Presidential candidate and anti-abortion activist Randall Terry was stumping in Northeast Oklahoma Friday, stopping in Ottawa and Delaware counties just days before Oklahoma’s Presidential Primary on Tuesday.
The Operation Rescue founder, who left the organization 18 years ago, and is now being criticized by the organization for misstatements, says his vying for president strictly is a means to get around a loophole that will allow him to run graphic anti-abortion commercials. Political ads are not subject to the same FCC regulations as traditional advertising.
The commercials, which ran in February in 15 states, showed graphic photos of aborted fetuses, which were intended to raise awareness of what abortion looks like and stir an emotional response from the public, Terry said.
“No social revolution in the last 100 years has prevailed without using graphic images of victims,” says Randall Terry, Presidential candidate and anti-abortion activist.
“Blacks being killed in the civil rights movement; blacks being killed in apartheid; the Viet Nam war, the public opinion being turned when they saw the images of the woman, the children; child labor, they showed the pictures of boys and girls in danger or dead in sweat shops, textile mills, or coal mines,” he said.
“So it is the required fare to the journey for ending child killing,” Terry said.
“Another reason I’m running is because the pro-life movement is on a trajectory of political irrelevance,” he said. It wasn’t even an issue in 2008. So I thought, alright, I’m going to force it to be an issue, so my first goal is to show America this is what we’re doing, we’re killing our babies,” he said.
Another reason Terry said he is running is to cause President Obama to be defeated in 2012.
“So, while I can’t defeat him I can cause his defeat. I will be on the ballot in the General Election in about six swing states, as an Independent,” Terry said.
Terry said he will promote the pro-life cause in those states.
“I will run ads in those states staying you cannot ethically run for Obama if you’re a Christian, Catholic, Evangelical, Baptist, whatever, if you know that he’s promoting the killing of babies and you vote for him, then you share in the guilt of his deeds,” he said.
Fifty-five percent of Catholics and 35 percent of Evangelicals voted for Obama in 2008.
“So my goal is to cause a crisis of conscience in a very narrow band of voters,” he said.
“If we can get 5 or 6 percent of those voters to not vote for him again in 2012, we can deny him the White House,” Terry said.
As for the former Republican running on the Democratic ticket he said his reasons are simple.
“I became a Republican for pro-life reasons, so I became a Democrat for pro-life reasons,” he said.
“Plus, I didn’t want people to say I was splitting the vote with Michelle Bachman or Rick Santorum or whoever, I wanted to go right at Obama and wound him politically so that he’s not re-elected,” he said.
Terry, who has been criticized for his strong language and radical tactics, says the decision to run his presidential campaign is one of the hardest things he has done.
“It’s hard on me, it’s hard on my family,” he said
“If we really believe abortion is murder, we have to act like it’s murder, we have to have a reaction that’s equal to the crime,” he said. “The reason I think the pro-life movement is failing is because a lot of people don’t take it seriously,” he said.
Terry said he has received a lot of support but that his supporters know that the money is not a typical campaign contribution.
“They know I’m not going to win, but they support me because they know that I will drive child killing to center stage, which is my mission,” he said.