The RNC’s plan to improve relations with minority voters seems to be imploding, thanks to the escalating rhetoric from the current Republican presidential frontrunners.
Priorities USA, an independent expenditure PAC that favors Hillary Clinton, is now pushing the story line that this type of anti-immigrant rhetoric isn’t unique to the 2016 election cycle – we’ve seen it before.
Liberals Say the Divisive Rhetoric Is Tied to The Past
The new Priorities ad recalls a scene from a recent Donald Trump rally that generated controversy when Trump didn’t correct a questioner who insisted that President Obama was a Muslim and that the U.S. was infested with “Muslim training camps.”
We also see Dr. Ben Carson, who is polling right behind Donald Trump, backing up similar sentiment just a day later when he told Fox’s Chuck Todd he would “absolutely not” support a Muslim president.
The ad points out that it wasn’t so long ago that many in this country had similar fears of having a Catholic president.
Played in between the scenes of Trump’s campaign and Carson‘s interview, we see John F. Kennedy – the first Catholic President – at a press conference from 1960when he publicly declared that his Catholic faith would not guide his presidency, and that a person’s religion should not be a factor in any their government service.
Kennedy, a Democrat, then notes that while Catholics in America were the ones being targeted at that time, “the finger” has been pointed in many directions throughout history – the Jewish community, Quakers, Unitarians, Baptists, and more, have all served their time as the “other.”
An Even Bigger Catholic In Washington
This spot is released not only during the controversy among the GOP presidential candidates, but at the same time Pope Francis is making a historical visit to the United States.
To the bane of many conservatives, Pope Francis praised President Obama’s policies on tackling climate change and echoes Democrats on the campaign trail with his quiet, but forceful critique of income inequality.
Conservatives argue that, in the name of religious liberty, the pope should not cross so far over into politics.
Barack Obama is the eleventh consecutive U.S. president to meet with the pope – part of a tradition that dates back nearly a century. The pope addressed Congress today, and will move on to New York and Philadelphia during his 6-day visit.