October 29th, 2008
03:50 PM ET
10 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. mark

    This is pathetic.

    I hope Liddy looks in the mirror tonight and reads Matthew Chapter 7 in her Bible. Then maybe she can wash off the filth of this political stunt.

    (I used to respect her.)

    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. Terry

    Elizabeth Dole is using the Lord and the Lord's Teachings in an attempt to advance her position in life. I would never support anyone who used the teachings of the Lord for their personal betterment. EOM

    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. Atheist

    What's wrong with being godless? I think the God people are the problem of the world. Godless people don't become terrorists! They don't hate gay people. They don't push their misplaced values on others. They are not ignorant and bigoted!

    The world would be a far, far more peaceful place without any Gods or their Diciples

    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. Les

    Dole can spew all she wants. At least Kay Hagan is a RESIDENT of NC. Dole spends her time in DC or Kansas. If Dole wants to be a Sen., she can go run for office in Kansas. NC does not need or want her.

    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. AJ

    Dole is a joke. When she losses most likely she'll go and rape another non-profit like she did the Red Cross.

    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Greg


    Hope that the Republicans will finally show the social conservatives the door after this election.

    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. I Just Said Thanks, but No Thanks to another 4 years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    Dole is part of the bush-cheney-rove-stevens cabal.
    Vile is too gentle a word to describe the tactics of the 2008 Rushpublican party,


    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. 60 yr old white woman

    I live in NC and the absentee senator Dole will NOT get our votes. How low can Repubs go? Everytime I think they've scraped the bottom they go further.

    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. Good lord....

    Dear GOP,

    You don't own "God".

    To act like you do comes off as being very unholy.....

    Yours Truly,

    An American sick of the GOP claiming ownership of God, patriotism, America, etc. etc. etc.......

    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  10. vote! OBAMA-BIDEN NOV.4th


    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  11. Ty

    Wow!!!!! That's is just ' over the top', 'across the line', and just plain going to far. I hope the good people of North Carolina make Dole pay for this nasty add when they go to the polls....

    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  12. She'll Always Have Paris

    I just ran into someone who is going to Paris for her anniversay, and she was worried about not voting. Fortunately she and her husband were able to vote yesterday. So I told her now she'll have two things to celebrate in Paris, her anniversary and Barack's election.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. eds

    Boy, I didn't expect that from Elizabeth Dole. She has always seemed such a decent and respectful and kind woman...

    October 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. pam

    Anti-American, terrorists, godless, this is all just sick beyond sick!!!

    Congratulations, I bet Al-Quida is having a field day with all this!!

    We are quickly becoming the laughing stock of the world!!!!!

    Vote Obama/Biden and PLEASE unite this country rather than destroy it any further.

    October 29, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. NHCatholic

    This attack ad is the lowest any candidate has gone in this cycle. It flies in the face of the commandment against "bearing false witness." It is contrary to any sense of Christian decency, or that sense of decency shared by all men and women of goodwill, regardless of belief, creed, or political persuasion.

    It is, in a word, sinful. Shame, shame Sen. Dole.

    October 29, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. carolinabyrd

    Wow....I had decided just yesterday that I could not vote for either of these candidates because I just couldnt seem to find the one thing that would make me go one way or the other. Thanks, Liddy, for clearing this up for me. You have reached an all-time low and have resorted to the typical Republican fear mongering. I hope that Kay Hagan wins in a landslide!

    October 29, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. Andrea

    Wow, thats pretty low.

    October 29, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  18. Debbie in Missouri

    I had no idea Elizabeth Dole was so pathetic.

    This type of add is digusting. I prefer campaigns to run adds based on their platform. Scare tactics are for losers.

    McCain and Palin know all about loser tactics. Those who seek to deceive are only deceiving themselves.

    October 29, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. Wow

    That's amazing. I'm not sure when it became a requirement to believe in God.... apparently not believing in God somehow makes you unqualified to run for office in a country that is supposed to have a seperation of church and state.

    Also, this seems to have become the "norm" for the GOP now. I'm more than a little dissapointed in the level of negativity from all o ftheir ads recently. O well.

    October 29, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. Chuck

    Sorry Mrs. Dole, but religion should not be playing any part in this election, or in any aspect of the American government. As the constitution states freedom for all, not just christians. The whole christian right movement has made our country a laughing stock and severely hated by the rest of the world. Time to shut up about religion, and focus on the issues facing real Americans, not "christian Americans". Maybe if all the Christian, and for that matter all churches, were not tax exempt we could balance the budget, feed our poor and improve everyones lives who have been pursecuted because of their beliefs.

    October 29, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. desperate

    Another sign of desperation on the GOP path, it's not working for McCain why does she think it would work for her.

    This party has lost the plot on Leading the country. Tell us how you would be better, dont just find the most disgusting thing you can create about your opponent and make it into an ad. It tells us more about you than about your opponent.

    No Dole, No McCain/Palin No more GOP.

    October 29, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. Godless and Happy

    Got that right – there is no god. I am a non-theist and find this ad exceptionally cruel.
    Hooray to Kay Hagen and staying true to herself and not feeling cooerced by society to believe in a higher power.

    Extremist religions have caused more wars than any other reason in this world. Christian fundamentalists make me wanna puke!!

    October 29, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Emily

    I have never seen people sink to such a dispicable level in the name of GOD and Christianity. It really makes you wonder what Christians
    are all about. Glad I'm not one.

    October 29, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. wwf

    what else would one expect from the Republican Party. Dole has done nothing for years, and now wants to play politician.

    October 29, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. Sandy

    Wow. Republicans are despicable with their divisive tactics! Disgusting!

    October 29, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
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