Campaign quotes on the way to Monroe, MI

McClatchy NewspapersSeptember 1, 2008 

Campaign quotes on the way to Monroe, MI:

Obama: So I just wanted to give you a quick update on what I have heard in terms of the hurricane. This morning we put up on our website donations to the American Red Cross, we are starting to gather volunteers should they be necessary. At this point we are hopeful that some of the worse damage that could have occurred will not occur. Everybody I am sure has been monitoring what is taking place at the various cable outlets.

I spoke to Mitch Landrieu the Lieutenant Governor on the ground as well as FEMA, their assessment is that they won't know exactly what is taking place for the next five hours or so. They will be as soon as the storm passes will start to send people out assuming it is safe. Their search and rescue teams will be deployed as well when it is appropriate.

Overall it appears that the levees have held and the walls that you have been seeing, the industrial canal walls seem to be solid. Undoubtedly there is going to be some flood damage, but we don't know how much that is going to be yet. I also talked to FEMA as well as governor Brettice in TN about housing and shelter for those that have been evacuated. It appears that that has gone smoothly and I commend FEMA and the governors in the region for cooperating so effectively. We don't anticipant that there are going to be any short term problems, but I think what we are insisting on is making sure that as quickly as possible that people can make an assessment and get back in their homes. So with that let me just open it up to a couple questions.

Jake Tapper: Governor Palin and her husband issued a statement today saying that their 17 year old daughter Bristol who is unmarried is 5 months pregnant. Do you have a comment?

Obama: I have heard some of the news on this and so let me be as clear as possible. I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people's families are off limits, and people's children are especially off limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics, it has no relevance to governor Palin's performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president. And 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 family deals with issues and teenage children that shouldn't be the topic of our politics and I hope that anybody who is supporting me understands that is off limits.

Jeff Zeleny: an unnamed McCain advisor as reported on Reuters that the despicable rumors have been spread on blogs some even with Barack Obama's name on them.

Obama: I am offended by that statement, there is no evidence at all that any of this involved us. I hope I am as clear as I can be. So in case I am not, let me repeat, we don't go after people's families, we don't get them involved in the politics, it is not appropriate and it is not relevant. Our people were not involved in any way in this and they will not be. And if I ever thought it was somebody in the campaign that was involved in something like that they would be fired. Ok. Alright guys. Thank you.

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