Saturday, October 11, 2008

Harold Ford Jr. Sets the Record Straight on Obama

Democratic Congressman from Tennessee *Harold Ford Jr.* discusses myths and lies surrounding Obama, and calls on the people of Tennessee to stop the hate.  

Click on the title of this blog to link to the site that this article was taken from.

*Click here* to link to the last blog post also by Harold Ford Jr. discussing McCains current campaign tactics.

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Ford: Setting record straight on Barack Obama

The attack on Sen. Barack Obama by Robin Smith and Bills Hobbs of the Tennessee Republican Party was so rancid and over the line that Sen. Lamar Alexander, the state's leading Republican, repudiated it. The following day, the National Republican Committee and Sen. John McCain also rebuked the attack.

The attack leveled by the Tennessee Republican Party involved putting up on its Web site a picture of Obama on an official government trip to Somalia in traditional Somali dress and referred to it as "Muslim" clothing. They accompanied this slur with a statement that described Obama as a menace to Israel referring to him as Barack Hussein Obama.

Let's be clear about the intent of the Tennessee Republican Party's attack. They want to leave the false impression that Obama is Muslim and tie him to radical Islamic terrorists who seek to destroy America. They also seek to perpetrate a scurrilous lie that Obama is an enemy of Israel and can't be trusted with protecting the national security of the United States.

Tennessee Republican chairwoman Smith defended this reprehensible smear by saying, "We have a duty to inform the Republican base."

While Smith may have a duty to inform the Republican base, she also has an obligation to tell the truth and provide accurate information. In the interest of truth and fairness, it is important that we set the record straight.

Obama has been a Christian of deep faith all of his adult life. Never has he been a Muslim. He has said numerous times during the course of the presidential campaign that his religious faith is an anchor in his life and informs his public views.

Obama is a patriot, loves his country and stands shoulder-to-shoulder with McCain and others who seek to protect the country against terrorist attacks. Obama believes a new strategy is needed to maximize our fight against radical Islamic fundamentalists, like finishing the job against al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan and rooting out terrorists who are hiding out in Pakistan. After the tragedy of 9/11, no one should question the commitment of either political party when it comes to the seriousness of fighting terrorism.

Obama has been one of Israel's strongest allies during his time in the Senate. He is strongly committed to the stability and preservation of Israel and has used his membership on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to advance this cause. In addition, he has fought against the scourge of Anti-Semitism throughout his public life, most recently rejecting and denouncing the hate-filled ideology of Minister Louis Farrakhan at the presidential debate in Austin last week.

Let's be clear what the upcoming presidential election should be about. Seven years into a new century - a time filled with hope and promise - the United States is facing major challenges that will determine our role in the world and the lives our children and grandchildren will lead. The country is yearning for leadership, not hate-filled attacks. The country wants a robust and substantive debate about the future, not a series of smears and lies.

Let this be an election worthy of the people our candidates seek to lead and the perilous and challenging times we are living in. Let this be an election where we reject the politics of the past and unify the country around a common agenda to move us forward.

The challenges we face are daunting, but well within our reach to solve. Tennesseans want and deserve an election where the big ideas are fully debated and there is clarity about the differences between the two major candidates running for the presidency. Who is best to lead us in the fight against terrorism and protecting the homeland? Who is best to lead us in producing the jobs of the 21st century? Who is best to lead us in reducing our dependence on foreign oil and building up an alternative fuels industry?

Who is best in helping hard-working Americans achieve their full potential and a piece of the American Dream? Who is best to lead us in restoring discipline to our federal budget, reducing our federal debt and reforming runaway entitlement costs?

Tennesseans will never hear this debate if the Tennessee Republican Party continues its smear campaign to avoid discussing these issues so critical to our future.

Smith and Hobbs blighted our wonderful state by seeking to divide our citizens with their attack on Obama a few days ago. It is time for all Tennesseans of good will, in both political parties, to reject the politics of hate and demand a politics worthy of their hopes and dreams.

Harold Ford Jr., a former U.S. Democratic representative from Memphis, ran for the U.S. Senate in 2006 and is vice chairman of Merrill Lynch.


Posted by wjtenn on March 4, 2008 at 1:04 a.m.

Wait a minute!
Is that not his name?
Pictures of people dressed in local clothing or no clothing are common everywhere, regardless of politics. ALWAYS expect those pictures to show up.
(Even Britney Spears)

Posted by iron56 on March 4, 2008 at 7:32 a.m.

They won't just play the race card in this election, but play the entire deck to try and twart critisism of this guy's record.

He is a true leftist in every sense of the word, but they will have Repubicans like Alexander so cowed that they will will be afraid to even mention his record or even his middle name. Every president in memory has had their middle name used over and over, from Lyndon Baines Johnson to William Jefferson Clinton. But all of a sudden it's not OK? This type of Bravo Sierra must stop. As Bill Parcell's would say "It is what it is".

Posted by johnQpublic on March 4, 2008 at 9:18 a.m.

Sorry Harold, but your opinion on anything isn't worth much to me...perhaps if your own family wasn't so filled with trickery, deceit and theft you might actually have room to talk.

Posted by tnmonster on March 4, 2008 at 9:42 a.m.

Democrats smear republicans every single day, W has been slammed from day one and most everyday by the press and leaders of the Congress and Senate, but say one thing about a democrat and the whinning never stops! GIVE ME A BREAK!!!! And who in the hell cares what Lamar Alexander wants, he's never been a republican, he only runs as one he's a RINO, republican in name only ! If OHB ever wants my republican support he would walk outta' that church he attents where the preacher is nothing more than a klansman in black skin! I know, I know he's a democrat and what ever he does is okay-dokey with democrats and that my friend is the biggest problems with our schools and country today! Everyone can do and say what they want too as long as they aren't republicans, now give each other a group hug and you'll feel all better!

Posted by FreddieMac on March 4, 2008 at 10:51 a.m.

The Tennessee Republican Party is desperate. They know they're in trouble this fall, and they will do anything or say anything to win. The TNGOP smears will only get uglier from here.

Posted by Rifleman on March 4, 2008 at 11:38 a.m.

in response to FreddieMac

I feel safer already with the prospect of a clueless socialist of little substance as Commander-in-Chief. Empty-suit indeed!

Posted by kimsu on March 6, 2008 at 8:24 p.m.

I am totally shocked by the responses to this guest column. It did not seem radical to me - it seemed the obvious response by a rational, thinking person to an unbelievably stupid tactic that was sure to backfire on the TN GOP.

No matter what you think of Obama, don't you think fighting with a little intellect and dignity is preferrable to wallowing in the mud?

The TN GOP is being lambasted and made fun of all over the country because of this attack and rightly so. I don't know about you, but I am tired of being criticized as being a racist, redneck moron, just because I live in TN.

This kind of ploy by the TN GOP totally lives up to that reputation. Come on people! Aren't we better than this? Do we have nothing more to offer than hate?

Posted by jkbigrig on March 7, 2008 at 12:30 p.m.

in response to kimsu

"totally shocked" - you must be new to the area?

Comments based on ignorance, fear, prejudice, and bigotry are regularly on display on this site.

"Who is best to lead us in producing the jobs of the 21st century" and when will we emerge from the Dark Ages?

Posted by kdc1981 on May 8, 2008 at 12:51 p.m.

Harold Ford is exactly right. These attacks based on race and religon are intended to one thing: instill fear in white people. It's time for America to let go of this ignorance and behave like a civilized nation.

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