CV NEWS FEED // A new ad released by Republican Florida Governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis took aim at the Biden administration for “weaponizing” the federal government against people of faith.
“Family and faith are the building blocks of society, but government is waging an assault on both of them,” DeSantis said in a Thursday post to X (formerly known as Twitter), where he unveiled the ad. DeSantis is a Catholic.
“As president, I will lead the effort to restore full religious liberty in this country,” he continued. “It’s time to put on the full armor of God and get it done.”
The one-minute ad begins with the governor speaking at a Faith and Freedom Coalition event. “We see a federal government whose agencies have been weaponized against their fellow Americans, including people of faith,” he said in the speech.
The ad then transitions to a clip from the former FOX News show Tucker Carlson Tonight in which Carlson discussed the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) infamous memo that targeted so-called “radical traditionalist Catholics.”
“The FBI as an organization has joined in the hunt for Christians,” Carlson said in the newsreel. “The FBI’s Richmond Field Office recently published an internal document promising to punish ‘radical traditionalist Catholics’ and their ideology.”
Last month, CatholicVote reported that new evidence shows “the contents of the memo did not originate solely with the Richmond, VA field office, but were part of an effort that spanned the FBI offices of Portland and Los Angeles.”
The DeSantis ad then referenced the FBI’s arrest of pro-life activist Mark Houck and the raid of his house in September 2022. As CatholicVote has reported, FBI agents “arrested Houck at gunpoint in front of his wife and children at his home in a shocking display of intimidation that prompted a national backlash.”
The Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) charged Houck, a Catholic and father of seven, with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. The charge meant Houck faced up to 11 years in prison. He was acquitted by a jury in January.
DeSantis’ ad showed a clip of Houck telling an interviewer: “It’s clear the DOJ is targeting people of faith.”
DeSantis added: “We are free because God has endowed us with inalienable rights.”
The ad ended by flashing the words “God Over Government.”
As ABC News reported Thursday:
This weekend in Washington, D.C., and Iowa, the governor will also make faith the centerpiece of several appearances, including one in Des Moines where he will be joined by several people who have independently alleged discrimination on the basis of their religious beliefs.
While other prominent Republican candidates, including former Vice President Mike Pence, have sought to define their candidacy in part based on their deep faith, DeSantis’ supporters argue he has an opportunity.
“The faith lane in this race is wide open, and we’re going to go take it,” a source familiar with the campaign’s strategy told ABC News.