Democratic presumptive Presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama has seemingly channeled Sean Connery in the movie “The Untouchables” by serving notice that if the Republicans aggressively go after him he’s ready to respond in kind — and then some:

Barack Obama is warning supporters that the general election fight between him and John McCain may get ugly, but the Illinois senator is vowing not to back down.

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said at a fundraiser in Philadelphia Friday, according to pool reports.

“We don’t have a choice but to win,” Obama said, joking that he has heard “folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles games.”

Obama again said that the GOP will make try to make him look “scary” to voters.

And, in the predictable way our politics functions you could guess what the Republican response to this would be — and you’re correct:

Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant said Obama’s rhetoric abandons Obama’s campaign themes of hope and change.

“In the last 24 hours, he’s completely abandoned his campaign’s call for ‘new politics’, equating the election to a ‘brawl’ and promising to ‘bring a gun,’” Conant said.

Actually, that isn’t what Obama says here at all.

He’s indicating that unlike past Democratic nominees — with the exception of Bill Clinton — he’s not going to wait to respond to attacks nor is he going to not counter an aggressive campaign with a campaign calibrated to be tough enough or tougher to counter any Republican attack.

Michael Dukakis let the Republicans portray him as a kind of robot, define him with the infamous Willy Horton ad and later run an ad that used footage of him in a tank looking like Snoopy. His campaign tried to ignore the negative campaigning and paid the price. John Kerry waited so long before he condescended to respond to the Swift Boat attacks that by the time he did his own boat sank.

Obama already tipped his hand on how he plans to handle negative campaigning aimed his way when it was announced that his campaign was starting a website to directly counter and answer — an debunk — Internet “smears,” such as the false charge that he is Muslim or continued speculation that there is a tape showing his wife Michelle screaming about “Whitey” at his ex-church.

People forget, but Bill Clinton, James Carville and Paul Begala started their famous campaign “war room” due to disastrous past Democratic national campaigns where charges were made and Democrats didn’t counter them fast enough or Democrats let the campaign momentum and media narrative slip from them to the Republicans.

So Obama’s channeling Connery is by no means a rejection of a campaign of hope and change. Its embracing a campaign that is planning to stay on equal footing with the Republicans, rather than allowing itself to become a doormat.

Now, if Obama says “My name is Bond. James Bond…” there MIGHT be some reason to worry..

UPDATE: For another reaction to Obama’s comments GO HERE.

Here’s the scene from “The Untouchables”:
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JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief
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Silhouette
Guest
Silhouette
8 years 3 months ago

“We don’t have a choice but to win..”~Barack Obama

Yes. So now it’s time for you to step aside and let that candidate who will surely win take the nomination in August.

Anything less, in light of the fact that she won the popular vote, would be selfish of you. Especially when you know your inexperience is going to be costly to a win this Fall.

Selfish, selfish, selfish..

And no, you’re not the second Martin Luther King Jr. You’re a slick and rich Yankee with connections…

elrod
Guest
elrod
8 years 3 months ago

Give it up. She did not win the popular vote unless you give zero votes to Obama from Michigan. Hillary totally supports Obama. And she’s as Yankee as anybody else – born in Park Ridge, IL with a Chicago ayaccent.

Weightman
Guest
Weightman
8 years 3 months ago

Let’s hope than Senator Obama will be as tough on the Iranians as he promises to be on the Republicans.

debrazza
Guest
debrazza
8 years 3 months ago
It’s great that he says he does not want to lose the media narrative, but he lost the news cycle every week to Hillary the last two months of the campaign and the same thing is happening now to McCain. Just watch the hand wringing that those clowns on Morning Joe give Wesley Clark and how he had to fight back on them hard. Just watch how this innocuous quote itself has been an “issue” only because the McCain campaign picked up on it and issued a press release about it. So now everyone is covering it. How stupid. McCain… Read more »
kryon77
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kryon77
8 years 3 months ago
A comment on “swiftboating,” with the disclosure that, yes, I’m a Republican and a McCain supporter. The assumption from the Democratic side seems to be that if only Kerry responded quickly and aggressively to the Swift Boat attacks, he could have emerged unscathed. But that seems to ignore the fact that the most effective of those attacks centered on Kerry’s post-Vietnam activities. The Swift Vets were, in my opinion, at their weakest when questioning Kerry’s valor as a soldier, because it was unseemly, and because no voter had the time or resources to evaluate a he-said he-said dispute. But the… Read more »
runasim
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runasim
8 years 3 months ago

‘Obama, in San Francisco, told us that those who have contrary views in the areas of guns and religion are basically too brain-deficient to develop those ideas as rational convictions; rather, these are values people cling to because they’re bitter and haven’t worked for a while”—-

—IS AN EXAMPLE OF SWIFTBOATING.

runasim
Guest
runasim
8 years 3 months ago

This is going to be ugly.

The LA blog chides Obama for referring to guns, while ignoring the fact that the referrence comes from a quote. Besides, has no one heard of symbolism?

By now, almost every word in the English language is radioactive.

StockBoySF
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StockBoySF
8 years 3 months ago

Obama is not going to start any fights and if the Republicans go after him with lies or racist comments or questioning his patriotism, then Obama is not going to take it laying down. Good for him- he’s not a pushover.

arubyan
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arubyan
8 years 3 months ago
Well, if there was a “fighter” in this campaign cycle, it was Hillary. No question about it: kicking, scratching, gouging, sucker-punching, fighting Hillary. And I genuinely mean that in a good way. At a fundamental level, it’s what you want in your candidate: the overwhelming desire to win. Had she prevailed I would have been thrilled to have her represent the Democrats. There would have been blood in the scuppers — Republican blood. But there’s fighting and then there’s fighting. Aikido (???, aikid??) is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy,… Read more »
StockBoySF
Guest
StockBoySF
8 years 3 months ago

And of course we have Bush’s approach which is, “If we don’t like them we’ll blow ’em away just to make sure they don’t attack us first”.

It’s one thing to go after terrorists (which I think Bush should be more aggressive in doing so) and it’s another thing to invade countries that are already castrated of their military power and pose no threat to us.

runasim
Guest
runasim
8 years 3 months ago
I read a very disturbing post. In essence, it said that throwing support to Obama became possible only AFTER his James Bond quote. Since the post did not acknowlege that this was a symbolic quote from a Bond, movie, I have to assuem that this new-found admiration was for politics as warfare, not debate.. Has anybody been listening to Obama? The message from all sdes seems to be that rational, civil politics in this country is not possible. What next? Pre-emptime smears and sleaze? If we don’t fight on their terms, we’ll lose on ours? Talk about defeatism and a… Read more »
StockBoySF
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StockBoySF
8 years 3 months ago
runasim, I don’t think many people have been listening to Obama. That’s clear in reading a lot of pro-Obama posts and talking with pro-Obama folks. I think what most people miss in Obama’s message on change is that it begins with each of us. For instance I read an article in the NY Times today about Obama speaking at one of Chicago’s largest black churches. He was addressing some of the ills in the African American community and had strong words for absent fathers. He called for the African American community in general (and more specifically men) to meet their… Read more »
runasim
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runasim
8 years 3 months ago
Stockboy. You summed it up very well, and I plan to support his message, even if the messenger loses the race. It’s very disheartening to witness how his message is being trampled under the hooves of politics. After a lifetime as a feminist, I’m apalled by how the Hillary women are redefining the term, One post actually criticized Obama’s speech about absent fathers as being sexist and an insult to lesbian parents! In this view, diversity and women’s rights means that traditional marriages and men have to be pushed out! That’s not diversity. That’s just the old politics of bigotry… Read more »
StockBoySF
Guest
StockBoySF
8 years 3 months ago

Thanks, runasim. Agreed, and that “never described demographic of common sense people” may tune the extremists out and not even vote or otherwise participate in the process.

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