A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

John Lewis and the News


McCain was a bit off the mark when he said Obama did not repudiate the remarks of Democratic Rep. John Lewis. Obama did release a statement that said he “did not believe” McCain “or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace or his segregationist policies.” But he did agree with other parts of Lewis’ statement. Here’s the story:

On Oct. 11, Lewis, an activist during the Civil Rights movement, published a statement on the Politico Web site that said in part:

“Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.”

The Lewis statement went on to compare the atmosphere in McCain-Palin rallies to those of George Wallace rallies in the 1960s. The McCain campaign immediately denounced the statement and called on the Obama campaign to do the same. And the Obama campaign did release a statement that day that said:

“Senator Obama does not believe that John McCain or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace or his segregationist policies. But John Lewis was right to condemn some of the hateful rhetoric that John McCain himself personally rebuked just last night.”