Local Politics

Bob Dole chimes in on 'Godless' ad

Posted November 2, 2008 7:03 p.m. EST
Updated November 3, 2008 5:32 a.m. EST

— Incumbent GOP Sen. Elizabeth Dole's husband helped his wife campaign Sunday as her television ads, questioning Democratic state Sen. Kay Hagan's ties to an atheist group, continued to cause controversy.

An adviser for Godless Americans held a fund-raiser at his home for Hagan. The event was not billed as a Godless Americans event, and other hosts included an ambassador and U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

Former Sen. Bob Dole says North Carolina voters deserve to know why Hagan went to the event.

"Just answer the question, I've been in this business a long time and when everything else fails, you just have to answer the question. Even if you don't want to answer the question,” he said.

Dole's campaign is sending out automated telephone calls that talk about Hagan, and the Godless Americans Political Action Committee.

Hagan has sued Dole over her initial television ad about the fundraiser, accusing her of defamation and libel. The initial spot concludes with a picture of Hagan while another woman says, "There is no God."

Hagan is an elder at her Presbyterian church and has responded with an ad that strongly declares her Christian faith.

"Elizabeth Dole would like nothing better than not to talk about the issues. She's attacking my faith, she's faking my voice, that's her choice,” Hagan told WRAL News.

According to the Godless Americans Web site, the group's goal is for "a secular America, one where our right to freedom of and freedom from religion is valued and protected."

Dole's campaign filed a motion Friday to get the lawsuit against her dismissed.