04/25/08 — N.C. ad battle: McCain doesn’t have to like it, but NCGOP has right to say it

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N.C. ad battle: McCain doesn’t have to like it, but NCGOP has right to say it

It’s a battle no one would have seen coming.

The North Carolina Republican Party is refusing to remove an ad off the air that criticizes presidential candidate Barack Obama and his relationship to his controversial pastor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

And the man calling for the NCGOP to get that ad, which showcases Wright’s fiery anti-America speech, off the air is Republican nominee John McCain.

McCain is saying that the ad is old politics and not representative of the way he wants to run his campaign.

He said he doesn’t need to question Obama’s patriotism since his own speaks for itself — and finger-pointing politics is not the way to win the White House.

And he is right in some ways. Americans are really tried of slash and burn campaigning.

But there is nothing wrong with members of the North Carolina Republican Party pointing out a connection that bothers them and letting people judge for themselves.

The Obama ad is just more of the same comments about Wright and his controversial views, which the minister continues to say were taken out of context.

That might be, but there is a reason to look carefully at anyone who has so close an association with a man who wants to be the next president of the United States. This is an important and powerful job — and there should be no rocks unturned.

That is why we are supposed to have campaigns in the first place — to determine who is best suited to serve.

The NCGOP ad might not speak to John McCain’s hope for his campaign — and he is right to denounce its message if he determines it does not fit in with his standards.

But the members of the NCGOP have every right to say what they think, too. That’s what makes our political process work — free exchange of ideas.

Published in Editorials on April 25, 2008 10:43 AM