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Obama Defends His Patriotism

Yesterday, McCain went to the V.F.W. convention and accused Obama of putting his "ambition to be president" ahead of his country. Today, Obama speaks to the same convention and it looks like he'll takes McCain's charge head on. From a copy of the speech that the Obama campaign just released:

[O]ne of the things that we have to change in this country is the idea that people can’t disagree without challenging each other’s character and patriotism. I have never suggested that Senator McCain picks his positions on national security based on politics or personal ambition. I have not suggested it because I believe that he genuinely wants to serve America’s national interest. Now, it’s time for him to acknowledge that I want to do the same.

Let me be clear: I will let no one question my love of this country. I love America, so do you, and so does John McCain. When I look out at this audience, I see people of different political views. You are Democrats and Republicans and Independents. But you all served together, and fought together, and bled together under the same proud flag. You did not serve a Red America or a Blue America – you served the United States of America.

I think the Obama campaign has been reluctant to respond to every one of McCain's attacks, lest it spend all of its time playing defense. But this response--delivered a day later to the same audience which heard McCain's original attack--seems like a smart move.

--Jason Zengerle