Obama responds to the Republican convention

"You wouldn't know that this is such a critical election by watching the convention last night," the Democratic nominee says.

Published September 4, 2008 8:32PM (EDT)

On Thursday, Barack Obama offered his thoughts on this week's Republican Convention. Naturally, he wasn't exactly full of praise for it.

"You wouldn't know that this is such a critical election by watching the convention last night," Obama said, adding:

It's been amazing to me to watch. Over the last two nights, if you sit there and you watch it, you're hearing a lot about John McCain -- and he's got a compelling biography as a POW. You're hearing an awful lot about me, most of which is not true. What you're not hearing is a lot about you.

I mean, you haven't heard one word about how they're going to make the healthcare system work ... You haven't heard a word about getting serious about green and alternative energy ... You haven't heard a word about how we're going to deal with any aspect of the economy that is affecting you and your pocketbook day to day. Haven't heard a word about it. I'm not exaggerating. Literally, two nights, they have not said a word about it.

(Video of Obama's remarks, sent out by his campaign, appears below.)

Obama was also asked about media coverage of Sarah Palin. He responded:

Listen, if they want to work the refs, they are free to do so. I think the public can make their judgments about this. The notion that any question about her work in Alaska is somehow not relevant ... doesn't make too much sense to me ... I assume that she wants to be treated the same way that guys want to be treated, which means their records are under scrutiny. I have been through this for 19 months. She has been through it, what, four days so far?

For the most part, Obama's been pretty much off the radar this week, certainly in comparison with the way McCain kept trying to jump back into the news during the Democratic convention last week. Obama is now starting to work his way back into the media spotlight; he'll be on Fox News' "O'Reilly Factor" Thursday night.

By the way, Obama was exaggerating in his description of the Republican convention. Though there hasn't been much discussion about specifics, there has been some. He can of course argue that the ideas Republicans have put forward -- like offshore drilling -- won't work, but that's different.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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