At a rally in Ohio today, Barack Obama responded to the attacks recently launched by John McCain and running mate Sarah Palin, whose aggressive messages has been picked up by the crowds at their rallies. Today Obama commented on his opponent’s tactic: “It’s easy to rile up a crowd,” he said. “Nothing’s easier than riling up a crowd by stoking anger and division. But that’s not what we need right now in the United States.” By promoting unity and himself as the person who can facilitate that, Obama has managed to address the hatred that McCain’s camp has been fueling without relying on the same hate-based attacks. Obama also cited the McCain campaign’s statement that they want to “turn the page on the economy” and focus on attacking Obama. Watch the video here [www.msnbc.msn.com].

Later today McCain’s camp defended their supporters who have been saying things at rallies such as, Obama is a “traitor!” and a “terrorist” and “kill him!” McCain spokesperson Brian Rogers fired back by issuing a statement today, saying that Obama doesn’t understand “regular people.” [www.politico.com]

However others, including veteran Republican Congressman Ray LaHood of Illinois has said that Palin’s inflammatory rallies “don’t befit the office she’s running for and frankly, people don’t like it,” [www.wbbm780.com] he said.

John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, th country’s largest labor union, voiced his concern of the uncontained and increasingly aggressive McCain-Palin supporters.

“Sen. John McCain, Gov. Sarah Palin and the leadership of the Republican party have a fundamental moral responsibility to denounce the violent rhetoric that has pervaded recent McCain and Palin political rallies,” [www.boston.com] he said.

–Jamie Wong