In an earlier OOTD, Barack Obama made an explicit call for Latinos to vote against Republicans as a means to “punish our enemies,” putting Obama in the same rhetorical ballpark as Alan Grayson and his execrable “Taliban Dan” advertisement that convinced Grayson’s constituents to retire their one-term embarrassment.  A few days later, when campaigning on radio shows in order to entice Democrats to vote, Obama grudgingly admitted that calling his political opponents “enemies” was a poor choice of words — and then blamed Republicans for saying the exact same thing:

President Obama on Monday admitted he made a mistake last week when he referred to those who disagree with him as “enemies,” but argued that Republicans are misinterpreting his remark.

“I probably should have used the word, ‘opponents’ instead of enemies,” Obama said, during an interview with African-American radio show host Michael Baisden.

The president clarified his remark hours before House Minority Leader John Boehner, Ohio Republican, was set to use the comment as a centerpiece of his final speech of the 2010 campaign.

Obama implied that he felt Republicans were unfairly politicizing the comment.

“Now the Republicans are saying that I’m calling them enemies,” Obama said. “What I’m saying is you’re an opponent of this particular provision, comprehensive immigration reform, which is something very different.”

No, he was calling Republicans “enemies,” which is indeed “something very different,” as well as graceless and hyperbolic.  Considering the context in how it was used — attempting to get Latinos to support Democrats — it’s also a bit of ethnic baiting as well.

The fault isn’t in those who understandably object to Obama’s characterization.  The fault lies with Obama for saying it.

Got an  Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the  Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!