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Seizing on the heavy-handed response of John McCain and the RNC to the completely unobjectionable anti-Obama ad by the North Carolina GOP I spotlighted yesterday, Dean is now pressing McCain further on the issue–and claiming that if McCain doesn’t succeed in forcing the state party to withdraw its ad, it’s a failure of his “leadership” (read: bullying) skills.
The DNC has sent out this e-mail to supporters:
While the McCain campaign made a show of protesting the ad, McCain made no mention of the fact that key officials in the North Carolina GOP are members of McCain’s state steering committee and McCain donors.
Nor did he mention the fact that the state chair who is bucking his leadership is a member of the arrangements committee of the Republican National Convention. Given his ties to state Republican leaders, if McCain is serious about making sure this ad never airs, he should have no trouble making it happen. If not, McCain should return their contributions, remove them from his campaign committees, and strip the state chair from her role on the GOP’s convention committee.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean today issued the following statement calling on McCain to exercise real leadership and pull the plug on this ad:
“This is a test of leadership for John McCain. If he can’t pick up the phone and make members of his own party stop airing a television ad he claims to oppose, how can he lead our country through an economic crisis or the war in Iraq? After shifting his positions on gun control, immigration and tax cuts throughout this campaign, McCain should not equivocate on this issue. Making a show of releasing your emails to the press is not leadership. If he is serious, he will get this ad pulled.”
McCain and the Beltway GOP elite have no one to blame but themselves for engineering this debacle. They’re delusional in trying to put a positive spin on the episode. See the RNC’s superiority complex pose at David Brody’s blog. If grass-roots conservatives have been left with the impression that Howard Dean runs the RNC, it’s not because of anything Howard Dean has said and done over the last 24 hours.
NC blogger Katy Benningfield provides some local reporting and insights:
The phone is ringing off the hook at NC GOP headquarters and the money is said to be rolling in, but it’s not enough. Our party needs more and they need YOUR contribution to get this ad off the Internet and ON THE AIR. Contribute online, here.
The state party is apparently receiving threats, as the Raleigh Police Department has been guarding NC GOP headquarters all day. The doors to the Hillsborough Street building are locked. After the firebombing of the same structure by anarchists a few years back, they’ve learned to expect the unexpected.
This is making national news and Katy’s Conservative Corner has never been more proud to be a North Carolina Republican than today.
John Hood shares more NC analysis.
Meanwhile, TV station WRAL has rejected the ad. The article doesn’t say on what grounds they made the rejection.
Here it is again. Always happy to remind you of who the real extremists are:
John Hawkins at Right Wing News to RNC: “Weenies.”
Update: Excerpts of Jeremiah Wright’s therapy session with Bill Moyers are trickling out…
In his first wide-ranging interview since video clips of his inflammatory sermons were aired, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. defended himself over the controversy, saying that his words were twisted.
Mr. Wright, Senator Barack Obama’s former pastor, gave an interview to Bill Moyers on Wednesday, to air on PBS tomorrow.
“I felt it was unfair,” Mr. Wright said, according to excerpts of the interview released Thursday. “I felt it was unjust. I felt it was untrue. I felt for those who were doing that, were doing it for some very devious reasons.”
In Mr. Wright’s sermons, he suggested that Americans bore some responsibility for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, saying “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” He also blamed the government for the spread of AIDS among African-Americans, characterized the United States government as corrupt and referred to the “U.S. of K.K.K. A.”
He did not apologize or back away from his remarks in the interview, instead saying that people wanted to paint him as “some sort of fanatic.”
…When asked what the people who aired the clips “wanted to communicate,” Mr. Wright said, “I think they wanted to communicate that I am unpatriotic, that I am un-American, that I am filled with hate speech, that I have a cult at Trinity United Church of Christ. And by the way, guess who goes to his church, hint, hint, hint? That’s what they wanted to communicate.”
Jeremiah Wright did a fantastic job of communicating that all on his own.
Now, everybody hush up. We’re being “not appropriate and helpful,” you know.
Update: Allah has a vid clip of the Moyers-Wright therapy session.