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."
More from O'Keefe: "Patriotism might not be the only skirmish between the potential first spouses this election year. In the interview airing on "Good Morning America" Thursday, McCain didn't shy away from political questions.
Asked by Snow if she would feel safe with Obama as president, McCain replied, 'I would feel safe with my husband as president…I think Barack Obama is a fine man and Michelle Obama is a fine woman (but) this is about who would be better and I think my husband would be better.'"
Presidential Dinner Raises $21.5 Million
President Bush heads to the Washington Convention Center tonight for the annual President's Dinner, a joint effort by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). The party organizations announced today that they raised a total of $21.5 million for the party's efforts this cycle. Presumptive Republican nominee McCain will not be in attendance, a fact duly noted by the folks at the DCCC.
On the campaign front. . .
-- Attends events in Washington DC
As for the Republicans. . .
-- travels to Iowa to view flood damage
-- 6:30 pm ET: Attends fundraising dinner, Minneapolis, MN
-- 8:00 pm ET: Attends town hall meeting with voters, St. Paul, MN
At the White House. . .
-- 9:30 am ET: With First Lady Laura Bush, attends ceremony for the 2008 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House
-- travels to Iowa to view flood damage
POLITICAL NEWS STORIES ON ABCNEWS.COM
ABC News' Jennifer Parker: Michelle Obama Defends Patriotism, Jokes of 'Girl Fight' on 'View' LINK
ABC News' Gary Langer: Battle of the Spouses: A Bit Better for Obama LINK
ABC News' Ed O'Keefe: Cindy McCain Presses Obama Patriotism Case LINK
ABC News' Sunlen Miller, Teddy Davis, and James Gerber : Obama Camp Explains Bin Laden's Rights...Again LINK
ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf, Kate McCarthy, Teddy Davis, and Gregory Wallace: McCain and Jindal Split on Katrina Funding LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Huck to GOP: "Demonizing" Obama Will Backfire LINK
ABC News' Jennifer Parker: Michelle Obama Consoles Teary Elisabeth Hasselbeck LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Obama Says McCain Continuing "Bush/Cheney Political Playbook Based on Fear" LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Obama Up In Swing States; Clinton Would Be a Drag with Indies LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: From the Fact Check Desk: What Did Obama's Half-Brother Say About Obama's Background? LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: John McCain: Would-Be Democrat? LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: McCain, Obama, Giuliani -- and the Rights of Detainees LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Obama and Iraqi Foreign Minister Have Different Memories of their Conversation LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Fish Don't Fry In the Kitchen, Beans Don't Burn On the Grill LINK
POLITICAL VIDEO ON ABCNEWS.COM
Obama Is a Big Fan of Laura Bush
Michelle Obama says that she's taking cues from the first lady. LINK
Obama (Michelle) vs. McCain (Cindy)
A look at what people think of the two potential first ladies. LINK
Bush Calls For Off Shore Drilling
The President asks Democratic Congress to comply with his four point plan. LINK
Bush Blasts Democrats
The President has a plan-drill more- and knows who to blame: the Democrats. LINK
An Ocean of Oil
Bush is pressing Congress to reverse a ban on offshore drilling. LINK
Candidates Spar Over Oil Policy
McCain modifies his position on offshore drilling, while Obama cries flip-flop. LINK
'Goreacle' Gets on Obama Train
The former vice president throws his support behind Democratic candidate Obama. LINK
Gore Endorses Obama in Michigan
Al Gore is the latest politician to endorse the Senator. LINK