John McCain and Barack Obama would prefer to steer the White House race out of the gutter and back onto the high road, writes David Broder in the Washington Post reports. In separate interviews, both candidates expressed frustration with the tone and direction of the campaign over the last two months and the tit-for-tat blows.
"I'm very sorry about it," said McCain of the campaign's lurch toward the negative. McCain argued that much of it could have been avoided if Obama had agreed to weekly town-hall debates—an idea that died after the Democratic contender agreed to only two. Obama said he hopes the conventions—and the scheduled three presidential debates after them—will bring the focus back to the issues.