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McCain Unloads on Obama's Character, Record

From CBS News' John Bentley:

(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) – Unleashing a barrage of attacks at Barack Obama today, John McCain sought to link his Democratic opponent to the current financial crisis as well as accusing him of being less than honest about his background.

"I don't need lessons about telling the truth to American people. And were I ever to need any improvement in that regard, I probably wouldn't seek advice from a Chicago politician. My opponent's touchiness every time he is questioned about his record should make us only more concerned," McCain said.

"All people want to know is: what has this man ever actually accomplished in government? what does he plan for America? In short: who is the real Barack Obama?"

McCain also said that Obama and Democrats in Congress "encouraged" the corruption at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that led to the subprime mortgage meltdown.

"Sen. Obama has accused me of opposing regulation to avert this crisis. I guess he believes if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough it will be believed. But the truth is I was the one who called at the time for tighter restrictions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that could have helped prevent this crisis from happening in the first place," said McCain.

"As recently as September of last year he said that subprime loans had been, quote, 'a good idea.' Well, Sen. Obama, that good idea has now plunged this country into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression."

The Obama camp has charged that McCain is trying to charge the subject away from the economy, as McCain's poll numbers have been sinking along with the Dow Jones average. But Obama said today that the economy should remain front and center on the campaign.

"I've got news for the McCain campaign – the American people are losing right now, they're losing their jobs, they're losing their health care, they're losing their homes, they're losing their savings," Obama said today.

"I cannot imagine anything more important to talk about than the economic crisis, and the notion that we'd want to brush that aside and engage in the usual political shenanigans and scare tactics that have come to characterize too many political campaigns, I think is not what the American people are looking for."

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