Barack Obama's campaign is running a radio spot in key states that goes further into the candidate's past relationship with William Ayres, the former member of the Weather Underground. As Politico's Ben Smith notes, the ad is similar to a TV ad the campaign has run in that it takes on what it calls "smears" on the topic, but goes into more detail on Ayers.
"Bill Ayers is a professor of education who once served with Obama on a school reform board, a board funded by conservative Republicans tied to McCain," the ad says. "When Ayers committed crimes in the '60s, Obama was 8 years old. Obama condemned those despicable acts. Ayers has had no role in Obama's campaign, and will have no role in his administration. And John McCain? With no plan to fix our economy, smears are all he has left."
The RNC responded to the ad with a statement from spokesman Danny Diaz. "According to Barack Obama's new ad, Bill Ayers is a 'professor of education who once served with Obama on a school reform board,'" Diaz said in the statement. "What Obama doesn't tell voters is that he made an independent judgment to befriend an unrepentant terrorist who headed an organization that killed Americans, and targeted men and women in uniform. Barack Obama's failed judgment led him to put his career before our country and it disqualifies him as a reasonable or serious candidate for the presidency."
Also, in a video message to supporters, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe warned of some tought fights ahead. "The only way we're going to fight back in the next 22 days against these smears and win this election, is for you, out in the states, to make sure that you're talking to your neighbors," Plouffe said, adding that some of has been said about "terrorists" goes "beyond the pale."
Washingtonpost.com's Ed O'Keefe reports that the McCain campaign's Michael Goldfarb responded to those comments by saying: "The 'terrorists' in question would be William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, the husband and wife team behind the Weather Underground, a group responsible for attacks against the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol. … The only thing 'beyond the pale' here is the Obama campaign's failure to explain how it is that Barack Obama carried on a decade long friendship with a man who sought to topple the U.S. government through violence."