GOP Slams ‘Godless Friends’ of Dole’s Foe

By Julia Hoppock

Oct 18, 2008 6:04pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis and Julia Hoppock Report: The GOP targeted the so-called "Godless friends" of Elizabeth Dole’s opponent on Saturday, circulating a YouTube video which assails Democrat Kay Hagan for attending a Boston fundraiser co-hosted by Woody Kaplan who sits on the advisory board of the  Godless Americans PAC

"Either she shares their views or puts money over her principles," said John Randall , the online communications manager for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). "Neither is a ringing endorsement for her as a senator from North Carolina." 

Dole, who served as NRSC chair in 2006, is one of nine incumbent Republican senators who is in a tough fight for re-election.

Watch the video circulated by the NRSC HERE:

Hagan’s campaign confirmed that the Democratic Senate candidate attended a Sept. 15 fundraiser at Kaplan’s Boston home. Hagan’s spokeswoman noted, however, that Kaplan was one of 40 co-hosts and called the web video, which follows similar mail attack pieces from the Dole campaign, a "desperate" and "pathetic" attempt to save the Republican seat "at any and all costs."

"Elizabeth Dole knows that Kay Hagan is an elder at the First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro," said Hagan spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan. "This kind of behavior is so unbecoming of a woman like Senator Dole, and it speaks volumes about her as a person and as a politician."

The video seeks to tarnish Hagan by showing representatives of the Godless Americans PAC articulating their views.

Ellen Johnson, the group’s executive director, is shown at a Nov. 2, 2002, conference, saying, "All Americans are Godless Americans because there is no God."

"What is their agenda?" asks the video’s narrator.

It then seeks to answer its own question by showing clips of David Silverman, a spokesman for the Godless Americans PAC, telling Fox’s Bill O’Reilly that his group would like to remove "under God"  from the Pledge  of Allegiance,  erase "in God we trust"  from  U.S. currency, and  abolish Christmas as a federal holiday. 

Hagan’s campaign rebutted the specific charges in the video, telling ABC News that Hagan does not support any changes to the Pledge, U.S. currency, or the status of Christmas as a government holiday.

The Hagan spokeswoman then counterpunched, pointing to Dole’s defense of a 2006 Republican ad against Harold Ford which featured a scantily clad white woman telling the black Senate candidate, "Harold, call me".

"This kind of smear-first, explain-later campaigning is nothing new for Elizabeth Dole," said Flanagan, the Hagan spokeswoman. "She perfected these tactics at the NRSC two years ago, defending ads that had a ‘serious appeal to racist sentiment’ and launching attack websites with ‘racial overtones.’"

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