Sen. Arlen Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to NARAL President Nancy Keenan today, asking that the group cancel its ad attacking John Roberts for supporting “violent fringe groups.” From the letter:
The NARAL television ad is blatantly untrue in its assertions that:
1) Supreme Court nominee John Roberts filed court briefs supporting violent fringe groups and a convicted clinic bomber; and that
2) America can’t afford a justice whose ideology leads him to excuse violence against other Americans.
Judge Roberts did not act improperly in his advocacy before the Supreme Court arguing that the plaintiffs could not sue under an 1871 Act designed to protect African-Americans from actions of the Ku Klux Klan. In fact, as we have learned from documents recently released by the White House, Judge Roberts has unequivocally stated that those individuals who violently target abortion clinics “should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” …
May I also suggest that the NARAL advertisement is not helpful to the pro-choice cause, which I support. When NARAL puts on such an advertisement, in my opinion it undercuts its credibility and injures the pro-choice cause.
Pdf version of the whole letter, here. Sorry, I didn’t get a Web link.
Update: I’m sorry I didn’t add this earlier. I was offline last night, but it seems that Specter’s letter made a difference. NARAL has pulled the ad and offered the traditional Washington non-apology:
“We regret that many people have misconstrued our recent advertisement about Mr. Roberts’ record,” said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Yes, clearly the ad was meant as a very serious consideration of Roberts’s record, not a hit piece. Silly misconstruers. NARAL is set to release another ad.
Interesting strategy, this. Undercut credibility with everyone by running demonstrably false ad, alienate base by caving to Republican Senator’s request to cancel ad, spend the rest of your money on another ad after you’ve made sure no one is listening to you.
Mary Katharine Ham blogs at Townhall C-Log and is happy to back among the Wizbangers, yo.