Obama’s Catholic Problem; Hires Faith Outreach Director
In 2008, 54% of American Catholics supported Barack Obama as he ran for a seat in the Oval Office. Political analysts expect that number to be far lower in 2012, following a series of events in which Obama has snubbed his nose at the Roman Catholic faith. Now - it appears that he is trying some public relations tactics to sway those very people back to the ballot box.
Michael Wear, who currently serves as executive assistant to the executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will join the Obama campaign in Chicago as Faith Vote Director, according to James Salt, a Catholic activist who is close to the Obama campaign and White House.
The move will have Wear working directly for the Obama campaign as it heads into the critical summer months.
As far as that 54% "approval" rating that Obama received the last time around, it's now into the low 30's - according to a recent Rasmussen poll.
Since winning 54 percent of the Catholic vote in 2008, the president's approval rating among Catholics had fallen to 39 percent in the latest Rasmussen Reports poll. And Republicans are eagerly trying to drive that wedge between Obama and Catholics even deeper.
To Catholic leaders, Obama's health care policies strike deep at the heart of their religious freedoms.
Catholic anger at Obama was sparked by his proposal that religiously affiliated employers, including hospitals, charities and other nonprofit organizations, provide contraceptives under their employee health plans even though the church itself opposes the use of contraceptives. Church leaders said the requirement infringed on their religious beliefs.
A nation-wide effort is afoot by leaders of the Catholic faith in the United States to keep the present administrations motives upfront and in the news.