Fred Rotondaro (Chairman of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good): … President Obama took more than his share of verbal assaults during his 2008 campaign …. For the first time in history, a major candidate found his birth qualifications to be President questioned, in addition to false claims being made about his religion…
To his everlasting credit, John McCain was not one of those bigots who spread such lies … From what I have seen so far, I hope but do not expect such decency and true patriotism in 2012.
Four major candidates have spoken already about Barack Obama not being born in America or having a Kenyan worldview. The potential Republican candidates seem to be appealing to the worst elements of their own party … they seem terrified of confronting the bigotry that is often directed at the President. When Newt Gingrich calls Obama a “food stamp president,” he is giving a dog whistle to racists. When Michelle Bachmann said she took President Obama at his word regarding his place of birth, she was winking at the birthers. America needs better than this in 2012.
Deceit has worked its way into important debates also …. While the financial regulation bill was being discussed, Mitch McConnell met with Wall Street leaders to discuss strategy and raise campaign funds. Soon, back in Washington, he began pounding the theme that the bill was an attempt to set up bailouts for banks. This was not spinning. This was an out and out lie to the American people.
The debate about health care centered for a time on the theme of non-existent death panels after former Gov. Palin tweeted about them.….
This is where the American religious community can play a vital role by insisting on truth in public policy debates … Politicians campaign dishonestly because they can. Let’s make it difficult and let them know they will pay a price for deceptive campaign tactics. We owe it to ourselves, our children, and our country.