September 2, 2008
Talk show host believes Pelosi remarks could hurt Democrats religious outreach
Radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt said tonight that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's comments on when life begins signified a turning point for religious voters.
What about on the Democrats' attempts to reach out to religious voters?
I think the Nancy Pelosi’s attempt to distort Roman Catholic Church on Meet the Press led to an avalanche of Roman Catholic bishops and cardinals denouncing her attempt to confuse and mislead mass-attending Catholics. That, in turn, triggered a re-evaluation of the Democratic platform and the story about Sen. Obama’s voting against the born-alive infant protection act got a lot of traction because of Sen. Pelosi. It was a turning point in the religious vote, and I don’t see him making significant in roads whatsoever. The evangelical vote is going to turn out and it’s going to be overwhelmingly for McCain.
When I was at the Democratic National Convention, there were several religious outreach events. Here, there’s hardly anything.
The whole schedule got jumbled as a result of the hurricane. A lot of people suddenly said, ‘We’re not going.’ I think a lot of it went to the enthusiasm gap and to the chaos surrounding the hurricane. We had a lot of faith-based events in 2004.
What do you think of this convention so far?
This one has an emotional content to it that I haven’t seen before. There was a lot of enthusiasm for President Bush in ’04 and ’00, but the Sarah Palin experience is truly phenomenal because it has engaged women conservatives in a way I haven’t seen before.
A Pew Forum poll most recently showed that evangelicals have not be enthusiastic about John McCain.
Some were, many weren’t, almost all will not be. I think Dr. Dobson led the way on Friday after the announcement of Governor Palin who said, ‘I will pull the lever for John McCain.’ I have not yet heard a senior figure on the evangelical side or the Catholic vote say other than, ‘This is a great choice.’
What about John McCain, who doesn’t talk about his faith much?
Sen. McCain is of a generation that does not often speak of faith bluntly. The Rick Warren conversation I think demonstrated convincingly I think to a lot of evangelicals that his faith is real and it matters to him.
There’s been some talk about the evangelical agenda is broadening, do you think that’s true?
I think the evangelical agenda has always been broadened. It’s always been about a heart for the poor. I think the social agenda of the church is reflected in missions around the world. I never really accepted the rhetoric that the evangelical agenda is other than broad, it’s always been broad. It has its emphasis on life, of course, and that issue has always been and will remain of particular importance.