GIBSON: Change the subject for a moment. John McCain has unloaded on you in the last 72, 96 hours as has Sarah Palin. McCain is saying, essentially, we don’t know who Barack Obama is, where he came from. I’m an open book, he’s not.
GIBSON: Were you surprised, A, that he didn’t bring it up last night at the debate and use that line of attack? And, B, since you must have prepared for it, what were you going to say?
OBAMA: Well, I am surprised that, you know, we’ve been seeing some pretty over-the-top attacks coming out of the McCain campaign over the last several days that he wasn’t willing to say it to my face.
But I guess we’ve got one last debate. So presumably, if he ends up feeling that — that he needs to, he will raise it during the debate.
The notion that people don’t know who I am is a little hard to swallow. I’ve been running for president for the last two years. I’ve campaigned in 49 states. Millions of people have heard me speak at length on every topic under the sun. I’ve been involved now in 25 debates, going on my 26th. And I’ve written two books which any — everybody who reads them will say are about as honest a set of reflections by, at least, a politician as are out there.
Actually, no, he won’t bring it up to your face. As I noted Tuesday after the debate, it really does appear that behind all his bluster and tough guy talk and promises to hunt down bin Laden and kill him with his bare hands, it turns out that McCain isn’t as brave as he wants you to think. He won’t man up and own his smears, he won’t say these things to your face, and he will not confront you. Instead, he and the mean girl will pass notes in class and write nasty things about you on the bathroom walls.
With Bush we got the brain-dead bravado of “bring it on” and “you’re either with us or against us,” and with McCain/Palin we get two schoolgirls trash-talking in the hallway behind your back. McCain is just lucky he is no longer in the Naval Academy.