CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (CNN) – Governor Ted Strickland told southern Ohio voters here that the McCain-Palin ticket and gone too far with its campaign tactics in an effort to keep the White House in Republican hands.
"I know Barack Obama. I think I know what's in his heart. He is bright he is capable he is mature he is steady we can trust Barack Obama," he said.
A native of the area, Strickland has traveled with Obama on his bus tour here, and offered testimonials in a region that would not automatically be considered friendly to Democrats. At the Friday morning rally on the county court house steps, the Ohio governor told the audience Obama was a "strong Christian family man" and to the gun owners and sportsmen he said they had "nothing to fear" when it came to their Second Amendment rights.
"Why do I share those two things with you this morning? Because the McCain-Palin campaign, and unfortunately some of their followers, would want you to be afraid of Barack Obama," he said. "They want you to believe that he is untested and unknown, and they are doing it my friends for one reason, they want to hold onto the power they have and to the positions that they want. This election is too important for us to be fooled by untruths and half-truths and smear tactics. They don't want us to focus on the fact that they have been in charge of the White House for eight long years."
Later, he added, "We are drawing a line in the sand in Chillicothe and southern Ohio."
Obama echoed Strickland's sentiments, although not as overtly. He continued to argue that the McCain campaign's "barrage of nasty insinuations and attacks" were a result of the Republican nominee's failed economic ideas.
"They can run misleading ads, they can pursue the politics of anything goes. It will not work. Not this time. I think that folks are looking for something different this time. It's easy to rile up a crowd, nothing's easier than riling up a crowd by stoking anger and division. But that's not what we need right now in the United States. The times are too serious," Obama said.