Battle of the Truth Squads

By Samantha Hayes in Washington, DC

Senator Barack Obama has one. Senator John McCain decided he needs one, too. Now both candidates have launched websites they hope will provide rapid fire response to an increasing number of political attacks.

Obama’s campaign started “Fight the Smears” after months of responding to rumors about his background and record, often spread through the Internet.  The website lists what it calls “smears,” like “Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim, and Barack Obama can’t produce his birth certificate,” and then rebuts those accusations one by one. For instance, there is a link to Obama’s birth certificate, which he has made public.

His rival for the White House, John McCain, has been the victim of rumors, too.  Although the launching of his “Truth Squad” was prompted by an attack over the weekend by a surrogate of Barack Obama.  On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Retired General Wesley Clark questioned McCain’s military experience as a qualification for the Presidency.  Barack Obama later issued a statement rejecting Clark’s comments.

But McCain is sounding his own defense in the form of a “Truth Squad.” His campaign says the website and “leadership squad” will quickly counter attacks on John McCain’s military service and credentials in national security.

One of the first responses may involve a member of the Truth Squad. Democrats are upset over the inclusion of Retired Colonel Bud Day, an Air Force pilot and POW who was awarded the Medal of Honor. Day was in two of the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth ads that attacked Senator John Kerry during his run for the White House in 2004. In fact, Kerry is calling on McCain to end his affiliation with Day saying, “Day’s comments only serve to disparage all those who served on swift boats in Vietnam.”

Of course, it’s because of those 2004 ads that the candidates have made this official effort to defend themselves and their records, learning that perhaps the best way to respond to any attack, is swiftly.

Samantha Hayes is a national correspondent for CNN Newsource based in Washington, D.C. She contributes political stories to KSAT-12. You can learn more about her here.

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2 Comments on “Battle of the Truth Squads”

  1. reformislam Says:

    Senator Obama is NOT a Dirty Muslim!

    “What you won’t hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge,” says Mr. Obama, while denouncing statements of him being a Muslim as a smear. Why is the presidential candidate who claims to be religiously inclusive is treating the word “Muslim” as an insult? Apparently, it is OK for Mr. Obama to be associated with terrorists like William Ayers or racists like Jeremiah Wright, but God forbid somebody would call him a Muslim! No, he won’t stand for that kind of smear! We admit that most terrorists are Muslims, but most Muslims are not terrorists and the statement on Mr. Obama’s website is insulting to hundreds of millions of people.

    How could a man who discards his family heritage in favor of political expediency be even considered for presidency of the United States? Where are all the so-called “Islamic civil rights groups” like CAIR, MPAC, ISNA, MAS, etc. who are quick to defend every Islamic terrorist, but are silent when Muslims in general are being denigrated? Would Mr. Obama have the same reaction if someone claimed that he was raised as a Jew? We sincerely doubt that.

    “In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific reassurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” Barack Obama, “The Audacity of Hope”, page 261.

    Well, the political winds did shift in an ugly direction. Is equating “Muslim” with “smear” Obama’s idea of “stand[ing] with [Muslims]?

    Muslims Against Sharia demand immediate removal of “SMEAR: Barack Obama is a Muslim” statement from the official Barack Obama’s website as well as an apology for giving the word “Muslim” a negative connotation.

    Obama changes “SMEAR: Barack Obama is a Muslim” to “SMEAR: Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim” as well as removes his pledge not to use religion as a wedge from site’s header.

  2. gotea Says:

    I have to agree with the above comment

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