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Barack camp: Beware of 'recycled bromides'

July 16, 2008 | 12:53 pm

Barack Obama’s critics often say the Illinois senator is all talk and no action but, in a bit of role reversal, the wordsmith’s own campaign adopted that sort of attack language today.

In a statement responding to Sen. John McCain’s education remarks before the NAACP, the Obama camp lectured the Arizona Republican that "making education the national priority will require more than campaign speeches, or recycled bromides. It will require a genuine and sustained commitment to policies that will strengthen and not undermine our public schools."

The statement went on to promise that Obama would "fix and fund No Child Left Behind, expand access to early childhood education, and make an affordable college education a reality for every student."

McCain, for his part, took a moment to make nice toward his Democratic rival. (You think maybe he sensed that it wouldn’t be too smart to launch a sally against Obama before an NAACP audience?)

As the Times’ Robin Abcarian reported from the Cincinnati gathering, McCain drew his loudest cheers when he said of Obama: "Don't tell him I said this, but he is an impressive fellow in many ways."

McCain added, "Of  course, I would prefer his success not continue quite as long as he hopes. But it makes me proud to know the country I've loved and served all my life is still a work in progress, and always improving."

On education, Abcarian reported, McCain advocated better pay for good teachers and new teacher recruitment programs, and he vowed to fully fund No Child Left Behind, the Bush Adminstration’s  program for improving school performance. McCain also promoted a cause dear to conservatives’ hearts, school vouchers, noting the distinction between his position on that score and Obama’s.

-– Stuart Silverstein