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McCain Downplays Frederick's Remark

Tim Craig

Republican presidential nominee John McCain responded this morning to the comments Virginia Republican Party Chairman Jeffrey M. Frederick made over the weekend comparing Democratic nominee Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden.

Speaking on Richmond's WRVA radio this morning, McCain said it's not fair to compare Frederick's remarks to those made recently by U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).

Lewis said over the weekend that GOP ticket was "sowing the seeds of hatred and division" at its rallies. Lewis compared McCain to the segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace, and through Wallace to the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham that killed four girls.

Frederick told a group of GOP volunteers in Prince William County on Saturday that Obama can be compared to bin Laden because "they both have friends that bombed the Pentagon," a reference to Obama's past association with Bill Ayers.

In his interview with host Jimmy Barrett, McCain said he's already denounced Frederick's statements but said Obama has yet to speak out against Lewis's.

"John Lewis is a person I admire, I have written about him in my books, but that is far different from some, frankly, individual in the Republican Party of the state of Virginia," McCain said. "It's outrageous, harmful, divisive and Senator Obama ought to personally repudiate Congress's Lewis's statement. It is not only connected to George Wallace but also the deaths of innocent young children in church bombings."

McCain added, "I am proud of our campaign. I am proud of the campaign I have done, so Jimmy, you're off base when you compare the two statements. One from a most respected member of Congress and civil rights leader and one from somebody no one knows about which we have repudiated continuously."

When pressed by the host, McCain grew testy. "Don't compare the two my friend...I am telling you, my friend, they are not comparable."

You can listen to McCain's response at The remarks about Frederick come about 5 minutes into the interview.

By Tim Craig  |  October 14, 2008; 11:25 AM ET
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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McNasty states, "I am proud of our campaign. I am proud of the campaign I have done."

I think that statement alone speaks volumes of the man McCain really is. I suggest reading the article in Rolling Stone magazine about McCain.

Posted by: Marco | October 14, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

“I THINK WHEN YOU SPREAD THE WEALTH AROUND, IT’S GOOD FOR EVERYBODY.” What Barack means is for government taking from one group of people (the people who worked hard and earned it) and giving it to those who did not earned it (welfare cheats).

WELCOME TO BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA’S NEW AMERICA, IT’S CALLED REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH and his tax cuts for 95% of America is nothing more than Government welfare for people that don’t pay taxes at all. Haven’t we already been down this path ? This was done in the 70’s and the Democrats are bent on bringing it back.

One of Barack Obama’s most potent campaign claims is that he’ll cut taxes for no less than 95% of “working families.” He’s even promising to cut taxes enough that the government’s tax share of GDP will be no more than 18.2% — which is lower than it is today.
It’s a clever pitch, because it lets him pose as a middle-class tax cutter while disguising that he’s also proposing one of the largest tax increases ever on the other 5%. But how does he conjure this miracle, especially since more than a third of all Americans already pay no income taxes at all? There are several sleights of hand, but the most creative is to redefine the meaning of “tax cut.”

Will hard working Americans support to cater to the ”parasite class” and bury the American worker further? Mission almost accomplished.

Posted by: Manolete | October 14, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

McCain's remarks upon Frederick's words would carry more weight if he lived the ideals that he espouses. For instance, the "Arab" smear using McCain's borrowed mike was immediately preceded by McCain's vigorous head-nodding support of the accuser's assertion that Obama is not to be trusted.

The distrusting part has been artfully excised from some subsequent showings, including BBC's.

Posted by: Buck TX | October 14, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Please I want to see him lose his cool - just flip his wig.....Its coming, Its coming...Get YouTube ready. MCSame better start shopping for a retirement home real soon.

Posted by: latinovoter | October 14, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Now that he has sullied himself with the Lee Atwater accolytes running his campaign and is responsible for Gov. Palin with her intentional distortion of facts (her Troopergate rebuttal comments are gems); like Ray Donovan, where does Sen. McCain go to get his reputation back after Election Day?

Posted by: NoVA | October 14, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

John McCain on Jeff Frederick: "some, frankly, individual in the Republican Party of the state of Virginia"

I've often noticed that the word "frankly" is (for most politicians) a red flag that either they are not being frank at all, or that they are at least uncomfortable with what they're saying. So I think McCain knows Frederick is more than "some individual." Frederick is the elected head of the entire Republican Party in Virginia.

Outside of this quote, of course, is McCain's companion claim that Obama's campaign has not distanced itself from the Wallace comparison. It did. It did so immediately. It said there could be no comparison. But just like when Obama says that the surge is stupendously successful, McCain somehow can't hear it. He has a rigid preconception about what Obama will say and the actual words of the Obama campaign don't seem to affect that.

I am really looking forward to the end of this campaign. And so, I suspect, is John McCain. What a mess.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | October 14, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

John McCains logic is flawed as ususal. His hateful VP choice is spewing hatred, and this kind of hatred incites violence if let uncontolled and until he was called to task, he let it happen; therefore, by his silence he was condoning it.

Also, he is perfectly happy to let others do his dirty work for him, such as this Frederick (and still Palin) by making statements and then saying they are "not as bad"?

McCain has lost whatever honor he had going into this campaign, and he will never get it back.

Posted by: lndlouis | October 14, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

That the chair of the GOP in Virginia would say something as stupid as he did is no surprise. The GOP is irrelevant and more importantly, it is responsible (now there's a word they just love to apply to everyone else but not to themselves) for running this country into the ground. They sent our sons and daughters into war on lies--this alone is treasonous. They rewarded their buddies on Wall Street while allowing the middle class to be crushed. All the stupid comments in the world by one Jeff Frederick will not change the fact that Obama is going to help Democrats sweep the congress of these self-serving, bitter Old Poops from the Republican party.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | October 14, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Chi Trib columnist Eric Zorn writes:
"Neither Ayers nor his wife was espousing or practicing terrorist acts in the 1990s when Obama met them. They haven't committed or advocated violent protest since the early 1970s. If Ayers is a terrorist, then McCain is an adulterer and I am a 6th grader."

Posted by: Bill | October 14, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Mccain does not like the statement Rep Lewis said, but will not condem the one Gop Deputy Frederick said. All I can say to Mccain is, Your nothing but a 72 year old coward. It's ok for you and your campaign to sling mud, but not for the other side. Grow up Mccain and get a spine.

Posted by: Joe, Clinton Ma. | October 14, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"McCain said he's already denounced Frederick's statements"

This appears to be another lie from McCain. As far as I know, he himself has only said he "needs more context," and a campaign spokesperson has said that he "disagrees" with Frederick's statement. He and his campaign have neither denounced it nor said they think it is inappropriate, only that they disagree. This is disgraceful.

Posted by: Redshift | October 14, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

It's Amazing how desparate Mccain/GOP are, no matter what the facts are, Mccain and GOP live in their parallel world.

Posted by: Tony | October 14, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Manolete you probably would have sought work with the Sheriff of Nottingham .... Chuckle!

Posted by: Charles H. Townsend | October 14, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Manolete appears unaware that Republicans are also Socialists. What's he going to do when he figures that one out?

Posted by: drossless | October 14, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Ever wonder what would happen if MTV hosted a presidential debate, well now you get to find out.

Seems McCain may be asking Palin to take his place in the debate tonight.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I think McCain's campaign has opened Pandora's box. Many people feel that McCain made a deal with the devil when he invited in campaign advisers who had smeared him as fathering an illegitimate black child when he ran in the primary against George W. We imagine he said something like "I will do whatever it takes to win". And, as anyone with eyes, ears and nose, can see, hear and smell, he has.

For those of us who are Jewish or Black, we can immediatley relate to and see the close relationship between economic disaster and persecution, this is deeply troubling and scarey. It is time the the media stop be so nambsy pansey in its condemnation of these disgusting tactics and that McCain takes hold of the reigns of his campaign and pull those wild horses of hate, fear, and anger back.

Posted by: maddymappo | October 14, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

bring on redistribution of wealth. You top 5% have more than enough to live on. Its time you give back to the country

Posted by: 95% of the country | October 14, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Is McCain mindless? Palin made almost the same statement in Florida! McCain wants these people to slander Obama! Nothing McCain says is the truth. McCain and Palin are so alarming that our allies don't want them to even be in the political arena. Palin does not have any intelligence and McCain is senile.

Posted by: mzbond | October 14, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I love how McCain calls the Virginia Republican Party Chairman just "an individual in the Republican Party." Actually, McCain, he's a leader that YOUR party selected. Unlike your buddy Lieberman, you can't play a Republican, Democrat, and Independent whenever it is convenient.

Posted by: Nice try | October 14, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

McCain, Frederick, and the campaign consultants have ruined the Republican party. It's going to take a long time, probably several election cycles, for the party to reinvent itself. In which direction I don't know. Maybe those of us who are deserting this disgusting, unethical, lying bunch of weasels will have to create a new party. One with fiscal conservatism, fairmindedness, and sense of responsibility to govern. This current election is awful and it cannot end soon enough. Not only has George W. Bush proved himself to be the worst president ever, John McCain has run the worst campaign ever. The Republican party has to die and be reborn as something better than what those two fools wrought.

Posted by: Used to be a Republican | October 14, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

“I THINK WHEN YOU SPREAD THE WEALTH AROUND, IT’S GOOD FOR EVERYBODY.” What Barack means is for government taking from one group of people (the people who worked hard and earned it) and giving it to those who did not earned it (welfare cheats).

Posted by Manolete

Man, you seem to be a billionare as you are afraid your money will be shared by others!! You know what, I think you are a trailer trash living in a dump and just fuming venom. Well, guess what man - you are going to be benefitted as well - and not by repubs, by dems.

Posted by: GuyFromLA | October 14, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

John Lewis was wrong to compare McShame/Samelin's rallies to George Wallace.

He should have compared them to Ku Klux Klan rallies. The only thing missing are the burning crosses.

Posted by: GOP = KKK | October 14, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Rep Lewis is correct, and the words of the Va. GOP prove it.

When everybody saw the GOP had no ideas for correcting the mess they made, the GOP sicced that racist hate-machine Palin on the American people.

"Kill him"--that's all GOP is running on.

Posted by: Ben Franklin | October 14, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

How can you downplay stupidity and ignorance?
I guess if you read post like that of Manolete, you begin to get the idea.

Fear and hate is all the McCain campaign has in their favor, what a sad commentary on his road to nowhere.

Posted by: hmmmmmer | October 14, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

How sad to watch John McCain suck up to the wacko fringe in his party. He's destroying his reputation in what will be a failed effort to win the presidency.

Frederick is an embarrassment to Virginia. The fact that the GOP chose this pathetic little man as its Chairman says volumes about its view of the world.

A pox on the Republican bigots - a category that now includes John McCain. Truly sad.

Posted by: Brittman1 | October 14, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

In last election one idiot GOP Virginia senator called an Indian as a monkey, and he lost the election based on his comment. Now a McCain buddy (GOP-Frederick of Virginia) called Obama as friend of Bin Laden, what he clearly meant that Obama is a terrorist, which for sure put a seal on McCain defeat in the election. We the voters are mature enough and the visionary voters are not against McCain per se, but are determined to denounce Bush, and the only way we can punish Bush is to defeat his party, in all three branches of government. Belligerent Christian, are also not friend of senator McCain, dispersion of hatred and inharmonious act is not the virtue of Americans, which basically are genial and respected community world-wide. Now I congratulate Obama on winning the most prestigious election. I wish you all the best Mr. President.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Manolete | October 14, 2008 12:00 PM

What is wrong with redistribution of wealth??

Cheney/bush and his republican congress have redistributed the future wealth of our children and grandchildren to today’s richest Americans.


How do you propose to pay down the debt???????

Do you still believe trickledown works??????????

Posted by: Billpayer | October 14, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmmmer is right. It is sad to see a former aviator hero become Capt. Queeg, trying to convince the world that Obama stole the strawberries. Now he's measuring sand to 'prove' his case. So far, the conservative base has been buying into the deception, but they were McCain voters anyway. McCain supporters scare me. Have you heard their racist, ethnophobic, jingoist and plain hateful statements? Somewhere along the line, the educational system failed these people. But kooks they are, so when you stop in Rich Hill to pick up gas, make sure you look like the townfolk first. Color matters, so if you are anything other than white, I suggest you go further north to Butler or south to Nevada to get your gas. I think you'll be glad you did.

Posted by: Trotter | October 14, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Folks, just look and listen to the crowds at Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin's rallies. Why do Republicans attract rural, white, poor, racists? They appear so ignorant and they spew hate in chants and shouts at these rallies. I'm a lifelong Virginia resident, and I know what type of Republican lives in Manassas, Fredericksburg, and Richmond, the ones that believe in being white, and Christian and conservative, and nothing else.

Posted by: EJ | October 14, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Response to Manolete:

You forgot to add two words to your screed below after (welfare cheats): AND BANKERS.

BTW, there are many fewer "welfare cheats" after the Clinton Administration passed welfare reform back in the mid-90s.


“I THINK WHEN YOU SPREAD THE WEALTH AROUND, IT’S GOOD FOR EVERYBODY.” What Barack means is for government taking from one group of people (the people who worked hard and earned it) and giving it to those who did not earned it (welfare cheats).

Posted by: ohboy | October 14, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Frederick is a disgusting racist. First he tries to block new voter registrations, now he deliberately manipulates his flock of mullet-wearing, bible thumping sheeple into a nationalist rage. He is an embarassment to Virginia and the GOP. Call him and let him know what you think: 703 4 9 0 - 84 05.
email him too: delegate@va52 .com

Posted by: NotAfraidOfRobots | October 14, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

What the heck is McLame talking about? Lewis is right. The GOP is "'sowing the seeds of hatred and division' at its rallies." The only thing Obama should say if he says anything is damn straight.

Posted by: Sara B. | October 14, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

McCain should have repudiated Frederick's revolting comment straight out. But he did not. For a candidate running on "character", it says a lot about McCain, and it is not pretty.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Socialist = Someone concerned with people ('social')

Capitalist = Someone concerned with money ('capital')

That pretty well sums it up to me - why is 'socialist' a bad word?

Posted by: Bill | October 14, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Of course, frederick was completely correct; Barrack Husseins friends bombed the Pentagon and so did Bin Ladens. What part was incorret or hateful? It's not like he said they both have Arabic names or something.

Posted by: Stick | October 14, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

you jerks just keep the screed up. middle america see's the truth and you guys are going back in the attic where you belong.
54/46 for obama..400+ electoral votes, 60 senators. times they are a'changing.

Posted by: landslide4obama | October 14, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Another play out of the GOP play book.
It is okay if we say it but then get outraged when someone else point out they too have been doing the same thing.

John Lewis may have gone a bit overboard but there is some truth to what he says. Look at McCains rallies and some of the things that have been said there to racially divide us.

Here it is a Virginia GOP leader basically calls Obama a terrorist who would stoop to levels of those fools who attacked us on that terrible day over 7 yers ago. Using another page out of the playbook- scare tactics. Obama is a terrorist. Please! Spare me!

Obama continues to be more of a true American then Frederick ever will be.

For McCain to denounce what Frederick said is to denounce his own party. He's just not going to do that. No more than Palin will say hey wait a minute to these radicals at their rallies shouting kill him, kill him.

Posted by: bjlopez | October 14, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

The Virginia GOP is self-destructing. They could have run Tom Davis (moderate, popular guy) against Mark Warner. But no - the good old boys of Richmond had to reward one of their own. Gilmore will go down in flames and the VA GOP is left looking like a bunch of back-water hicks.

Posted by: Voter from "communist country" | October 14, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The Virginia GOP is ruled by crazies. How do these people get chosen - is the test who's the most accomplished bigot? If so, you win Jeffrey!

Hatemongering won't save you this year, though. Nominating Gilmore instead of Davis was Mistake #2.

Posted by: Brittman1 | October 14, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

How in God's name could McCain be in any way PROUD of his campaign in which his supporters scream out racial hatred and set our country back decades? How can McCain be PROUD of his campaign in which he displays erratic, knee-jerk vascillations to any and all changes daily? How can McCain be PROUD of his campaign for which he has selected the most UNQUALIFIED, UNINTELLIGENT and INEPT person on earth to be his VP nominee? How can he be PROUD of the smears he has chosen to voice? There is NO PRIDE in anything he has said or is now saying where he is clearly in 'desperate panic mode' KNOWING full well this is his LAST CHANCE to attain his dream of POTUS and that he himeself has BLOWN IT? That's the part that may actually make him cry as he ponders what went wrong. Now Arizonans have also been given the opportunity to see who he really is; a person with NO HONOR and no CHARACTER so perhaps he will even lose his Senate seat!

GOP Frederick should be ashamed to be in public office with his nasty views and rotten statements. I live in VA and I certainly don't want him as a representative of mine. Kick him out of office now!

Posted by: FedUpinVA | October 14, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Typical of Republican double talk...McCain is not making sense. Obama should repudiate Lewis remarks? What did Lewis do other than to point out that McCain's campaign is trying to cause and spread hatred and division. Then there is the GOP that has gone on record calling Obama a terrorist. Is McCain that stupid or pretending to be one?

Posted by: Kevin1231 | October 14, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Quoting Ronald Reagan, he added, “I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me.”

True Republicans should rise-up and reclaiming our party back from neo-cons and incompetent closet racists that hijacked it. Republicans need to go back to our roots and shed off the leaches.

As the Conservatives betrayed my trust, I am voting for change and my country first TRULY—OBAMA/BIDEN 08!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey Latinovoter,

McCain doesn't need to shop for a retirement home. You forget he already owns 8 homes.

Posted by: vavoter | October 14, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Hillman | October 14, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

This afternoon, I heard the campaign ad that both the McCain campaign and the RNC are running on WTOP radio (103.5 FM). In the advertisement (with McCain approving the ad at the end), the claim is made that Obama was associating with Ayers, whom Obama met while serving on a radical board.

Excuse me? Since when is the Annenberg Challenge Project, which is an educational board sponsored by the Annenburg Foundation considered RADICAL? Is McCain kidding us here? Is McCain also claiming by inference that Lenore Annenburg, a staunch Republican, loyal supporter of the GOP and widow of Ambassador Walter Annenburg, was also palling around with Ayers the terrorist? Is this what McCain is trying to convince voters to look to him as a potential POTUS?

I tell you...this advertisement DOES NOT demonstrate putting country first. The dishonest campaign ad put out there by McCain only shows that McCain puts himself first, and the country in some other order...not to mention the disgusting inference that Mrs. Annenburg consorts with terrorists, using the inferences that have been featured at the McCain rallies and in campaign advertisements. By the dysfunctional way that McCain has run his campaign, I see questionable honesty, and definitely little or no honor.

This ex-GOP person will definitely put country first by NOT voting for McCain.

Posted by: Disgusted GOP'er | October 14, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

by this obnoxious little twit Frederick's logic, both Frederick and an anus spew fecal matter of one sort or another...

therefore, Mr. Frederick is clearly an [anus].

What a despicable little piece of trash this man is... this is the best the state can offer to head the GOP? No wonder they are in the garbage politically now, where they belong.

Posted by: fendertweed | October 14, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

If you want to associate someone, why not associate Sen. McCain to the insensitive good old boys in congress during the 1980s and 90s. Remember Ronald Reagan signed into law Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983. Why did it take Arizona another nine years to get it right? Here's McCain's own words from and interview in 1999?

In December 1999 McCain told NBC's Tim Russert, "on the Martin Luther King issue, we all learn, OK? We all learn. I will admit to learning, and I hope that the people that I represent appreciate that, too. I voted in 1983 against the recognition of Martin Luther King….I regret that vote."

John McCain is a waffling Republican. He was against Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day before he was for it. This is his state. Someone tell me how is he going to lead? He couldn't lead on this issue until it was overwhelmingly an international embarrassment?

Posted by: EJ | October 14, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Manolete, go back to bull fighting...

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

The difference between Frederick and Lewis is the former used innuendo to imply what McCain knows is untrue whereas Lewis directly stated an opinion based common truths, so there's no falsehood for Obama to reject. Obama is wise not to be manipulated by his opponent.

Posted by: jhbyer | October 14, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"McCain added, "I am proud of our campaign. I am proud of the campaign I have done"

That right there is reason enough not to vote for mccain - he's delusional or has no standards.

BTW, there's no comparison of the two comments. Lewis was spot on, the signs were there. Fredricks comments were just totally uncalled for and ridiculous. But he's following the gop lines - fear fear fear.

Posted by: JB | October 14, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

While Frederick's comments were a bit inflammatory, they were largely correct:

Posted by: 24AheadDotCom | October 14, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Manolete is an offshore paid RNC/Palin-McCain troll who can only copy and paste that which is provided to them from the Palin-McCain campaign.

Posted by: Dave | October 14, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Ooops maybe McCain should offer more tax cuts lol...

Posted by: scott bob | October 14, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

There is NO evidence that Sen. McCain has denounced Frederick's remarks, despite his claim to the contrary.

Sen. McCain said:

"I have to look at the CONTEXT of his remarks. I have always repudiated any comments that have been made that were inappropriate about Senator Obama."


Sen. McCain then went on to DEFEND Frederick's remarks:

The fact is that William Ayers was a terrorist and bomber and unrepentant. I don't care about that. But, Sen. Obama ought be the candid and truthful about his relationship with Mr. Ayers in whose living room Sen. Obama launched his campaign and Sen. Obama said he was just a guy in the neighborhood.

Posted by: Rich Cain | October 14, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Definition of "Manolete": Trailer trash with a computer.

Posted by: Sher | October 14, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Manolete, try to think of something new..

Posted by: Helen | October 14, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

On October 11th Obama said he did not believe John McCain and his spunky li'l sidekick were racists or represented the beliefs of George Wallace. So I guess McCain is being kept in a news black-out by his staff. And then McCain's brother pleaded with the campaign to let his brother be himself. Because the angry attack dog with no plans for leadership or change IS the real John McCain. Or is he just a robot run by Karl Rove and Todd Palin?

Posted by: greyparrot | October 15, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

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