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McCain Tweaks Obama on Baseball and Politics in Pa.

By Michael Abramowitz
BENSALEM, Pa. -- John McCain has been looking for every opportunity to try to sow doubts about Barack Obama. Today, he seized on Obama's effort this week to show some love to the Tampa Bay Rays, a hated group here in Phillies country just before the World Series.

Campaigning in Tampa Monday, Obama was joined on-stage by members of the Rays, fresh off their exciting victory over the Red Sox to put them in their first-ever World Series. Obama has told crowds in Pennsylvania that he would root for the Phillies once his White Sox were out contention.

Obama said the presence in Florida was proof that he was "a unity candidate, bringing people together. So when you see a White Sox fan showing love to the Rays, and the Rays showing some love back -- you know we are on to something right here."

McCain slammed him for this comment in an appearance in the Philadelphia suburbs. "Now, I'm not dumb enough to get mixed up in a World Series between swing states, but I think I may have detected a little pattern with Senator Obama," he said. "It's pretty simple really. When he's campaigning in Philadelphia, he roots for the Phillies, then when he's campaigning in Tampa Bay, he shows love to the Rays. It's kind of like the way he campaigns on tax cuts, but then votes for tax increases after he's elected."

Obama-Biden spokesman Tommy Vietor responded by noting that Obama's first choice team, the White Sox, was already out of the running -- thanks to the Rays. "I guess these are the kinds of attacks you make when your campaign has conceded that if you talk about the economy, you'll lose," said Vietor. "Senator Obama said he's rooting for the Phillies. Yesterday he said nice things about the members of the team who came out to support him, but that doesn't change the fact that Tampa Bay bounced his White Sox out of the playoffs."

No word on whether McCain will bring up the subject again when he campaigns thus afternoon in western Pennsylvania, home of the Pirates. They didn't have such a good year.

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 21, 2008; 1:54 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , John McCain  
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Next: Palin Lists Five Crises to Come Under Obama


I think you should try to understand the point he is making. It isn't about baseball. The point is that Obama will tell you one thing and turn around and do another. Stop drinking the kool-aid.

Posted by: agcoony | October 22, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

As a Tampa expat in Washington, going absolutely ape-sh*t for both Obama and my Rays, I'm a tad disappointed Obama is rooting for the Phillies. Nevertheless, McCain once again displays his deft skills at deflecting attention from important matters to "somewhat" inconsequential matters.

Posted by: JStembler | October 21, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

October 7, 2008. Sarah Palin in Jacksonville, Florida: “How about those Tampa Bay Rays? You know what that tells me, it tells me that the people in this area know a little something about turning an underdog into a victor.”

October 15, 2008. Sarah Palin in Salem, New Hampshire: “We’re just 20 days out from the election and it’s gonna come right down to the wire, and we’re counting on you because Red Sox fans know how to turn an underdog into a victor, and that’s exactly what you can help us do on Nov. 4!”

October 21, 2008. Sarah Palin in Philadelphia: “Philly fans, you do know all about turning an underdog into a victory. Please help us do that on Election Day.”

Dear John McCain, please shut up about baseball and talk about issues that actually matter to the American people.

Posted by: kenyaj | October 21, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one and most of them stink!

Go Obama/Biden'08

Posted by: Dash13-Fore | October 21, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

If only the Red Sox had beaten the Rays. Then everyone could have cheered for the swing state team and against those damn liberals from Taxachusetts!

In other news, huge financial meltdown. Earth to McCain campaign: no one gives a crap about the politics of baseball.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | October 21, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I agree with everyone,
I am the perfect obamabot'
yes nancy'
yes nancy'
tax and spend, nancy'
spend and tax, nancy'
a tax credit for minorities,
yes, nancy'
yes, nancy'
money for my wife,
money for your hubby,
yes nancy'

Posted by: USA3 | October 21, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

So McCain just takes the cop out and doesn't even pick a team? Booo...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | October 21, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh my God!!! Obama IS A FICKLE BASEBALL FAN!!!!!!!

Is that all you've got John?

I heard the sound bite and he acts as if he's really got his October surprise sprung now.

You just keep thinking that way all the way back to Arizona.

Posted by: JRM2 | October 21, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

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