Encouraged by his near-tie for first place in Iowa, CatholicVote.org is endorsing Rick Santorum for president this afternoon.
“Pennsylvania Rick Santorum represents our best hope to rally the nation behind a unified moral and economic vision that Americans are clamoring for in a President,” Brian Burch, CatholicVote.org’s president, says in a statement about to be released.
“We think his near victory speech set the perfect tone and message to appeal to blue collar Catholics in the Rust Belt,” Joshua Mercer, CatholicVote.org’s communication director tells me.
“CatholicVote.org is proud to stand with Rick Santorum, and is prepared to mobilize our rapidly-growing grassroots network to help secure him the GOP nomination, and ultimately win the White House,” the endorsement statement continues.
“Too often our debates on ‘social issues’ are fought at the margins with stale-talking points which pit economic justice and moral virtues against each other,” the endorsement says. “The candidacy of Rick Santorum represents a chance to present an integrated approach to voters who are hungry for this kind of message.”
Founded in 2008, the group boasts 600,000 e-mail subscribers and supporters it is in regular communication with.
The full press release follows after the jump:
IT TAKES A RICK SANTORUM
CatholicVote.org Endorses Keystone Senator for President
CHICAGO, IL – CatholicVote.org, a leading national grassroots Catholic advocacy organization, today proudly announced their endorsement of Senator Rick Santorum for President.
CatholicVote.org President Brian Burch issued the following statement explaining the endorsement:
“Pennsylvania Rick Santorum represents our best hope to rally the nation behind a unified moral and economic vision that Americans are clamoring for in a President. CatholicVote.org is proud to stand with Rick Santorum, and is prepared to mobilize our rapidly-growing grassroots network to help secure him the GOP nomination, and ultimately win the White House.
“Catholic voters are looking for a candidate who can successfully combine the principles of the dignity of life and the dignity of work. Senator Santorum understands better than any other candidate the profound link between the moral, cultural and economic principles foundational to the success of America. We are convinced that Rick Santorum is the candidate best equipped to win not only the political arguments, but also the hearts of American voters as he did in Iowa on Tuesday.
“Rick Santorum is a workingman’s Republican with a record and a plan which are especially appealing to Catholic voters. His record in Pennsylvania, and his record as a presidential candidate confirms that Senator Santorum understands why four more years of President Obama would be devastating for America, but also why a GOP message focused too heavily on taxes, spending, and debt is simply not enough.
“Too often our debates on ‘social issues’ are fought at the margins with stale-talking points which pit economic justice and moral virtues against each other. The candidacy of Rick Santorum represents a chance to present an integrated approach to voters who are hungry for this kind of message.
“Catholic voters looking for moral and economic leadership also understand that the 2012 elections will inevitably focus on judges and the courts. With the Supreme Court poised to rule on immigration law, Obamacare, and potentially so-called same-sex marriage this summer, judges and our courts will dominate the debate this fall. On this score, there is no debate over which candidate has led, and can best be trusted to lead the fight over the role of our judiciary and the nomination of qualified judges to the courts that will respect our Constitution.
“Finally, Senator Santorum is a man of honor, integrity, and authenticity. What you see is what you get. He has faithfully served the cause of life and marriage as an elected official and as a husband and father. And while no political candidate, or human being for that matter, is perfect, Rick Santorum’s baggage contains his clothes.
“Republicans hoping to win back the White House in November must unite behind the candidate most dedicated to the foundational issues of faith, family and freedom. If the GOP hopes to defeat President Obama, it takes a Rick Santorum to get it done.”
Background on CatholicVote.org:
CatholicVote.org was launched in September 2008 as a new effort to educate, organize, and mobilize the Catholic vote. The national group was responsible for one of the most watched online commercials during the 2008 presidential campaign, watched by nearly 3 million viewers on YouTube alone. The group also received national attention for a second life-affirming viral ad depicting ultrasound images celebrating the life of President Obama. The popular website hosts the award winning American Papist blog, along with other political commentary relevant to Catholic voters. The organization regularly communicates with nearly 600,000 email subscribers and supporters.
Full disclosure: I have been a commentator on the CatholicVote.org blog, operated by their 501c4, but I had no role in their endorsement which is being issued by the CatholicVote.org Candidate Fund.