Barack Obama has since condemned the Vietnam war-protest tactics of William Ayers, though a top adviser said today Obama didn't know of his past when Ayers hosted a campaign reception for Obama in 1995.
So when did Obama learn that Ayers, now an education professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was a founding member of the militant Weather Underground in the 1960s?
"It was sometime after their first meetings, you know, he became aware of that,'' David Axelrod, Obama's chief campaign strategist, said on board the Obama campaign plane on a flight from Asheville, N.C., to here for tonight's debate. "I don't know the exact moment."
Obama just was not familiar with the name when he first met him?
"Yeah,'' Axelrod said. "I mean the fact is, like a lot of people who, you know, didn't live through that era, particularly who didn't live through that era in Chicago, it just wasn't, I mean, when he came to Chicago, Ayers was advising Mayor Daley on school reform issues and that was his profile was that he was an expert on education issues."
Did Obama know of Ayers' history before or after the event, a small reception for Obama's state Senate campaign in 1995 at Ayers' home?
"My understanding was that he, when he went there, he did not know, so I would say after,'' Axelrod said -- confirming that he has asked Obama about this. "Yes, yeah."
"No one is suggesting that he never knew,'' Axelrod notes of Obama, who has since repudiated Ayers' protest tactics. "I mean that's not, we weren't offering that."
Obama didn't know.... wow, how clueless he would have had to be not to know about Ayers involvement in Weatherman Underground.
Obama=Cluelessness? Is that really going to be the "story" they stick with?
Obama's terrorist "pal" picture above.