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Newsweek Warns McCain Off Rev Wright

Newsweek issues their warning loud and clear: do not mention Reverend Wright, John McCain, if you don’t want us to attack you for being unprincipled:

Do the Wright Thing

Senior advisers think John McCain should attack Barack Obama’s ties to his former pastor. He won’t.

By Holly Bailey | NEWSWEEK
Published Oct 18, 2008

For a man who boasts of delivering “straight talk,” John McCain was sending mixed messages. Supporters who gathered earlier this month outside Milwaukee thought he needed to amp up his campaign rhetoric. One by one, they stood and railed against the “shady characters” linked to Barack Obama. The crowd roared its approval when McCain blasted Obama’s ties to William Ayers, the former Weather Underground radical. But then James T. Harris, an African-American host of a conservative radio show, urged him to hit Obama’s “soft spot.” “It’s absolutely vital that you take it to Obama,” Harris said. “We have the good Reverend [Jeremiah] Wright … I am begging you, sir. I am begging you. Take it to him.” McCain looked uncertain, pausing ever so slightly. “Yes, I’ll do that,” he said. But then he promptly changed the subject to the economy.

Top aides to McCain share the dismay of his hard-core supporters. Many senior advisers, as well as McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, believe the campaign should remind voters of Obama’s ties to Wright, whose inflammatory sermons emerged as a problem for the Democratic nominee during the primary. “If we were to go up with an ad during the final weeks of this campaign just showing excerpts of [Wright’s] sermons, we would probably win,” says one senior McCain aide, who declined to be named discussing internal debates on tactics. “But we won’t.”

McCain has refused to do it. The main reason, according to two aides who did not want to be named discussing private conversations with the candidate: any attack could be viewed as racially insensitive—or stir up racist sentiments—and that gets personal for McCain. He has not forgotten the racial smear directed at his own family during the South Carolina primary in 2000, when he ran against George W. Bush. Back then, supporters of Bush (their precise identities were never known) papered cars outside churches and McCain events with nasty fliers. They suggested his adopted daughter, Bridget—who was then just eight years old—was in fact his illegitimate child by a black prostitute. The McCains were sickened about the impact this might have on Bridget and planned to wait until she was much older to tell her about it. Not long ago, Bridget, who is now 17, found out what had happened when she Googled herself.

There are probably other factors at play, too, in McCain’s thinking. Bringing up Wright at this point would open his campaign to charges of hypocrisy and even desperation. Last spring, McCain himself condemned the North Carolina Republican Party for running an ad featuring Wright’s sermons, including one in which the preacher said, railing against the treatment of blacks, “No, no, no. Not God bless America. Goddam America.” McCain trashed the ad, saying it “degrades our civics and distracts us from the very real differences we have with Democrats.”

Shortly after the North Carolina ad ran, Obama said on “Meet the Press” that Wright was a “legitimate political issue.” At that point, McCain criticized some of Wright’s more extreme views—including, as he put it, likening U.S. Marines to the Roman legionnaires “responsible for the death of our savior.” But McCain also said that he didn’t believe Obama shared Wright’s “world view.” His comments prompted pushback from the Obama campaign nonetheless. Spokespeople said McCain was contradicting his earlier position that Wright shouldn’t be an issue. In May, Obama broke his ties to Wright after the pastor restated some controversial views to the National Press Club.

McCain won’t try to stop independent groups from hammering Obama on his former association with Wright. Last week, the Republican Jewish Coalition began running ads suggesting Obama had surrounded himself with advisers who are “anti-Israel.” The ad includes a photo of Obama with Wright, captioned HOSTILE TO AMERICA. The McCain campaign said it would not ask the group to desist. “Senator McCain’s position on Wright is very clear,” says spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker. “He’s not the referee in this race.”

The debate over Wright within the campaign is part of a larger conflict over how negative McCain should go in the final weeks before the vote. In spite of polls showing that McCain has been losing support among swing voters, senior advisers remain split over whether character attacks have benefited their candidate. Last week, McCain scaled back on the attacks, focusing more on his own proposals. That may or may not help him win. But looking back after Nov. 4, McCain will likely argue that no matter what happened, he did the right thing.

It doesn’t get any more blatant than this.

The tragic thing is that McCain probably is unwilling to risk his (entirely imagined) high reputation with the media.

Even though bringing up Mr. Obama’s “spiritual mentor,” the Reverend Doctor Wright, could very well help save the Republic.

But please remember, Sarah Palin is only a heartbeat away.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, October 19th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Newsweek Warns McCain Off Rev Wright”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    Why would McCain stoop so low as to pull Rev. Wrong out of obamas’ a$$hole?
    If you polish a turd……it will still be a turd!!
    The good Rev. makes David Duke look like a dozen roses!!

  2. Anonymoose says:

    I think the problem would be not bringing up Wright, but in how to do it. The main weapon in Obama’s arsenal is claiming racism and bias, which would surely happen if a traditional political ad were run with sound bytes from Wright. The game is not truth, but subterfuge and psychology.

    McCain would be better off to list positive attributes about himself and his religious beliefs, and then leave people open to question about Obama. Reagan won over Carter by appearing more presidential and even handed, and letting Carter come across as a political weakling. What we needed back in August was the side McCain showed at the Al Smith dinner. Don’t attack Obama directly, attack what he does and let someone else (bloggers, Republicans, whatever media not in Obama’s pocket) ask the hard questions.

  3. thetimeisright says:

    Let me be the bad seed here. I just wonder how long it will take for the Jeremiah Wright an Barack to rekindle the old friendship.

    I mean 20 years in a releationship as his pastor an mentor. I do believe that the separation is only thru the election process an that is all. An if iam wrong than it shows that Barack has 0 in his heart for other people an he will use any an everybody he can to get where he want to be. So not only Barack,s words but his actions are very telling in what kind of man he really is.

    I will say this he is not a good person he is not a decent person. Barack has used every way known to man to cheat steal an lie his way to the dem. nomination an to the Potus. The old saying by Hook or Crook.

    May GOD save us from this man.

  4. Colonel1961 says:

    Silly old me – I thought that news sources, e.g., magazines, newspapers, simply reported the news. I didn’t think pre-emptive bullying for their nominee was part of their journalistic charter…

  5. GuppyNblue says:

    “He has not forgotten the racial smear directed at his own family during the South Carolina primary in 2000.” Unfortunately they may be right. McCain may see this as a political tit-for-tat that’s too ugly for the McCain name to be a part of. IMO he’s convinced that he knows how Washington works and many of his potential voters don’t get that bringing up Wright won’t score him points there. He may be right but what he’s too stubborn to understand is Washington (and their media) are not going to elect him. We do get how Washington works and we don’t like it. Get that John?

    We don’t look at everything as just a matter of politicking. The racial smears directed at his family had nothing to back them up and that makes them just that – smears. It would be very hard to make the case that Obama doesn’t share Wrights views. The twenty year relationship, the baptisms of his daughters and positive literary acknowledgements are things you can’t ask a reasonable person to dismiss. It shows more than a relationship, it shows a friendship between two like thinkers. The tit is a lie and the tat is a truth. That matters to us even if liberals have been conditioned otherwise. Democrats love to use that technique (which is why they insisted on Republican names being on the bailout package). As marinetbryant pointed out here yesterday, accuse others of what you do.

    “No, no, no. Not God bless America. Goddam America.” McCain trashed the ad, saying it “degrades our civics and distracts us from the very real differences we have with Democrats.” IMO he could not be more wrong. I don’t care what Democrats or the media say, it is very important that we don’t have a president of our America that may empathize with G**damn America. McCain is the only alternative now and those pleading with him get that.

  6. 1sttofight says:

    Conservatives are not voting for McCain, we are voting FOR Palin and against the Magic Negro.

  7. sheehanjihad says:

    May GOD save us from this man.” I think GOD is sitting this one out….kind of like a litmus test of evil vs good…to see just how far good people can be pushed, and to what extent they will go to stop evil before it takes over the world. But this isnt just a test….Hitler was…Stalin was….Islam is…..and Pelosi and Reid are controlling our government….no, this isnt a test. This will be the final exam for our society. We had better pass.

  8. Enthalpy says:

    Thanks Sheehanjihad. Our veiled illusion of security would have been been addressed years ago if our seditious press had not been a fifth column, complicit with our enemies. The truth isn’t in the MSM.The truth about the racist Jeremiah Wright, communist William Ayers, ACORN, CAIR, La Raza, the Congress of the United States, the NEA, and so many others will not be brought to you by our press. Treason.

  9. The Redneck says:

    Why is it that Republicans continually suffer under the delusion that if they kiss enough ass, promote enough socialism, and do enough to undermine America’s interests, liberals will like them?

    One would think watching Bush Sr.’s example would show them the folly of that course. If not, then watching Bush hike up spending and toss handouts to medicare and the NEA for seven years, only to be viciously attacked and slandered, should have left some impression.

    But nope…. here’s John McCain, deciding he won’t remind voters of Obama’s most glaring inadequacies–because if he does, the liberal media won’t like him.

    How long is it going to take them to figure this out? They’re already driving off their base–I’m voting for Alan Keyes this year, and I would be voting Southern Heritage Party if they weren’t semi-socialist nutcases who think we can kick out the factories and give every family 40 acres to farm (or Libertarian, if they weren’t a bunch of anti-Christian yagoffs who think smoking joints without having to look out for the po-po is more important than saving our country from socialism.). And the people they’re trying to appeal to–the liberals–are already a lost hope, because they’re going for the Democrat party.

  10. imnewatthis says:

    Newsweek is so incredibly biased towards Obama. My husband asked me to subscribe to it for him within the last year because he wanted a general news magazine. He probably hadn’t read it in years and we had no idea how biased it was. We’re thoroughly disgusted with it, and my husband isn’t even Republican!

  11. BillK says:

    The sad thing of course is that Newsweek is arguably the more conservative of the two newsweeklies…

  12. Colonel1961 says:

    Hey Redneck: I couldn’t agree more with your statement. Why on God’s green Earth do conservatives even care what liberals think? Enough! Their policies are wrong, their thought process is wrong, etc. We should just say so and move on (no pun intended). Playing their game is like arguing with a three year old – there’s no point – they just need a little swat on the butt.

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