Obama: "I think families are off limits"

Barack Obama says he's disappointed that his opponent didn't help come to the defense of Michelle Obama, but the McCain campaign says the same thing about him.

Published June 18, 2008 1:19PM (EDT)

It's only mid-June, but already Barack Obama is less than happy with the conduct of his opponent, John McCain. In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody, Obama defended his wife from the recent attacks against her, then said, "I've said publicly before, and I'll say it again -- I think families are off limits. I would never consider making Cindy McCain a campaign issue, and if I saw people doing that -- I would speak out against it. And the fact that I haven't seen that from John McCain I think is a deep disappointment."

Brody contacted the McCain camp for a response, and heard back from spokesman Joe Pounder, who said:

Senator McCain agrees with Senator Obama that spouses should not be an issue in this campaign, and he has stated that position frequently. Unfortunately, when the DNC was attacking Mrs. McCain, Senator Obama was not strong enough to stand up and speak out against the outrageous charges leveled at her by his party chair, Howard Dean. Obama's silence speaks volumes, and it's unfortunate that he would single out others for a standard he himself has failed to live up to.

This isn't an entirely honest representation about what the DNC said about Cindy McCain. In fact, Dean wasn't attacking Cindy McCain at all -- he was attacking her husband, but her name had to be invoked because, at the time, the campaign's refusal to release her tax returns was at issue, especially because the bulk of the family's money is in her name.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2008 Elections Barack Obama John Mccain R-ariz. Michelle Obama