- Tim, I was fourteen years old when I heard Dr. King speak in person. He is one of the people that I admire most in the world. And the point that I was responding to from Senator Obama himself in a number of speeches he was making, is his comparison of himself to President Kennedy and Dr. King. And there is no doubt that the inspiration offered by all three of them is essential. It is critical to who we are as a nation, what we believe in, the dreams and aspirations that we all have. But I also said that, you know, Dr. King did not just give speeches. He marched. He organized. He protested. He was beaten. He was jailed. He understood that he had to move the political process and bring in those who were in political power, and he campaigned for political leaders; including Lyndon B. Johnson because he wanted somebody in the White House who would act on what he had devoted his life to achieving.
So I think it's important to set the record straight. Clearly, we know from media reports that the Obama campaign is deliberately distorting this. And you know, I think we should just take a step out here for a minute. This is the most exciting election we've had in such a long time because, you have an African-American, an extraordinary man, a person of tremendous talents and abilities, running to become our president. You have a woman running to break the highest and hardest glass ceiling. I don't think either of us want to inject race or gender in this campaign. We are running as individuals, we are making our cases to the American people, and it's imperative that we get the record and the facts straight because people are entitled to have that information. But I have no intention of either, you know, doing something that would move this race in a wrong way or, frankly, set standing by when I think tactics are being employed that are not in the best interest of our country.