CNN contributor Roland Martin’s Wednesday column on CNN.com bluntly accused Republicans of exhibiting "fear and desperation" in their criticism of Barack Obama: "McCain's campaign is no longer about issues. He and his supporters want to bring up anything and everything to derail Obama, and nothing is sticking, so they just keep returning to their old bag of tricks." This "bag" apparently includes bringing up issues like Obama’s 20-year relationship with left-wing firebrand Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the socialist labeling of the Democratic presidential candidate, and his associations with terrorist Bill Ayers and ACORN.
Martin first labeled McCain an "old fighter," but not as a compliment: "Watching Sen. John McCain and top Republicans swing wildly in their attempts to slam Sen. Barack Obama, with less than two weeks ago to go before Election Day, is like watching an old fighter -- clearly out of gas, his legs turned to rubber, and all he can do is grab, hold, punch behind the back, just anything to try to win." He then used his "old bag of tricks" line.
The first of the "top Republicans" that the CNN contributor targeted was Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann, who in his view, made "one of the most audacious statements ever, suggesting that Obama holds anti-American views, that other members of Congress have the same views, and that the media should launch a widespread investigation to ferret them out." He emphasized this by adding, "No, seriously, she said that on MSNBC's ‘Hardball.’" Fellow NewsBuster Tim Graham posted the entire transcript of Bachmann’s appearance with Chris Matthews. The key quote: "I'm very concerned that he may have anti-American views. That's what the American people are concerned about. That's why they want to know what his answers are....I think the people that Barack Obama has been associating with are anti-American, by and large, the people who are radical leftists. That's the real question about Barack Obama."
Martin then attacked Newt Gingrich, Cindy McCain, and talk radio hosts such as CNN Headline News’s own Glenn Beck for "false and outlandish comments" against Obama:
Then you have former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who was caught suggesting that if Obama wins, he is going to put in place the policies of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Now, Gingrich has absolutely no clue what policies Wright advocated, but he wants to scare the dickens out of voters by literally making stuff up about Obama.
Cindy McCain, who has barely moved her lips during this campaign, is now accusing the Obama campaign of running the dirtiest campaign ever, and lighting up the New York Times and others for their viciousness. Never mind what's happening in her own backyard with all of the false and outlandish comments coming from her husband, his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, and their supporters.
They are now in full blame-the-media mode.
Then you have both McCain and Palin slamming Obama for essentially being a socialist. We shouldn't be surprised that it's come to this because we already had radio hosts like Lars Larson, Glenn Beck and others trying to paint Obama for months as being a Marxist. Now the junior senator from Illinois is a student of Lenin!
Towards the end of his column, Martin outlined how, in his view, Republicans’ actions have "seriously harmed" the country: "The Republicans have advanced the deregulation agenda that played a major role in creating the financial mess we are currently in....The Republicans have led the foreign policy we have in place that has destroyed the moral authority we once held....Can someone please remind these folks of this?" He then lamented how Bill Ayers and ACORN have become issues in the campaign: "Every campaign says they want the election to be about the issues, but when McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis made it clear that they want it to be about character and not issues, well, we should have realized we would get to this point. That's why we're hearing so much about Bill Ayers. That's why they've spent more time blasting out statements about ACORN than real policy points."
The Obama supporter concluded his editorial by returning to his McCain as an "old fighter" imagery and predicted that McCain and his supporters would launch even worse attacks: "McCain will continue to throw jabs, swinging wildly, ignoring the game plan he came into the fight with, hoping something -- anything -- connects against the jaw of his younger, more fluid opponent. And like any aging fighter, as the rounds tick away, he could get even more desperate and fearful. So hold on to your seats. Lord knows what will come out of the GOP side over the next 13 days."