How The Bishops Are Helping The Two Catholic Candidates Against The Mormon

Andrew Sullivan —  Feb 13 2012 @ 10:56am


Perhaps the most fascinating dynamic of the contraception-religious freedom fooferaw is how it will impact the GOP nomination fight. Here's Newsmax, the chief magazine of the Christianist right (i.e. the real Tea Party), using the Obamacare rule to attack Romney:

C.J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, told the Boston Globe that Romney’s criticism of President Obama is hypocritical because as governor he did not lift the state-level requirement of contraception coverage. “The initial injury to Catholic religious freedom came not from the Obama administration, but from the Romney administration,” Doyle said. “President Obama’s plan certainly constitutes an assault on the constitutional rights of Catholics, but I’m not sure Gov. Romney is in a position to assert that, given his own very mixed record on this.”

Suddenly more-Catholic-than-thou Newt is making the same case:

“The Obama administration is raging a war against the Catholic Church,” Gingrich said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” last week. “Well guess what? Mitt Romney’s Romneycare — he specifically refused to exempt Catholic hospitals, he specifically cut funding for kosher meals for Jewish senior citizens in Medicaid in Massachusetts. There are a lot of parallels between these two guys. Romneycare and Obamacare are essentially the same.”

The truth is that both are right, but not fair. Romney inherited these mandates, opposed them, was vetoed, but still signed the bill that enshrined mandates beyond Obamacare. The law includes the morning-after pill. Meanwhile, of course, Romney is lying about Obama:

On a presidential campaign swing in Colorado, Romney told a crowd on Monday night that the Obama administration “said that the churches and institutions they run, such as schools and adoption agencies, hospitals, that they have to provide for their employees free of charge contraceptives, morning after pills — in other words abortive pills and the like — at no cost.

My italics. Romney knows full well the distinction between churches devoted solely to the faithful and larger Catholic organizations serving the general public. But it's another sign he will knowingly lie through his teeth to seek power. Worth knowing about a candidate of any party.

(Chart from Miami Herald with Romney's response here)