From CBS News' Andante Higgins:
JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Accused by blogger Arianna Huffington of saying he did not vote for President Bush in 2000, John McCain responded that her assertions were "nonsense." "I voted, campaigned for, worked as hard as I could for President Bush's election in 2000 and 2004," McCain said. "With all due respect, this is hardly worth our time."
There has also been a bitter back and forth among McCain and Barack Obama, sparked by McCain mentioning that Obama was endorsed by Hamas, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization. Obama shot back by saying McCain was "losing his bearings."
The McCain camp was outraged by the remark for raising McCain's age as an issue. Today, McCain clarified his criticism of Obama. "It's very obvious to everyone that Senator Obama shares nothing of the values or goals of Hamas," he said. "And I certainly never implied anything else. But it's also a fact that a spokesperson for Hamas said that he approves Senator Obama's candidacy. I think that is of interest to the American people and that is something that needs to be discussed. Why his policies should meet the approval of the spokesperson for Hamas."
McCain also made sure to note other distinctions in policy between him and Obama. "Iran is obviously one of the supporters of Hamas. Senator Obama wants to sit down and have negotiations and discussions with the person who just yesterday called Israel a stinking corpse," he said, referring to a statement made by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "So it's clear that I would never sit down with an individual who speaks for his nation which is dedicated to the extinction of the state of Israel, calls it a stinking corpse, is developing nuclear weapons, and sending the most lethal explosives into Iraq killing young Americans."
McCain said he was not offended by Obama's charge that he was "losing his bearings," and insisted that it's fine with him if Americans feel his age is an issue worth discussing. "Every issue that the American people want to be an issue and is part of their discussions is fine with me," McCain said. "Just as the Rev. Wright's remarks, I don't believe that Senator Obama shares his views in any way, but he has said it's a legitimate topic of discussion."
Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., who has been campaigning with McCain, made light of the controversy. "I just want to report that this morning I personally checked all of John McCain's bearings," he said. "He has not lost any of them they are all really in great shape."