WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama came out swinging Monday – not only in defending his national security stance on Iran but also in defending his wife, Michelle. At issue: GOP ads in Tennessee railing against Michelle Obama’s comment a few months back that “for the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.”
The senator told ABC “these folks should lay off my wife.”
He said his critics can say whatever they want when it comes to his track record.
“If they think that they’re going to try to make Michelle an issue in this campaign, they should be careful because that I find unacceptable, the notion that you start attacking my wife or family.”
He praised Michelle as “the most honest, the best person I know” and “one of the most caring people I know. She loves this country. And for them to try to distort or to play snippets of her remarks in ways that are unflattering to her, I think, is just low class.”
Spouses of candidates have been targeted in this campaign. Bill Clinton’s comments and record have been widely scrutinized. Cindy McCain’s wealth and her refusal to release her income tax and other financial records have been examined.
Four years ago, John Kerry’s wife, Teresa, was criticized for various comments. Back in 1992, Hillary Clinton became an issue when she said she was not going to sit around and simply “bake cookies.”
There are many other historic examples of wives of presidential candidates coming under attack. But is it right? It’s certainly understandable that presidential candidates don’t want their spouses to be attacked. But when someone wants to be president, is almost everything fair game?