Obama Campaign Furthers Attack on McCain, Palin on Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 10, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Obama Campaign Furthers Attack on McCain, Palin on Stem Cell Research

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 10
, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Barack Obama campaign on Wednesday furthered the attack Joe Biden made on John McCain and Sarah Palin over the issue of stem cell research. On Tuesday Biden claimed Palin isn’t truly concerned about disabled people because she opposes embryonic stem cell research.

As LifeNews.com reported, Biden questioned Palin’s commitment to stem cell research in general — ignoring her support for adult stem cell research and other ethical alternatives.

The McCain campaign responded yesterday afternoon by calling the charge offensive. Now, Hari Sevugan, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, has fired back.

“John McCain has adopted and promises to implement a Republican platform that takes an even more extreme position in opposing stem-cell research than that of George Bush four years ago," Sevugan claimed.

“While the McCain campaign may not believe the American people deserve a debate on the issues, it’s simply insulting for them to suggest that raising a substantive difference on this critical issue is playing politics," he added.

Sevugan appears to ignore McCain’s repeated votes for embryonic stem cell research funding.

But Wesley J. Smith, a leading bioethics watchdog, says the debate will soon be moot because McCain understands that alternatives like iPS cells are making embryonic stem cell research unnecessary.

In what he called a "dumb move," Smith excoriated Biden for wrongly implying "that Sarah Palin doesn’t care as much as he does about special needs children because she does not support embryonic stem cell research."

"We haven’t heard much from the [pro-embryonic] crowd in this campaign, primarily I think, due to the success of IPSCs and the failure to obtain FDA approval for human trials using traditional embryonic stem cells due to the danger of tissue rejection and tumor formation," he explained.

"Indeed, at least for now, I believe the issue has lost all resonance," Smith said.

Smith, a noted author and attorney, said, "Had such a slime ball been hurled a year or two ago, it might have been different."

"But this kind of ‘you don’t care about suffering people if you oppose federal funding of ESCR’ demagoguery is long past its shelf life. Talk about the need for change," he added.

Smith also said the Obama campaign was wrong to claim the comment wasn’t intended to criticize Palin.

"The Obama campaign denied that Biden’s barb was aimed at Sarah Palin, but who else gave a speech mentioning special needs kids in the last two weeks?" he asked.


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