Obama is ‘a Muslim and a terrorist’

The “moment in Minnesota” appeared last Friday like the white, infected head of a pimple – impossible to miss, hard not to stare at, and embarrassing, at least to John McCain, who wants to present an unblemished face to the voting public.

Wearing her bright red McCain-Palin T-shirt, Gayle Quinnell rose from the crowd at a rally in Lakeville, Minn. to give her candidate a little of his signature straight talk. “I don’t trust Obama,” she announced, as McCain nodded enthusiastically. Then she continued: “I have read about him. He’s an Arab.”

And there it was. Centre stage, on camera, about as public as you can get. The political pus that’s been building for nearly two years under the surface of this presidential campaign, oozing forth in broad daylight.

By last week, the crowds at McCain rallies were turning ugly. Mention of Obama’s name invoked cries of “terrorist!” or “bomb him!” or “traitor!” or “off with his head!”

McCain has begun trying to tamp down the hostility, telling supporters at rallies that they have “no reason to be scared” of Obama. But Gayle Quennell, for one, remains resolute. Obama, she told reporters after her moment on stage last week with McCain, is “a Muslim and a terrorist … all the people agree with what I said.”

CBC, 16 October 2008