HEMPSTEAD, New York (CNN) - John McCain accused Barack Obama of spending "more money on negative ads than any campaign in history" as the two men met for their final debate before the November 4 presidential election.
Obama responded that McCain's campaign had been running exclusively negative ads, and that the public found McCain to be running a more negative campaign than Obama.
The McCain campaign put out a press release moments after the exchange saying the Obama campaign had spent more than $42 million on negative ads in the past month, while their own campaign had spent only $27 million on them. The release cited CMAG, a media analysis group which does work for CNN among others.
The Obama campaign shot back with an article from the liberal blog Talking Points Memo, citing CMAG's Evan Tracey as saying "virtually 100 percent" of McCain's ads were negative, while only about half of Obama's ads were.
McCain challenged Obama to repudiate comments by his supporter, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, that compared the atmosphere at some Republican rallies to that of the segregationist George Wallace in the 1960s.
Obama said he had rejected the remark.