By Greg Sargent -
The McCain campaign is up with a new ad attacking Obama on education that makes some rather strong insinuations about sex:
There's a lot to chew on here. But we want to focus on one particularly pernicious aspect of it. The ad shows a dreamy-looking Obama as it says:
Obama's one accomplishment? Legislation to teach "comprehensive sex education" to kindergartners. Learning about sex before learning to read?
In a final moment of subtlety, the ad says Obama is "wrong for your family."
According to the McCain campaign's own email, the sex ed claim is based on Obama's support for a bill, in the Illinois state legislature, that said:
"Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV."
As you can see, the McCain ad says that Obama was the one who pushed the "comprehensive sex education" measure. The Obama campaign has pointed out that the bill would simply add instruction on disease prevention to already existing Illinois sex-ed standards. But the McCain campaign cheerfully turned this into Obama's support for "learning about sex before learning to read."
And "civil" and "honorable" McCain approved that message.
Late Update: Obama spokesperson Bill Burton's response directly questions McCain's honor:
"It is shameful and downright perverse for the McCain campaign to use a bill that was written to protect young children from sexual predators as a recycled and discredited political attack against a father of two young girls - a position that his friend Mitt Romney also holds. Last week, John McCain told Time magazine he couldn't define what honor was. Now we know why."