Watch CBSN Live

Kerry Condemns "Hate-Filled" Language At McCain-Palin Rallies

The Obama campaign has thus far largely stayed away from reports about the increasingly angry rhetoric coming from some attendees of McCain-Palin rallies. (The candidate did make an indirect reference to the rallies this morning, saying, "it's not hard to rile up a crowd by stoking anger and division.") 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry, however, directly addresses the issue in a fundraising appeal today.

"The reports are piling up of ugliness at the campaign rallies of John McCain and Sarah Palin," Kerry writes. "Audience members hurl insults and racial epithets, call out 'Kill Him!' and 'Off With His Head,' and yell 'treason' when Senator Obama's name is mentioned. I strongly condemn language like this which can only be described as hate-filled."

Kerry also put the comments on his "anti-"smear" site. And he added in the fundraising appeal: "According to reports, every ad paid for by the John McCain campaign is now a negative ad - every single one! McCain allows his running mate to make outrageous charges that only a few years ago would have disqualified someone from serious consideration for national office."

The Obama campaign is in a somewhat difficult position when it comes to handling reports of offensive behavior at McCain-Palin events. On the one hand, it's in Obama's best interest to spotlight extreme rhetoric that surfaces at GOP rallies. On the other, the Obama campaign has accused the McCain camp of trying to distract the American people instead of addressing real issues. And that's a tough case to make if they start talking about these sorts of ugly sideshows.

View CBS News In