McCain camp calls on Obama to "repudiate" statements.
John Lewis, invoking George Wallace, says McCain and Palin 'playing with fire'Interesting that Cong. Lewis would talk about throwing bombs and killing people as that's exactly what Obama's political supporter and early patron William Ayers admits his weathermen group were doing.
October 11, 2008
Civil rights icon and Georgia congressman John Lewis [DEMOCRAT] is accusing John McCain and Sarah Palin of stoking hate, likening the atmosphere at Republican campaign events to those featuring George Wallace, the segregationist former governor of Alabama and presidential candidate.
"What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history," Lewis said in a statement issued today. "Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse."
"George Wallace never threw a bomb," Lewis noted. "He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama."
“As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all," Lewis said today.
Lewis's statement is one of the most inflammatory examples of explosive race baiting that I have read in the decades I have been covering political issues. It's outrageous and offesive beyond any bounds of political discourse.
The following statement was issued by the McCain campaign:
“Congressman John Lewis’ comments represent a character attack against Governor Sarah Palin and me that is shocking and beyond the pale. The notion that legitimate criticism of Senator Obama’s record and positions could be compared to Governor George Wallace, his segregationist policies and the violence he provoked is unacceptable and has no place in this campaign. I am saddened that John Lewis, a man I’ve always admired, would make such a brazen and baseless attack on my character and the character of the thousands of hardworking Americans who come to our events to cheer for the kind of reform that will put America on the right track.Remind me again: WHO is it that is stirring up racial hatred here?
“I call on Senator Obama to immediately and personally repudiate these outrageous and divisive comments that are so clearly designed to shut down debate 24 days before the election. Our country must return to the important debate about the path forward for America.”
--John McCain, October 11, 2008