Second John Edwards Staffer Resigns Over Attacking Catholics on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 14, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Second John Edwards Staffer Resigns Over Attacking Catholics on Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 14
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — The second of two staff members of the John Edwards presidential campaign has resigned because of personal posts on blogs attacking Catholic and pro-life advocates over abortion. Melissa McEwan has also resigned, joining Amanda Marcotte, who also left after pro-life groups criticized her posts.

McEwan referred on her blog to President Bush’s pro-life supporters as his "wingnut Christofascist base."

She said on her personal blog, where she posted the comments prior to working for Edwards, that she left the campaign because she was tired of facing the criticism. She also worried she was hurting Edwards by staying.

"This was a decision I made, with the campaign’s reluctant support, because my remaining the focus of sustained ideological attacks was inevitably making me a liability to the campaign," McEwan said.

McEwan apologized to pro-abortion activists who supported her but did not address the content of the offensive remarks in her resignation announcement.

“One of the hardest parts of this decision was feeling as though I’m letting down my peers, who have been so supportive,” McEwan added.

Marcotte, who was hired with McEwan two weeks ago to promote the campaign to grassroots activists on the Internet, resigned on Monday.

However, she didn’t leave the Edwards campaign quietly and she blasted pro-life advocates as "right wing shills" and blamed them for driving her out of the campaign.

On her blog, Marcotte publicly blamed her most vocal critic, Bill Donohoe, president of the Catholic League, and said he "and his calvacade of right wing shills don’t respect that a mere woman like me could be hired for my skills."

She blamed Donohoe for trying to hold Edwards accountable for her "personal, non-mainstream views on religious influence on politics."

"Bill Donohue doesn’t speak for Catholics, he speaks for the right wing noise machine," she groused.

Donohoe said he wouldn’t give up on publicizing the pair’s problematic remarks until something was done about their employment with the campaign. He said if the comments had attacked Jews, African-Americans or homosexuals they would have been immediately fired.

"It’s too bad that Edwards didn’t make the decision himself to get rid of them," Donohue said.

"Why he had to wait for these women to bail on their own doesn’t speak well for him. But I’m delighted, and as far as I’m concerned, this closes the issue," he added.

Last week, saying they wrote personal comments on their own web sites that don’t reflect his views, Edwards released a statement saying he would not fire either activist.

The former North Carolina senator said he was offended by the content of the posts — which included inflammatory and profane attacks on the church — but said he wouldn’t fire them.

"I’ve talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone’s faith, and I take them at their word," Edwards said

In addition to criticizing the church on abortion, the posts derisively referred to Pope Benedict XVI as a “dictator" and Marcotte wrote that the Catholic Church’s teaching against the use of contraception forced women to “bear more tithing Catholics.”

"The Catholic church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics," she wrote.

Marcotte also used explicit language to discuss what would have happened has the Virgin Mary used the Plan B morning after pill instead of giving birth to Jesus Christ.

She also posted a letter from the pro-abortion Catholics for Free Choice blasting pro-life advocates and Catholics who oppose abortion.