The civil rights leader and Georgia Democratic congressman, John Lewis -- whom John McCain has said he holds in high esteem -- issued a hard-hitting, important statement on John McCain's rhetoric and what he and Sarah Palin are inspiring at their rallies:
Representative John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat and civil rights leader, said Saturday that Senator John McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, were “sowing the seeds of hatred and division” in a way that reminded him of former Gov. George Wallace and “another destructive period” in the nation’s history....
“During another period, in the not-too-distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights.
“Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama...”
McCain has apparently said, according the NY Times, that Lewis is one of three people he relies on for sage advice, so he took it quite hard:
Stunned by Mr. Lewis’s comments, Mr. McCain responded with his own statement, calling the remarks “a character attack against Governor Palin and me that is shocking and beyond the pale.”
“The notion,” Mr. McCain’s statement added, “that legitimate criticism of Senator Obama’s record and positions could be compared to Gov. George Wallace, his segregationist policies and the violence he provoked is unacceptable and has no place in this campaign.”
Yes, the truth sure hurts.