Barack Obama is striking back to stamp out an ad that links him to a 1960s radical, eager to demonstrate a far more aggressive response to attacks than John Kerry did when faced with the 2004 "Swift Boat" campaign. Obama not only aired a response ad to the spot linking him to William Ayers, but sought to block stations from running the commercial by warning station managers and asking the Justice Department to intervene.
Obama's target is an ad by the conservative American Issues Project, a nonprofit group that questions Obama's ties to Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground organization that took credit for a series of bombings. The lone financier of the ad was also a main funder of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth who targeted Kerry. An Obama spokesman said supporters have inundated stations airing the ad with 93,000 e-mails.