I just sent the following email to the Obama campaign (the email they sent to me is included below my response):
Mr. Plouffe,So, here's what I wonder: How many people will have received this message (people who either didn't see the Rick Warren interviews or decide to ignore what they did hear) and get all ruffled then participate in the continuing lies?
I'm a Barack Obama supporter, but not because I don't like John McCain. It's because Senator Obama's declared ideologies match more closely with my own. And I believe he'll make a great leader. I also believe both Senators are good, decent men. So, I take exception when I see the kind of stretched-truth mudslinging that you sent me today.
John McCain did not say that anyone making less than $5 million a year isn't rich.
Rick Warren asked, "At what point, give me a number, give me a specific number, where do you move from middle class to rich? Is it 100,000? Is it 50,000, 200,000? How does anybody know if we don't know what the standards are?" Senator McCain replied, "So I think if you're just talking about income, how about five million. (both laugh) So...but seriously, I don't think you can... The point is that I'm trying to make here seriously - and I'm sure that comment will be distorted - but the point is, the whole point is, the point is that we want to keep people's taxes low and increase revenues." (the pauses and repeated references to the point were because of laughter.)
Sure, he dodged the question by answering with a joke - and unless you have no sense of humor you'd get that was a joke, whether a good or bad joke - but he did not say that people who make less than $5 million a year aren't rich. There is no definitive number and he knows that giving one is trouble because someone will distort what he said. Just like you just did.
Senator Obama had a similar hard question-joke dodge incident in his interview with Rick Warren. Pastor Warren asked, "At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?" Senator Obama answered, "Well, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective...answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade."
Of course the McCain camp made a big deal of that one. Trust me, I live in red Indiana. The chatter was all about how Senator Obama dodged the real question.
Look, neither of these men is perfect. No one is perfect. That's why we have government - we need someone to set standards.
Please take a look at your own standards. I'm seriously disappointed that my candidate's campaign manager can't keep it above the line or keep his facts straight. Don't insult my intelligence. Please focus on issues and not isolated comments stripped of any context. Stop spreading rumors and lies and do a better job of promoting the positive aspects of Senator Obama's platform.
(full contact information deleted from blog post)
----- Original Message ----
From: "David Plouffe, BarackObama.com"
To: Nila (email address deleted from blog post)
Sent: Friday, August 22, 2008 4:18:04 PM
Subject: Keeping track
If somebody asked you, you probably wouldn't have to think about it.
But when a reporter asked John McCain how many houses he owns, he stumbled and said, "I think -- I'll have my staff get to you."
If you're like the millions of people who are struggling to keep up with their mortgage, you might have a different perspective.
Not only does John McCain have trouble keeping track of all his houses, he looks at record gas prices and a crippling foreclosure crisis and thinks the economy is fundamentally "strong." And last weekend he said anyone making less than $5 million a year isn't rich.
This is the side of John McCain his campaign wants to hide.
So yesterday, we launched a TV ad to show everyone how out-of-touch John McCain is with the economic realities of regular Americans.
But if we're going to get the truth out, it's going to take all of us working together to make it happen.
Watch the ad and write a letter to your local newspaper exposing the real John McCain:
Watch the TV ad
The more we hear from John McCain about the economy, the more we see just how out-of-touch he is.
You don't have to be an economist to understand that we can't afford eight more years, or four more years, or even one more year of the same failed economic policies that George Bush has put in place.
Now we need your help to make sure the word gets out.
Watch our ad now and write a letter to your local papers:
If John McCain understood what Americans are dealing with, he'd know that we need to be doing more.
Barack has a plan to cut taxes for middle class families by $1,000 and offer students who perform community service a $4,000 tax break to pay for college tuition. But John McCain's tax plan does nothing for 101 million middle class families.
Barack will set the minimum wage to rise with inflation. But John McCain is more concerned about making sure limits on campaign contributions rise with inflation -- and he's voted against raising the minimum wage 19 times.
That's a difference that should be easy to remember.
Thanks for your help,
Obama for America