Eight days ago in Jacksonville, Florida, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) predicted to a crowd of supporters that he would soon face race-based attacks from the right:
They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?
Conservatives immediately criticized Obama for injecting race into the campaign. The right-wing site Newsbusters complained that he “pre-smeared the opposition by charging they will ‘make you afraid’ by identifying him as black.” Hugh Hewitt said Obama was engaging in “casual slander of his opponents” by warning of “imagined grievances.”
A host of television pundits claimed Obama was playing the “politics of fear” by “race-baiting.” Watch it:
Norquist dropped by The Times’ Washington bureau today and, as part of his negative critique of Obama’s liberal stances on economic issues and other matters, he termed the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee “John Kerry with a tan.”
Will those who attacked Obama for “race-baiting” now acknowledge the validity of his concerns?
In a speech at the National Labor College today, former Sen. John Edwards called out Norquist for his comment:
Justice in this country never comes easy. We have to fight for it. Just yesterday, we were reminded exactly what I am talking about, Grover Norquist said,”Barack Obama is basically John Kerry with a tan.” This is why we can’t back down. We need strong people. We need leaders. We need you. Your country needs you because thanks to good, decent committed people like you, we’re going to make sure that true justice does arrive in this country.