Tags: obama | ayers | interview

Radical Bill Ayers Distances Himself From Obama

Friday, 14 Nov 2008 09:30 AM

By Kenneth D. Williams

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Vietnam-era radical Bill Ayers says he knows President-elect Barack Obama, as well as "thousands of other people in Chicago. And like millions of Americans, I wish I knew him better."

Ayers distanced himself from Obama during an interview Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America." Ayers said, for example, the two didn't even meet before Ayers hosted a "coffee" for the then-state senator at his home. "He was probably in 20 other homes that day, as far as I know," Ayers said.

“GMA” host Chris Cuomo said to Ayers, "It seems like there's an evasiveness here. That you served on boards together . . . You're vouching for someone. There's an advocacy, there's a relationship."

Ayers said, "I don't agree with your premise that this is worth really exploring because I don't buy the idea that guilt by association should be any part of our politics."

Ayers also said his relationship with Obama was based on things like improving schools in their Chicago neighborhood, not on Ayers' political views.

In the new release of his 2001 memoir "Fugitive Days," an afterword refers to the two as "neighbors and family friends."

The group he helped found, the Weather Underground, was not a terrorist group, Ayers said. "It's not terrorism because it doesn't target people, to kill or injure," he insisted.

The Weather Underground bombed the Capitol, the Pentagon, and the New York City Police Department to protest the Vietnam War.

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