Lest you worry the presidential campaign this year will observe Marquess of Queensbury rules, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum — a John McCain surrogate — yesterday accused Barack Obama of being “soft on crime,” reports the Orlando Sentinel. Specifically, said McCollum, Obama has been “soft on” child sexual predators by failing to support legislation targeting them.
In an age of Internet predation and Amber Alerts, it’s hard to imagine a more incendiary charge. If revamping Social Security is the third rail of American politics, coddling child predators is the electric chair, says the Sentinel. McCollum bases his characterization on bills proposed when Obama was an Illinois state senator. They included measures to tighten restrictions on placing adult entertainment businesses near schools, churches and homes and to require schools to install computer software restricting access to pornography. Obama voted “present.” “To say he’s soft on crime,” McCollum told reporters, “is a fair statement.” An Obama spokesman said McCollum and the McCain campaign were “cherry picking” single votes and leaving out crucial information to create a warped view of Obama’s record. The spokesman said the idea that Obama, the father of two daughters, was somehow easy on child predators was “ridiculous.”