Obama mis­take on ‘my Mus­lim faith’ pounced upon by ri­vals

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY CHRISTINA BEL­LAN­TONI

ST. LOUIS | Sen. Barack Obama’s foes on Sept. 7 seized upon a brief slip of the tongue when the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee was out­lin­ing his Chris­tian­ity but ac­ci­den­tally said “my Mus­lim faith.”

The three words — im­me­di­ately cor­rected — were ut­tered dur­ing an ex­change with ABC’s Ge­orge Stephanopou­los on “This Week,” when Mr. Obama was try­ing to crit­i­cize the quiet smear cam­paign sug­gest­ing that he is a Mus­lim.

Within one hour of the in­ter­view, anti-Obama groups had edited it out of con­text and were send­ing it around via e-mail. They also were blog­ging about it.

Mr. Obama, who is a Chris­tian and of­ten proudly speaks about how his faith has in­flu­enced his pub­lic ser­vice, said he finds it “deeply of­fen­sive” that there are ef­forts “com­ing out of the Repub­li­can camp” to sug­gest “that per­haps I’m not who I say I am when it comes to my faith.”

The ex­change came af­ter Mr. Obama said that Repub­li­cans are at­tempt­ing to “scare” vot­ers by sug­gest­ing that he is not Chris­tian, which McCain cam­paign man­ager Rick Davis said was “cyn­i­cal.”

Asked about it on ABC, Mr. Obama said, “Th­ese guys love to throw a rock and hide their hand.”

“The McCain cam­paign has never sug­gested you have Mus­lim con­nec­tions,” said Mr. Stephanopou­los, who re­peat­edly in­ter­rupted Mr. Obama dur­ing the in­ter­view.

“I don’t think that when you look at what is be­ing pro­mul­gated on Fox News, let’s say, and Repub­li­can com­men­ta­tors who are closely al­lied to th­ese folks,” Mr. Obama re­sponded, and Mr. Stephanopou­los in­ter­rupted: “But John McCain said that’s wrong.”

Mr. Obama noted that when the Repub­li­can vice-pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, “was forced” to talk about her preg­nant 17-year-old daugh­ter, he is­sued a force­ful state­ment to re­porters that the line of in­quiry was “off lim­its.”

But he said the McCain cam­paign tried to tie him to “lib­eral blogs that sup­port Obama” and are “at­tack­ing Gov­er­nor Palin.”

“Let’s not play games,” he said. “What I was sug­gest­ing — you’re ab­so­lutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Mus­lim faith. And you’re ab­so­lutely right that that has not come.”

Mr. Stephanopou­los in­ter­rupted with, “Chris­tian faith.”

“My Chris­tian faith,” Mr. Obama said quickly. “Well, what I’m say­ing is that he hasn’t sug­gested that I’m a Mus­lim. And I think that his cam­paign’s up­per ech­e­lons have not, ei­ther.

“What I think is fair to say is that, com­ing out of the Repub­li­can camp, there have been ef­forts to sug­gest that per­haps I’m not who I say I am when it comes to my faith — some­thing which I find deeply of­fen­sive, and that has been go­ing on for a pretty long time,” Mr. Obama said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.