mccain3.jpgLast week, John McCain was emailing the North Carolina GOP, insisting that it not air a television ad exploiting Barack Obama’s relationship with the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Now McCain says Wright is fair game, The New York Times reports:

Up to now, Mr. McCain had largely avoided talking about the incendiary views of Mr. Wright, saying he wanted to run a “respectful” campaign. He has even called on the North Carolina Republican Party to pull an advertisement that focuses on Mr. Wright.
But Mr. McCain took a different approach at a news conference here when he criticized Mr. Wright for, as the senator paraphrased him, “comparing the United States Marine Corps with Roman legionnaires who were responsible for the death of our Savior, I mean being involved in that” and for “saying that Al Qaeda and the American flag were the same flags.”
“So I can understand, I can understand why people are upset about this,” said Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president. “I can understand why Americans, when viewing these kinds of comments, are angry and upset.”
Mr. McCain said that he did not believe that Mr. Obama, Democrat of Illinois, shared those views and that he was still against the advertisement in North Carolina. But he suggested that Mr. Obama had made the subject fair play by declaring in an interview shown over the weekend on “Fox News Sunday” that questions about Mr. Wright were “a legitimate political issue.”

With McCain already changing his tune, the Wright ads having already begun, and Wright insisting on keeping himself in the news, Obama as the Democratic nominee might have to battle Wright as much as he does McCain and the GOP. The candidate promising to heal this country’s cultural divisions is increasingly in danger of falling prey to them.


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