Thursday, May 01, 2008

McCain dodges question about reported insult to his wife


The news media who just can't get enough of Jeremiah Wright have not seen fit to delve into a report that John McCain called his wife a c**t to her face several years ago.

But during a townhall meeting in Iowa today, a Baptist minister named Marty Parrish decided to do a little followup on his own.

PARRISH: This question goes to mental health and mental health care. Previously, I’ve been married to a woman that was verbally abusive to me. Is it true that you called your wife a (expletive)?

MCCAIN: Now, now. You don’t want to … Um, you know that’s the great thing about town hall meetings, sir, but we really don’t, there’s people here who don’t respect that kind of language. So I’ll move on to the next questioner in the back.

The audience gasped at the question and applauded at McCain’s handling of it. Parrish was escorted from the event and questioned by Secret Service, but not charged. Parrish had checked in to the event as a member of the press.

Parrish, a 45-year-old Baptist minister and technology business owner, said he attended the event specifically to confront McCain about the rumor.

“This is about character,” Parrish said, when reached by telephone afterward. “And in a moment of intemperance, he called his wife the most despicable name a person can call a woman.
It is about character. It is also about sanity.

And you had better believe that if there were reports that Barack Obama had ever called his wife a c**t, it would be the subject of wall-to-wall coverage on every network, cable channel, and print outlet in the country. For some reason, Saint McCain gets a pass, even when he doesn't act very saintly.


It turns out that Mr. Parrish was a campaign operative for Joe Biden in Iowa, and currently operates a blog entitled Obama 2008! Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it places his McCain confrontation in a different and important context. [h/t Wearle, in comments]


Mr. Parrish was interrogated by the Secret Service after being escorted from the event by local police. That is completely unacceptable. We used to have freedom of speech in this country. McCain appeared at a forum to take questions from the public. Parrish's question might have been shocking, bit it did not constitute in any way a threat. The job of the Secret Service is to protect McCain's life, not his dignity. That part is up to him. [h/t AMERICAblog]

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