Brownback backs away from letter calling President Obama a “pro-abortion radical”

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback is backtracking from an extremely brash fund-raising letter that questions the Catholic cred of several lawmakers — including John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi — and refers as well to President Barack Obama as a “pro-abortion radical.”

The letter bearing Brownback’s signature was sent on behalf of the Catholic Adocate. Intended to drum up opposition to the federal Freedom of Choice Act (though no bill has been filed, such legislation would secure a woman’s right to an abortion prior to the fetus’ viability), it insinuates that Kennedy and Pelosi are not “real Catholics” and questions the faith of Kerry and four other senators. “It is with Christian charity — and in fraternal correction that we say to them: You can’t be both Catholic and Pro-Abortion!

The emphasis is all the senator’s.

But following the shitstorm caused by the letter, Brownback isn’t a happy man. Supposedly, he didn’t know about it. A Brownback spokesman told the National Catholic Reporter that Brownback has asked the Catholic Advocate to stop using the senator’s “name, signature, likeness or representation in any way moving forward and expressed that we are not pleased with the content of the letter.”

But it turns out the letter is legit. Or was. The Huffington Post talked to a spokeswoman for the Catholic Advocate who shared an e-mail exchange between Brownback’s chief of staff, Glen Chambers, and the Catholic Advocate’s Deal Hudson.

“Neither the Senator nor I had seen the letter or were aware of it,” Chambers wrote Hudson in the e-mail. “I figured out that you did get permission to use his name on the piece from a former campaign staffer in February of last year. However, as I mentioned, we’d like to stop any future mailings you have planned using the Senator’s name. Sorry about the confusion.”

So this is a year-old letter? Brownback has been referring to Obama as the president for a year? That’s foresight.

The Catholic Advocate’s Hudson has an interesting history: In 1994, he was accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a freshman when he taught at Fordham University.

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