Candidates Ready to Take Off the Gloves

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In one of his sharpest attacks yet, Republican presidential candidate John McCain charged his rival with not being transparent about his political and financial ties. 

"Sen. Obama has accused me of opposing regulation to avert this crisis," McCain said at a campaign rally Monday afternoon. "I guess he believes if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough it will be believed."

For more insight on what to expect for the rest of the campaign, watch CBN News Political Reporter David Brody.

McCain charged that, while Obama has written two memoirs, "he's not exactly an open book."

Obama responded earlier today to the ramped up attacks, saying that the GOP ticket is trying to shift attention from the troubled economy.

"The notion that we would want to brush that aside and engage in the usual political shenanigans and smear tactics that have come to characterize too many political campaigns is not what the American people are looking for," he said.

Palin Offensive

Over the weekend, vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin revived accusations against Obama for being too cozy with domestic terrorists.

"This, ladies and gentleman, is not the kind of change that I think we should be believing in," Palin said at a fundraiser Saturday in Costa Mesa, Calif.

She defended those comments on Monday, saying it was "fair to talk about" how Obama's political career was launched with the help of Bill Ayers.

Ayers founded the Weather Underground in the 1960s that claimed credit for numerous bombings.

The Obama campaign has responded by saying that voters should be focusing economic issues and not any character remarks.

"I'm afraid this is someone who thinks America is imperfect enough to work with a former domestic terrorist," Palin said.

Obama said, "They plan to, and I quote, 'turn the page' on the discussion about our economy, and spend the final weeks of this campaign launching Swiftboat-style attacks on me.

Obama has dismissed the radical views and actions of Ayers.

'You Don't Wanna Go There'

Meanwhile, Democratic strategist Paul Begala warned that McCain "does not want to play guilt-by-association, or this thing could blow up in his face."

And it appears the Obama campaign has already taken steps to make good on the threat.

"If they throw mud like that,then you go back to Charles Keating," veteran Democratic activist Hillary Rosen told CNN. "I just don't think that John McCain wants to take this nuclear strategy."

Rosen was referencing an incident that took place early on in McCain's Senate career which he called "the worst mistake of my life."

The GOP nominee participated in two meetings with bank regulators on behalf of friend and campaign contributor Charles Keating. Keating was later convicted of securities fraud.

A Senate ethics committee cited McCain for his association with Keating, faulting him for displaying "poor judgement."

While most Americans know little about either Ayers or Keating whose nefarious deeds took place decades earlier, it's likely the two could play a prominent role in the last leg of the 2008 campaign.

Source: The Associated Press, Boomberg.com, CBN News

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