(Photo: REUTERS/Larry Downing)
Pro-life Democratic presidential candidate Randall Terry has focused his primary campaign on dissuading as many left-leaning Catholics and evangelicals as he can from voting for Barack Obama in the general election.
Terry already accomplished a very big mission in airing anti-abortion campaign advertisements featuring the grim images of aborted babies to millions during the Super Bowl, but he is far from throwing in the towel and walking away from the campaign.
"I've decided to raise the money to be a deciding factor in the race," Terry told The Christian Post Monday.
He does not expect to win either the Democratic primary or the general election. He instead hopes to split the vote by appealing to left-leaning Catholic and evangelical voters who are sympathetic with the president.
"If I can cause 7 or 8 percent of the Catholics who voted for Obama in 2008 to have a crisis of conscience then I can cause his defeat," he said.
He believes Catholics and evangelicals should be outraged with the president and his war on religion.
Terry pointed out that the Obama administration instituted a contraception mandate that would force religious institutions such as private schools, colleges and hospitals to pay for insurance coverage of contraception and abortive drugs despite their beliefs.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement that the final rule "strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services" because religious nonprofits are being given one year to comply with the mandate.
That additional year, however, does not appease the faith-based groups. Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan argued that they will not "suddenly be more willing to violate our consciences 12 months from now."
Terry called Obama the most "ardent supporter of baby-killing that has been in office."
So far, the pro-life candidate has launched television ads in 10 states and plans to do more.
Terry, who founded Operation Rescue but is no longer affiliated with it, declared his candidacy for the U.S. presidency during the 2011 March for Life. Although he has campaign stances on other issues such national security and government reform, Terry had made it clear that abortion is his number one priority.
"The number one issue that we face as nation is child killing," he said.
Last year, Terry revealed to CP his plan to air anti-abortion ads featuring the bodies and dismembered parts of aborted babies during the Super Bowl.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) threatened to derail Terry's vision when local Chicago television station WMAQ refused to run his ad. The FCC denied Terry's request to force the station to air his campaign ad, stating that he was not a legitimate candidate for president.
He submitted his campaign ad to 10 different markets. So far, he said that commercial aired in Kentucky and Oklahoma. The Hill reported that the commercial also aired in Missouri.
The ad, though appreciated by some viewers, evoked strong negative reactions among opponents and even some pro-lifers.
One commenter, identified only as Susan, wrote on the Randall Terry 2012 chat board, "Disgusting. I am not a proponent of abortion, and I do not need to see the image of a dead baby to understand it's [sic] horror."
The Democratic National Committee also criticized Terry in a letter to the FCC as not being a "bona fide Democratic candidate."
Terry admitted that his ad may be polarizing, explaining viewers either "love it or hate it." However, he said he plans to launch another campaign ad blasting President Obama over the contraception mandate.
When asked whether he plans to attend the DNC convention, he said he is unsure but that "my inclination is to be there."
Terry is confident about one thing: he will campaign right up until Nov. 4, possibly as a third party candidate, in the hopes of hindering the Obama re-election campaign.