When historians look back on the Presidential election of 2012, they’ll notice a copious amount rhetorical “wars.” Wars on women, wars on health care and now, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has revived a popular one in his latest ad: war on religion.
In partnership with the Republican National Committee, the subject of Mitt Romney’s latest ad hits a nerve with religious voters – whose beliefs, he said, are under attack.
This morning, Romney’s campaign announced the release of “Be Not Afraid,” a 31-second clip attacking President Obama for forcing religious institutions to go against their beliefs.
Although Romney doesn’t mention it himself, it is assumed that the presumptive presidential nominee’s ad refers to the President’s healthcare plan – and some women’s health provisions in general, including the birth control mandate.
“Who shares your values?” the narrator of the ad asks. “President Obama used his healthcare plan to declare war on religion, forcing religious institutions to go against their faith.”
Using what was considered the strongest point of his international trip in July, the clip shows Romney quoting Pope John Paul II at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw, Poland, saying “Be not afraid.”
The ad also touts the endorsement of Romney by Lech Walesa, a Polish politician, trade union organizer and human rights’ activist who’s also a staunch socially conservative Roman Catholic.
Obama’s “war on religion” began earlier this year, when the Health and Human Services Department mandated that contraceptives must be included in health insurance plans. Because some religious institutions opposed the mandate, Republicans found an effective line of attack against Obama.
Romney, however, chose to avoid using the “war on religion” attack against Obama, choosing to use indirect attacks like saying that the President has a “secular agenda.”