This is very very good. As a former Clinton supporter, I was frustrated & irritated by her campaign’s reluctance and inability to call Obama’s race baiting tactics. I understood the dillema since it’s a democratic primary. It is now time to take off the gloves, Mr. McCain.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – A day after Democratic candidate Barack Obama warned that Republican rival John McCain would to tell voters “he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills,” McCain’s campaign on Thursday accused Obama of playing racial politics.
Obama “played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck,” McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said in a statement. He called Obama’s remarks “divisive, negative, shameful and wrong.”
Stumping in Missouri, Obama, the first black candidate with a shot at winning the White House, argued Wednesday that President Bush and McCain will resort to scare tactics to maintain their hold on the White House because they have little else to offer voters.
“Nobody thinks that Bush and McCain have a real answer to the challenges we face. So what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me,” Obama said. “You know, ‘he’s not patriotic enough, he’s got a funny name,’ you know, ‘he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.'”
Obama himself didn’t make clear what distinctions he thinks McCain is likely to raise regarding the presidents on U.S. currency – white men who for the most part were much older than Obama when elected. McCain has not raised Obama’s race as an issue in the campaign; he has said Obama lacks experience.
Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday that the senator was not referring to race.
“What Barack Obama was talking about was that he didn’t get here after spending decades in Washington,” Gibbs said. “There is nothing more to this than the fact that he was describing that he was new to the political scene. He was referring to the fact that he didn’t come into the race with the history of others. It is not about race.”
Obama often makes references to his distinctions as a candidate, such as saying there are doubts among some voters because he has “a funny name.” At times he refers to his race as well, saying he looks different from any previous candidate but then adding that the differences are not just about race. Addressing supporters Tuesday night at a fundraiser in Springfield, Mo., he said, “It’s a leap, electing a 46-year-old black guy named Barack Obama.”