Sarah Palin has now attacked Barack Obama over his association with Reverend Wright — even though John McCain himself explicitly said this spring that Wright was off limits and that attacking Obama over his former minister was “not the message of my campaign.”

Palin made her comments about Wright in a new interview with New York Times columnist Bill Kristol, after he asked her whether Wright was a legit issue.

“I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more,” Palin said, “because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that — with, I don’t know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he didn’t get up and leave — to me, that does say something about character.”

“I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up,” Palin added.

But in April, when the North Carolina GOP released a TV ad on behalf of two local GOP candidates hitting Obama over Wright in terms virtually identical to those used by Palin here, McCain expressly condemned the attack and said his campaign wanted no part of it.

The ad attacked Obama as “too extreme,” asserting that “for 20 years Barack Obama sat in his pew listening to his pastor.” That’s precisely the same point Palin made.

At the time, McCain his campaign called the North Carolina GOP and asked them to take down the ad.

“It’s not the message of the Republican Party,” McCain said then. “It’s not the message of my campaign. I’ve pledged to conduct a respectful campaign.”

When told that the N.C. party would continue to air the ad, McCain rejoined: “Unfortunately all I can do is, in as visible way as possible, is disassociate myself from that kind of campaigning.”

So will McCain now disassociate himself from what Palin said? Or has McCain changed his mind and decided that the gutter attack on Wright he previously condemned in such high-minded terms is now a legit tactic for his campaign?

And if it’s the latter, what’s changed since then aside from the fact that his campaign is in trouble?

Source: TPM

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