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Candidates Sharpen Attacks as Campaigns Pick Up Speed

As the presidential hopefuls race toward Election Day, the campaigns are taking an increasingly sharper tone both on the campaign trail and in television ads. Political reporters discuss the impact of the latest developments.

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  • MARGARET WARNER:

    Late this afternoon, ABC News released parts of the Palin interview that are airing tonight.

    Here's an excerpt about the so-called bridge to nowhere.

  • CHARLES GIBSON:

    You have said continually since he chose you as his vice presidential nominee that: "I said to Congress thanks, but no thanks. If we are going to build that bridge, we will build it ourselves."

  • SARAH PALIN:

    Right.

  • CHARLES GIBSON:

    But it's now pretty clearly documented. You supported that bridge before you opposed it. You were wearing a T-shirt in the 2006 campaign, showed your support for the — for the bridge to nowhere.

  • SARAH PALIN:

    I was wearing a T-shirt with the zip code of the community that was asking for that bridge. And not all the people in that community even were asking for a $400 million or $300 million bridge.

  • CHARLES GIBSON:

    But you turned against it after Congress had basically pulled the plug on it, after it became apparent that the state was going to have to pay for it, not the Congress, and after it became a national embarrassment to the state of Alaska.

    So, do you want to revise and extend your remarks on it?

  • PALIN:

    It has always been an embarrassment that abuse of the earmark process has been accepted in Congress. And that's what John McCain has fought. And that's what I joined him in fighting. It's been an embarrassment, not just Alaska's projects. But McCain gives example after example after example.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    For more on this week's political developments, we're joined by Amy Walter, editor in chief of The Hotline, National Journal's political daily, and Adam Nagourney, chief political reporter for the New York Times. He's been out on the campaign trail with Barack Obama all week, and joins us now from a studio in Washington, D.C.

    Welcome, both of you. Welcome back.

    Adam, how different is the Barack Obama we saw on the stump today from the Barack Obama you were covering earlier in the week?

  • ADAM NAGOURNEY, The New York Times:

    There has been a steady evolution over the past couple of days that I think just broke through today.

    Senator Obama has been sort of under criticism by Democrats for not being aggressive enough in coming back at Senator McCain, especially since the Republican Convention. We saw hints of it a couple days ago, but, today in New Hampshire, with his advertisements, with his speech there, with his surrogates, he is really sort of engaging him in a very strong, full-out way. They are clearly trying to turn the sort of course on the storyline of this campaign.

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