I like Barack Obama. I really do. And I think all this business about him attending a radical Muslim madrassa is just not relevant. The American people don't care if Barack Obama went to a radical Muslim school run by terrorists who want to destroy our country. They just don't. Sadly, however, this kind of smear is what we have to expect these days thanks to the Republican party and its politics of personal destruction.
The American people dn't want to hear this garbage. They want to focus on issues. They don't care about Barack's middle name being "Hussein." They don't care that he's a Muslim. They don't want to know how many times a day he kneels down, bows toward Mecca and prays. They don't wonder for a second whether he secretly, down deep, sort of kind of sympathizes with al-Qaeda, and what this might mean for our foreign policy in an Obama administration. They just don't care about this. And frankly neither do I. Because, and I've said this many times and will keep saying it, I don't believe for a moment that just because someone is a full-on Muslim from deepest, darkest Africa, that this person must necessarily also be a fundamentalist religious zealot who is anti-women, anti-gay, or anti-America.
But these right-wing fanatics, this shadowy cabal of neo-conservatives, are just going to keep spreading these smears. I ask all of you to just look past this, to put aside the issue of Senator Obama being a Muslim, and having Hussein as his middle name, and going to a radical Muslim madrassa run by terrorists. It's just not relevant. Let's roll up our sleeves and get back to working on what the American people care about. Like a comprehensive national health care plan that really works, and I mean a plan that works for all Americans, even those who are Muslims and who may or may not have radical anti-American ideologies created by attending radical Muslim schools run by America-hating terrorists.
Barack, though we may be rivals in this primary, I want you to know that I am standing by you one hundred percent on this terrorist connection thing.