Via Huffington Post:
John McCain was booed by his own supporters during a rally on Friday after he described Barack Obama as a "decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States."
McCain was responding to a town hall attendee who claimed he was concerned about raising a child under a president who "cohorts with domestic terrorists such as [Bill] Ayers." Despite the fact that McCain and his campaign have repeatedly used Ayers to hammer Obama in recent days, the Arizona Senator tried to calm the man.
"[Senator Obama] is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared about as President of the United States," he said, before adding: "If I didn't think I would be one heck of a better president I wouldn't be running."
The crowd groaned with disapproval.
Later, McCain was again pressed about Obama's "other-ness" and again he refused to play ball. "I don't trust Obama," a woman said. "I have read about him. He's an Arab."
"No, ma'am," McCain said several times, shaking his head in disagreement. "He's a decent, family man, [a] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about."
At another point, McCain declared, "If you want a fight, we will fight. But we will be respectful. I admire Sen. Obama and his accomplishments." Supporters booed then also. "I don't mean that has to reduce your ferocity," McCain responded. "I just mean to say you have to be respectful."
The episode reflected the intensity of the anger that many McCain-Palin supporters have for Obama -- anger that was stoked, in large part, by McCain itself. It also underscored just how difficult a situation McCain has walked himself into. Hours before he attempted to calm nerves, the Senator's campaign sent out a statement to reporters defending the remarks of its crowd members.
"Barack Obama's attacks on Americans who support John McCain reveal far more about him than they do about John McCain. It is clear that Barack Obama just doesn't understand regular people and the issues they care about," read a statement from spokesman Brian Rogers. "Even worse, he attacks anyone who dares to question his readiness to serve as their commander in chief in chief. Raising legitimate questions about record, character and judgment are a vital part of the Democratic process, and Barack Obama's effort to silence and shame those who seek answers should make everyone wonder exactly what he is hiding."