At a press availability in Monroe, Mich., Barack Obama said: “Back off these kinds of stories.”
“I have said before, and I will repeat again: People’s families are off-limits,” Obama said. “And people’s children are especially off-limits. This shouldn’t be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin’s performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president. So I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories. You know my mother had me when she was 18, and how a family deals with issues and teenage children, that shouldn’t be a topic of our politics.”
On charges that his campaign has stoked the story via liberal blogs:
“I am offended by that statement. There is no evidence at all that any of this involved us,” he said. “Our people were not involved in any way in this, and they will not be. And if I thought there was somebody in my campaign who was involved in something like that, they would be fired.”
Of course, there is no way to control people not directly associated with campaigns. Partisans of both sides will spread rumors if they think it helps their candidate. Righties keep forwarding e-mails about Obama being Muslim (translation: remember he is Black and be scared). Lefties will keep pouncing on McCain and Palin in any way they want as well, regardless of the truth. I wish Dems would stick to the truth – it is sufficient to tank Republicans for a generation – but wishing it does not make it happen.
Official statements by the campaigns distancing themselves from such rumours will be believed by some and not by others. Campaigns were always wars with no rules and those who think or wish people followed rules will lose.