GOOD LUCK GETTING THEM TO COMPLY. This is the Republican primary we’re talking about:

Catholic leaders issued a letter Friday to GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, themselves Catholics, urging them “to stop perpetuating ugly racial stereotypes on the campaign trail.”

The letter, signed by 45 Catholic leaders says:

Mr. Gingrich has frequently attacked President Obama as a “food stamp president” and claimed that African Americans are content to collect welfare benefits rather than pursue employment. Campaigning in Iowa, Mr. Santorum remarked: “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.”

“At a time when nearly 1 in 6 Americans live in poverty, charities and the free market alone can’t address the urgent needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. And while jobseekers outnumber job openings 4-to-1, suggesting that the unemployed would rather collect benefits than work is misleading and insulting,” the letter adds.

See, the problem with their request, as Gingrich and Santorum likely see it, is that they’re at the point where they’re having to pander to the nasty Republican base, the base that absolutely lost it when Juan Williams dared to even bring up the subject of racism during the Fox News Republican debate on Martin Luther King Day, and during the same debate, booed Mitt Romney for having family born in Mexico. Racism isn’t icing on the cake for these people — it’s central to their governing platform.

Also, lest we forget, they’re running against the re-election of a black, Democratic president.

Glad those Catholic leaders are at least trying to say something, but I think it’s falling on deaf ears.