McCain-Palin go negative

Lagging in the polls, Republican candidates plan more attacks on Obama.

By Salon Staff
Published October 5, 2008 4:33PM (EDT)

Brace yourself for John McCain and Sarah Palin to sling mud at Barack Obama a lot in the coming final weeks of the campaign. And you thought you'd already seen a lot of that, didn't you?

The McCain camp fears that the economy is a losing issue for them, and bragging about McCain's bio isn't going to be enough to led them to the White House, according to a front page article in Saturday's Washington Post. So, in these last weeks before the election, the Republican candidates' focus will narrow to raising questions about Barack Obama's fitness to lead.

"We're going to get a little tougher," an unnamed senior Republican operative told the Post, noting that a fresh batch of television attack ads is coming soon. "We've got to question this guy's associations." Yesterday, we already saw that strategy in action when Sarah Palin accused Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists," referring to his association with Bill Ayers, one of the founders of the Weathermen. Expect to hear more about Ayers as well as Tony Rezko in the weeks to come.

With McCain lagging in recent polls in several key states, the candidate hinted Thursday that he will adopt a more aggressive tone as soon as next week's debate. "Asked at a Colorado town hall, 'When are you going to take the gloves off?' the candidate grinned and replied, 'How about Tuesday night?' the Post reported.

The Obama campaign brushes off this strategy as a distraction from the issues that voters will not fall for. Robert Gibbs, a senior adviser to the Obama-Biden campaign, told the Post: "I don't think the country is going to be distracted by the trivial," adding that Obama will continue to focus on the economy.

Salon Staff

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