The presidential campaign of John McCain continues to press the implication that Batack Obama is terrorist due to his association with a former member of the Weather Underground, Bill Ayers. Today, the McCain campaign put out a statement from John M. Murtagh whose home was firebombed by the radical group when he was nine years old, “Barack Obama’s friend tried to kill my family.”
Murtagh began, “When I was 9 years-old the Weather Underground, the terrorist group founded by Barack Obama’s friend William Ayers, firebombed my house. Barack Obama has dismissed concerns about his relationship with Ayers by noting that he was only a child when Ayers was planting bombs at the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol. But Ayers has never apologized for his crimes, he has reveled in them, expressing regret only for the fact that he didn’t do more.”
In essence, Murtagh accused Obama of being friends with a “domestic terrorist, “While Barack Obama once downplayed his relationship with Ayers, today his campaign took that deceit one step further. Barack Obama now denies he was even aware of his friend’s violent past when, in 1995, Ayers hosted a party launching Obama’s political career. Given Ayers’ celebrity status among the left, it’s difficult to believe. The question remains: what did Obama know, and when did he know it? When did Obama learn the truth about his friend? Barack Obama helped Ayers promote his book in 1997, served on charitable boards with him through 2002, and regularly exchanged emails and phone calls with him through 2005.”
Murtagh said that Obama’s association with Ayers makes him unfit to be president, “At what point did Barack Obama discover that his friend was an unrepentant terrorist? And if he is so repulsed by the acts of terror committed by William Ayers, why did the relationship continue? Any honest accounting by Barack Obama will necessarily cast further doubt on his judgment and his fitness to serve as commander in chief. Barack Obama may have been a child when William Ayers was plotting attacks against U.S. targets — but I was one of those targets. Barack Obama’s friend tried to kill my family.”
This memo is the worst of all smears. It calls Obama and Ayers friends, but they aren’t. It tries to imply that Obama shares Ayers’s views, and most importantly it accuses Barack Obama of associating with a terrorist. The point of Murtagh’s statement is that the guy with the name that sounds like it might be Muslim condones terrorism. Of course the McCain campaign didn’t bother to mention that condemned Ayers’s actions, or that Obama was eight years old when all of this happened.
While what Ayers did almost forty years ago was criminal, but what does any of this have to do with Barack Obama? The answer is nothing. This is an attempt to scare older and less educated voters by spreading the lies that Obama is a Muslim and a terrorist. The secondary point of this mudslinging is to distract voters. The McCain campaign does not want people thinking about the economy, because over the past few weeks, it has become clear that Obama is not only the better choice, but the safer one to deal with the economy.
This attack is designed to make Obama seem like a risky and dangerous choice. The problem with this smear is that in order for it to stick Obama has to look like a dangerous choice, but each time he has bee on the national stage with McCain he is the candidate who looks steady, calm, and presidential. When people see the two candidates together, McCain is the one who looks risky. I find it interesting that neither McCain or Palin has mentioned Ayers on the campaign trail today. The Ayers story may work with conservatives, but it doesn’t help McCain explain why he isn’t talking about the economy.