John McCain is using Hillary Clinton to defend his mortgage plan and his questioning of Democratic rival Barack Obama's ties to a Vietnam War-era radical.
Clinton, who engaged in a bitter primary battle with Obama, is now busily campaigning for him.
Still, McCain said in an interview aired on ABC News this evening that Clinton proposed a similar plan for the government to directly buy distressed mortgages to help people keep their homes.
McCain also noted that Clinton asked Obama during a debate about his links to William Ayers, who with his wife helped start the Weather Underground, which bombed government buildings during the early 1970s.
Pressed about why he was talking about Ayers, McCain was not apologetic in the least. "I don't care about two washed-up old terrorists that are unrepentant about trying to destroy America. But I do care, and Americans should care, about his relationship with him and whether he's being truthful and candid about it," McCain said in the interview.
ABC anchor Charles Gibson noted that Obama had told him Wednesday that he was surprised that McCain didn't bring up Ayers "to my face" during their debate Tuesday night.
McCain bristled at the suggestion that he wasn't courageous enough to do that, saying that the issue never came up during the question-and-answer session with voters. He also declined to say directly whether Obama's character or alleged dishonesty disqualifies him from being president.
"I'll leave that up to the American people. But I have every right to insist that he be candid and truthful with the American people. And he needs to be asked about it, and he needs to be forthcoming," McCain said.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.