Mike Murphy: Playing the Race Card for McCain

08/11/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Today on Meet the Press, Mike Murphy called the Paris/Britney/Barack ad stupid. He's completely correct, but that doesn't keep him from tacitly pushing forward the racist language that is being used to discredit Obama.

While David Gergen has said that McCain is using loaded words in his ads to play the race card against Obama, Mike Murphy did it on behalf of the McCain team on live television.

Murphy referred at least twice to McCain trying to seem like the more "adult" of the two major candidates.

Speaking of the VP choices, he said:

One strategy the McCain guys could do is pick somebody who's all about national security to try to move the campaign more there. Go pick a Bob Gates, I mean, somebody totally out of the politics world to say, "We are the competent adults on national security," and try to make the election more about that to play to McCain's strengths, which, because of the surge, are getting stronger and stronger. Not what the Democrats would've thought a year ago on Iraq.

Later, talking about the convention/Hillary Clinton:

MURPHY: I will make one convention prediction. I think Hillary Clinton will give a pretty well-received speech, actually. I don't think she'll be the keynote. But -- and I can't ever prove this, but I'll predict she votes for John McCain. I'm going to be watching those Chappaquiddick poll results very closely. She wants an adult...

MS. MITCHELL: Chappaqua.

MR. MURPHY: Chappaqua, excuse me. She wants -- yeah, still politics.

MR. TODD: You Republicans are programmed...(unintelligible).

MR. MURPHY: No, no, no, no. I believe it. I would bet money if there's a way to prove it, because she wants to race in four years. She'll be back. She'll never stop running. And she wants an adult on foreign policy, and that's OK.

Murphy went on MTP today and called Obama something other than adult. This about a United States Senator. But also a black Senator. Murphy, as a professional political operative, could not possibly be unaware of the racial implications of what he said, could he? He might as well have said "stay in your place." As all white people (should) know, that's been the implicit message leveled toward blacks in this country since the end of reconstruction.

Interestingly, Murphy's whole performance on MTP revolved around this idea of what seems juvenile or doesn't, so his rhetorical choices are more than flukes. His criticism of the now infamous attack ad revolved around it being juvenile, meaning that the reason he thought it was stupid is that it made Barack look more grown up than he should, according to Murphy, seem. What a horrible line of argument.

There is a difference between pointing out what one sees as a deficit of experience, which is an entirely debatable affair, and resorting to racist insinuations that Obama is getting uppity.

Murphy's choice of words on MTP was disgusting, and he should apologize for them.