Obama Says GOP Avoiding Issues on Voters' Minds

By: AP
By: AP

YORK, Pa. (AP) -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Thursday that Republicans at their national convention are attacking him to avoid talking about the sagging economy and housing problems that voters care about. "You're hearing an awfully lot about me - most of which is not true - but you're not hearing a lot about you," Obama said.

The Illinois senator told voters that the GOP convention speakers are spending all their time talking about politics, not about issues that matter to voters. He criticized the Republicans for not addressing the economic distress or housing foreclosures that have grown during the Bush administration.

Asked about attacks on him Wednesday night by Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Obama declined to strike back. "I'll let Gov. Palin talk about her experience. I'll talk about mine," Obama said

But earlier in the day Obama's top strategist, David Alexrod, dismissed the Alaska governor's convention speech as dishonest about Obama's record.

Axelrod told reporters aboard Obama's campaign plane that the Republican National Convention speakers had distorted the Democratic candidate's record and ignored his resume. He also suggested that John McCain's running mate was only parroting what she'd been told.

"There wasn't one thing that she said about Obama or what he's proposing that is true," Axelrod said. "She tried to attack Sen. Obama by saying he had no significant legislative achievements. Maybe that's what she was told."

On Wednesday, Republicans sought to define Obama as untested and inexperienced, making light of his past work as a community organizer in Chicago.

"For everyday people, ... that seems like real work," said Axelrod.

Ultimately, Axelrod said, the Republicans squandered an opportunity to promote their candidate. He also questioned the emphasis on McCain's years as a prisoner of war, saying the Arizona senator's history already was well known.

"They're shedding an awfully lot of heat but no light," he said. "It almost defies the laws of physics."

As for Palin's claim to be a political outsider, Axelrod said that given her pointed criticism of Obama, "for someone who makes the point that she's not from Washington, she looked very much like she would fit in very well there."

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