Coloradans getting robo calls for McCain campaign
DENVER, Colorado ” Coloradans are among voters being targeted by automated telephone calls from Republican John McCain’s presidential campaign linking Democrat Barack Obama with former Weather Underground leader William Ayers.
Gov. Bill Ritter, a Democrat and Obama supporter, on Friday called the tactic “a desperate act.”
McCain spokesman Brian Rogers has said the calls are warranted because the Ayers “raises serious questions about Barack Obama’s judgment and also his candor with the American people about his record.”
On the call, a man says he’s calling for McCain and the Republican National Committee because “you need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge’s home, and killed Americans.”
Obama has condemned Ayers’ radical activities, carried out when Obama was 8. Obama has said Ayers is not involved with the campaign. Obama and Ayers live in the same neighborhood, and the two have served on the same boards of two nonprofit charitable organizations in Chicago.
The calls mark an escalation in the heated battle over Colorado, which is considered up for grabs. Obama and McCain have made repeated visits to the state, and their running mates, Republican Sarah Palin and Democrat Joe Biden, are scheduled to campaign in Colorado next week.
The automated calls also have been made in other tossup states including Nevada and Wisconsin.
Grand Junction resident Marquetta Powell, who spoke on a conference call Friday organized by the Obama campaign, said she has received the recorded message three times.
Powell said she has already cast her vote for Obama. Early voting doesn’t start until Monday but mail ballots are already being distributed to voters who requested them.
Gery English of Boulder, who said he is a registered Republican and an Obama supporter, said he received the robo call Thursday.
“I was angry,” English said during the conference call. He criticized the call as a scare tactic and said he wants to hear “real information, real solutions” from candidates.
“That was one of the reasons I got excited about Obama. I don’t agree with everything Obama says, but it’s a hell of a lot more than the Republican Party’s got right now,” he said.
In response to a reporter’s question, Ritter said a proposal to block calls from political parties would be something to consider, though it would have to be balanced with free speech rights.
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