Wash. Times reported McCain claim about Obama's response to Lewis statement without reporting what Obama actually said

››› ››› LAUREN AUERBACH

The Washington Times quoted Sen. John McCain saying of Rep. John Lewis: "Here, a guy I admire and respect, a hero of the civil rights movement, saying, making a statement that somehow [Governor Sarah] Palin and I are involved in segregationist behavior, I mean, is beyond reason. In the debate the other night, Barack Obama refused to repudiate those remarks." But the Times did not quote Obama's actual comments during the final debate: that Lewis "inappropriately drew a comparison between what was happening" at McCain-Palin events and "what had happened during the civil rights movement."

In an October 23 Washington Times article, White House correspondent Joseph Curl and reporter Stephen Dinan wrote that in an interview with the Times, Sen. John McCain "took great umbrage at comments by Rep. John Lewis, Georgia Democrat, who compared the atmosphere at recent Republican rallies to those of 1960s-era segregationist George Wallace." Curl and Dinan then quoted McCain saying of Lewis: "Here, a guy I admire and respect, a hero of the civil rights movement, saying, making a statement that somehow [Governor Sarah] Palin and I are involved in segregationist behavior, I mean, is beyond reason. In the debate the other night, Barack Obama refused to repudiate those remarks." At no point did Curl and Dinan quote any of Obama's actual comments about Lewis' remark during the October 15 presidential debate. During the debate, Obama said that Lewis "inappropriately drew a comparison between what was happening" at McCain-Palin events and "what had happened during the civil rights movement." Obama also noted that days earlier, his campaign had "immediately put out a statement saying that we don't think that comparison is appropriate."

From the RealClearPolitics transcript of the October 15 debate:

OBAMA: I mean, look, if we want to talk about Congressman Lewis, who is an American hero, he, unprompted by my campaign, without my campaign's awareness, made a statement that he was troubled with what he was hearing at some of the rallies that your running mate was holding, in which all the Republican reports indicated were shouting, when my name came up, things like "terrorist" and "kill him," and that you're running mate didn't mention, didn't stop, didn't say "Hold on a second, that's kind of out of line."

And I think Congressman Lewis' point was that we have to be careful about how we deal with our supporters.

Now --

McCAIN: You've got to read what he said --

[crosstalk]

OBAMA: Let -- let - let --

McCAIN: You've got to read what he said.

OBAMA: Let me -- let me complete --

BOB SCHIEFFER (moderator): Go ahead.

OBAMA: -- my response. I do think that he inappropriately drew a comparison between what was happening there and what had happened during the civil rights movement, and we immediately put out a statement saying that we don't think that comparison is appropriate. And, in fact, afterwards, Congressman Lewis put out a similar statement, saying that he had probably gone over the line.

The important point here is, though, the American people have become so cynical about our politics, because all they see is a tit-for-tat and back-and-forth. And what they want is the ability to just focus on some really big challenges that we face right now, and that's what I have been trying to focus on this entire campaign.

From Curl and Dinan's October 23 Washington Times article:

Mr. McCain took great umbrage at comments by Rep. John Lewis, Georgia Democrat, who compared the atmosphere at recent Republican rallies to those of 1960s-era segregationist George Wallace.

"Here, a guy I admire and respect, a hero of the civil rights movement, saying, making a statement that somehow [Governor Sarah] Palin and I are involved in segregationist behavior, I mean, is beyond reason. In the debate the other night, Barack Obama refused to repudiate those remarks. I've repudiated every time there's been some inappropriate comment by a GOP operative anywhere."

Mr. McCain called that failure to repudiate Mr. Lewis' comment "certainly something that I don't think is acceptable."

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Race & Ethnicity
Network/Outlet
The Washington Times
Person
Joseph Curl, Stephen Dinan
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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