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Obama Adviser: McCain Language "Insulting," We'll Use it Too

1:38 AM, Sep 27, 2008 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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John McCain said several times during last night's debate that Barack Obama simply doesn't understand many of the subjects at the heart of the presidential race. It was quite clear that McCain was trying to paint Obama as naive and risky and he hammered that theme -- Obama "doesn't understand" -- again and again through the 90-minute affair.

After the debate, Linda Douglass took great offense on Obama's behalf, calling the language "insulting." Then she used it to describe McCain. Here is the exchange with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.

Rachel Maddow: "We've heard a phrase repeated ad nauseum tonight from Senator McCain - Senator Obama didn't understand, that he didn't grasp the issues. What's the rejoinder to that from the Obama side?"

Linda Douglass: "I would say that Senator McCain doesn't get it. He's demonstrated in every way that he's completely out of touch. He's somebody who's giving tax cuts to the wealthy when it's the middle class who needs tax cuts. He is somebody who doesn't understand that Americans need to be free of their dependence on foreign oil - he's talking about just drill, baby, drill. He's demonstrated that in so many ways. He thought the fundamentals of the economy were strong. Just last week he thought the fundamentals of the economy were strong. So, he doesn't get it. That's what he has demonstrated. He's out of touch. And when you try to use sort of insulting language as he did tonight it doesn't really appeal to voters who are looking for a positive solution to their own lives and the struggles that they're going through."

Got that? The Obama campaign can say that John McCain "doesn't get it" but McCain's language is "insulting" when he says that Obama doesn't understand.

Douglass will not find herself in any trouble with her boss on these kinds of attacks because he said the same thing in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. "It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it."

Perhaps the Obama-Biden campaign would be better off accusing McCain of plagiarizing their rhetoric. Then again, maybe not.