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Palin says Obama 'palling around' with terrorists

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has accused Democrat Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists" because of his association with a former 1960s radical, stepping up the campaign's effort to portray Obama as unacceptable to American voters.

world Updated: Oct 05, 2008 08:05 IST

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has accused Democrat Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists" because of his association with a former 1960s radical, stepping up the campaign's effort to portray Obama as unacceptable to American voters.

Palin's reference was to Bill Ayers, one of the founders of the group the Weather Underground. Its members took credit for bombings, including nonfatal explosions at the Pentagon and US Capitol, during the tumultuous Vietnam War era four decades ago. Obama, who was a child when the group was active, served on a charity board with Ayers several years ago and has denounced his radical views and activities.

The Republican campaign, falling behind Obama in polls, plans to make attacks on Obama's character a centrepiece of presidential candidate John McCain's message with a month remaining before Election Day.

Palin told a group of donors at a private airport, "Our opponent ... Is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country." She also said, "This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America."

"What's clear is that John McCain and Sarah Palin would rather spend their time tearing down Barack Obama than laying out a plan to build up our economy," Obama campaign spokesman Hari Sevugan said in a statement.

Palin's remark about Obama "palling around with terrorists" comes as e-mails circulate on the Internet with suggestions that the Democratic candidate is secretly a radical, foreign-born Muslim with designs against the US -- even though Obama is a native of Hawaii, a Christian and has no connections to Muslim extremists.