News Correspondent Richard Lui
It’s the first day of the month, and we have the first dustup on the explosive issue of race in the presidential election.
Thursday, Senator John McCain accused of Senator Barack Obama of bringing up race in the campaign. Until now it has been a subject off limits between the two presumptive nominees in the public forum.
The issue popped when McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said that “Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. It’s divisive, negative, shameful and wrong.”
When asked if his campaign manager’s comment was fair, McCain said, “It is, I’m sorry to say that it is, and it’s legitimate. And there is no place in this campaign for that, there’s no place for it and we shouldn’t be doing it”.
Davis and McCain were responding to comments made by Obama earlier in the day.
At one stop Obama responded to a recent attack ad with Paris Hilton and Britney Spears released by McCain:
“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 used the wording of not looking like other presidents on dollar bills three times yesterday.
The McCain camp implies Obama’s statements are allusions to Obama’s ethnicity; that Obama is biracial and the presidents on the dollar bills are white.
Obama spokesman Bill Burton defends Obama’s statements. According to Politico.com, Burton said that McCain’s campaign was “misinterpreting” both the “tenor and the meaning” of Obama’s words.
“I think they should probably be a little less paranoid about parsing every word we say and a little more focused on actually addressing the challenges that Americans expect the president of the United States to take on,” Burton said.
So who’s playing the race card? Was it McCain by accusing Obama of playing the race card? Or was it Obama by bringing up the issue of how he looked versus presidents on dollar bills? Or was it McCain for using two tabloid queens who are white and blonde in his attack ad when asking if Obama is ready to lead? Are you dizzy yet?
Is this latest duel about race, pettiness, or real issues? We’ll try to get as many of your comments as we can on air! And thank you for taking the time!
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