February 27, 2008


Obama and the Farrakhan Trap: The Democratic frontrunner stepped in it Tuesday night. (Byron York, 2/27/08, National Review)

Talking to reporters after the Democratic debate here at Cleveland State University, David Axelrod, Barack Obama’s closest adviser, insisted that Obama didn’t try to spin his way through a question on Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who recently praised Obama as “the hope of the entire world” who is “capturing audiences of black and brown and red and yellow.” “I thought that he was very forthright about it,” Axelrod explained. “The point is this: Louis Farrakhan said kind things about [Obama]. From what I read, he didn’t say it was an endorsement, and I think Sen. Obama made clear what his position on Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic statements was.”

The question stemmed from Obama’s initial answer when NBC’s Tim Russert asked, “Do you accept the support of Louis Farrakhan?” Obama might have said, “No.” But instead, he seemed to go out of his way to denounce some of Farrakhan’s statements while not taking on Farrakhan himself (and even using Farrakhan’s preferred honorific in the process). “You know, I have been very clear in my denunciation of Minister Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic comments,” Obama said. “I think that they are unacceptable and reprehensible. I did not solicit this support. He expressed pride in an African-American who seems to be bringing the country together. I obviously can’t censor him, but it is not support that I sought. And we’re not doing anything, I assure you, formally or informally, with Minister Farrakhan.”

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 27, 2008 7:20 AM
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