Terrorism has dominated the US election campaign overnight with Barack Obama’s stance on national security under attack from the right. Meanwhile, US online political group MoveOn is attacking McCain’s stance on Iraq with a series of videos and online campaigns. Obama’s also gone on the record about Al Gore as a potential VP.
The Terrorism debate. The McCain camp has pounced on this interview Barack Obama gave to ABC News to attack his stance on terrorism. Obama has come under fire for saying:
It is my firm belief that we can track terrorists, we can crack down on threats against the United States, but we can do so within the constraints of our Constitution. And there has been no evidence on their part that we can’t… Let’s take the example of Guantanamo. What we know is that, in previous terrorist attacks — for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center, we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated.
The ABC News blog quotes the McCain camp response:
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This failed approach of treating terrorism simply as a matter of law enforcement rather than a clear and present danger to the United States contributed to the tragedy of September 11th. This is change that will take us back to the failed policies of the past and every American should find this mindset troubling.
The National Review Online took Obama to task for his “remarkably ignorant account of the American experience with jihadism. In point of fact, while the government managed to prosecute many people responsible for the 1993 WTC bombing, many also escaped prosecution because of the limits on civilian criminal prosecution.” — NRO
Commentary Magazine suggested that Obama’s “mistake after mistake” in the ABC News interview showed Obama is dependent on the teleprompter — and could be why Obama has so far turned down McCain’s invitation to do a series of “Town Hall” debates. “Let him give a big speech and he drives it like Tiger Woods hitting a fairway, as he did Sunday with his stunning sermon about the importance of fathers. But let him sit for an interview with a well-prepared reporter who isn’t interested in shilling for him and Obama makes mistake after mistake. This is what happened the other day with ABC’s Jake Tapper, who got Obama to talk about how we need to treat terrorism as a law-enforcement matter — which is exactly what he should not be saying if he wants to solidify those less-liberal Democratic votes in the states where he was shellacked by Hillary Clinton” — Commentary Magazine
Calls for Obama-Gore ticket. Al Gore and Barack Obama’s joint appearance to announce Gore’s endorsement of Obama has given fresh life to calls for the former VP and presidential candidate to sign on to the Democratic ticket. The NYT’s political blog pointed out that while Obama had said he wouldn’t comment on potential VPs until he was ready to announce his running mate, he responded to a student’s question about whether Gore was a potential VP. Gore’s said no so many times when asked to stand again, it’s curious that Obama didn’t put paid the suggestion outright. Is there still hope? — NYT blog
MoveOn steps up attacks on McCain. MoveOn, the leftwing activist group which was one of the inspirations for Australia’s GetUp, has weighed into the US election with several ads attacking John McCain’s stand on Iraq and his attempts to distance himself from the policies of George W. Bush.
MoveOn’s anti-war ad attacks McCain’s statement that he’d be willing to stay in Iraq for 100 years. The emotive ad has stirred up controversy, as noted by the Crooks and Liars blog. OpenLeft responds that the Bush re-election campaign was happy to exploit fear in the post 9/11 era to get re-elected.
TruthDig points out that MoveOn’s also done an ad with Hollywood actor John Cusack to promote it’s “McCain Bush Pop Quiz”. The ad challenges viewers to take a test to see if they can tell McCain and Bush’s policies apart. — TruthDig
DNC to sue McCain. The Politico blog reports that the DNC will today announce that they intend to file a lawsuit next week in U.S. District Court to spur an FEC inquiry over whether John McCain illegally withdrew from the federal financing system. — Politico
“Democrats for McCain” under fire. John McCain has released a list of “prominent Democrats and Independents” supporting his candidacy. But the Huffington Post notes that the idea was pretty shaky from the start: “None of the names were particularly prominent, Politico‘s Ben Smith observed. And Greg Sargent at Talking Points Memo noted that many of the officials “have often supported Republicans in the past, suggesting that there’s little if any meaning to their support for McCain over Obama.” — Huffington Post
Hillary Watch. The Politico blog also reports that Hillary Clinton is set to make a joint appearance with Obama at an event aimed at funneling her donors towards his campaign.