Beliefnet
God-O-Meter

huckabee14.jpgJust because 80-percent of his Iowa support came from evangelicals doesn’t mean Mike Huckabee isn’t seeking broader support. Take Catholics. Aboard his campaign bus yesterday, Huck gave a glimpse of how important the Catholic vote is to his success:

Catholics were a major source of support for me in Arkansas. And they have been nationally. And it’s not only because of the pro-life and pro-family issues,” he said, referring to his opposition to abortion rights and gay marriage.
“I certainly believe that Catholics are right about talking about poverty, disease and hunger. Things I talk about … I think a lot of evangelicals have not talked enough about it quite frankly,” he said.
Huckabee’s remarks point to a strategy that sees a broader coalition than the old “Religious Right” — one that unites not only socially conservative Catholics and evengelicals but also those who see Biblical sanction for helping the poor.
Huckabee said that much of his campaign staff was Roman Catholic — so much so that when he looked at the list last August he said he thought “we need some Baptists in this bunch here.”
He also said that he believed that he was “one of the few people who as a Baptist pastor actually spoke in Catholic churches. My church used to have a joint service with a Catholic, Methodist and Presbyterian Church twice a year.”

Given that the only top-tier Republican candidate who is Catholic is Rudy Giuliani, whose three marriages and pro-choice stance don’t exactly put him in lockstep with the Vatican, God-o-Meter thinks Huckabee’s Catholics outreach might yield electoral rewards. It’s a bit late in the race to getting started, though.


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