McCain Camp: Tough Questioners Of Obama = ‘Regular’ Voters; Tough Questioners Of Palin = ‘Gotcha’ Media

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"McCain Camp: Tough Questioners Of Obama = ‘Regular’ Voters; Tough Questioners Of Palin = ‘Gotcha’ Media"

Today on Fox News, Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds launched a defense of Joe the Plumber, criticizing the media for scrutinizing “an everyday average voter that asked Barack Obama a question on a voter.” He also compared this “average” citizen to Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), who also “dared” to question Obama:

BOUNDS: Just like we’re seeing with Joe the Plumber, the same thing is happening to Sarah Palin. She dared to test and ask questions of Barack Obama. She was a threat to Barack Obama and Barack Obama’s campaign and his allies in the media attacked her background, attacked her standings just like they’re doing with an everyday average voter that asked Barack Obama a question on a voter — on his own doorstep basically.

In an earlier Fox segment, host Megyn Kelly similarly went on tirade against “left-wing blogs” who have supposedly besmirched Joe, saying he was just a “regular American citizen who asked a question of a presidential candidate.” Watch the two clips:

Conservatives’ embrace of Joe the Plumber stands in stark contrast to their treatment of average voter Michael Rovito. Last month, Palin stumbled while visiting a cheesesteak joint in Philadelphia when Rovito asked the governor about her thoughts on the situation in Pakistan. In an interview with Katie Couric, McCain called Rovito a “gotcha” journalist:

McCAIN: But, look, I understand this day and age of “gotcha” journalism. Is that a pizza place? In a conversation with someone who you didn’t hear…the question very well, you don’t know the context of the conversation, grab a phrase. Gov. Palin and I agree that you don’t announce that you’re going to attack another country … Before you say, “is she sorry she said it,” this was a “gotcha” sound bite that, look —

COURIC: It wasn’t a “gotcha.” She was talking to a voter.

McCAIN: No, she was in a conversation with a group of people and talking back and forth.

So voters grilling Obama on his economic policies are just average citizens wanting answers to legitimate questions. But voters trying to question the elusive Palin are “gotcha” journalists.

Transcript:

KELLY: Here’s the problem I have, Howard. This is why I get upset with what you said. These left-wing blogs have come up swinging against Joe the Plumber. It is the most ridiculous outcry. This is just a regular American citizen who asked a question of a presidential candidate. And now you’ve got the left-wing blogs — which I won’t give the dignity of naming on this broadcast — reading his divorce papers and suggesting terrible things about him. … All of which is beside the point. The only point Joe the Plumber has served is to ask a question about where the candidates stand on an issue that’s important to Americans.

—-

BOUNDS: Just like we’re seeing with Joe the Plumber, the same thing is happening to Sarah Palin. She dared to test and ask questions of Barack Obama. She was a threat to Barack Obama and Barack Obama’s campaign and his allies in the media attacked her background, attacked her standings just like they’re doing with an everyday average voter that asked Barack Obama a question on a voter — on his own doorstep basically. And what did we see this morning in the papers? We’ve got reporters. We have Joe Biden last night on national television questioning Joe the Plumber is a plumber, which he in fact is a plumber.

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The McCain campaign has issued a statement defending Joe, saying that “Americans ought to be able to ask Senator Obama tough questions without being smeared and targeted with political attacks.”

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