ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) – Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden said Monday that Republican John McCain is falsely attacking Barack Obama to distract voters from the economy while lurching from one bad idea to another.

“Every single false charge, every single baseless accusation is a simple attempt to get you to focus on something other than what’s affecting your families and your country,” Biden told about 500 people at an American Legion hall.

“I’ve known John McCain for a long, long time,” Biden added. “It’s disappointing that his campaign, as a recent analysis has shown, literally 100 percent of the McCain campaign’s advertisements are negative.”

“I guess when you vote with the president 100 percent of the time, you can only attack 100 percent of the time,” he said.

A study of all presidential ads in the largest 186 TV markets by the University of Wisconsin’s advertising project found that nearly every McCain ad from Sept. 28-Oct. 4 was negative, compared to 34 percent of Obama’s.

Congressional Quarterly found that McCain supported President Bush in Senate votes 90 percent of the time during Bush’s eight years in office, though the figure rose to 95 percent in the most recent year.

In repeating the Democratic theme that McCain has shifted erratically on the economic crisis, Biden used language that might be seen as a reference to the Arizona senator’s age.

“People assume because he had been a great soldier that he had certain hands, that John in a moment of crisis would know what to do,” Biden said. “Well, ladies and gentlemen, John’s hands have been anything but certain the last year. They’ve been uncertain, and the McCain administration would be uncertain, clinging to the past, lurching from one bad idea to another.”

Now 72, the Arizona senator would be the oldest president ever to begin a first term.

Urging the audience in Rochester to vote for Obama if they want change, Biden said the country cannot have four more years of what would essentially be more of Bush’s policies on health care, the economy, the war and energy.

Later, in Manchester, Biden highlighted the differences between economic proposals announced Monday by the presidential candidates.

“Barack Obama has chosen to make a speech on economic policy. John McCain has chosen to do a speech of new attacks. The contrast couldn’t be more clear,” he said.

McCain campaign spokesman Ben Porritt responded: “Americans can’t afford Obama’s proposal for nearly a trillion dollars in new spending which will definitely mean higher taxes and massive amounts of new debt.”

Biden also took aim at Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, whose first campaign trip to New Hampshire is scheduled for Wednesday. Palin said during last week’s vice presidential debate that she isn’t sure humans are responsible for global warming, he noted.

“How do you resolve global warming if you have no idea how the heck it’s caused?” Biden asked.


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