From NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli
ROLLA, MO -- Obama said at a town hall here today that McCain is running a campaign based on nothing more than fear and negative attacks.
"He's spending an awful lot of time talking about me," Obama told a crowd of 1,200. "I haven't seen an ad yet where he talks about what he's going to do. And the reason is because those folks know they don't have any good answers. They know they've had their turn over the last eight years and made a mess of things... And so the only way they figure that they're going to win the election is if they make you scared of me. So what they're saying is, 'Well we know we're not very good, but you can't risk electing Obama. You know, he's new. He doesn't look like the other presidents on the currency.'"
Earlier, speaking at a restaurant in the town of Lebanon, Obama responded directly to a question about McCain's new television ad by asking reporters to turn the tables. "He doesn't seem to have anything to say very positive about himself," Obama said. "You need to ask John McCain what he's for and not just what he's against."
The comments came as Obama continued his focus on energy and the economy. He told the crowd in Rolla that while offshore drilling may poll well, President Bush and McCain are selling the American people a "bill of goods" that offers no real relief to the current crisis. "If I thought that the only way to solve the energy crisis was to go ahead and drill some more, I'd be all for it," Obama said. "We can work to increase supplies, but the truth of the matter is that we have got to have a much bolder energy policy."
Such a solution would include developing alternative fuel like wind and solar, raising efficiency standards, and reducing oil consumption -- steps he said could create "millions of green jobs all across America."
"That's the kind of real solution, the honest solution, that we need from the next president of the Untied States of America. "
Later, when Obama was asked about Darfur, he responded by alluding to his overseas trip last week, and his belief that the world is "hungry for American leadership" based on values. "The Republicans gave me a hard time -- 'Oh, why is he, you know, traveling overseas," Obama said. "This is despite the fact that John McCain talked to the exact same people, made a speech in Canada, made a speech in Mexico, but you know I guess -- I don't know, what their notion is."