Democrats Run from Race

Jimmy Carter claims that Congressman Joe Wilson’s “You Lie” comment during President Barack Obama’s speech was motivated by racism. But Democratic lawmakers Wednesday tried to distance themselves from Carter’s comment: “Listen, he’s the former president, and he’s entitled to his point of view,” said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin. “I personally believe President Obama and his administration are focused on the issues, and I agree with that.” Carter told NBC News that there’s “an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president.” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs also brushed off Carter’s accusations of racism: “The president does not believe that criticism comes based on the color of his skin.” Congressional Democrats do not want racism to hamper the 2010 midterm elections by turning off swing voters. “I think 2010 will be about—as most midterm elections are—the economic well-being of the America,” said Sen. Robert Menendez. “And that’s where the focus should be.”