US Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has accused the Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama of associating with terrorists.
She told a rally at a sports arena in Carson California, packed with thousands of supporters, that it was time to take the gloves off, and that’s exactly what she did.
“One of his (Obama’s) earliest supporters is a man who, according to the New York Times, was a domestic terrorist, and part of a group, part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and the US capitol’,” she said.
She was referring to Bill Ayres, a former member of the Vietnam war era militant ‘Weather’ underground organisation who is now a professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago. The group was blamed for a number of bombings in the US in the seventies.
Political analysts say Palin’s remarks form part of a broader Republican strategy to attack Obama’s character.
Meanwhile Obama attacked Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s healthcare plans.
“We are tired of watching as year after year, candidates offer up detailed health care plans with great fanfare and promise, only to sesd them crushed under the weight of Washington politics and drug and insurance lobbying once the campaign is over,” he said.
Palin’s jibe was dismissed by the Obama camp as “gutter politics” but appeared to reflect an effort by John McCain’s campaign to target Obama’s judgment as the Illinois senator consolidates his national lead in the polls and gains a vital edge in battleground states a month before the election on November 4.