NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby, is inviting Romney to ‚Äúspend a day with Catholic Sisters who work every day to meet the needs of struggling families in their communities,‚ÄĚ according to a release. The group is specifically targeting Romney a day after his campaign released amisleading ad about welfare reform that Sister Simone Campbell, NETWORK‚Äôs executive director, said ‚Äúdemonize[s] families in poverty‚ÄĚ and shows Romney‚Äôs ‚Äúignorance about the challenges‚ÄĚ the poor face in America:
‚ÄúRecent advertisements and statements from the campaign of Governor Romney demonize families in poverty and reflect woeful ignorance about the challenges faced by tens of millions of American families in these tough economic times,‚ÄĚ stated Sister Simone Campbell. ‚ÄúWe are all God‚Äôs children and equal in God‚Äôs eyes. Efforts to divide us by class or score political points at the expense of the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters reveal the worst side of our country‚Äôs politics.‚ÄĚ
Romney has endorsed the House GOP budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). It was that plan, which includes deep cuts to food stamps and other safety net programs that benefit the middle class, that NETWORK‚Äôs Nuns On A Bus tour targeted, with Campbell and other sisters blasting it as ‚Äúimmoral‚ÄĚ at the tour‚Äôs conclusion in Washington D.C. Romney has also proposed massive tax cuts for the rich that would likely come at the expense of lower- and middle-class families, which would see higher taxes or significant cuts to the programs they depend on.
Those policies, Campbell told ThinkProgress, show that Romney ‚Äúdoesn‚Äôt have clue‚ÄĚ about the struggles the poor face. ‚ÄúThe fact is, his policies shift wealth to the upper class,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúYes, it hurts the middle class, but it devastates those at the margins of our society.‚ÄĚ If Romney were to accept their invitation, Campbell said she would take him to places like St. Augustine‚Äôs in Cleveland, where food programs ‚Äúprovide a hand up‚ÄĚ to the community‚Äôs neediest members. ‚ÄúHe thinks they‚Äôre lazy,‚ÄĚ Campbell said, in reference to Romney‚Äôs misleading welfare reform ad. ‚ÄúIt is hard work to keep things together when you‚Äôre poor. He doesn‚Äôt have a clue. Let him talk to them, and maybe they‚Äôll touch his heart. And his mind too.‚ÄĚ
The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Campbell said she ‚Äúlives in hope‚ÄĚ that he will accept, even if he spends only an hour with the group. ‚ÄúI‚Äôll take whatever I can get,‚ÄĚ Campbell said. ‚ÄúHe should accept.‚ÄĚ