Bipartisan Christian group forms super PAC to oppose Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) - A group of prominent Christians from both sides of the aisle, including a former faith advisor to former President Barack Obama, are forming a political action committee to erase Christian support for President Donald Trump in the final weeks of the 2020 campaign.
Called Not Our Faith, the new Super-PAC plans to roll out six-digit TV and digital advertising for Christian voters - especially Evangelical and Catholic voters who helped Trump win in 2016. The first digital ad is slated to go in Michigan, and Pennsylvania is targeting Trump's claim to gain a foothold with Christians.
The ad, made available to The Associated Press prior to its publication, said Trump "used Christianity for his own ends" referring to pictures of the Republican president's photo opportunity outside a historic church in Washington amid racial justice demonstrations called this summer. The ad urges Christians to break away from Trump, stating that they "don't need Trump to save them." The truth is that Trump needs Christians to save his campaign. "
This sharp criticism of Trump's position with Christian voters comes from the fact that the president is reaching out to evangelicals in particular to help him re-elect over Democratic candidate Joe Biden. While Biden's campaign builds a well-organized display of faith, that work mainly focuses on a positive case for the former Vice President rather than the openly anti-Trump case brought forward by the new PAC.
Members of the PAC advisory board include Michael Wear, a former faith advisor in Obama's administration and re-election campaign, and Autumn Vandehei, a former advisor to former Texas Republican MP Tom DeLay. Wear said in an interview that Trump "was predatorily attached to Christians", claiming that the faith would be "better off" without the president.
“Trump closed 2016 with unprecedented support from white evangelicals and, importantly, a really strong performance among Catholics. We'll leave everything behind, ”said Wear. "We believe there is Christian support on the table in these elections."
Trump and his re-election campaign continue to rely heavily on Christian voters, with the president making unfounded claims that Biden and Democrats are religiously hostile. Republicans are also appealing to Faith voters, claiming the Democrats unfairly criticized Supreme Court candidate Amy Coney Barrett for her Catholicism, despite the fact that no Democratic senator has raised the issue during Barrett's confirmation hearings.
Trump's faith advisor and personal pastor Paula White will perform at an event for the campaign's Evangelical Outreach project in the battlefield state of Ohio on Tuesday.
It remains to be seen whether the efforts of Biden supporters to peel off Trump's evangelical support will make progress. A poll by the impartial Pew Research Center, conducted after Trump's controversial church photo, found 72% of white evangelicals approved of his work, a level that has remained largely constant during his presidency.
However, the new PAC sees room for a far-reaching connection with Christian voters beyond Trump's white evangelical base. Wear said the project hopes "to reach and appeal to a diverse coalition of Christians ... just as we expect a diverse coalition of Christians to oppose Donald Trump's re-election."
The PAC's advisory board also includes Carolyn Y. Woo, retired president and CEO of faith-based humanitarian group Catholic Relief Services, and Rev. Alvin Love, pastor of Lilydale First Baptist Church in Chicago and chair of faith-based initiatives at the National Baptist Convention.
Associated Press religion coverage is supported by the Lilly Endowment through the Religion News Foundation. The AP is solely responsible for this content.
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