Last night, John McCain tried to tie his smear campaign against Barack Obama to comments made by Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary campaign this spring.
“I don’t care about an old washed up terrorist, but as Senator (Hillary) Clinton said in her debates with you, we need to know the full extent of the relationship with you.”
I’m not going to parse, here. That is a bold-faced lie.
Hillary never said that Senator Obama’s “relationship” with Bill Ayers needed to be investigated. She only addressed this issue when she was asked about it and it was only brought up in one debate, their final debate of the primary season, held a week before the Pennsylvania primary. This is what Hillary actually said:
CLINTON: Well, I think that is a fair general statement, but I also believe that Senator Obama served on a board with Mr. Ayers for a period of time, the Woods Foundation, which was a paid directorship position.
And, if I’m not mistaken, that relationship with Mr. Ayers on this board continued after 9/11 and after his reported comments, which were deeply hurtful to people in New York and, I would hope, to every American, because they were published on 9/11, and he said that he was just sorry they hadn’t done more.
And what they did was set bombs. And in some instances, people died. So it is — I think it is, again, an issue that people will be asking about.
And I have no doubt — I know Senator Obama’s a good man and I respect him greatly, but I think that this is an issue that certainly the Republicans will be raising.
And it goes to this larger set of concerns about how we are going to run against John McCain. You know, I wish the Republicans would apologize for the disaster of the Bush-Cheney years and not run anybody, just say that it’s time for the Democrats to go back into the White House.
Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be willing to do that. So we know that they’re going to be out there, full force.
And, you know, I’ve been in this arena for a long time. I have a lot of baggage, and everybody has rummaged through it for years.
And so, therefore, I have an opportunity to come to this campaign with a very strong conviction and feeling that I will be able to withstand whatever the Republicans send our way.
Senator McCain, if you want this campaign of lies and smears to be your legacy, so be it. But do not invoke the name of Hillary Clinton to justify your scorched-earth campaign tactics. What you are doing now is not “country first,” it is “country last.” Your campaign strategy may endear you to the people who scream “kill him” at Sarah Palin events, but history will make the final judgment. Senator, if that is of no concern to you, so be it. But don’t twist the words of Hillary Clinton, a victim of these same kinds of campaign tactics, to justify your dirty tactics.