Hudson Rebuffs Calls to Resign from McCain Campaign

By Tim Murphy
Religion News
July 17, 2008

WASHINGTON (RNS) Four years after he was forced to step down from President Bush's re-election campaign, Catholic scholar Deal Hudson is facing calls to resign as an adviser to Sen. John McCain's campaign.

Catholics United, and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said Hudson should resign from the Catholics for McCain National Steering Committee because of a 1994 sexual harassment claim filed by a college student.

"Unlike the Bush campaign in 2004, Sen. John McCain seems to believe that Hudson's political value outweighs any of his past indiscretions," said Chris Korzen, executive director of the progressive Catholics United.

In response, Hudson said that he has "no formal relationship" with the campaign and is an unpaid volunteer adviser.

"I think my past sin — as admittedly shameful as it was — should not prevent me from voicing my political opinions," said Hudson in a statement Thursday (July 17).

Hudson was forced to resign as an adviser to Bush's 2004 campaign after a 1994 sexual harassment claim filed by an 18-year-old female student at Fordham University resurfaced. Hudson, who left his post at Fordham a year after the incident, settled with the student for $30,000.

Hudson called the incident "a source of shame."

"Over the past four years, I've tried to make amends with family, friends and supporters," he said in the statement. "People close to me say I'm a different person now, and I'd like to think that's true."

The group also criticized Hudson, who currently serves as the director of the Morley Institute for Church & Culture and editor of, for his association with Karl Rove, and for his opposition to the Vatican on global warming.

"It's time to end the politics of division embodied by the likes of Deal Hudson, and to protect the Catholic faith from being manipulated to serve a narrow partisan agenda," Korzen said.

Hudson, one of more than 100 members on the Catholics for McCain Steering Committee, has been a critic of Sen. Barack Obama's views on abortion during the campaign. On his blog, Hudson recently called the November election "the ultimate, civilizational, challenge for our country."

Echoing Catholics United's charge, SNAP held a protest outside the Republican National Committee's Washington headquarters Thursday.


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