Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, speaking to a local Iowa radio station, said that terrorists would dance in the streets if Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, is elected president -- precisely because of not only Obama's position on withdrawing US troops from Iraq, but because Obama's middle name is "Hussein," his father's Muslim roots, and his appearance -- or "optics," as King put it.
"I don't want to disparage anyone because of their, their race, their ethnicity, their name - whatever their religion their father, father might have been," King said just before doing just that.
"I'll just say this that when you think about the optics of a Barack Obama potentially getting elected President of the United States -- and I mean, what does this look like to the rest of the world? What does it look like to the world of Islam?
"And I will tell you that, if he is elected president, then the, the radical Islamists, the, the al-Qaida, and the radical Islamists and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11….
"It does matter, his middle name does matter. It matters because they read a meaning into that in the rest of the world, it has a special meaning to them. They will be dancing in the streets because of his middle name. They will be dancing in the streets because of who his father was and because of his posture that says: Pull out of the Middle East and pull out of this conflict.
So there are implications that have to do with who he is and the position that he's taken. If he were strong on national defense and said 'I'm going to go over there and we're going to fight and we're going to win, we'll come home with a victory,' that's different. But that's not what he said. They will be dancing in the streets if he's elected president. That has a chilling aspect on how difficult it will be to ever win this Global War on Terror."
Over to you, Sen. McCain!
UPDATE: Obama spox Bill Burton: “These comments have no place in our politics, and we hope Senator McCain will repudiate them like he has previous offensive comments from his supporters.”
McCain spox Jill Hazelbaker: "Our position on this is very clear. We are against the kind of politics that divide and degrade people in the process."