As we head toward the home stretch of this election, tempers are heated and supporters on both sides are turning up the crazy nut job rhetoric to full volume. Wouldn’t it be nice if we as Americans could remain civil to each other? Maybe that’s hoping for too much.
Source: Fox News
John McCain has taken a lot of heat from critics who say he’s stoking anger and intolerance among his supporters.
But the Republican nominee is not the only one with supporters whose comments and demonstrations on the race are obscene and, in some cases, violent.
An array of T-shirts, for instance, displaying the image of Sarah Palin and some variation of the “C-word” are gaining new popularity as Election Day nears. A group of protesters outside Palin’s fundraiser in Philadelphia Saturday wore shirts emblazoned with the words, “Sarah Palin Is a C–T.”
Cafe Press is selling a slew of off-color Palin T-shirts, including the one spotted in Philadelphia. (Granted, a shirt with the words “Barack Obama Is a Can’t” is also for sale on the site.)
The Portland Tribune also reported over the weekend that two men in Oregon were arrested for throwing a Molotov cocktail at a large McCain campaign sign, igniting part of the structure.
And on Monday at a McCain rally in North Carolina, an Obama supporter stood outside and repeatedly yelled, “McCain is a murderer.”
One woman yelled back: “He fought for your right to say that.”
Republicans argue that while neither campaign can curtail every action of its supporters, McCain is being unfairly depicted as the only candidate who attracts audience members with extreme views.
“It’s something that we recognize — that neither campaign has complete control over their supporters,” McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds told FOXNews.com. “We’ve stood firmly behind our effort to try to hold our rallies to a higher level, and certainly we would expect the same from Barack Obama.
“It is clear that on many occasions they have failed to keep their supporters above board,” he added. “(Voters) should understand that this is a phenomenon that plays itself out at both campaigns.”
Indeed, both candidates are still attracting rowdy supporters.
The mini-altercation in North Carolina took place a few hundred yards from a sign that read “NOBAMA” featuring side-by-side pictures of Obama and Osama bin Laden.
Politico.com posted a photo snapped at the McCain rally earlier in Virginia Beach showing audience members holding up signs that say: “Obama Bin Lyin’.”
Bounds said the McCain campaign condemns such signs.
Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, accused McCain over the weekend of “sowing the seeds of hatred and division,” and compared his rallies to the “climate” created by segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace.
The Lewis statement came after supporters at McCain’s rallies repeatedly yelled words like “socialist” and “terrorist” when the Republican candidate was discussing Obama.
But both campaigns seem to be making an effort to dial back negative rhetoric, or at least calm down their crowds.
Obama scolded his audience Monday in Toledo when they began booing at the very mention of McCain. “We don’t need that,” he said. “We just need to vote.”
McCain corrected a woman Friday who said Obama is “an Arab,” drawing boos from the crowd.
The Arizona senator, who objected to the Lewis statement, hasn’t been taking questions from his audience since last week, and on Monday made no mention of 1960s radical William Ayers. His campaign has used Obama’s ties to Ayers in recent weeks to question the Democratic candidate’s character and judgment.
The charge did come up, however, when country music star Hank Williams Jr. played a warm-up act at a Palin rally in Richmond, Va., Monday. His song lyrics included reference to the “left-wing liberal media” and said the Republican running mates “don’t have radical friends to whom their careers are linked.”
Speaking in Rochester, N.H., Monday, Joe Biden criticized McCain for launching “new attacks” on Obama.
“John McCain wants to attack Barack Obama,” Biden said. “Barack Obama wants to attack America’s economic problems. It is that basic. It is that basic right now.”
Democratic strategist Jehmu Greene said the offensive audience-member comments don’t belong in the race on either side.
“There are fringe elements on all sides of the spectrum, and that’s what we’re seeing right now,” she told FOX News.
But Chip Saltsman, former campaign manager for Mike Huckabee, told FOX News that Obama has not taken the steps McCain has to settle down his supporters and rein in bad behavior.
“Barack Obama needs to come out and say, ‘My supporters should not do this’,” he said.