In response to a decision by Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington to stand by his recent Catholic-baiting remarks, the Catholic League has embarked on a public relations campaign on his behalf. We will expose his darker side to all of his colleagues in the House, as well as to every state legislator in Washington.
On July 31, Rep. McDermott took to the floor of the House to support the Greenwood substitute amendment that would allow human cloning to make human embryos for research. Some of his remarks were offensive to Catholics, which is why the Catholic League issued a news release on this subject on August 1. On August 2, his press secretary, John Larmett, told us that the congressman stands by his remarks.
Catholic League president William Donohue explained the league’s strategy today:
“We believe that Rep. McDermott’s lawmaking colleagues in the House and Washington state need to know what makes the congressman tick. In making his case on the subject of human cloning, Rep. McDermott not only belittled Pope John Paul II’s role in speaking to this issue, he appealed to the worst appetite in anti-Catholics: he sent a red flag that Catholics are making public policy decisions in America. His remarks, which he stands by, are scurrilous and unbecoming to a congressman. But since he stands by what he said, we believe the best way to deal with him is to widely disseminate his remarks; his colleagues have a right to know about his darker side and we are only too happy to educate them. And in September, we will also ask our members throughout the country to join our campaign.
“Rep. McDermott has a thing about Catholics. On July 11, it was reported that he accused the Bush administration of holding science ‘hostage to the Catholic vote’ on stem cell research. He obviously thinks that Catholics should butt out of public policy decisions. Which is why we’ve decided to butt in against him.”