Campaign Boogeyman William Ayers Talks to 'GMA'
Chicago radical says he was just another "guy around the neighborhood."
Nov. 14, 2008 — -- William Ayers, the 1960s radical whose violent history became a focal point in the 2008 presidential election, said today that the Republicans unfairly "demonized" him in an attempt to damage the campaign of President-elect Obama.
Ayers defended his bomb-throwing past and repeated a statement that has infuriated his critics: "I don't think we did enough."
The college professor also argued to "Good Morning America's" Chris Cuomo today that the bombing campaign by the Weather Underground, the group he helped found, was not terrorism.
The Weather Underground bombed the Capitol, the Pentagon and the New York City Police Department in protest of the Vietnam War.
"It's not terrorism because it doesn't target people, to kill or injure," Ayers said.
Ayers became a boogeyman for Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin, who demanded to know more about Obama's relationship with his Chicago neighbor. Palin accused Obama of "palling around ... with a terrorist."
Breaking his silence today, Ayers said that the GOP attack was a "dishonest narrative ... to demonize me."
"I don't buy the idea that guilt by association should have any part of our politics," he said.
Ayers scoffed at the Republican effort to make his ties to Obama appear suspicious.
"This idea that we need to know more, like there's some dark, hidden secret, some secret link," Ayers said. "It's a myth thrown up by people who want to exploit the politics of fear."
But he was unapologetic about his militant actions during the Vietnam War.
"What you call the violent past, that was a time when thousands of people were being murdered every month by our own government. ... We were on the right side," he told "GMA."
The co-founder of the Weather Underground was, as McCain has claimed, unrepentant about the the bombings his group committed during the 1960s.
"The content of the Vietnam protest is that there were despicable acts going on, but the despicable acts were being done by our government. ... I never hurt or killed anyone," Ayers said.
"Frankly, I don't think we did enough, just as today I don't think we've done enough to stop these wars," he said.
ABC News Live
24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events