Obama Says McCain Trying to "Distract" Voters

(CBS)
CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

(ASHEVILLE, N.C.) - Barack Obama dismissed the McCain campaign's most recent charges against him, calling them "swiftboat-style attacks" designed to distract voters.

"Senator McCain and his operatives are gambling that he can distract you with smears rather than talk to you about substance," Obama said today, adding, "That's what you do when you're out of touch, out of ideas, and running out of time."

Obama took a break from debate prep this afternoon to briefly campaign in the western part of North Carolina. He told the crowd of thousands, who gathered at Memorial Stadium at Asheville High School, that McCain is trying to divert attention from issues and focus on smears.

"We're not going to let John McCain distract us, we're not gonna let him hoodwink ya, or bamboozle ya, we're not gonna let him run the okeydoke on ya," Obama said.

He also blasted the McCain campaign for suggesting that the passage of the economic rescue plan is a sign that the campaign should "turn the page on the financial crisis."

"I know the policies he's supported these past eight years and wants to continue another four are pretty hard to defend," Obama mocked. "I can understand why Senator McCain would want to "turn the page" and ignore this economy."

Obama's speech focused heavily on health care, and the differences between his and McCain's plans. He said that he is not ignoring the economy by concentrating on health care, saying that the issue is a "fundamental" that needs to be addressed.

"Contrary to what Senator McCain says, the fundamentals of our economy are still not strong. And we've got to address those fundamentals right now and health care is one of those fundamentals," he said.