Sister Simone Campbell, known for the “Nuns on the Bus” tour criticizing Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, spoke at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday.
Campbell, the executive director of NETWORK, a liberal Catholic lobbying group in Washington, called the Romney-backed Ryan budget "immoral" for proposals that would "harm families living in poverty," including cutting food stamp programs.
Her speech emphasized one of the evening's themes: shared responsibility. She said, "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are correct when they say that each individual should be responsible. But ... faith strongly affirms that we are all responsible for one another."
She also echoed earlier speakers who presented health care as part of a pro-life stance. She shared a Cincinnati woman's story of a sister who could have been saved by the Affordable Care Act:
We all share responsibility to ensure that this vital health care reform law is properly implemented and that all governors expand Medicaid coverage so no more Margarets die from lack of care. This is part of my pro-life stance and the right thing to do.
Some perceive Sister Simone's speech as a Catholic "balance" for the Democratic ticket. Also taking the stage at the convention will be Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who is suing the White House over the provision in the ACA requiring employers to cover birth control in insurance plans. Cardinal Dolan is leading Thursday's closing prayer.
Rev. Al Sharpton applauded a Campbell's political stance. During msnbc's coverage, he said, "I'm more uncomfortable when we don't take a firm position." He added that it was about time Democrats worked to counter the perception that theirs was the "secular" and "ungodly" party.
Her most powerful line according to Rev. Sharpton? Sister Simone's story of a Pennsylvania woman who felt isolated because her neighbors "have been polarized by politics masquerading as values."