From NBC/NJ's Matthew Berger
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Sarah Palin told reporters Sunday that "the Associated Press is wrong" for saying her recent remarks tying Barack Obama to William Ayers are "racially tinged."
"The comments are about an association that has been known but hasn't been talked about," Palin said before boarding a plane to San Francisco. "I think it's fair to talk about where Barack Obama kicked off his political career, in the guy's living room."
Palin said Saturday that Obama was "palling around with terrorists" because of his association with Ayers, a founder of the 1960s terrorist group Weather Underground. The New York Times reported Saturday that Obama and Ayers served together on several charity boards in Chicago and Ayers, now a professor at the University of Illinois, held a fundraiser for Obama's first race for state Senate. But the article also said the two men are not particularly close.
The AP said Sunday that Palin's recent comments were "unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subject that John McCain himself may come to regret." The article said Palin's charge about Obama's relationship with Ayers "was exaggerated at best if not outright false."
Palin made the comments three times Saturday, as part of a new effort by the McCain campaign to move the focus towards Obama's character.
"It's important for Americans to know," Palin said on the tarmac Sunday. "It's really important for Americans to start knowing who the real Barack Obama is."