WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2011 -- Veteran anti-abortion activist Randall Terry says he's mounting a Democratic primary challenge to President Obama in 2012, in part to be able to run graphic TV ads showing aborted fetuses during next year's Super Bowl.
Terry, who founded Operation Rescue, unveiled a campaign Web site this week, including three prototype 30-second videos he wants to air during the 2012 NFL football championships and throughout the Democratic primary next year. The videos, narrated by Terry, show bloody and dismembered fetuses following abortions.
He plans to formally announce his candidacy Thursday in front of the Holocaust Museum in Washington.
"I want to pummel Obama. I despise this presidency. He is the arch child killer of the Western Hemisphere, so I'm going to go head-to-head with him," Terry said in a phone interview.
"My ultimate goal is to make child killing illegal again. And for child killing to be made illegal, there has to be a crisis of conscience; we have to show the victims like we show the Holocaust victims and say never again."
While TV networks occasionally reject ads based on controversial or graphic content, the Federal Communications Act requires broadcasters to provide legally qualified political candidates fair access to ad time and forbids them from censoring ads "in any way, or for any reason."
Terry said he's confident he can raise the $2.5 million for a Super Bowl spot and that CBS would broadcast it.
During the 2010 elections, Terry was the campaign manager for Missy Reilly Smith, a virtually unknown candidate running for D.C. delegate to the U.S. House who raised $66,000 to successfully run a graphic anti-abortion ad 235 times on several local broadcast network affiliates across the greater Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
Smith's 30-second ad was deemed so explicit that it was preceded by a 15-second warning that was added by the stations' management.
"We are going to do what Missy did on a scale of 100 times," Terry said. "If I can raise the money, they're [the TV networks] required to sell them to me, they're required to air them."
Terry Seeks to Air Graphic Ad
Terry acknowledged that he has no chance of defeating Obama in the primary, but believes his campaign will "wound" the president politically by turning the anti-abortion lobby against him.
"I can marshal a Democratic, Catholic base against him," he said. "Even if I get 10 or 15 percent of the vote in Iowa or New Hampshire, it will embarrass him."
As for criticism that airing the graphic ads during primetime TV would be inappropriate for children, Terry, a father of four, said he has no qualms.
"What bothers me is that they're murdering small children," he said. "My sons see these images every day. This country is guilty of the blood of 50 million babies and those victims deserve a voice. And if the cost of that justice is it causes a little consternation with some families then that's the price of freedom and that's the price of justice."