Candidates Sling Mud

Candidates Sling Mud

It is less than 30 days before Election Day, and the gloves are off!

The McCain and Obama presidential campaigns accused each other of scraping the bottom of the barrel in new political ads that bring up decades-old events.

The Obama campaign says the McCain campaign is dredging up old dirt because it wants to avoid talking about the economy. Not so, says Nancy Pfotenhauer, an adviser to the McCain campaign. During an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Monday, Pfotenhauer said voters need to know about Sen. Barack Obama’s past as well as his future plans for the U.S.

She said it’s “absolutely essential” that Americans hear not only about his plans for the future but also “about the decision they have to make about these two individuals,” according to the Associated Press. Pfotenhauer said she thought that commercials that raise new questions about Obama’s associations “have struck a nerve” with the Democrat.

Also on GMA, Obama’s communications director, Robert Gibbs, said Sen. John McCain’s offensive – including Gov. Sarah Palin’s allegation that Obama “pals around with terrorists” is “a despicable smear campaign.”

Democrats on Sunday had denounced Palin’s charge. In retaliation, Obama’s campaign released a Web video and a letter about McCain’s role in the Keating Five scandal from the early 1990s.

McCain “does not want to play guilt-by-association, or this thing could blow up in his face,” Democratic strategist Paul Begala said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” writes the AP.

Palin attempted to link Obama to former Weatherman Bill Ayers and Obama sought to tie McCain to Charles Keating of the savings & loan scandal of the late 1980s. Though they are no longer household names, both Ayers and Keating were real notorious in their day. Ayers is a founder of the violent Weather Underground group blamed for several bombings during the Vietnam War era. Keating is a convicted felon after being found guilty of fraud, racketeering, and conspiracy in relation to the S&L debacle.

Palin has since toned down her description of the Obama-Ayers relationship after her earlier comments were criticized as exaggerated. But keeping her hands firmly in the dirt, she attempted to up Obama’s relationship with his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

Deborah Creighton Skinner is the editorial director at