After forgoing character attacks during the second presidential debate, Republican John McCain has sought to sow doubt about Democrat Barack Obama's background and character. Obama, meanwhile, accused the McCain campaign of trying to "score cheap political points."
Both candidates tried to play into voters' worries about the other with a mere four weeks to go before Election Day. McCain is perceived as being weak on the economy, and Obama continued a line of attack against the veteran senator for saying recently that the fundamentals of the US economy were strong.
McCain asnd his running mate, Alaska Gov Sarah Palin, challenged Obama's campaign claims, stressed his lack of experience and said his ideas were dangerous.
"We've all heard what he's said. But it's less clear what he's done, or what he will do," McCain told supporters in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.
McCain's remarks about Obama were interrupted with shouts of "socialist," "terrorist" and "liar."
Palin said there were too many questions about Obama's past: "John McCain didn't just come out of nowhere. The American people know John McCain."
And for the second time in three days, a speaker at a Republican rally invoked Obama's middle name, Hussein, in an apparent attempt to feed lingering fears about the Democrat's background.
Lehigh County Republican Chairman Bill Platt twice used Obama's middle name before McCain and Palin arrived at the campaign stop in the town of Bethlehem. The campaign quickly issued a statement saying it did not condone "this inappropriate rhetoric.