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Is McCain Resorting To Racial Attacks?

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Is McCain Resorting To Racial Attacks?

Race

Is McCain Resorting To Racial Attacks?

Is McCain Resorting To Racial Attacks?

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/95594725/95594721" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain greet each other before their second presidential debate in Nashville, on Tuesday. Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

In the final lap of the U.S. presidential race some believe Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) attacks against Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) character have gone too far and, for some, are even racist.

McCain was sharply criticized after the debate between the two candidates at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., for referring to Obama as "that one" — a reference that many interpreted as racially loaded.

Our weekly Political Chat takes on this issue as well as apparent attempts by the McCain campaign to de-Americanize Obama. McCain surrogates have taken to drawing attention to Obama's middle name, Hussein – a tactic that plays into racist assumptions that Obama is a Muslim with anti-American leanings, according to critics.

The McCain camp has also ratcheted up Obama's association with William Ayers, a former member of the Weather Underground Organization, a 1960s radical group that bombed government buildings.

CNN anchor Campbell Brown, Chicago Sun Times columnist Mary Mitchell, and activist and journalist Asra Nomani join the discussion.

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