Update: Remarks added from CatholicVote and Concerned Women for America, following the release of Biden's new ad campaign.
Original Story: Joe Biden's campaign team has lifted the curtain on their latest campaign ad target: Christians. The team will air several ads featuring the Democratic presidential candidate engaged in various church-related activities and present him as a man of faith.
The new ads show Biden speaking from a pulpit, head bowed in prayer, or standing in front of church’s stained-glass window.— Matt Viser (@mviser) October 1, 2020
A radio ad includes a parishioner from his home church talking about how Biden is a regular at Sunday Mass. “That’s Joe Biden, a man guided by faith.”
The ads will air in several key battleground states where the former vice president has struggled to resonate with religious voters. Biden has consistently deflected criticism of his inability to impress Christian voters by reminding them that he grew up Catholic and at one point attended mass regularly.
The ads will air in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Ohio, all places where the margin between Biden and President Trump has consistently shrunken in recent weeks.
According to the Washington Post, one of the ads, titled "Morning," features Biden leaning on his faith to move forward after experiencing personal tragedy. Biden, who lost his first wife and infant daughter to a car accident and his adult son Beau to brain cancer, has never been hesitant to discuss his personal tragedies on the campaign trail.
Supporters featured in his ads, another of which is called "Principles," prop up Biden by saying he is a man led by faith and that he has been seen multiple times attending mass. However, Biden's inability to appeal to Christian voters is not rooted in his mass attendance; it's specifically related to his and his party's support of unlimited abortion and his attack on religious liberty.
Although Biden was once part of the Democratic Party that supported abortions only if they were "safe, legal, and rare," has rejected any pro-life sentiment in recent years and has largely bled built-in support from Catholic Americans who are by-and-large against abortion.
As the heat builds up ahead of the Senate Judiciary Hearings and confirmation process for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, concern about abortion among pro-life voters is at a fever pitch. In fact, at the St. Patrick Cathedral in the heart of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in a must-win county for Joe Biden, the primary message to the Cathedral Parish was to protect unborn lives.
This past Sunday, the well-attended mass at St. Patricks prayed together for the lives of the unborn, under direct threat by Joe Biden and the Democratic Party.
The homepage of the Cathedral website begins with Bishop Gainer's pro-life message. The Church calls for the end of abortion at all stages of life and under all circumstances. This message, repeated by Catholic dioceses throughout the nation, flies directly into the brand of "faith" and "Christianity being peddled by Joe Biden and his campaign.
"Religious voters across America aren't fooled by Joe Biden's deceptive ads featuring his Catholic faith," said CatholicVote president Brian Burch in a statement. "Joe Biden has pledged to gut religious schools, strip away fundamental religious freedoms, and for the first time in American history, force taxpayers to directly pay for abortion." Burch also skewered Biden for his vow to sue the Little Sisters of the Poor in a continuous attack on their religious liberty and choice about whether to provide birth control to employees.
"Look no further than the unprecedented assault on the Little Sisters of the Poor that Joe Biden has pledged to restart if elected," Burch said. "CatholicVote's Biden Report for Catholic Voters documents his decades long anti-life and anti-faith record and policy agenda. Both Biden and Harris have made clear they will prioritize the agenda of Bernie Sanders and AOC, and will destroy everything Catholics and all people of faith hold dear."
CEO and president of Concerned Women for America, Penny Nance, said Biden did actually get one thing right: the soul of our nation is in the midst of a war.
"We agree with Joe Biden that there’s a battle for the soul of America," Nance said. "But unfortunately he’s on the wrong team."
Biden's appeal to the religious voters of America is unquestionably important to his campaign's success, but his version of Christianity, which leans heavily on his personal losses and completely ignores the millions of children murdered by abortion each year, will not resonate with any pro-lifers.