ABC News’ political blog Political Punch writes up Barack Obama‘s comeback to Sarah Palin’s quip during her VP nomination speech last week, in which she attempted to portray him as soft on terror, saying “Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America — he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights.”

Obama came back with a spirited defense of habeas corpus, describing it as “the foundation of Anglo-American law”.

“The reason you have that safeguard,” he said, “is because we don’t always have the right person. We don’t always catch the right person. We may think this is Mohammed the terrorist, it might be Mohammed the cab driver. You may think it’s Barack the bomb thrower, but it might be Barack the guy running for president.

“The reason that you have this principle is not to be soft on terrorism, it’s because that’s who we are,” Obama said as the crowd rose to its feet, applauding. “That’s what we’re protecting. Don’t mock the Constitution! Don’t make fun of it! Don’t suggest that it’s un-American to abide by what the founding fathers set up! It’s worked pretty well for over 200 years!”

Read the full blog post here.

Peter Fray

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