How Fox News Wrote Mitt Romney's "War On Religion" Talking Points


Fox has engaged in a relentless and bogus effort to accuse President Obama of waging a "war on religion." That effort has become a central focus of the Romney campaign, which released an ad that adopts Fox's dishonest "war on religion" narrative.

After Fox Fabricated Obama's "War On Religion"... 

Fox's Guilfoyle: Contraception Regulation Part Of Obama's Alleged "War Against Religion" And "War Against The Catholic Church." During the January 24 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle claimed that the contraception regulation was part of Obama's "war against religion" and "war against the Catholic Church." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 1/24/12, via Media Matters]

Hannity: "We Now Have" Obama's "War On Religion." During the February 7 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Sean Hannity said, "We now have and we'll get into this, his war on religion, you know, the free exercise thereof, I mean, with Catholic Church with Christians around the country." [Fox News, Hannity, 2/7/12, via Nexis]

Hannity: This Is A "War On Religion." On the February 7 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity said of the contraception mandate, "Do we all agree this is an assault on the First Amendment, freedom of religion, a war on religion? Am I wrong?" [Fox News, Hannity, 2/7/12, via Media Matters]

O'Reilly: Beck "Wants To Talk About The War On Religion In The USA." During the February 13 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly previewed a conversation with Glenn Beck, who O'Reilly said "wants to talk about the war on religion in the USA." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 2/13/12, via Nexis]

Baier: "Is The Obama Administration Waging War On Religion As Some Claim?" During the February 16 edition of Fox News' Special Report, host Bret Baier asked, "[I]s the Obama administration waging war on religion as some claim?" [Fox News, Special Report, 2/16/12, via Nexis] 

It Became A Central Focus Of Mitt Romney's Campaign 

Romney Ad Says Obama Is Waging A "War On Religion." CNN reported that Mitt Romney on Thursday released an ad accusing Obama of waging a "war on religion" for mandating health insurance companies to cover women's reproductive health: 

After weeks of attacking President Barack Obama's economic record, Mitt Romney took a sharply different tack Thursday in his latest television ad, going after the president for policies the Republican challenger amounts to a "war on religion." 

In the spot, which also features footage from Romney's trip in July to Poland, an announcer says Obama's heath care law forces religious institutions to "go against their faith." 

"Who shares your values?" the announcer asks. "President Obama used his healthcare plan to declare war on religion, forcing religious institutions to go against their faith. Mitt Romney believes that's wrong." 

In a press release that accompanied the ad, the campaign justifies the "war on religion" claim using an editorial published in the San Antonio Express News in February, as a political firestorm waged over a controversial federal rule requiring employers cover contraception in their health insurance plans. [CNN, 8/9/12]

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