As America reels after another deadly ambush of police officers, President Obama has been calling on others to tone down their angry, divisive and racially charged rhetoric. This has prompted the president’s opponents to dig up some of his own speeches and point out his hypocrisy on this issue.
In 2008, the Wall Street Journal ran a blog post about one of Obama’s more startling comments of that kind, made before he became president. It’s mostly been forgotten now, but recently the WSJ reposted the article after it became timely all over again.
Reporting on the 2008 presidential race, Amy Chozick wrote:
“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said at a Philadelphia fundraiser Friday night. “Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”
The comment drew some laughs and applause. But it also struck a chord with his Republican rival. John McCain’s campaign immediately accused the Democratic candidate of playing the politics of fear. They also mentioned that Obama said he would use a gun that would be illegal under Obama’s plans to cut down on illegal firearms.
“Barack Obama’s call for ‘new politics’ is officially over. In just 24 hours, Barack Obama attacked one of America’s pioneering women CEOs, rejected a series of joint bipartisan town halls, and said that if there’s a political knife fight, he’d bring a gun,” McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement.
Obama’s supporters retorted that the quote was from the crime movie The Untouchables, and that Republicans were overreacting. However, it was a revealing moment in the campaign. Obama’s mask as a post-racial symbol of healing slipped and the stereotypical Chicago politician was revealed. Unfortunately, too few voters noticed or cared.
Credit: Wall Street Journal