[Editor’s note: This blog post was published in 2008. In the wake of Saturday’s shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., a number of lawmakers and others have called for toning down the political rhetoric and President Barack Obama led a moment of silence this morning for the victims. Click here and here for more. Also, check back with Washington Wire for updates.]
Amy Chozick reports on the presidential race from Philadelphia.
Mobster wisdom tells us never to bring a knife to a gun fight. But what does political wisdom say about bringing a gun to a knife fight?
That’s exactly what Barack Obama said he would do to counter Republican attacks “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said at a Philadelphia fundraiser Friday night. “Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”
The comment drew some laughs and applause. But it also struck a chord with his Republican rival. John McCain’s campaign immediately accused the Democratic candidate of playing the politics of fear. They also mentioned that Obama said he would use a gun that would be illegal under Obama’s plans to cut down on illegal firearms.
“Barack Obama’s call for ‘new politics’ is officially over. In just 24 hours, Barack Obama attacked one of America’s pioneering women CEOs, rejected a series of joint bipartisan town halls, and said that if there’s a political knife fight, he’d bring a gun,” McCain campaign spokesmanTucker Bounds said in a statement.
Obama made the comment in the context of warning donors that the general election campaign against McCain could get ugly. “They’re going to try to scare people. They’re going to try to say that ‘that Obama is a scary guy,’” he said. A supporter yelled out a deep accented “Don’t give in!”
“I won’t but that sounded pretty scary. You’re a tough guy,” Obama said.