Friday, October 31, 2008

NC Newspapers Blast Dole Over "Godless" Ad

North Carolina newspapers have already started weighing in with editorials about Elizabeth Dole's despicable "Godless" television ad, in which Dole does everything but accuse her Democratic opponent, Kay Hagan, of playing golf with Satan.

Here's some samples:

Charlotte Observer

"The Dole campaign stepped across a broad line, portraying Hagan as not Christian and suggesting she does not believe in God. The Dole ad shows a picture of Hagan while a woman's voice, not Hagan's, intones, There is no God.'

"This is indecent. It is the modern-day version of the 'white hands' ad, a lie born of Dole's desperation in a race in which she has trailed for weeks. It is also a deliberate attempt by Dole's campaign not just to distort the truth, but to shatter Hagan's admirable record as an elder for more than a decade in Greensboro's First Presbyterian Church, as a Sunday School teacher and a volunteer in her church's fundraising campaigns, worship services and community service programs.

"Political campaigns in this state are often hard-fought, with bitter, overwrought accusations that stretch the truth, embellish the facts and attempt to confuse voters. Hagan has hit Dole hard. Dole has hit Hagan hard. That is par for the course. This ad is something else, an attack on a Christian woman's faith against all evidence to the contrary. It is wrong. It may well backfire on Dole.

"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."

Asheville Citizen Times

"The degree to which a campaign resorts to mud-slinging is a pretty good indication about how desperate it is. One of the more egregious examples of negative campaigning began running Tuesday in North Carolina.

"It's an ad put up by the Elizabeth Dole campaign, approved by Dole, that says a leader of the Godless Americans PAC recently held a 'secret' fundraiser in Kay Hagan's honor.

"At the end of the ad, the narrator asks 'What did Hagan promise in return?' In response, as a photo of Hagan is shown, a different woman's voice says, 'There is no God.'

"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."

Greensboro News and Record

"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.'

"Hagan raised a strong defense Wednesday, addressing the media in front of Greensboro's First Presbyterian Church, where she's been an active member and elder. Talking about her Christian faith and works, backed by family, friends and former minister Joe Mullin, she revealed a side of herself most voters haven't seen."

"From that one association, the Dole ad links Hagan to unpopular views. With Hagan's picture on screen, a female voice avows, 'There is no God' -- a deceptive attempt to put an atheist's words into a Presbyterian's mouth, with the goal of helping Dole's election chances.

"Even in a campaign long ago driven down in tone by Democrats and Republicans, this is a low blow. Making false insinuations about a candidate's religious beliefs is beyond the bounds of acceptable political disagreement."

Wilmington Star-News

"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. In the South, where strong faith is practically a requirement for public office, that's akin to suggesting that she and Satan are in business together.

"But Hagan is no heathen. An elder in her Presbyterian church, she has taught Sunday school and does lots of other things that good people of faith do. Apparently Elizabeth Dole and her handlers missed the lesson that covered 'Do unto others. ...'"