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McCain Advisor Jack Kemp Panders To Hannity And Vice Versa

Reported by Ellen - May 8, 2008 -

Jack Kemp, a spokesman for the John McCain campaign, was back on Hannity & Colmes last night (5/7/08). The last time I saw Kemp on the show, he was obviously annoyed at Sean Hannity for making what Kemp called ad hominem attacks on Barack Obama over Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Last night, Kemp suddenly found Rev. Wright a legitimate issue that Hannity “brought wisely to the forefront.” Hannity, on the other hand, denied making ad hominem attacks on Obama and claimed he wanted the campaign to be about the same substantive issues as Kemp. With video.

On last night's show, Hannity said about Kemp's position on Obama, “You used the term, 'no guilt by association' but I think these are really troubling issues that have emerged. Am I right that you kind of agree with me?”

“You're right,” Kemp said. “It's how you bring it up that matters. And very frankly, I think the American people are quite aware of both Ayers and Rev. Wright and I frankly think that I agreed with the end results. I thought, tactically speaking, it was not wise to bring this up in such a – excuse the word – ad hominem way.”

Dictionary.com defines “ad hominem” as “attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument.” It's hard to see how dwelling on the Wright and/or Ayers issues is anything but an ad hominem attack, no matter how it's brought up.

Furthermore, Kemp never said anything about how the issues were “brought up” during his March 21, 2008 appearance on the show. At that time, Kemp said, “(Obama) denounced the racism, he denounced the anti-Israel statements of Rev. Wright, he denounced the off-the-wall belief that America is the worst killing machine... I told you on your radio show last week that I hoped that if he is defeated, it's on the basis of bad economic policy, raising taxes, waving a white flag to our enemy to our enemy in the Middle East, and things like that, not what Pastor Wright said.”

Last night, Hannity dubiously insisted, “I don't think we brought it up in an ad hominem way. There are still unanswered questions.” Hannity continued by rehashing his attacks on Obama for having given a speech with William Ayers. Then Hannity asked, “Why would you give speeches with this guy? You wouldn't do it, Jack Kemp, and nor would I.”

Maybe not, but Hannity would host concerts for convicted liar Oliver North's F-rated charity, welcome Tom DeLay, under indictment for money laundering, as a guest of honor, give another warm welcome to Bernard Kerik, who pled guilty to taking “gifts” from a company with ties to the Mafia and work closely with Dick Morris, one of Connecticut's top tax delinquents. Last, but not least, Hannity was chummy with white supremacist Hal Turner and gave him regular air time for several years.

Kemp said reassuringly to Hannity, “There's no doubt that that is right and that is of concern to the American people. All I'm suggesting is, (Obama's) foreign policy views, his views on the economy, his views on destroying NAFTA or renegotiating NAFTA, turning our back on Colombia and Latin America, raising income tax rates to 52.5% - those are issues that I think far outweigh the other issues, albeit these are issues that I think you've brought wisely to the forefront and it's going to be part of the general campaign.”

Hannity counted off on his fingers. “I want this to be about the war in Iraq, about immigration, I want it to be about lower tax rates, about energy independence, about free market solutions to health care, I'm with you on all those substantive issues.” Yet Hannity has spent hours and hours discussing Obama, Wright and Ayers and I have yet to hear any of those issues discussed.