An ad from a super PAC with links to antigay conservative evangelical leader Gary Bauer encourages viewers in a crucial swing state to support Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan because President Barack Obama is “trying to force gay marriage on this country.”
The Campaign for American Values paid for the “New Morning” television ad running in North Carolina, according to The Politicker. The 30-second spot features a couple that appears to be husband and wife fretting after they discover the president’s support for marriage equality in their morning newspaper.
“Obama is trying to force gay marriage on this country,” says the woman, who implies that she backed the President in 2008. “That’s not the change I voted for. Marriage is between a man and a woman.”
“That’s not the change I voted for, either,” says the man.
“What can we do?” asks the woman. The man replies, “We can vote for someone with values” before the message “Vote for Romney/Ryan” flashes on the screen with narration about the Campaign for American Values PAC. Federal filings show the PAC has around $762,000 on hand right now, The Politicker reports.
North Carolina, where Democrats are holding their convention in Charlotte this week, is crucial to the game plans of both campaigns with its 15 electoral votes. Four years ago, President Obama became the first Democrat to take the state since 1976, when he won with 14,000 votes out of 4.3 million cast, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Current polls show Romney with a thin lead in the state where unemployment hovers around 10%. The state approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions by a strong 61% majority in May, the day before President Obama announced his personal support for marriage equality.
The Chronicle reports that the impact of the president’s announcement on African-American voters, who made up about a quarter of the North Carolina electorate in 2008, continues to be debated. While the NAACP board endorsed marriage equality immediately after Obama, and polling shows majority support among blacks for the Maryland marriage referendum, the Rev. Patrick Wooden, a longtime Obama opponent from North Carolina, says the president hurt his standing with African-Americans over the issue.
The Campaign for American Values PAC is not the first super PAC to visit LGBT issues this election cycle, with at least two high-profile groups spending for equality. LPAC, a bipartisan pro-lesbian super PAC launched this year, plans to raise $1 million for candidates and independent expenditures including Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin’s Senate race and the campaign to reinstate marriage equality in Maine. American Unity PAC, a super PAC created by billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer, a major Romney donor, has already raised around $1.6 million to advertise in races for three House Republicans who have voted for equality legislation but have not yet expressed support for same-sex marriage.
Watch the ad from the Campaign for American Values PAC.