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Press Release - What They're Saying On Barack Obama's Attack on Agriculture

November 02, 2008

"This incident reveals a true anti-farming slant to the Obama campaign"

Gov. Tim Pawlenty on ABC's Good Morning America: Obama Not Offering "Positive Vision" for Iowa Farmers. BILL WEIR: "People want to follow hopeful, optimistic, civil, decent leaders. Are those qualities what has him so far ahead in the polls, do you think? And how would you relate those qualities to the McCain campaign?" GOV. TIM PAWLENTY: "Well, I think whether its Barack Obama or anyone else, people want to see a hopeful, positive vision for the future of the country, but that's not what Barack Obama's been offering. For example, here in Iowa, he said recently to Joel Klein of Time magazine, that agriculture is to blame for the nation's health problems partly, including diabetes and heart disease and others. You can imagine what Iowa farmers are going to think of that." WEIR: "Well, I think he was talking about corn syrup in soda and fast food. That's a little bit out of context. I won't ask --" GOV. PAWLENTY: "But Bill, farmers don't grow soda, they grow corn." (ABC's "Good Morning America," 11/1/08)

Commentary Magazine's Jennifer Rubin: Obama's Rural "Condescension" Slips Out. "In loose moments, Obama's lack of understanding of and condescension toward rural and small-town America always slips out. And really, is his point that if farmers grew less food, Americans would be thinner? The mind reels." (Jennifer Rubin, "Obama to Farmers: Stop Growing Food," Commentary Magazine Contentions blog," http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/40941, 11/1/08)

Bemidji (MN) Pioneer: Sen. Grassley: "It Is Ludicrous to Blame Farmers for Obesity." "'It is ludicrous to blame farmers for obesity and pollution,' Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, told reporters during a Friday conference call. 'I think he really doesn't understand agriculture.'" (Don Davis and Scott Wente, "CAMPAIGN NOTEBOOK: Obama comments upset GOP farmers," Bemidji Pioneer, 11/1/08)

St. Paul Pioneer Press: Sen. Grassley: Obama "Doesn't Have a Very Good Foundation." "In a conference call arranged by the McCain campaign, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, called it 'ludicrous to blame farmers for obesity and pollution.' Said Grassley: 'It shows that Sen. Obama doesn't have a very good foundation in American agriculture.'" (Tom Webb, "McCain faults Obama's comments on farming," St. Paul Pioneer Press, 11/1/08)

St. Paul Pioneer Press: Sen. Grassley: Obama Gets Ag Ideas From "Professor At Cal-Berkeley." "(P)eople in agriculture need to know that if Sen. Obama is going to get his ideas on agriculture from a professor at Cal-Berkeley, they should think twice about what they are voting for." (Tom Webb, "McCain faults Obama's comments on farming," St. Paul Pioneer Press, 11/1/08)

Des Moines Register: Farmer Ron Litterer: "No Question About" Obama' s Conflicting Message to Farmers. "But Ron Litterer, a Greene farmer who is chairman of the National Corn Growers Association, said Obama's comments in the Time interview were 'in conflict with what he's been saying about agriculture, no question about it.'" (Philip Brasher, "Obama links health issues to farming, then backs off," Des Moines Register, 10/31/08)

Hoosier Ag Today's Gary Truitt: Obama's "True Anti-Farming Slant." "In my view this incident reveals a true anti-farming slant to the Obama campaign and demonstrates a fundamental lack of support for farmers." (Gary Truitt, "Obama, Open Mouth-Insert Foot," HAT CHAT, the official blog of Hoosier Ag Today, http://hatchat.net/, 10/31/08)

Truitt: "Major Blunder" "Obama, however, has made a major blunder by quoting (Michael) Pollan, an outspoken critic of agriculture and an environmental radical." (Gary Truitt, "Obama, Open Mouth-Insert Foot," HAT CHAT, the official blog of Hoosier Ag Today, http://hatchat.net/, 10/31/08)

Truitt: "Unlike Obama, McCain Stuck to His Position" "Early in the campaign John McCain was criticized by the ag community, and this blog, for his comments on the ethanol subsidy. Unlike Obama, McCain stuck to his position and explained he was against all subsidies and had nothing against ethanol." (Gary Truitt, "Obama, Open Mouth-Insert Foot," HAT CHAT, the official blog of Hoosier Ag Today, http://hatchat.net/, 10/31/08)

John McCain, Press Release - What They're Saying On Barack Obama's Attack on Agriculture Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/292151

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