WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama Monday began hitting his Republican challenger's involvement in the 1989-90 savings-and-loan scandal.
The multimedia campaign is designed to push back against what the Obama campaign calls Sen. John McCain's "guilt-by-association" tactics linking Obama to onetime radical Bill Ayers, a leader in the 1970s radical Weatherman group who is a college teacher and activist in Chicago, Politico reported.
The Obama campaign e-mailed supporters a link to a Web site, KeatingEconomics.com.
"While John McCain may want to turn the page on his erratic response to the current economic crisis, we think voters will find his involvement in a similar crisis to be particularly interesting," Obama's communications director Dan Pfeiffer said.
In 1991, the Senate Ethics Committee cleared McCain of corruption charges but cited him for "poor judgment" in meeting with federal regulators on behalf of Charles Keating Jr., who went to prison for fraud in the collapse of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association.
McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told the Washington publication the Obama campaign seemed anxious at "the mere mention of the word 'Ayers.'"
"John McCain has been open and honest about the Keating matter," Rogers said. "By contrast, Barack Obama has been fundamentally dishonest about his friendship and work with the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers ... ."