Washington, Oct.6 : Verbal attacks between the Obama and McCain camps have started getting personal with just 29 days to go for the poll that will determine who will be the United States 44th president.
Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Sunday charged Obama with "palling around with terrorists".
Palin said it is legitimate to raise Obama's association with William Ayers, a co-founder of the Weather Underground, a Vietnam-era domestic terror group.
Ayers and Obama are acquainted -- Ayers is a neighbor of Obama's in South Side Chicago and hosted a fundraiser for Obama at the beginning of his political career. But they never palled around, the Obama campaign insists.
Obama, who has held a statistically significant lead against John McCain in more than a week of Gallup daily tracking polls, said Sunday he won't be distracted by Republicans trying to tear him down.
According to Fox News, Palin's attack coincided with reports by The Washington Post and New York Times that the McCain campaign was going to get personal by raising questions of Obama's credibility and showing his ties to controversial figures like Ayers, convicted businessman Tony Rezko and possibly Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
In Asheville, North Carolina, Obama told voters that a repeat of the "Swift boat" attacks of 2004 was being attempted by the GOP camp, and added that they are "smears without substance.
He declined to address his own campaign's latest gambit of calling McCain "erratic" and "dishonest."
Obama said the country faces many crises, but instead of focusing on them, McCain plans to "turn the page on the discussion about our economy and spend the final weeks of this campaign launching Swift boat-style attacks on me."
The McCain campaign responded that the rest of the election calendar will be dedicated to asking Americans whether they "are willing to turn our economy and national security over to Barack Obama, a man with little record, questionable judgment and ties to radical figures."