The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – U.S. Rep. John Lewis on Tuesday said he had no regrets for claiming that Republican rhetoric in the presidential contest reminded him of words spoken by segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace — but he admitted that he could have made his point “in a different way.”
“I do not regret what I said,” Lewis said. “Maybe it could have been said in a different way, because it was not suggesting that John McCain or Sarah Palin was closely related [in] any way to the actions of Governor Wallace.”
Said the Atlanta congressman and Civil Rights icon: “It was all about what I call toxic speech — statements [and] an audience that can unleash bitterness and hatred. And I don’t need anyone to lecture me about my feelings, or what I have observed for more than 50 years.”
Last week, in the face of declining polls, Republicans concentrated on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and what they called issues of character — and what Democrats called “code words” for race.
Palin in particular repeatedly criticized Obama for “palling around with terrorists.”
“This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America,” she said.
On Saturday, Lewis rocked the presidential campaign with his statement that McCain and Palin “are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.
“During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate.”
In the statement, Lewis linked Wallace’s language to the1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four little girls.
McCain immediately called Lewis’ remarks “beyond the pale” and called on Obama to repudiate them. The Republican presidential candidate continued to fume on Monday. “It’s unfair. It’s unfair and it’s outrageous,” McCain told CNN.
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The term ‘superdelegates’ reminds me of superman and the legion of superheroes… Anyway, is it me, or does is seem like the rifts in the black community are always on display for everyone to see? I wonder if the pro-Clinton Black superheroes, I mean superdelegates, will do as the rest of Black America and slowly move their support to Obama. Maybe that will be the subject of the next skit on Saturday Night Live…
CLEVELAND — Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones doesn’t care to be lectured about her choice in the Democratic presidential race. The 58-year-old congresswoman from Ohio has emerged as one of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s most outspoken black supporters, the rare African American politician willing to publicly question Sen. Barack Obama‘s readiness for the White House.
Tubbs Jones has picked apart his record in campaign conference calls and lambasted the “Harvard arrogance” of Obama backers who have demanded that African American leaders fall in behind the senator from Illinoisin his quest to become the nation’s first black president.While Obama’s candidacy has often united blacks and whites at the ballot box, it has driven a wedge through the black political establishment, exposing a rift between a new generation, whose members see their political horizons as limitless, and their predecessors, who have struggled to establish a following outside of heavily African American areas.Tubbs Jones is pushing back hard against the kind of pressure that has come down on Rep. John Lewis(Ga.) and other black Democratic superdelegates who are being pressed to back Obama’s candidacy.”I say shame on anyone who’s engaged in that conduct, to put that kind of pressure on John Lewis,” Tubbs Jones said. “I’m not trying to be a martyr. I think Senator Clinton is the best candidate. And the beauty of the United States of America is you have the right to have your opinion, and I have the right to my opinion.”
“I’m not going to succumb to that kind of pressure,” she added. “If I change my mind, it will be because Senator Clinton said, ‘Stephanie, let’s make a move.'”
Superdelegates, a collection of 796 officeholders and party leaders, will make up about a fifth of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention in August. Unlike “pledged” delegates, they are free to support any candidate they like, and this year they are under increasing pressure to reject the role of kingmaker.
Some have already gotten the message. Until last week, Lewis was one of Clinton’s most prominent black supporters, an icon from the civil rights movement whose endorsement last fall was a major coup, underscoring the strong bonds between the Clintons and many African American leaders.
Lewis described his defection as more anguishing than his decision to lead the “Bloody Sunday” march in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., when he was nearly beaten to death. In a statement issued last week, he explained that he viewed Obama’s campaign as “the beginning of a new movement in American political history” and that he wanted “to be on the side of the people.” Continue reading