It's been 48 hours since Barack Obama talked with ABC News' Jake Tapper about the prosecution of the masterminds of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing with respect to the detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay, but the back-and-forth between the presumptive Democratic nominee and John McCain just grows more heated.
In prepared remarks before a press availability in Washington DC, Obama said despite the talk about civil debate and bipartisanship, McCain has shown "predictable, petty and divisive attacks to try to score a few political points on national security," per ABC News' Sunlen Miller.
The Illinois Senator then tried to clarify his position on Guantanamo -- drawing lines in the sand once again with McCain's reaction to the Supreme Court ruling last week, Miller reports.
"I have confidence that our system of justice is strong enough to deal with terrorists; Senator McCain does not. That is not the same as giving these detainees the same full privileges as Americans citizens. I never said that, the Supreme Court never said that, and I would never do that as President of the United States. So either Senator McCain's campaign doesn't understand what the Court decided, or they are distorting my position."
McCain responded at his own press availability toady in Missouri: "He doesn't have an understanding of the nature of the threat and I'll look forward to that debate quite often in the future, I think the American people will agree with me."
McCain heads to Iowa Thursday to see firsthand the damage there from flooding. The candidate himself announced his trip, ahead of any release or information from his campaign. President Bush is also in Iowa tomorrow for his own tour of the flood damaged region. (How does the McCain campaign feel about the close proximity of the President – his statement on offshore drilling today, a visit to a battleground state on the same day tomorrow…) Obama visited a flood zone in his home state of Illinois last weekend and helped fill sandbags.
In addition to his Iowa tour, McCain attends a town hall in St. Paul on Thursday -- another week, another solo effort, without his Democratic counterpart. McCain makes sure to give some love to both of the Twin Cities, with a fundraiser in Minneapolis earlier in the evening.
While the presidential candidates and their campaigns went back and forth on national security issues, the spotlight also included their spouses, with Michelle Obama's appearance this morning on The View and Cindy McCain's trip to Vietnam this week.
Tivo Alert! ABC News' Kate Snow traveled to Vietnam and sat down with Cindy McCain for an interview that will air on Good Morning America on Thursday.
ABC News' Ed O'Keefe Reports: Laura Bush may be ready to give Michelle Obama the benefit of the doubt when it comes to her patriotism but Cindy McCain may not.
"I don't know why she said what she said," Mrs. McCain explains in the interview. "Everyone has their own experience. I don't know why she said what she said, all I know is that I have always been proud of my country."
McCain's comments reference remarks Obama made a Wisconsin rally, when she said: "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of country not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change."