New York, Aug.4 : Senator Barack Obama has described Republican rival John McCain's campaign as cynical and negative, but not racist.
"Their team is good at creating distractions and engaging in negative attacks," the New York Daily News quoted Obama, as saying.
Speaking during a break from campaigning in Florida Saturday, Obama said that the McCain's campaign isn't trying to vilify him because he's black.
"Let me be clear: In no way do I think that John McCain's campaign is being racist. I think they're being cynical. I think they want to distract people from talking about real issues," he said.
As to his own comments, he explained, "I'm young, new to the national scene. My name is Barack Obama. I'm African-American. I was born in Hawaii. I spent time in Indonesia. I do not have the typical biography of a presidential candidate."
Because of that, Obama said, "People are still trying to get a fix on who I am, where I come from . . . What has been an approach of the McCain campaign is to say, 'He's risky.' "
Obama also sought to define his views on off-shore oil drilling
"If we can come up with a genuine bipartisan compromise, in which I have to accept some things that I don't like [in] exchange for actually moving us in the direction of actual energy independence, then that's something I'm open to," he said.