McCain Ratchets Up Criticism of Obama

(CBS)
From CBS News' John Bentley:

(WAUKESHA, WISC.) – In the most aggressive town hall meeting John McCain has held yet, virtually every answer he gave included a jab at Barack Obama.

In his opening remarks, McCain accused Obama of helping Wall Street at the expense of homeowners.

"Sen. Obama was happy to bail out Bear Stearns, AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, his pals there," McCain said, "but he's opposed to us helping the homeowners of America. Do you want to help the homeowners of America, or do you want to help Wall Street?"

McCain didn't always need to criticize Obama himself during the event, because some of the audience members did it for him. One questioner said he was "stunned" that Obama was ahead in the polls because of his associations. "We're all wondering, why, that, Obama is where he's at, how he got here," he said.

"We don't care about an old washed up terrorist," McCain said, referring to Bill Ayres, a former member of the radical organization the Weather Underground, which his campaign has tried to link to Obama.

"Sen. Obama said he was just a guy in the neighborhood. We know that's not true. We need to know the full extent of the relationship because of whether Sen. Obama is telling the truth to the American people or not."

A few people in the audience also kept shouting out "ACORN," which is a Democratic voter registration organization. McCain called for an investigation into whether they had illegally registered people to vote.

"These are serious allegations, my friends, and they must be investigated, and they must be investigated immediately," McCain said. "They must be stopped before November 4th, so Americans will not be deprived of a fair process in this election."

The Obama campaign said McCain was making personal attacks instead of discussing the issues.

"It's now clear that John McCain would rather launch angry, personal attacks than talk about the economy or defend his risky bailout scheme that hands over billions in taxpayer dollars to the same irresponsible Wall Street banks and lenders that got us into this mess – a scheme that guarantees taxpayers will lose money," said Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor.