EXPORT, Pa. (KDKA) — Vice President Mike Pence was in the region on Wednesday, and religion was on his mind.
Pence met with a roundtable of pro-life advocates at the Cornerstone Ministries Church in Murrysville. It was another sign of the political campaigns looking for ways to make a religious message resonate in Pennsylvania.
IJoe Biden is a religious Catholic who attends Mass and would be only the second Catholic president after John F. Kennedy if he is elected. But on the issue of abortion, it is Donald Trump who claims to be the most pro-life President America has ever had.
During the roundtable, Pence repeated again how pleased he was to be on his side of the abortion issue. So how important is the pro-life issue in western Pennsylvania?
“In 2020 between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the life issue and life voters, particularly here in Pennsylvania, is going to be incredibly important,” Mallory Quigley told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Wednesday.
Quigley is with the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List and its political action committee Life Wins.
“Are you going to vote for someone who talks about their faith, claims to be religious but doesn’t actually take action in that direction? Or for someone that takes action?” Quigley said.
But Democrats see the Trump-Pence focus on abortion as a distraction.
“The president doesn’t want to talk about the coronavirus because he botched it from the beginning,” says U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, a Youngstown Democrat. “Of course he doesn’t want to talk about the economy because the middle class has been hollowed out and all he cares about is the stock market. So I wouldn’t want to talk about those things either.”
Ryan, a conservative Democrat, says abortion is deeply personal.
“Mike Pence and these other extremists, they’re against birth control,” says Ryan. “To inject Mike Pence and these other people in the middle of that decision is also irresponsible,” says Ryan.
“Joe Biden is a practical guy. He’s a devout Catholic. He’s a very spiritual man,” Ryan added
But Quigley says it’s policy, not faith, that counts.
“Faith and policy positions are really in a dramatic contrast, and that’s what we’re working to expose,” says Quigley.