BURLINGAME, Calif. - Gov. Sarah Palin defended her claim that Barack Obama "pals around with terrorists," saying the Democratic presidential nominee's association with a 1960s radical is an issue that is "fair to talk about."
Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, launched the attack Saturday, repeating it at three different events and signaling a new strategy by John McCain's presidential campaign to go after Obama's character.
"The comments are about an association that has been known but hasn't been talked about," Palin said as she boarded her plane in Long Beach, Calif. "I think it's fair to talk about where Barack Obama kicked off his political career, in the guy's living room."
At issue is Obama's association with Bill Ayers, a founder of the radical Weather Underground group during the Vietnam era. Both have served on the same Chicago charity and live near each other. Ayers also held a meet-the-candidate event at his home for Obama when Obama first ran for office in the mid-1990s, the event cited by Palin.
But while Ayers and Obama are acquainted, the charge that they "pal around" is a stretch of any reading of the public record. And it's simply wrong to suggest that they were associated while Ayers was committing terrorist acts. Obama was 8 years old at the time the Weather Underground claimed credit for numerous bombings and was blamed for a pipe bomb that killed a San Francisco policeman.
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