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Obama Vows to "Hit Back Hard" Against GOP Attacks

(CBS)
From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

(DOVER, N.H.) - Barack Obama acknowledged today that some of his supporters are increasingly concerned by Republican attacks after a voter asked him at a town hall meeting when he is going to start fighting back.

"You've assured voters in New Hampshire as well as the rest of the country that you will not tolerate Republican attack ads and smear campaigns," Glenn Grasso, an Obama supporter, said.

"So for those of us who have given you our support and more importantly our money, when and how are you going to start fighting back against attack ads and smear campaigns?"

Obama responded by telling the crowd that he does not intend to "start making up lies" about John McCain, borrowing a phrase from Abraham Lincoln - "if you stop lying about me – if you don't stop lying about me I'm going to have to start telling the truth about you."

But, he vowed to hit back at McCain on issues. "Here's what I can guarantee you: that we are going to be hitting back hard – we have been hitting back hard – but we're hitting back on the issues that matter to families."

After the event, Grasso, a PhD candidate in American history, told reporters that he was satisfied with Obama's answer.

"I think it is very important to combat lies with facts," Grasso said. "I think he was excellent in stating this campaign really is too important to be railroaded by distractions and if he keeps coming back to being on message, I think he will win the White House."