Here in Virginia, we’ve seen our share of candidates who have used religion to divide and conquer the electorate. Congressman Virgil Goode’s ignorant, demogogic rants against Congressman Keith Ellison immediately jump to mind.
But nothing the bigotted Virgil Goode has done compares to the latest advertisement released by Sen. Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina in her campaign against State Senator Kay Hagan.
In the ad, Sen. Dole falsely implies that her opponent, Senator Hagan is an atheist. In fact, Kay Hagan’s a Sunday School teacher and an elder at the First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, N.C. Check this out:
The ad has been condemned by nearly everyone, yet Sen. Dole refuses to pull the ad.
Ed Rollins, President Reagan’s political director and GOP strategist said yesterday on CNN: “There has been a long history of dispicable ads run by Republicans in N.C., led by Jesse Helms… They [the Dole campaign] did something desperate, which is so dispicable and so unlike Elizabeth Dole that she should be ashamed of herself.”
Alex Castellanos, the N.C. GOP consultant who created the notorious “White hands” ad for Sen. Jesse Helms in 1990 said on CNN, “When you’re making ads that say, ‘There is no God”, it usually means your campaign doesn’t have much of a prayer.”
Here’s what the editorial board of North Carolina’s newspapers have to say about Sen. Dole and her sleazy ad:
The Charlotte Observer said, “It has no place in N.C. politics. Unless she admits this egregious, shameful mistake and acts appropriately, Elizabeth Dole has no place in N.C. politics, either.”
The Greensboro News & Record said, “If Elizabeth Dole is still the gracious person North Carolinians have admired for many years, she’ll pull her new attack ad off the air. It’s worse than dishonest in its depiction of rival Kay Hagan as a “Godless American.”
Note, I will update this post with new editorials as they come in.
In the mean time, if you would like to help defeat Sen. Dole and elect Kay Hagan, please make a contribution at www.kayhagan.com. Kay is fighting back hard, but she needs your help to pay for this response ad to Sen. Dole’s filth.
UPDATE, Oct. 30, 2:45 p.m. ET
Here is more condemnation from North Carolina papers:
The Asheville Citizen-Times said: “The ad is not only a gross misrepresentation of the circumstances surrounding the fundraiser, the implication that Kay Hagan believes “there is no God” flies in the face of her long and close involvement with First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro, where she is an elder and has taught Sunday School.”
UPDATE, October 30, 8:36 p.m. ET
The Wilmington Star News said: “But a recent TV ad from Sen. Elizabeth Dole is shameful even by today’s threshold for slime. It smacks of desperation, and it’s unbecoming of a senator representing North Carolina. The ad essentially infers that her Democratic opponent, N.C. Sen. Kay Hagan, doesn’t believe in God.”
FYI, Kay Hagan has been endorsed by the Charlotte Observer, Raleigh News & Observer, Greensboro News-Record, Asheville Citizen-Times, Winston-Salem Journal, Wilmington Star-News, Durham Herald-Sun, Greenville Daily Reflector, High Point Enterprise and Wilson Times.