Prominent evangelical group attacks Obama on abortion

The Family Research Council is going on the air Friday with a new ad that targets Barack Obama's position on the right to abortion.

Published June 27, 2008 1:57PM (EDT)

The evangelical community as a whole may not be rushing to embrace John McCain just yet, but some prominent evangelical leaders do at least appear to be ready to attack Barack Obama.

First, it was James Dobson, who slammed Obama for a speech he gave in 2006. Now, it's Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, who is -- with his son, whom he holds in his lap -- the star of a new ad his group is running in several cities, beginning Friday.

The ad itself begins with Obama's own words, from the speech he gave on Father's Day this year. "We need fathers to recognize that responsibility doesn't just end at conception," Obama says, which provides Perkins an opening to talk abortion and the question of when life itself begins. "I have a question for you," Perkins says to Obama. "If, as you say, fatherhood begins at conception, when does life begin? ... Let me ask it this way: if I became a father at conception, when did Samuel here become my son?"

This is, by the way, another in a line of several recent ads that follows almost the exact same format, though on different issues. A recent ad produced by and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees that targeted John McCain's position on Iraq also featured a parent holding a child and directly addressing the targeted candidate.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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