In recent weeks, Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) rallies have become increasingly hostile and divisive. Supporters have called Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) a “traitor,” yelled “off with his head,” and accused him of being a “terrorist.” After Obama criticized the McCain campaign for “riling up a crowd by stoking anger and division,” McCain adviser Nicolle Wallace attacked Obama for “insulting” their supporters:
Barack Obama’s assault on our supporters is insulting and unsurprising. These are the same people Obama called ‘bitter’ and attacked for ‘clinging to guns’ and faith. … Attacking our supporters is a new low for the campaign that’s run more millions of dollars of negative ads than any other in history.
Over the past couple days, however, the McCain campaign has slowly started to back away from these attacks; it now appears that the only people who can criticize McCain supporters are members of the McCain campaign. Today in the New York Times, McCain’s top adviser Mark Salter directly insults the senator’s supporters:
“I think there have been quite a few reporters recently,” said Mr. McCain’s closest adviser, Mark Salter, “who have sort of implied, or made more than implications, that somehow we’re responsible for the occasional nut who shows up and yells something about Barack Obama.”