McCain Stumps with Danforth, a Moderate
By Michael Abramowitz
BELTON, Mo. -- The McCain campaign has kept largely silent about the devastating endorsement of Obama Sunday by former Secretary of State Colin Powell. John McCain himself kind of shrugged it off, saying he still respected his old friend and just had a difference of opinion.
But the McCain campaign had kind of a tacit response Monday, rolling out former Missouri senator Jack Danforth on behalf of the Republican nominee as McCain toured Missouri. Danforth has already made clear he's supporting McCain, and he clearly can't be compared to Powell in terms of national stature. Still, his presence yesterday meant McCain had by his side a respected Republican moderate (known as "St. Jack" in his day) at a time he's been accused of pandering to the GOP's conservative base. Danforth, an ordained Episcopalian minister, has been quite critical of the influence of evangelical Christians on the modern GOP.
As he campaigned with McCain, Danforth showed little hesitancy in adopting the tough economic message that the senator from Arizona has been promoting in recent days -- and which Democrats have complained is stirring up false fears in the electorate.
"Senator Obama says that he is for change -- he sure is," Danforth told a large crowd gathered at a high school football field in Belton. "He's going to turn this country into a direction we have never gone in before in our history. Some of the pundits say that when Senator Obama said he wants to spread the wealth around for the good of everybody, they said that was a slip of the tongue. That wasn't any slip of the tongue -- he meant every word of it."
Characterizing Obama's tax plan in a way that many independent analysts have disputed, Danforth added: "He wants to write 1,000 dollar checks and give them to 47 million people who don't pay any taxes. Never before has any president of the United States said that we should take money from people who pay taxes and simply write checks to people who don't pay taxes. Franklin Roosevelt didn't say that. Harry Truman didn't say that. John Kennedy. Lyndon Johnson -- none if them said that."
"Back in 1929, we should have learned a lesson, that the two ways to kill an economy, particularly in a recession is to raise taxes and to have protectionist trade policies, and Barack Obama wants both," Danforth concluded. "Our economy is in a ditch and this guy is coming after us with a couple of backhoes."
Web Politics Editor
October 21, 2008; 9:01 AM ET
Categories: John McCain
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