(SAN FRANCISCO) Before her campaign plane took off for a Sunday fundraiser here, CBS News asked Sarah Palin to respond to an analysis by the Associated Press that concluded her attempts to establish a friendship between Barack Obama and Weather Underground member William Ayers were "unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret."
"The Associated Press is wrong," Palin said. "The comments are about an association that has been known but hasn't been talked about, and I think it's fair to talk about where Barack Obama kicked off his political career, in the guy's living room."
Palin was referring to an event that Ayers hosted for Obama early in the Illinois senator's career. But the AP notes, "No evidence shows they were 'pals' or even close when they worked on community boards years ago and Ayers hosted a political event for Obama early in his career."
In what the AP called "a deliberate attempt to smear Obama" in a way that was "exaggerated at best if not outright false" and at a time when the McCain campaign has been losing ground in the polls, Palin on Saturday told an enormous crowd in Carson, California, that Obama "sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists."
Palin repeated her string of highly personal attacks against Obama's character and judgment at two private fundraisers throughout the day, even as she lamented that CBS News' Katie Couric asked her questions in a series of interviews that made her think, "C'mon, let's start talking to the American people about the issues you guys want to know about."
Palin on Saturday painted Obama as someone who "is not a man who sees America as you and I see America," and on Sunday, Palin did not back down an inch in hammering the Democratic nominee.
"And he, of course, having been associated with that group, a known domestic terrorist group, it's important for Americans to know," she told CBS News. "It's really important for Americans to start knowing who the real Barack Obama is."
The AP analysis noted that the McCain/Palin campaign's decision to raise the issue of Obama's "otherness" is one that the Arizona senator may come to regret, if not on a political level, than on a personal one.
"John McCain occasionally looks back on decisions with regret," the AP wrote. "He has apologized for opposing a holiday to honor Martin Luther King Jr. He has apologized for refusing to call for the removal of a Confederate flag from South Carolina's Capitol.
"When the 2008 campaign is over McCain might regret appeals such as Palin's perhaps more so if he wins."