Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, speaking at a rally on Monday, October 20, in Tampa, Florida, about negative campaign tactics, said, "It's getting so bad that even Senator McCain's running mate denounced his tactics last night."
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Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, took questions from reporters late Sunday after flying into Colorado Springs, Colorado. She was asked about the use of robocalls, an automated phone call tactic, sometimes used to spread negative messages the candidates themselves avoid. They've been condemned by some top Republicans and Democrats.
Voters in swing states have been receiving automated phone calls from the McCain campaign in recent days, and the messages have been criticized as negative and misleading. Among the examples are automated phone calls tying Obama to former Weather Underground radical William Ayers. McCain campaign officials have defended their use of robocalls, saying the messages they convey are based on fact.
Asked about the criticism, Palin at first dismissed the matter as "inside baseball stuff" and said it's "some of the campaign top brass's call on that." Asked whether she would approve the use of robocalls if she were running the campaign, Palin said, "If I called all the shots, and if I could wave a magic wand, I would be sitting at a kitchen table with more and more Americans, talking to them about our plan to get the economy back on track and winning the war, and not having to rely on the old conventional ways of campaigning that includes those robocalls, and includes spending so much money on the television ads that, I think, is kind of draining out there in terms of Americans' attention span."
The Verdict: Misleading. While Palin said she would prefer not to use automated calls as a campaign tool, she did not reject the calls' message.