Palin Expands Ayers Attack

By Julia Hoppock

Oct 7, 2008 4:34pm

ABC News’ Imitiyaz Delawala reports: For the fourth day in a row, Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin attacked Barack Obama’s association with former 60′s radical William Ayers in an attempt to raise questions about Obama’s judgment.

At an outdoor rally before thousands of enthusiastic supporters in Jacksonville, Florida this morning, Palin raised her now-regular criticism tying Obama to Ayers, a founding member of the Weather Underground group which claimed responsibility for bombings at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol in the early 1970s.

Palin  called Ayers one of Obama’s "earliest supporters" for hosting a 1995 meeting kicking off Obama’s bid for the Illinois State Senate. She mocked claims this week by the Obama campaign that the Democratic presidential nominee did not know about Ayers’ past before the 1995 meeting.

"Now our opponent’s campaign is claiming for the first time, Barack Obama wasn’t aware of Ayers’ radical background. Barack recently remembered him as just a guy in the neighborhood," Palin said.  "Wait a minute there. You mean to tell me he didn’t know he had launched his own political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist?"

Palin then expanded the attack on Obama’s judgement, questioning Obama’s association with former Fannie Mae executives Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson. Johnson briefly served as the head of Obama’s vice presidential selection committee this summer, but resigned after reports came out that he received 7 million in mortgage loans with rates below market averages from lender Countrywide Financial. The McCain campaign has accused Obama of seeking economic advice from Raines–who while is an Obama supporter,  has not served as an official advisor to the Senator.

"You know, what’s next, claiming that he didn’t know two of his biggest supporters were running Fannie Mae, the subprime mortgage giant? Palin said. "Maybe he thought they were just guys in the Washington neighborhood."

Palin continued the line of attack by questioning Obama’s judgment in saying he would meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"And since he got called out on his plans to meet unconditionally with terror state leaders like Ahmadinejad, will he now claim he was unaware of his radical background?" Palin added, in mocking reference to Obama saying at a Democratic primary debate last year that he would meet leaders of rogue states without preconditions.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this election is about the truthfulness and judgment needed in our next president," Palin concluded. "John McCain has it and Barack Obama doesn’t."

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