(CNN) - John McCain’s campaign accused Barack Obama of making the presumptive Republican nominee’s age an issue after his Thursday remark that the Arizona senator was “losing his bearings as he pursues this nomination.”
"First, let us be clear about the nature of Senator Obama's attack today: He used the words 'losing his bearings' intentionally, a not particularly clever way of raising John McCain's age as an issue,” said McCain adviser Mark Salter. “This is typical of the Obama style of campaigning.
“We have all become familiar with Senator Obama's new brand of politics. First, you demand civility from your opponent, then you attack him, distort his record and send out surrogates to question his integrity. It is called hypocrisy, and it is the oldest kind of politics there is.”
Earlier on CNN, Obama that McCain's contention that Hamas wants Obama to be president was “offensive, and I think it's disappointing, because John McCain always says ‘I am not going to run that kind of politics.’ And to engage in that kind of smear is unfortunate, particularly because my policy toward Hamas has been no different than his.
“…So for him to toss out comments like that I think is an example of him losing his bearings as he pursues this nomination. We don’t need name calling in this debate.”
Salter said Obama had misinterpreted McCain’s remarks. "The McCain campaign has never suggested that Senator Obama supports Hamas' agenda, but it is more than fair to raise this quote about Senator Obama because it speaks to the policy implications of his judgment."
Linking to Salter’s comments with the title “MCCAIN CAMPAIGN RANT CAN BE FOUND HERE,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in an e-mail to reporters that Salter had misinterpreted the Illinois senator’s remarks.
“Clearly losing one’s bearings has no relation to age, given this bizarre rant that Mark Salter just sent out,” said Burton. “It’s clear why a candidate offering a third term of George Bush’s disastrous economic policies and failed strategy in Iraq would want to distract and attack, but it’s not the kind of campaign John McCain has promised the American people that he would run.”