Obama's recent insults of America's heartland were so egregious, even the St. Louis Post-Dispatch made mention of his remarks [emphasis added]:
The Huffington Post Web site reported Friday that Obama, speaking of some Pennsylvanians' economic anxieties, told supporters at the San Francisco fundraiser: "You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years. ... And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Needless to say, the Conservative side of the 'sphere has taken these statements and run with them:
- LGF: Obama: Small-Town People Cling to Religion, Guns, and Xenophobia
- Michelle Malkin: Snob-ama disses pro-gun, religious, anti-illegal immigration activists in Penn.
- PowerLine: Is Obama's Campaign Over?
- RedState: Obama explains why small towns in the midwest don't like him
- The Other McCain: Obama trashes small-town America
- Hot Air: Obama on small-town voters: Bitter, xenophobic, religious (with comprehensive updates)
Of course Hilary Clinton, ever the opportunist, jumped at the chance to take a shot at her opponent:
"It's being reported that my opponent said that the people of Pennsylvania who face hard times are bitter," Clinton said during a campaign event in Philadelphia. "Well that's not my experience. As I travel around Pennsylvania. I meet people who are resilient, optimist positive who are rolling up their sleeves."
"Pennsylvanians don't need a president who looks down on them," she said. "They need a president who stands up for them, who fights hard for your future, your jobs, your families."
The McCain campaign has also responded:
Asked to respond, McCain adviser Steve Schmidt called it a "remarkable statement and extremely revealing."
"It shows an elitism and condescension towards hardworking Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking," Schmidt said. "It is hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans."
And now, caught red-handed in his arrogance and elitism, Obama is trying to make quick work of spinning his remarks. Unfortunately for him, he's not doing a very good job of it.
First, the Obama campaign spokesperson tries a diversionary tactic [emphasis added]:
"Senator Obama has said many times in this campaign that Americans are understandably upset with their leaders in Washington for saying anything to win elections while failing to stand up to the special interests and fight for an economic agenda that will bring jobs and opportunity back to struggling communities. And if John McCain wants a debate about who's out of touch with the American people, we can start by talking about the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans that he once said offended his conscience but now wants to make permanent,”
Then in Terre Haute yesterday, Obama tried the "Nuh-unh" approach in response to the McCain campaign's assertions that Obama's statement indicated that he was "out of touch with average Americans" [emphasis added]:
In Terre Haute, Obama chided McCain for not responding promptly to the home mortgage crisis and criticized Clinton for voting for a bankruptcy bill supported by credit card companies.
"No, I'm IN touch," he said. "I know exactly what's going on. People are fed up, they are angry, they're frustrated and they're bitter. And they want to see a change in Washington."
And finally, in the same speech, he tried to re-phrase his message [emphasis added]:
"People don't vote on economic issues because they don't expect anybody is going to help them," Obama told a crowd at a Terre Haute, Ind., high school Friday evening. "So people end up voting on issues like guns and are they going to have the right to bear arms. They vote on issues like gay marriage. They take refuge in their faith and their community, and their family, and the things they can count on. But they don't believe they can count on Washington."
Man, the cheap-seat view of the Democratic primary is so fun to watch!