From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:
WASHINGTON — Barack Obama's campaign continued to defend the Illinois senator's position on terrorism today, accusing John McCain and his advisers of making "dishonest distortions" of Obama's policies.
Senior foreign policy adviser Susan Rice called McCain's approach to terrorism "dangerous" and "self-defeating" and said the debate is "an effort to divert attention from our dismal economy."
Top Obama advisers hosted a conference call to respond to comments made by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and McCain adviser Randy Scheunemann earlier today, in which Giuliani accused Obama of dealing with terrorism in a "defensive manner" rather than in realistic terms.
Rice fired back at these claims, accusing the Republicans of not wanting to discuss issues, which she says have made the country less safe.
"They don't want to talk about the fact that we had bin Laden and a number of his lieutenants captured in close range nearly defeated in Tora Bora and then escaped," Rice said, "They don't want to talk about the fact that we diverted our effort and energy and resources from Afghanistan to Iraq."
Later today, Obama will hold his first meeting with his Senior Working Group on National Security. Participants include many former Clinton Administration officials, including Madeleine Albright, Warren Christopher, and Eric Holder.