State and national outlets spent more time on Perry’s inflammatory claim that Obama is waging “war on religion.” In the first Register post, reporter Jennifer Jacobs got comments from LGBT advocacy groups, but concluded the post with a long list of examples provided by the Perry campaign to support the “war” claim, including the Obama administration’s decision not to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act in court, without offering further context. The Register’s second post pushed further, introducing views from leaders of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa.
On CNN, Blitzer challenged Perry’s rhetoric more directly, and got an illuminating answer: one front in the war, Perry said, is the Obama administration “clearly sending messages to people of faith and organizations of faith that we’re not going to support you with federal dollars” if the organizations don’t abide by federal regulations.
That sort of exchange can help voters decide whether they think the “war” rhetoric is well-founded. Meanwhile, Blitzer’s CNN colleague Anderson Cooper introduced another relevant point: at last week’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the White House, President Obama delivered a religious message about the birth of Christ.