Obama says Republicans trying to scare voters

Obama says Republicans trying to scare voters

Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2008 10:14 pm
By: AP

By MIKE GLOVER Associated Press Writer SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Democrat Barack Obama, the first black candidate with a shot at winning the White House, says John McCain and his Republican allies will try to scare them by saying Obama “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.” Obama didn’t make clear what distinctions McCain was likely to raise regarding the presidents on U.S. currency, men who are white and, for the most part, much older than Obama when they were elected. McCain has not raised Obama’s race as an issue in the campaign, though he has said that Obama lacks experience. Stumping in an economically challenged battleground state, Obama argued Wednesday that President Bush and McCain will resort to scare tactics to maintain their hold on the White House because they have little else to offer voters. “Nobody thinks that Bush and McCain have a real answer to the challenges we face. So what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me,” Obama said. “You know, he’s not patriotic enough, he’s got a funny name, you know, he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.” The McCain campaign did not have an immediate comment when asked Thursday about Obama’s remarks. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said the senator was not referring to race. “What Barack Obama was talking about was that he didn’t get here after spending decades in Washington,” Gibbs said Thursday. “There is nothing more to this than the fact that he was describing that he was new to the political scene. He was referring to the fact that he didn’t come into the race with the history of others. It is not about race.” During a round of appearances in Missouri, Obama worked to link McCain to the unpopular Bush, saying the Republican senator from Arizona would serve the equivalent of a third Bush term if elected. He said the country can’t afford more of the same and expects different results. “That’s a definition of madness, but that’s what John McCain is offering. He’s offering Bush economic policies and Karl Rove politics,” Obama said. He pressed the theme later at a rain-soaked barbecue in Union, Mo. “They’re going to say I’m a risky guy,” Obama said. “What they’re going to argue is I’m too risky. The real risk is that we miss the moment, that we do not do what’s needed because we’re afraid.” For its part, McCain’s campaign on Wednesday released a withering television ad comparing Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, suggesting the Democrat is little more than a vapid but widely recognized media concoction. “He’s the biggest celebrity in the world, but is he ready to lead?” the voiceover asks in the ad, which mixes images of Obama on his trip to Europe last week with video of the 20-something pop stars. Obama’s campaign quickly responded with a commercial of its own, dismissing McCain’s complaints as “baloney” and “baseless.” Published in The Messenger 7.31.08

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