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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
There was a moment yesterday during his news conference when Barack Obama could have made a huge mistake. But in the end his political instincts proved much keener than those of Michael Dukakis a few years ago.
When asked about the Supreme Court decision on the death penalty for child rapists, Obama came down on the side of the conservative minority. He criticized the high court's 5-4 decision to outlaw the death penalty for people who rape children.
Obama insisted that the death penalty should be applied quote "in very narrow circumstances for the most egregious of crimes”, which he says includes the rape of a small child. He believes states should have the right to consider capital punishment in such cases.
The moment when he was asked about it brought back memories of something similar that tripped up Dukakis during his run for president in 1988, and perhaps doomed his candidacy. Dukakis was asked at a debate if the death penalty would be appropriate if his wife was raped and murdered. He answered no, without any emotion or passion. Dukakis was ridiculed, Republicans used it against him and George Bush went on to win in landslide.
Obama has 2 daughters, who are 7 and 9, and he has long supported the death penalty while criticizing the way it's used at times. As a state lawmaker in Illinois, he helped to change the death penalty system in an effort to protect against innocent people being put to death.
Here’s my question to you: Barack Obama condemned the Supreme Court decision outlawing the death penalty for people who rape children. How will this affect his campaign?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
It is important. The types of judges Obama says he will appoint to the court are the ones who supported the verdict. So it seems Barack wants it both ways. This is a legitimate campaign issue that could be a problem for him.
Scott from Minneapolis writes:
If anything, it will help Obama's campaign, especially with some conservatives who are leaning away from McCain. They say that everything a candidate does until November is 100% political, but I don't think that this statement is purely political. This is one of his personal beliefs, and I think that this humanizes him even more.
Sam from North Carolina writes:
And they keep saying that Obama is the most liberal senator. It just goes to show you that whether you call yourself conservative or call yourself liberal doesn't always mean that in every situation you will lean that way. I for one don't want to be labeled into a single way of thinking for all issues. I guess that is why I am an 'Independent'.
JD from North Carolina writes:
It is a small impact, if any. This is an issue that rightfully touches everyone's conscience, but is not part of the national dialogue because of broader issues like the war, economy, or environment.
Joe from St. Louis writes:
Jack, Pedophiles have become commonplace in our society. Furthermore they are released from prison early and allowed to live in neighborhoods full of children. Most people would be shocked if they took the time to get a sexual predators list from their local law enforcement. This is another example of a REAL solution to a REAL problem. His campaign will benefit.
JB from Harrisburg writes:
It only affects the crazy-in-the-brain left wing. You know, Jack, like you. Funny, I thought Obama and I had nothing in common! After expressing his views on the death penalty, I stand corrected.