ABC News’ Andy Fies reports: Although Barack Obama has said the pregnancy of Gov Sarah Palin’s unwed teenaged daughter is “off-limits” and has “no relevance”, not all of his supporters agree.
Clinton Wray and his family sat among the 14,000 who gathered to hear Obama speak in Milwaukee this evening. While he supported Obama’s decision to, in Wray’s words, “take the higher ground”, he was not convinced the pregnancy is irrelevant. “Republicans will say that they are the party of family values and that everybody else doesn’t have any values. So when you’ve used that, I think the public and the media have the right to use whatever you’ve put out to come back to you.”
Wray added that this applied to Palin too. ”This young lady is saying that she’s a strong conservative with Christian values. That’s great. But the Republican party has consistently used the religious right to say ‘we’re Christians,’ to say ‘we don’t believe in this and we don’t believe in that.’ And so I think they have to be held accountable…. She has to be held accountable.”
Though Anthony Davis said he understood the hypocrisy argument made by people like Wray, he believes “the situation is a family matter that they have to deal with. To use that as a political tool, I don’t see that.”
Teacher Megan Kelly, who is raising a 16 year old, agreed it was not a good idea to make an issue of the pregnancy but was sure others would. Referring to Obama’s hands-off approach, she said, “I think it’s a good answer for him to say that it doesn’t matter because it really shouldn’t. But I think that it will, especially given McCain’s views on things, I feel like that’s going to be a big issue for people that are against him.
They are going to be bringing it up over and over again.” Though she is against that strategy, she said she understood it: “If he’s running on very conservative family values, I think that kind of diminishes his viewpoint.”
Supporter Bonnie Greasby called the situation a “private matter” and that it made Palin more like a “real person”. But she said the Republicans were to blame for “trying to paint her as the perfect woman and it brings it back that she’s not.”
Asked what might happen if the situation were reversed and the democratic candidate was the one with the pregnant teen daughter, Greasby and friend Linda Devitt laughed. Devitt said, “They’d be all over him. He’d be a terrible father.”