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Paul Ryan: Obama policies threaten ‘Judeo-Christian values’

On a conference call Sunday, republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan aimed to energize evangelical voters by laying out the stakes of the election in dramatic, religious terms.

Obama’s policies on health care and religious freedom are a "dangerous path," Ryan, a Catholic, told members of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, according to the New York Times. “It’s a path that grows government, restricts freedom and liberty and compromises those values, those Judeo-Christian, Western civilization values that made us such a great and exceptional nation in the first place."

Ryan noted that members of his church sued the Obama administration over a mandate that most employers cover contraception. 

"We should not have to sue the federal government to keep our constitutional freedoms," he said. "Imagine what he would do if he actually got reelected. It just puts a chill down my spine."

While Ryan often talks about his faith on the campaign trail, his language here was unusually harsh. The sharp warning comes as Ryan and presidential candidate Mitt Romney are emphasizing bipartisanship on the campaign trail. 

Ryan spokesman Michael Steel told reporters that the vice presidential candidate "was talking about issues like religious liberty and Obamacare — topics he has mentioned frequently during the campaign."

Tens of thousands of evangelicals were reportedly on the call. Faith and Freedom Coalition head Ralph Reed has launched what he describes as the organization's biggest voter registration and mobilization effort yet. Reed said last month that he has a voter file of 17 million evangelicals in battleground states, and that each household would be contacted seven to 12 times before the election through mail, e-mail, phone calls and text messages.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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