AUGUSTA, Maine — A little-known presidential candidate who also is a pre-eminent national voice in the right-to-life movement has launched television ads in Maine before the state’s presidential caucuses next month.
Randall Terry of West Virginia is running as a Democrat and said his primary goal is to ensure that President Barack Obama is not re-elected.
“My goal is to help elect people who make it a crime to kill unborn babies,” he said in a telephone interview on Friday.
Terry’s 30-second television spot, which has started running in the Portland market and is expected to run in the Bangor market soon, criticizes both Obama and GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney. The ad also features graphic images of aborted fetuses.
He said the ad is targeted toward evangelical Christians and Catholics, many of whom he believes share his view that in the hierarchy of ethics, abortion is unequivocally wrong.
“I don’t even use the word ‘abortion.’ It’s child killing,” he said. “You abort a space shuttle launch. You don’t abort a human.”
Terry’s name is on the ballot in more than 20 states, including New Hampshire, which holds its primary next Tuesday. He is not on the ballot in Maine.
Terry held events in Maine earlier this week announcing his plans. His campaign manager in Maine, Elizabeth Libby, did not return a call for comment on Friday.
Lizzy Reinholt, spokeswoman for the Maine Democratic Party, said Terry stopped by the party offices unannounced this week to introduce himself. Staff there told him that the Maine Democrats are fully supporting Obama in November.
Terry said he ultimately knows he won’t win a Democratic presidential primary against Obama but he believes he can weaken him, particularly in Colorado and Ohio, two states that helped get Obama elected in 2008.
“I will pummel Obama with these ads,” he said. “If he loses Ohio and Colorado, I don’t believe he can win re-election.”
Terry compared the fight over abortion to past debates over slavery, women’s voting rights and civil rights.
“Those movements fielded candidates who forced the electorate to confront their issue,” he said. “That’s what we need here.”