McCain Camp Decries Obama Spanish Ads
By Ed O'Keefe in The Trail:
Republicans struck back at Barack Obama's new Spanish-language TV and radio ads, calling them "offensive and dishonest" in their attempt to tie John McCain to comments by conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
The McCain campaign sent out a release this morning with a statement from Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.). "It is offensive and dishonest for Barack Obama to lie about John McCain's record on immigration and years of support for the Hispanic community," she said, "when it was Barack Obama himself who voted for 'poison pill' amendments that killed the effort at immigration reform. Instead of making false ads with baseless attacks, Barack Obama should be apologizing to the Latino community."
The Obama ads uses a Limbaugh quote in which the commentator calls Mexicans "stupid and unqualified" and another where he tells immigrants "Shut your mouth or get out."
But as other news organizations have reported, the quotes came in the context of discussions of NAFTA and Mexican laws and were not directed at Mexican immigrants to the U.S. The talk show host also came late to his support of McCain, not formally making his backing explicit until after McCain selected Sarah Palin as his running mate.
Some independent groups also think that the Obama ads may have gone too far. "I don't think it can be said that Senator McCain is a member of the anti-immigrant wing of the Republican Party," said Cecilia Munoz, a vice president with National Council of La Raza.
Still, Munoz said, "I do think it's fair to ask if he's standing up to that wing." McCain, she noted, did not voice opposition to this year's Republican Party platform, which opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants.
The Obama campaign disputes the McCain campaign's claims of inaccuracy, citing news reports it believes backs up its use of the Limbaugh quotes. It also notes that, among other things, McCain has passed up opportunities to denounce the Minuteman Project and comments made by his Republican colleague Rep. Tom Tancredo (Colo.) considered offensive by immigrants rights groups.
By Ed O'Keefe |
September 18, 2008; 4:52 PM ET
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