Obama Hits Back at McCain Over Iraq War

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Democrat Barack Obama is challenging Republican opponent John McCain to stop questioning his "character
and patriotism."

Obama made the call while addressing the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Orlando, Florida. The Illinois senator reaffirmed his early opposition to the Iraq war and said the so-called troop "surge" has not produced the conditions needed to achieve lasting peace in the country. McCain supported the Iraq invasion and was an early champion of the surge.

Obama says while he disagrees with McCain on certain national security issues, he's never suggested that McCain picked his positions based on politics or personal ambition -- and he's calling on the Arizona senator to do the same.

Said Obama, to applause: "I will let no one question my love of this country."

McCain has sharply questioned whether the 47-year-old Obama has the experience and character necessary to serve as commander in chief.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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