We learned in September that Republican/evangelical activist Ralph Reed, having completed the transition from disgraced lobbyist to GOP insider, was preparing a sophisticated, microtargeted get-out-the-evangelical-vote operation,” backed up by at least $10 million in contributions from Republican donors. Unfortunately, he neglected to buy an English-to-Spanish dictionary.
As part of Reed’s standard m.o., he creates voter guides that, he hopes, can plausibly be described as non-partisan. He’ll pick a series of issues, frame them in a Republican-friendly way, and then list candidates’ positions. Because the guides don’t explicitly tell people how to vote, Reed asks that the materials be legally distributed by tax-exempt institutions, including churches.
But it doesn’t work if Reed gets the positions wrong (thanks to reader R.B. for the tip).
In this case, Reed’s organization, the Faith & Freedom Coalition, put together a Spanish-language voter guide in Florida, featuring fairly predictable elements. Floridians are told President Obama, unlike Mitt Romney, believes in “spending money the government does not have” and “abortion on demand.”
But as I’ve circled in the image above, Reed’s group also managed to tell Spanish-speaking voters that Romney opposes “traditional marriage,” while Obama supports it.
In case there’s any confusion, the president supports marriage equality, while Romney supports a constitutional amendment that would prevent same-sex couples from having equal rights.
Maybe the ”sophisticated get-out-the-evangelical-vote operation” isn’t quite sophisticated enough?