From NBC/NJ's Athena Jones
TAMPA, Fla. -- At a rally to drum up excitement over early voting, Obama said even his rival's running mate is denouncing the McCain campaign's tactics.
"In the final days of campaigns, the say-anything, do-anything politics too often takes over. We've seen it before and we're seeing it again today," he said. "Ugly phone calls, misleading mail, misleading TV ads, careless, outrageous comments. All aimed at keeping us from working together. All aimed at stopping change. It's getting so bad that even Sen. McCain's running mate denounced his tactics last night. You know you really have to work hard to violate Gov. Palin's standards on negative campaigning."
The Democratic nominee was referring to comments Sarah Palin made to journalists yesterday when asked about robocalls that voters in several states have reported receiving. In Tampa today, the line was met with roars of applause, but upon closer examination does not appear to be totally accurate.
The campaign confirmed he was talking about Palin's statement on robocalls, but while the Alaska governor told reporters she thought robocalls were irritating to voters, she pointedly refused to denounce them.
Here are the key exchanges from Palin's brief press conference:
Q: What would you do if you got to call all the shots?
PALIN: "If I called all the shots, and if I could wave a magic wand, I would be sitting at a kitchen table with more and more Americans, talking to them about our plan to get the economy back on track and winning the war and not having to rely on the old conventional ways of campaigning that includes those robocalls and includes spending so much money on the television ads that I think is kinda draining out there in terms of Americans' attention span, they get a bit irritated with just being inundated, and you're seeing a lot of that of course with the huge amounts of money that Barack Obama is able to spend on his ads and his robocalls also."
Q: Several senators, Republican senators have said the McCain campaign should end the robocalls. Do you think the same thing?
PALIN: "I'm not calling for an end to the robocalls, no, uh-uh."
Obama, a White Sox fan, was introduced by a group of Tampa Bay Rays, who encouraged people to get out and vote early. He congratulated the team for winning the American League pennant, even joking that he had considered sporting a Mohawk in solidarity. He then made his own pitch to get out the early vote.
"You can start voting today so I want everybody after this rally if you have not already voted, I want you to go vote," he said. "Don't wait until Nov 4th. You don't know what might happen on Nov. 4th. Your car might break down; you might have an emergency; the alarm might not go off, you don't get to work on time and so take the advantage of early vote."
The mention of emergencies or problems that could delay or prevent a trip to the polls on Election Day echoed ones used by Obama's former rival Hillary Clinton during the primaries as she sought to encourage early voting in the states that allowed it. He was set to join the New York senator at a rally in Orlando tonight, their first joint appearance on the trail since the convention.
The event in Hillsborough County, which George Bush won in the last two elections, marked Obama's sixth trip to the Sunshine State during the general election.