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Angry but at what....

Joe Plumber: Angry but at what....

The all-out effort from John McCain’s presidential campaign to scare voters into backing the Republican candidate continued apace on Tuesday as McCain surrogate Joe the Plumber agreed that a Barack Obama presidency would mean the “death of Israel” and end democracy in America.

The Ohio plumber, who has no license and is actually named Samuel Wurzelbacher, spoke at a McCain campaign event in Columbus Monday. A McCain supporter asked if “a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel.” JTP hardly batted an eye.

“I’ll go ahead and agree with you on that,” Wurzelbacher said.

The push-back against Wurzelbacher’s comments began, somewhat unexpectedly, at Fox News.

The network noted that the McCain campaign seemed hesitant to distance itself from Wurzelbacher. Correspondent Carl Cameron said that the McCain campaign was going to put out an ad today criticizing Obama policies on Israel.

“Just a coincidence?” he asked. “We report you decide.”

Later Tuesday afternoon, Shepard Smith pressed Wurzelbacher on his comments, reminding the woefully misinformed McCain backer that Obama has consistently voiced support for Israel. Pressed several times to explain how he could agree with the conclusion that Obama would lead to the death of the Jewish state, Wurzelbacher was unable to come up with any good reasons aside from Obama’s position in favor of negotiating with rogue regimes such as Iran.

“You don’t want my opinion on foreign policy,” Wurzelbacher said. “I know just enough to kind of be dangerous.”

Smith seemed to agree with that assessment, implying that the only source for Wurzelbacher and the supporter’s concern was “hateful things spread on the Internet.” The host clearly worried that Wurzelbacher’s endorsement of such a view might inspire violence against the candidate.

Losing control and loving it !! McCain's swashbuckling camp.

Losing control and loving it !! McCain's swashbuckling camp.

Why, Smith asked, would Wurzelbacher believe Obama was lying when he spoke of the importance of Israel’s relationship with the United States.

Wurzelbacher was flummoxed. All he could offer was an appeal for people to “go out and find their own reasons … go out and get informed.”

If only the “plumber” had bothered to take his own advice before jumping onto the national stage. Smith, for his part, made sure to set his audience straight on the facts.

“I just want to make this 100 percent perfectly clear, Barack Obama has said repeatedly and demonstrated repeatedly that Israel will always be a friend of the United States, no matter what happens once he becomes President of the United States, his words,” Smith said after the interview ended. “The rest of it, man, it just gets frightening sometimes.”

Unvetted Joe the Plumber: Vote for Obama ‘death to Israel’

In Ohio, Wurzelbacher went on to reiterate McCain’s attempts to paint Obama as a socialist, The Associated Press reports.

    “I’m honestly scared for America,” Wurzelbacher said.

    He later said Obama would end the democracy that the U.S. military had defended during wars.

    “I love America. I hope it remains a democracy, not a socialist society. … If you look at spreading the wealth, that’s honestly right out of Karl Marx’s mouth,” Wurzelbacher said.

    “No one can debate that. That’s not my opinion. That’s fact.”

McCain’s campaign has used the “spread the wealth” line to attack Obama ever since the Democratic candidate used it to inartfully describe his tax proposals.

The attempts to compare Obama’s relatively modest restructuring of the progressive tax system to Marxism strikes most reasonable observers as patently absurd, but the attack seems to be all the foundering McCain campaign has left. Obama’s proposal would raise the tax rate on income above $250,000 from 36 to 39 percent and lower taxes for middle-class Americans.

McCain’s campaign also has heavily courted Jewish voters, who will be a crucial voting bloc in Florida and other swing states.

Wurzelbacher’s agreement that Obama would portend the death of Israel, though, seems to go beyond rhetoric the McCain campaign has employed so far. Until Tuesday, that kind of fear-mongering was mostly limited to right-wing blogs.

The McCain campaign said Wurzelbacher and the supporter’s views were there own regarding Israel, but they did not forcefully repudiate the attack, Fox News’s Carl Cameron reported just after the rally.

A Republican National Committee spokesman later gave Fox a longer statement that largely skirted the issue.

“While he’s clearly his own man, so far Joe has offered some penetrating and clear analysis that cuts to the core of many of the concerns that people have with Barack Obama’s statements and policies,” RNC spokesman Jeff Sadosky said. “Whether it is Obama’s willingness to sit down unconditionally with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or his plans to redistribute the paychecks of hardworking Americans, there is good reason to question the judgment that Obama would bring to the Oval Office.”

Cameron noted the statement “doesn’t say whether or not McCain agrees” with Wurzelbacher and the supporter and said McCain “won’t go too far” to distance himself from the man who’s become a campaign centerpiece.

Source: Raw Story

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It was kind of strange, dintcha think, that John McCain came to the defense of his supporters last night after Barack Obama pointed out that people at McCain/Palin rallies were shouting out “terrorist” and “kill him!” in reference to Obama.

Now an Al Jazeera camera crew caught the honest sentiments of McCain/Palin supporters at an Ohio rally:

    “I’m afraid if he wins, the blacks will take over. He’s not a Christian! This is a Christian nation! What is our country gonna end up like?”

    “When you got a Negra running for president, you need a first stringer. He’s definitely a second stringer.”

    “He seems like a sheep – or a wolf in sheep’s clothing to be honest with you. And I believe Palin – she’s filled with the Holy Spirit, and I believe she’s gonna bring honesty and integrity to the White House.”

    “He’s related to a known terrorist, for one.”

    “He is friends with a terrorist of this country!”

    “He must support terrorists! You know, uh, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. And that to me is Obama.”

    “Just the whole, Muslim thing, and everything, and everybody’s still kinda – a lot of people have forgotten about 9/11, but… I dunno, it’s just kinda… a little unnerving.”

    “Obama and his wife, I’m concerned that they could be anti-white. That he might hide that.”

    “I don’t like the fact that he thinks us white people are trash… because we’re not!”

    Yep, McCain must be so proud.

The rest of us, well … let’s just say those polls should tell the story.

Source: Crooks and Liars

With three weeks to go in the election, the current, most influential narrative is that the crowds at John McCain events have become so vitriolic as to represent an electoral liability.

In response, the McCain camp has spent several days defending itself from what the Senator deemed the “fringe” elements of his rallies. On CNN this Monday, McCain claimed that Obama crowds had called him a terrorist as well.

The frame, however, seems difficult for McCain to move, in part because it is backed by documentary evidence. On Tuesday, Brave New Films and Color of Change (one of the nation’s most influential Black American political organizations) put out a veritable greatest (really, worst) hits of the past week in McCain-Palin rallies.

The video leaves out the Senator’s town hall last Friday, where he corrected two audience members who expressed concerns about Obama. But the spot is effective in reinforcing the notion that McCain-Palin is the ticket of at best, fear and at worse, xenophobia and bigotry.

Color for Change accompanied the release by sending members an open letter to McCain; part of which reads:

    “In the last few weeks, Senator McCain and Governor Palin, rhetoric at your campaign events has taken an increasingly dangerous tone that seems to ignore the precarious state of our progress when it comes to race and ethnicity…
    … For the most part, you have stood by in silence. In addition, you have also repeatedly made statements that somehow connect Senator Obama with terrorism; surrogates of yours have emphasized his middle name. This is problematic and dangerous, and I believe helps create the conditions that have given rise to these incidents of violent rhetoric from some of your supporters.”

Source: HP

Four years ago, John Kerry flirted with the idea of making John McCain his running mate. Today, he is denouncing the Arizona Senator for “a stunning failure of leadership,” and running a nasty, hate-filled campaign.

In a letter to supporters, the Massachusetts Democrat — no stranger to smears himself — ramps up his criticisms of McCain to new heights. In addition to airing disgust with the tone of the McCain crowds, he rips Gov. Sarah Palin for making “outrageous charges that only a few years ago would have disqualified someone from serious consideration for national office.”

The letter reads:

John McCain has shown a stunning failure of leadership. His campaign, in a time of economic crisis and foreign policy drift, has degenerated into a negative and nasty campaign of smears.

The reports are piling up of ugliness at the campaign rallies of John McCain and Sarah Palin. Audience members hurl insults and racial epithets, call out “Kill Him!” and “Off With His Head,” and yell “treason” when Senator Obama’s name is mentioned. I strongly condemn language like this which can only be described as hate-filled.

According to reports, every ad paid for by the John McCain campaign is now a negative ad — every single one! McCain allows his running mate to make outrageous charges that only a few years ago would have disqualified someone from serious consideration for national office.

We cannot stand by and allow this to happen. We need to fight back, spread the word about what kind of low campaign he’s running, and make sure people know the truth.

Kerry, like Obama, has set up a website to debunk smears in real time. And he directs supporters to the link: http://www.truthfightsback.com/page/content/smearpolitics

His strained relationship with McCain serves as a reminder of how much the political dynamics have changed in the past four years. It also begins to raise the question: what kind of reception will McCain receive either if he goes back to the Senate as a campaign loser or has to work with Congress as the next president?

Source: HP