Republican presidential candidate John McCain called on his Democratic rival Barack Obama to apologize for having a relationship with domestic terrorist William Ayers in a conference call with bloggers Friday.
McCain said Obama should give “not only repudiation, but an apology for ever having anything to do with an unrepentant terrorist is due to the American people.”
McCain blasted Obama for comparing Ayers to Sen. Tom Coburn (R.-Okla.) in a nationally televised debate. “I am a bit surprised there has not been more discussion about the comparison Senator Obama made about an unrepentant terrorist, because that is what Mr. Ayers is, and a great American citizen who goes back on the weekends to deliver babies and bring life as opposed to someone involved in an organization who took life through bombings.”
“I am offended by a comparison like that,” McCain said.
Obama’s relationship with Ayers, a former member of the Weatherman terrorist group responsible for the bombings of federal buildings in the 1960’s, has been called into question by many of his critics. The Obama campaign recently said they were “friendly” with Ayers.
When asked about Ayers in an ABC News debate last week Obama said he was “a guy who lives in my neighborhood” and suggested he was an extremist in the same way Coburn, a reliable conservative, is viewed by some people. News outlets have found Ayers hosted a campaign event for Obama in the past as well as spoken on different panels together at political events.
While McCain blasted Obama for being “friendly” with Ayers, the Arizona senator reissued his call for the North Carolina Republican Party to pull an ad linking Obama to his longtime friend and Pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
“This ad is offensive to some and I think it should be taken down,” McCain said. Critics have said the ad, which discusses Obama’s voting record on crime and features clips from some of Wright’s controversial sermons, is racist.
The North Carolina GOP is defying McCain by standing by the ad. It is available on the internet now and will begin airing in North Carolina next week and through the run-up to the state’s May 6 primary.
McCain ends his “Time for Action” tour with stops in Arkansas and Oklahoma Friday. His former rival Mike Huckabee is scheduled to campaign with McCain for the entire day.
“To say the least [these areas] have not been part of the American dream,” McCain said. “Washington is out of touch with the needs and hopes and aspirations.”
McCain said along his tour he’s been greeted by “warmth and affection probably in a way I have never experienced.”