Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, facing a tough reelection fight, urged GOP presidential contender John McCain on Friday to stop making automated calls into her state linking Democratic nominee Barack Obama to a 1960s radical.
“These kind of tactics have no place in Maine politics,” said Collins’ spokesman, Kevin Kelley. “Sen. Collins urges the McCain campaign to stop these calls immediately.”
The so-called robocalls -- which began Thursday, the day after the final presidential debate -- refer to Obama’s ties to one-time Weather Underground leader William Ayers. They also are being made in other battleground states, including Nevada, Wisconsin and Virginia.
The calls say 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.”
In 1969, when Obama was 8, Ayers co-founded the Weatherman, which became the Weather Underground. It claimed responsibility for bombing several government buildings, but not a judge’s home. Obama has condemned Ayers’ radical activities.
Charges against Ayers were dropped because of government misconduct. Today he is an education professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 1997, the city named him its citizen of the year.