholic Democrat, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the sake of the Party ( or to bash wealth)… but at the price of unlimited and unending abortion? Sorry, but you have not shown anything of proportiante reason called for by the Catholic Church…

    And yes, you are free to ignore the issue of life and vote your pocketbook. I bet that will resonate with the 54 million babies waiting for justice when you stand before our Lord.

  24. Don from NH.. You are vitually saying the same thing as MZ. Money is more important to you than saving lives.

    On every issue you list..I am as concerned about them as you or anyone else. But can you explain how you make a single one of these “concerned about the poor, the disadvantaged, the immigrants, the middle class worker, the students, education, health care, senior citizens, social security, medicare, decent wages and of course they are for the death penalty” named issues better for the dead baby?

    Our founders when listing things in order of importance listed life before liberty or the pursuit of happiness.

    You seem to think that it is OK to pay with the death of 54 million babies for the other issues you have listed and I thus must assume you think that these are proportianate reason for voting for their death. You cannot deny that if all Catholics told the Democratic Party that unless they drop support for Abortion, you will vote for the Republican Party to end legal abortion that it would indeed end this legal slaughter. If so, please tell me how it would continue with a united Catholic vote, a united Evangelical Vote, and a united vote of Muslims, and a united vote of anyone of conscience.

    Now as to the issues you have listed, you are of course assuming that supporting the democratic party will end all of the problems surrounding all of the long list you have mentioned.

    When the elections were over in 08, the democrats had the white house and huge majorities in both houses of congress. With this power, please show me how the fixed

    “poverty, the disadvantaged, the immigrants, the middle class worker, the students, education, health care, senior citizens, social security, medicare, decent wages and of course they are for the death penalty.”

    They failed to produce the mandatory budget for three years. They produced ObamaCare which needed to have over 1700 waivers to companies that supported the plan as long as it did not apply to them and that has caused healthcare costs to soar and the courts to look to see if it even is constitutional. They have kicked the can down the road on fixing medicare and social security ponzi schemes. Education continues to decline and now appears to be on life support in many areas. The wages under their leadership has not improved and unemployment has remained very high with underemployment a major issue approaching 20%. They have done nothing to change the death penalty in any way and no democrat president or candidate has come out against the death penalty.

    So the utopia you think the democats bring to America to pay the price of your soul based on the holocaust of 54 million babies is certainly hard to understand.

    Ever care to examine how much has been spent on the war on poverty since 1964 and the impact on poverty? During those years, the democrats had the house of representatives for over 40 years controling the purse strings.

    And on the rich, just how much money did Obama get from those in the top 1 %? Do you even know? It was higher than that given to McCain? Just what has Obama done in 3 years to take money away from the rich? Last December, Obama and the congress extended the tax cuts for another two years. Were you aware of that? Of course he screams about how horrible the tax cuts are, but he was the one who signed the extension for two more years. He is the one who made the statement that increasing taxes at this time would not be good for the economy. Of course he started to distance himself before the ink was dry. And please tell me you do not think Dodd Frank did anything for financial reform? Both of these two democrats raised huge money from the financial institutions they were supposedly trying to reform and both were knee deep in lobbyist helping to write the bill. It has done nothing to help the poor.

    So unless you have some magic information to support the myth that democrats are for the poor and the republicans are for the rich, you have nothing to support the holocaust of 54 million babies.

  25. No interest or hope for Gingrich as our next Catholic president?

  26. Funny how Catholics ignore things like perpetual war and torture when deciding a candidate.

    Only Ron Paul is right on the wars, torture, the death penalty, and abortion.

    Catholics would be wise to read his books to truly see the solid foundation of his positions.

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