Religious Groups Hit Biden on Abortion, Religious Liberty

Biden camp launched multimillion-dollar campaign to woo religious voters

(Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
October 8, 2020

Religious groups have launched an advertising and grassroots campaign focused on abortion and religious liberty to counter the Biden campaign's ad push courting swing-state believers.

CatholicVote and Concerned Women for America announced an advertising and grassroots mobilization effort centered on Democratic Party leaders threats to pack the Supreme Court. The campaign will run in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote, told the Washington Free Beacon that Biden's record on religious liberty, abortion, and religious schools undermines the Biden campaign's attempt to woo Catholic voters. "No one is questioning Biden's personal relationship with God, what we're questioning are his public policies," he said in a phone interview.

The Biden campaign unveiled a multimillion-dollar ad push targeting Catholic voters in 14 states. The advertisements highlight Biden's struggles with personal losses and feature Biden in conversation with the editor-in-chief of a Catholic publication.

"My father would say the cardinal sin of all sins is the abuse of power, whether it’s a man raising his hand to a woman, whether it is the government abusing its power, basic essential elements of what constitutes Catholicism," Biden says in one of the advertisements. "The idea that everyone's entitled to dignity, that you have an obligation to reach out and be inclusive. It was just basic principles."

Biden has been at odds with his own church on a number of issues, including his support for taxpayer-funded abortion and opposition to the Little Sisters of the Poor—nuns repeatedly targeted by the Obama administration for objecting to birth control mandates. The Trump campaign has attacked Biden for his extremism on these issues while the Biden campaign has made Biden's Catholic faith a centerpiece of their outreach to religious voters.

The relationship between Biden's policy positions and his faith has been controversial for the duration of his presidential campaign. Last October, a priest denied Biden communion during Mass because of his stance on abortion.

While Trump has enjoyed steady support from white Evangelical voters, his support among Catholics has wavered. September polls showed Biden with a 12-point lead among Catholic voters. And opinion polling indicated that the biggest issues for Catholic voters are the economy, health care, and the coronavirus, putting them within range of the Biden campaign's focus.

If elected, Biden would also become the second Catholic president in American history, after John F. Kennedy.

Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America told the Free Beacon she is skeptical that the Biden campaign's biographic appeals will be enough to woo religious voters given his policy positions.

"I think that Catholic voters would rather elect a Catholic president who actually believes the doctrine of the Church," she said. "I think it's a stretch to suggest that somehow he is a spokesperson for the Catholic faith."