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Mitt Romney’s secret Irish Catholic Weapon - Senior Adviser Peter Flaherty
Irish Central ^ | August 30, 2012 | Tom Deignan

Posted on 08/30/2012 10:02:03 AM PDT by Alex Murphy

Mitt Romney has a secret, Irish Catholic weapon in Tampa this week, one that experts say is key to him stealing away the Catholic vote from Barack Obama.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan? Nope. Paul Ryan? Nope.

His name is Peter Flaherty and he is a senior adviser to Romney, and prefers to keep himself out of the spotlight. Which is a little odd given that Flaherty has worked in both national politics as well as Hollywood.

Nevertheless, Flaherty is described as one of Romney’s closest aides. His main job? Persuading Irish Americans and other Roman Catholics that Romney is the man they should vote for.

Much attention was paid when it was announced that Dolan would say the closing prayer at this week’s Republican Convention. “The move is perhaps the clearest sign of a more aggressive push by Republicans to win over Roman Catholic voters this election cycle,” according to The New York Times.

But Romney’s close relationship to Flaherty is arguably more important.

When Romney served as Massachusetts governor Flaherty was his liaison to Catholics, including Boston’s Sean Cardinal O’Malley.

While much has been made about Romney’s “invitation” (as the Times put it) to Dolan, the New York Catholic leader also made it clear he would do the same thing for the Democrats. Rather stupidly, the Democrats have apparently declined Dolan’s offer.

Yes, there are major differences between the church and the Democratic Party - on gays and abortion among other things.

However, it would seem that President Obama would want to stress common ground, especially when every Catholic vote counts in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, Romney’s Catholic running mate Ryan has been lauded for his budget-cutting proposals, but guess what organization slammed Ryan for slashing social services and even misunderstanding the Catholic doctrine of “subsidiarity”?

None other than the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops. And who leads that organization? You guessed it, Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

No, if you really want to get a sense of how the Republicans are going to try and sway Catholics away from Obama you’ve got to listen to Flaherty, who told the Times, “We’re going to have outreach to Catholics in a coordinated, organized effort — state by state, diocese by diocese, parish by parish and pew by pew.”

Flaherty grew up in Arlington, Massachusetts and graduated from the College of the Holy Cross, majoring in economics. An Irish American aunt named Eileen Gill was murdered in Boston when Flaherty was young, and he has long said that terrible crime spurred him to fight the bad guys.

Flaherty became an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County before going to work for his brother, Michael, who runs Walden Media in Hollywood.

Flaherty returned east and began volunteering for Romney, and has been with the GOP candidate ever since.

Inevitably, the question arises of whether or not there really is a “Catholic vote” in America.

Obviously, the days of Roman Catholics voting largely for the party of JFK are over. Irish and other white ethnic Catholics are much more willing to vote Republican these days, while Hispanic Catholics are generally Democratic.

Nevertheless, it would be silly for either Romney or Obama to dismiss 25 percent of the voting population who - for all of their differences - share important key factors.

First and foremost, they are clustered in key battleground states. Also, while polls show that a majority of American Catholics are generally not opposed to birth control and abortion, they are also reverent and respectful towards religion in a way that Republicans can take advantage of. That’s why it seems such a blunder for the Democrats to not accept Cardinal Dolan’s offer to pray at their convention. It is the type of small thing someone like Peter Flaherty could make a big deal out of.


TOPICS: Catholic; Other Christian; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS:
Mitt Romney has a secret, Irish Catholic weapon in Tampa this week, one that experts say is key to him stealing away the Catholic vote from Barack Obama. Timothy Cardinal Dolan? Nope. Paul Ryan? Nope. His name is Peter Flaherty and he is a senior adviser to Romney, and prefers to keep himself out of the spotlight. Which is a little odd given that Flaherty has worked in both national politics as well as Hollywood. Nevertheless, Flaherty is described as one of Romney’s closest aides. His main job? Persuading Irish Americans and other Roman Catholics that Romney is the man they should vote for....

....Yes, there are major differences between the church and the Democratic Party - on gays and abortion among other things. However, it would seem that President Obama would want to stress common ground, especially when every Catholic vote counts in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, Romney’s Catholic running mate Ryan has been lauded for his budget-cutting proposals, but guess what organization slammed Ryan for slashing social services and even misunderstanding the Catholic doctrine of “subsidiarity”? None other than the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops. And who leads that organization? You guessed it, Timothy Cardinal Dolan....

....Inevitably, the question arises of whether or not there really is a “Catholic vote” in America. Obviously, the days of Roman Catholics voting largely for the party of JFK are over. Irish and other white ethnic Catholics are much more willing to vote Republican these days, while Hispanic Catholics are generally Democratic.

Nevertheless, it would be silly for either Romney or Obama to dismiss 25 percent of the voting population who - for all of their differences - share important key factors. First and foremost, they are clustered in key battleground states. Also, while polls show that a majority of American Catholics are generally not opposed to birth control and abortion, they are also reverent and respectful towards religion in a way that Republicans can take advantage of.

1 posted on 08/30/2012 10:02:10 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

Unfortunately, Irish Catholics today are democrats first, Catholics second, and that condition has prevailed at least since Reagan. Our local Catholic newspaper, The Arlington Catholic, during the 1984 campaign, among countless other gaffes and sheer heresy, refused to publish a photo of Reagan with PJPXXIII because it “appeared to give support to a political candidate.” Meanwhile, of course, Reagan was 100% pro-life and his opponent was emphatically pro-choice. Parenthetically, the editor was of Irish descent and was later replaced.

Cardinal Dolan may be a wonderful priest; but he’s proved not to be a wonderful bishop, having left his research and official reactions to liberal (to democrat and overwhelmingly Irish) advisors. He could have avoided the raw awakening Obama forced on him if he’d paid the remotest attention to the subsidiarity doctrine which he and other democrat Catholics deliberately reversed. “Social” “justice” is at the bottom of that list, not the top.

So, if Mr. Flaherty runs true to type, his outreach may not only turn out to be fruitless, but off-putting to practicing Catholics.

BTW, I’m Irish, and there are still a few Irish conservatives in the world..


2 posted on 08/30/2012 10:31:20 AM PDT by Mach9
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To: Alex Murphy

That’s a very liberal paper. very Liberal.


3 posted on 08/30/2012 10:48:08 AM PDT by STJPII
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To: Alex Murphy

Dolan was not involved with the statement from the USCCB, as that is only a small committee of the group and they do not have any authority to speak for the entire Naional COuncil of Catholic Bishops.

In fact, I have seen on the internet a rebuttal by Cardinal Dolan explaining this fact. Dolan stated that the Catholic church has the rule of subsidiarity when evaluating moral dilemmas. Since abortions, contraceptives, same-sex marriage and euthanasia and sterilization are all considered as intrinsically evil, they are the primary criteria to base your conscience and voting preference upon. The Social Justice issue which promotes charity is also important,but does not equate to the importance of the first list of issues.

Solan said he has spoken at length with Ryan and is convinced that Paul Ryan is a good and faithful Catholic.

I am certain he could never say that about Biden, Pelosi, etc.


4 posted on 08/30/2012 3:58:30 PM PDT by Gumdrop
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To: Gumdrop
Dolan said he has spoken at length with Ryan and is convinced that Paul Ryan is a good and faithful Catholic. I am certain he could never say that about Biden, Pelosi, etc.

What about Kennedy?


5 posted on 08/30/2012 4:06:53 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: All
With Ryan on the Ticket, Spotlight Focuses on the Catholic Church
Does Ryan have a “Catholic problem”?
Paul Ryan Urges Catholics to Act Before Religious Freedoms Erode
Wisconsin bishop praises Paul Ryan, discusses intrinsic evils, prudential judgments

Paul Ryan urges Catholics to act before religious freedoms erode
Dolan: Ryan Is a ‘Great Public Servant’ (great insight into Ryan's views)
Paul Ryan’s Bishop Defends Him Amid Attacks on His Application of Church Teaching
Paul Ryan, Catholic Who Looks to Church's Social Teaching, Tapped as Romney Running Mate
The other Ryan: the candidate’s wife, Janna
Paul Ryan, Joe Biden, and Liberal False Equivalence
Ryan as VP Pick Continues Election Year Focus on Catholicism
Paul Ryan Faces Left-Wing Religious Attack
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Holiness (Paul Ryan)
Paul Ryan: Midwesterner, Catholic, intellectual

6 posted on 08/30/2012 4:35:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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