Obama: They're Trying to 'Make You Scared of Me'
By Jonathan Weisman
ROLLA, Mo. -- It has been part of Barack Obama's stump speech for weeks, if not months, a comic schtick about the senator from Illinois having a funny name and a face that doesn't look like that of other presidential candidates.
But Obama played the line bigger than usual today as he barnstormed through the conservative heart of rural Missouri, scouring for votes and urging virtually all-white audiences to embrace a candidate unlike any other they may have voted for. And Republicans are crying foul.
"Nobody thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face. So what they are going to try to do is make you scared of me," Obama warned a crowd in Springfield this morning. "You know, he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all of those other presidents on the dollar bills."
"Those folks know they don't have any good answers. They know they had their turn over the last eight years and made a mess of things," he said here. "They know they can only win by making you scared of me."
Obama did not mention race directly or that other hot button issue, his full name. But when John McCain's campaign responded, it said Obama had "baselessly forecasted that John McCain would make claims about Obama's physical appearance and middle name."
"Like most celebrities, he reacts to fair criticism with a mix of fussiness and hysteria," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.
Posted at 6:13 PM ET on Jul 30, 2008
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