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RUSH: Fox & Friends this morning, Senator McCain was on. The co-host was Gretchen Carlson. ‘Will you use it, Senator? It’s a very valid political issue. I think it’s called legitimate, a legitimate political issue. Will you use it in the fall, the Reverend Wright issue, if Barack Obama is the nominee?’

MCCAIN: No, I — the American people will make that — make that decision and he’ll have that discussion with them.

DOOCY: Right.

MCCAIN: I’ve said I don’t think that he shares Reverend Wright’s views, uh, but, uh, you know —

CARLSON: Right.

MCCAIN: Like most Americans, I think Reverend Wright’s views are really incredibly outrageous.

RUSH: (chuckling) Thank you, Senator. Thanks. You’re fired up. (yawn) Okay. The next question is from Steve Doocy. ‘Last week you asked the war on terror down in North Carolina to take down their ad. Now Obama says it’s a legitimate political issue. Do you think they should run the ad?’

MCCAIN: I wish they wouldn’t, but I’m not going to referee. I’m just going to run my own campaign.

DOOCY: Right.

MCCAIN: I’m not going to referee on what’s valid and what isn’t.

I notice that ads are being run against me which you’ve totally mischaracterized the statement —

CARLSON: Right!

MCCAIN: — about how long we’re going to be in Iraq. Uh, so, uh, I’ve made my views known.

DOOCY: Right.

MCCAIN: We’re just going to run my own campaign.

RUSH: So he’s going to stop being the referee. I don’t need to translate that for you. He got reamed by his own staff for trying to play referee on that (interruption) and me, but I guarantee you everybody that was… I love to hear this story. This is from the Lafayette, Indiana. ‘Pumped up and focused, Senator Hillary Clinton putting in 16-hour days in Indiana,’ blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. ‘In another sign of trouble for Mr. Obama…’ The New York Times here. ‘In another sign of trouble for Mr. Obama, he and Mr. Wright also became central figures in a television commercial in a Mississippi Congressional race. On Wednesday, Greg Davis, a Republican candidate for the First Congressional District seat in North Mississippi, broadcast an advertisement trying to link his Democratic rival, Travis Childers, to Mr. Obama and [the] pastor. ‘Travis Childers — he took Obama’s endorsement over our conservative values,’ the advertisement says. … The commercial prompted the Democratic candidate to distance himself from Mr. Obama. The race, Mr. Childers said, ‘is not about a senator from Illinois or a pastor from Chicago.” Meanwhile, exactly what I predicted is happening. Republican state parties all over the country saw what happened in North Carolina and are replicating it now — and Senator McCain also saw what happened, and he’s not going to play referee anymore.

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