Cindy McCain: Families are Not Fair Game (cnn.com)
Cindy McCain, today: “I do not think that spouses and family members … are fair game. There has to be some decorum left in politics and in American journalism as well. Our husbands are the candidates.”
Michelle Obama, in February: “For the first time in my adult life, I’m really proud of my country.”
Cindy McCain response: I “am proud of my country. I don’t know about you, if you heard those words earlier — I am very proud of my country.”
Among other Republican responses, the Tennessee GOP, last month: Put out a Web ad highlighting Michelle Obama’s comments and implying she is unpatriotic.
John McCain, last week: Every candidate’s wife “should be treated with respect, and if there’s any disrespectful conduct on the part of anyone, those people should be rejected … I have the greatest respect for both Sen. [Barack] and Michelle Obama.”
Barack Obama, yesterday: “I think families are off-limits. I would never consider making Cindy McCain a campaign issue. If I saw people doing that, I would speak out against it. And the fact that I haven’t seen that from John McCain, I think, is a deep disappointment.”
McCain campaign, yesterday: “Sen. McCain agrees with Sen. Obama that spouses should not be an issue in this campaign … Unfortunately, when the Democratic National Committee was attacking Mrs. McCain [for not including enough information with her tax returns], Sen. Obama was not strong enough to stand up and speak out … it’s unfortunate that he would single out others for a standard he himself has failed to live up to.”
Laura Bush, last week: “I think she probably meant ‘I’m more proud’ … you have to be very careful in what you say” when you’re campaigning. “That’s one of the things you learn, and that’s one of the really difficult parts both of running for president and for being the spouse of the president, and that is everything you say is looked [at] and, in many cases, misconstrued.”
Michelle Obama, yesterday (on The View): She was “touched” when first lady Laura Bush came to her defense.
BenHoak, right now: Spouses should not be personally attacked in presidential campaigns (unless they’re, say, the same sex as the candidate or dealing drugs to kids). But if your wife is representing you as part of your official campaign, everything she says is fair game. If you don’t want your wife to be criticized, don’t send her out to speak for your campaign.
(That last paragraph was not on cnn.com. So don’t look for it there.)