McClatchy Hot off the Trail
In a stark new brochure Wednesday, the Republican National Committee subtly plays on the false belief held by many Americans that Barack Obama is a Muslim, an Arab, or somehow un-American.
“Terrorists don’t care who they hurt,” says the cover the brochure, arriving in mailboxes Wednesday in the battleground state of Virginia.
The words appear over a picture of someone in shadow eyeing or photograhing the front of an airplane, an apparent reference to the fact that terrorists used hijacked airplanes to kill Americans in 2001.
Flip open the brochure, and the photo is of Obama.
“Why should we care what they have to say?” it asks about terrorists. “Barack Obama thinks terrorists just need a good talking to.”
The reference is to Obama’s stated willingness to meet, without preconditon, the leaders of rogue nations such as Iran. He has been criticized for that stand, including by running mate Joe Biden when the two were competing for the Democratic presidential nomination.
But Obama has never said he would go soft on terrorists. In fact, he’s urged sending more troops to Afghanistan, the launching pad for the 2001 attacks. He’s also said he would send the U.S. military into Pakistan, unilaterally and without warning, if the United States knew it could hit terrorist Osama bin Laden.
But the brochure very strongly suggests that Obama would surrender to terrorist domination if not destruction of the United States.
“Islamic extremists want our laws changed, our culture destroyed and our families converted. We don’t. What is there to talk about?” it says.
Finally, it makes a play on the fears, expressed by some Democrats in the primaries and some Republicans this fall, that Obama is a sort of Manchurian Candidate fronting for an anti-American identity or agenda.
“Barack Obama,” it says, “Not who you think he is.”