From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:
GRESHAM, ORE. -- Barack Obama blamed the press today for not scrutinizing John McCain early enough in the election saying McCain was not properly vetted as a consequence of being "written off" in the midst of the Republican primary.
"Senator McCain, you recall, had been written off as not being viable about halfway through last year and he came back," Obama said at a campaign stop at a senior citizens home. "What I meant was during that period, people were not paying close attention but he got wrapped up fairly quickly."
Obama also argued that the press has been preoccupied with the Democratic primary. He said, "It is very understandable that the press focus has been on myself and Senator Clinton because this has been a pretty exciting race on the Democratic side."
He called on voters to consider the differences between himself and McCain, who Obama continued to depict as an extension of the Bush Administration.
"I hope that as we move forward in the general election that you pay careful attention to this debate between myself and John McCain should I end up being the nominee because I really think that after eight years we are in worse shape now than we were when George Bush took office and John McCain wants to continue George Bush's policies," Obama said.
"I hope that once you take a look where we stand on the issues, that you'll choose to support me, even if you are a Republican."