ABC News’ Teddy Davis and Rigel Anderson report: Embattled Republican Sen. Susan Collins is calling on Sen. John McCain to stop paying for automated phone calls which describe Sen. Barack Obama as having "worked closely" with "domestic terrorist Bill Ayers."
"These kind of tactics have no place in Maine politics," said Collins spokesman Kevin Kelley. "Sen. Collins urges the McCain campaign to stop these calls immediately."
Contacted on Friday by ABC News, the McCain campaign would not say if it was going to heed the request of Collins who serves as his campaign’s co-chair in Maine.
"Obviously, Sen. McCain has great respect for Sen. Collins. But beyond that," said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers, "we don’t have any comment."
Ayers is the former leader of the Weather Underground. To protest the Vietnam War, his organization ran a domestic bombing campaign which resulted in fatalities.
Obama, who was 8 years old at the time, has repudiated those acts as "despicable." Friday’s statement from the Collins campaign came after Maine’s Democratic Party issued a press release earlier in the day challenging the Republican incumbent to denounce what it called "blatantly false phone calls personally attacking" Obama.
Collins’ Democratic opponent was not satisfied.
"If she truly feels that strongly about it," said Carol Andrews, communications director to Democratic Rep. Tom Allen, "she should resign as co-chair of McCain’s campaign in Maine."
Here is the script of the McCain-RNC robo call about Bill Ayers, which Collins criticized on Friday:
"Hello. I’m calling for John McCain and the RNC because you need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge’s home and killed Americans. And Democrats will enact an extreme leftist agenda if they take control of Washington. Barack Obama and his Democratic allies lack the judgment to lead our country. This call was paid for by McCain-Palin 2008 and the Republican National Committee at 202-863-8500."
Politico has the audio HERE.
The Collins criticism of McCain’s robo call was first reported by Jessica Alaimo of Politicker-Maine and later confirmed by ABC News.