In the midst of the fun at Al Smith Dinner, Mitt Romney affirms support for the unborn and religious liberties
By Dave Andrusko
The annual Al Smith dinner, which raises money for Catholic Charities that assist poor and needy children in the Archdiocese of New York, draws the most attention every four years when presidential candidates meet on the dais to exchange self-deprecatory jokes but also to poke fun at their opponent’s expense. Last night President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney met expectations—and then some–particularly in the case of Mr. Romney who was universally hailed as extremely funny.
But in the midst of the fun and fellowship Mr. Romney made a very serious point:
“There is more to life than politics. At the Al Smith Foundation and the Archdiocese of New York, you show this in the work you do, in causes that run deeper than allegiance to party or to any contest at the moment. No matter which way the political winds are blowing, what work goes on, day in day out by this organization and you. You answer with calm and willing hearts and service to the poor and care for the sick, in defense and the rights of conscience and in solidarity with the innocent child waiting to be born. You strive to bring God’s love in every life.”
“I don’t presume to have all your support and on a night like this, I’m certainly not going ask for it, but you can be certain that in the great causes of compassion that you come together to embrace that I stand proudly with you as an ally and friend.”
As National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote this morning,
“The elephant in the room at the Waldorf last night “ was that the Archdiocese of New York along with many others is suing the Obama administration over the contraception mandate. Mr. Romney strongly opposes the mandate as an infringement on religious freedom. Last night the controversy was touched upon both very subtly by Archbishop Timothy Dolan and more humorously by Gov. Romney. [Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s funny and profound remarks can be read at http://blog.archny.org.]
Often the best humor amounts to addressing a sad truth in a tongue-in-cheek fashion—in this case the one-sided pro-Obama coverage by the “mainstream media.” Mr. Romney quipped
“Now I never suggest that the press is biased. I recognize that they have their job to do, and I have my job to do. My job is to lay out a positive vision for the future of the country, and their job is to make sure no one else finds out about it.
“Let’s just say that some in the media have a certain way of looking at things. When suddenly I pulled ahead in some of the major polls, what was the headline? ‘Polls Show Obama Leading from Behind.’
“And I’ve already seen early reports from tonight’s dinner, headline; ‘Obama Embraced by Catholics. Romney Dines with Rich People.’”
Media bias aside, Mr. Romney is surging in the polls. Please be sure to read,” Romney surge continues.”
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