Blog Post

White House Misrepresents Facts About Notre Dame Protests

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Writer During a press briefing at the White House yesterday, press secretary Robert Gibbs used inaccurate facts to diminish the scope of the protest being waged against Notre Dame’s invitation to pro-abortion president Barack Obama to speak and receive an honorary law degree at this Sunday’s commencement. According to a report appearing on ABC News, Gibbs told a reporter: "I think there's one group organizing a boycott, and, as best I can understand it, there are 23 groups that have formed in support of the president's invitation." In reality, the group organizing the boycott, ND Response, is actually comprised of 11 anti-abortion groups ranging from the Notre Dame Right to Life organization to the Notre Dame College Republicans to the Notre Dame Law St. Thomas More Society. The "23 groups" Gibbs mentioned was a reference to a letter written to Notre Dame president John L. Jenkins, C.S.C. from various groups in support of the invitation, such as the African Student Association, the College Democrats, etc. Gibbs went on to say that “public polling done by Pew shows a majority of Catholics are in support of the invitation to speak at the commencement.” This statement ignores a more recent poll showing that a majority of both Catholics and Americans in general are not in favor of Notre Dame inviting a pro-abortion speaker in violation of guidelines issued by the U.S. Catholic bishops. He went on to add: "I think I saw a figure that 97 percent of the students are supportive." This statement is wholly inaccurate. Gibbs is referring to an Associated Press story reporting that of the 95 Notre Dame seniors who wrote letters to the student newspaper about the invitation, 97 percent supported the president’s invitation. Gibbs went on to say that "the president understands the right of anybody in this country to disagree and to exercise their disagreement in that way.  I think it's important to understand it appears as if the vast majority of students and the majority of Catholics are supportive of the invitation the president accepted.  And I know he's greatly looking forward to seeing them." © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly/Women of Grace.