NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby, is inviting Romney to âspend a day with Catholic Sisters who work every day to meet the needs of struggling families in their communities,â 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, NETWORKâs executive director, said âdemonize[s] families in povertyâ and shows Romneyâs âignorance about the challengesâ the poor face in America:
âRecent 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,â stated Sister Simone Campbell. âWe are all Godâs children and equal in Godâs 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 countryâs politics.â
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 NETWORKâs Nuns On A Bus tour targeted, with Campbell and other sisters blasting it as âimmoralâ at the tourâs 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 âdoesnât have clueâ about the struggles the poor face. âThe fact is, his policies shift wealth to the upper class,â she said. âYes, it hurts the middle class, but it devastates those at the margins of our society.â If Romney were to accept their invitation, Campbell said she would take him to places like St. Augustineâs in Cleveland, where food programs âprovide a hand upâ to the communityâs neediest members. âHe thinks theyâre lazy,â Campbell said, in reference to Romneyâs misleading welfare reform ad. âIt is hard work to keep things together when youâre poor. He doesnât have a clue. Let him talk to them, and maybe theyâll touch his heart. And his mind too.â
The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Campbell said she âlives in hopeâ that he will accept, even if he spends only an hour with the group. âIâll take whatever I can get,â Campbell said. âHe should accept.â