Obama’s Campaign Manager David Axelrod told CNN on Monday that Obama did go to Ayers home in 1995 for an event that helped launch his political career but “he didn’t know the history” about Ayers’ violent past, which included plans to bomb the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol as a founding member of the radical Weather Underground terrorist group, at the time.
A number of conservatives, led by the popular talk-radio host and television personality Sean Hannity have called on Obama to disclose exactly when he learned about Ayers’ radical past, but no one from the Obama campaign has made that information available.
Obama Communications Director Robert Gibbs said he didn’t know anything about Obama’s relationship with Ayers firsthand. “I don’t know the details of this,” he told Fox News Tuesday. “I do know what I read in newspapers.”
The New York Times published a news story over the weekend that stated Obama has “downplayed” his relationship with Ayers, but the GOP has exaggerated it.
When asked directly about his friendship with the former terrorist Obama has described Ayers “a guy who lives in my neighborhood” who “engaged in detestable acts when I was eight years old.”
Obama also likened his disagreements with Ayers over his radical acts to his disagreements with Republican Sen. Tom Coburn in a previous Democratic primary debate.