BEND, ORE. -- Barack Obama told reporters that McCain's involvement in the Keating Five scandal of 1989 was not off-limits in campaign discussions.
"I don't have any doubt that John McCain's public record about issues that he's apologized for and written about is not germane to the presidency," Obama said. "I was just asked previously about a whole host of issues and associations that were a lot more flimsy than John McCain's relationship to Keating Five. What I've said is, you know, I can't quarrel with the American people wanting to know more about that and me having to answer questions about that."
Obama was responding to comments made during an introduction yesterday by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., who referenced the Keating Five and called McCain "reckless" on foreign policy.
McCain and Obama may soon have the opportunity to discuss the issue face to face. McCain has held joint town halls with his rivals before, and the campaign is open to doing so again. "John McCain has repeatedly encouraged these types of appearances with his opponents in the past, but in order to extend all due respect to Sen. Clinton, we will look forward to welcoming the arrangements when the Democrats have actually chosen their nominee," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.
"I think that's a great idea," Obama said. "Should I be the nominee, if I have the opportunity to debate substantive issues before the voters with John McCain, that's something I'm going to welcome."