October 29th, 2008
03:50 PM ET
9 years ago

Dole's 'Godless' ad causes stir

A new campaign ad from Elizabeth Dole alleges her opponent is 'Godless.'

A new campaign ad from Elizabeth Dole alleges her opponent is 'Godless.'

(CNN) - The already-contentious North Carolina Senate race took a brutal turn Wednesday after incumbent Sen. Elizabeth Dole released a television ad suggesting challenger Kay Hagan is "Godless."

“A leader of the Godless Americans PAC recently held a secret fundraiser for Kay Hagan,” the 30-second ad says before showing clips from members of the group declaring God and Jesus do not exist.

“Godless Americans and Kay Hagan. She hid from cameras. Took godless money,” the ad's narrator also says. “What did Kay Hagan promise in return?”

Watch: Dole hits airwaves with 'Godless' ad

The ad ends with an unidentified female voice declaring, "There is no God."

The Dole campaign says it's basing its charge on Hagan's attendance at a fundraiser that was in the home of an advisor to the Godless Americans’ political action committee, a group that promotes rights for atheists.

In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Hagan said she has never heard of the Godless PAC "before Lydie Dole sent out a press release on this," and said the fundraiser in question had more than 40 hosts, including Sen. John Kerry. She also said she has contacted her lawyers to issue a cease-and-desist order on the commercial.

"I am absolutely appalled at Elizabeth Dole's vile tactics," Hagan said. “This is politics of the worst kind, and I know it has been rejected by North Carolinians at every level. It is so unbecoming of a woman like Elizabeth Dole. This is a fabricated, pathetic ad."

Hagan went on to strongly defend her faith: "I am a Sunday school teacher, I am an elder at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, my family has been going to this church for over 100 years, I have raised my children there. I have been involved in youth missions."

A National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman defended the ad.

"Kay Hagan recently attended a fundraiser held in the home of a founding member of the Godless Americans PAC," Online Communications Director John Randall said. "Now Hagan believes it is unfair to associate her with the group even though the soiree raised her thousands of dollars in campaign cash. I guess money is more important to Hagan than principles."

Recent polls suggest Hagan - a Democratic state senator from Greensboro who began the race at a major money disadvantage to Dole - is now leading the incumbent slightly with only days remaining before Election Day.

Filed under: Kay Hagan
soundoff (350 Responses)
  1. Chuck from Northern Cal

    What a surprise! A tasteless, baseless, divisive ad aimed at the Republican base!! This is what we have come to expect in nearly every race that is close - at the presidential and congressional level. When will the reasonable, thoughtful American voting public reject this kind of swill?? 2008 perhaps!! Let's hope so ... get out and vote and send this kind of politics back into the swamp it came from!! Obama/Biden/Hagan!

    October 29, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. Obama for President

    This is the kind of politics that will drive Dole out of office!!!!!!

    Dems 08!!!!!

    October 29, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. David Goldman





    October 29, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. PG

    What can you expect from a desperate republican. They are all the same: slimy politicians.

    October 29, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. I VoTeD for 'THAT ONE'

    Kay Hagan, don't even worry about this ad. If things continue to go like they have been in the presidential election, Dole's campaign has just sunk her with this horrible smear commercial. NC is not going for that garbage this year. If you weren't the best candidate, they wouldn't have to resort to lying to prove it.

    October 29, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. Robin in SC

    What a shame. Even Libby Dole is stooping to the GOP tactics...guess no one is immune to lying, cheating, or stealing to stay in office. This one is truly vile and especially damaging in the conservative Bible thumping areas of NC. Like the old men in a Hagan ad say, "Shame on you, Libby!"

    October 29, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. Lexie Roberts

    I had respect for Liz Dole, NO MORE, I'm voting Democratic.

    October 29, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. Hardworking American for McCain

    Sound like there is someone else just like Obama!

    October 29, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. dittohead with forty names

    And they call themselves christians?Dole is anything but a christian.

    October 29, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. Marianne

    Seems like the all the Republicans running for office are playing dirty this year.

    If throwing dirt at someone else is the ONLY way someone can win, should they really even be running in the first place?? I'm thinking NO!!

    October 29, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. WW

    First, I'm not surprised that the Dole campaign and RNC would do something like this. But, my question is whatever happened to the 1st Amendment in NC? Doesn't the freedom of religion also means the freedom to not have relgious beliefs?

    October 29, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. BC

    This is just disgusting filth. I've always had nothing but the greatest respect for her husband. This is truly sad. The GOP will never be the same again. My family (on both sides) has always been Republican, but they all have all left over the past few years just because of these kinds of behaviors.

    October 29, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. Tj oh

    Only republicans are religious! Didn't you know that already??

    October 29, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. Mark, Ohio

    Why is it mostly Republicans using these terrible FEAR tactics?

    I hope Americans do not buy it this year.
    I hope Amercians show Repbulicans that this is not the way to run a campaign.

    October 29, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. MATT

    What a mess the Republicans have become.

    October 29, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  16. thomas

    Elizabeth Dole -How low will you go? Does God approve of this tactic? Join the McCainiacs in their campaign against humanity and democracy.

    October 29, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  17. Joyce

    The GOP candidates are trying to BUSH us once again. How dare Dole say "godless"? Have they forgotten the good old preacher at McCains rally who said "their gods" and let's not forget the religious right. Sending out letters claiming the apocalypse is on the horizon if Obama is elected and the judge who just apologized? Obama's right, their throwing everything out there hoping it will stick. Is this CHRIST like for CHRISTians?

    October 29, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Kyle in San Diego, CA

    Wow, that's a disgusting, low-blow ad. No offense to people who do not believe in God, but in fact those people should be outraged as well that a politician is using their beliefs to attempt to scare voters. This just shows that many in the republican party are EXTREMELY out of touch, and are witnessing the demise of their party. People will do anything to survive in their final moments of life.

    October 29, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. Mitch from Des Moines

    Rublicans need to just sit this one out. Their party is dying and their last attempts at scaring up votes are outrageous and sad. Go away, Republicans. Reform into something less sad and hateful.

    October 29, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. Former PUMA

    Bye Bye Dole. As a N. Carolinian, I see how useless you have been for our state. The time for change has come. Now you can go into retirement with your husband. This Monday i will be early voting against you. Enjoy your time off.

    October 29, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. I Don't hate you - just GO AWAY

    How very typical of the Republicans. Whenever they find themselves down in the polls they cook up some malicious rumors or make outrageous accusations about their opponents. They can't win an election on their own merits so they have to scare the voters into voting for them. I find this behavior extremely disgusting. I think that this behavior is what is driving people apart in this country, no matter who is perpetrating it.

    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. james in s.c.

    thats just sickening! DO NOT USE/PUT GOD IN VAIN....
    these so called christian right wing extremist need to leave God out of politics. being a christian is being Christ-like, the rethuglican are far from being that!! they smear with fear, lies, cheat, and hate and they call themselves a christians!! man they have no SHAME AT ALL!!


    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. Kevin

    The truth hurts..... the left has been working for years to take God out of our lives in every aspect. "Godless" is only the tip of the iceberg. Wake up America before it is too late.

    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. Mary in North Carolina

    Sen.Dole attacks are pathetic. She only came back to NC to run for Senate and don't care about NC or it's people. She has supported all of bush polices and put NC and this country in trillions of dollars in debt.. We need change Vote Hagan

    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  25. Lyle T.

    Are their any respectable Republicans left?

    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14