Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Obama to Vets: "I Love America, So Do You, and So Does John McCain" (with video)

Jake Tapper (Political Punch-ABC News) with video (03:57):
Some strong pushback from Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, this morning, as he speaks before the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention here in Orlando.
Obama said that when Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., spoke before this group yesterday, "instead of just offering policy answers, he turned to a typical laundry list of political attacks. ...he declared, 'Behind all of these claims and positions by Senator Obama lies the ambition to be president' – suggesting, as he has so many times, that I put personal ambition before my country."

Obama said, "if we think that we can use the same partisan playbook where we just challenge our opponent’s patriotism to win an election, then the American people will lose. The times are too serious for this kind of politics."

After outlining his policy disagreements with McCain on Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama said, "one of the things that we have to change in this country is the idea that people can’t disagree without challenging each other’s character and patriotism. I have never suggested that Senator McCain picks his positions on national security based on politics or personal ambition. I have not suggested it because I believe that he genuinely wants to serve America’s national interest. Now, it’s time for him to acknowledge that I want to do the same."

Obama continued, "Let me be clear: I will let no one question my love of this country. I love America, so do you, and so does John McCain. When I look out at this audience, I see people of different political views. You are Democrats and Republicans and Independents. But you all served together, and fought together, and bled together under the same proud flag. You did not serve a Red America or a Blue America – you served the United States of America," Obama said, echoing his famous Democratic convention speech in 2004.

The Democrat pledged that "no matter how heated it gets or what kind of campaign he chooses to run, I will honor Senator McCain’s service, just like I honor the service of every veteran in this room, and every American who has worn the uniform of the United States of America."

The estimated 3,000 veterans here applauded these sentiments.
Howie P.S.: In a previous post, Tapper reports "At VFW Convention Speech, Obama Mentions Biden."

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