BURLINGAME, Calif. - Sarah Palin defended her claim that Barack Obama "pals around with terrorists," saying the Democratic presidential nominee's association with a 1960s radical is an issue that is "fair to talk about."
Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, launched the attack Saturday and repeated it Sunday, signaling a new strategy by John McCain's presidential campaign to go after Obama's character.
"The comments are about an association that has been known but hasn't been talked about," Palin said as she boarded her plane in Long Beach, Calif. "I think it's fair to talk about where Barack Obama kicked off his political career, in the guy's living room."
Obama has denounced the radical views and actions of Bill Ayers, a founder of the violent Weather Underground group during the Vietnam era. On Sunday, Obama dismissed the criticism from the McCain campaign, leveled by Palin, as "smears" meant to distract voters from real problems such as the troubled economy.