Obama takes off gloves to attack McCain

After a handshake and the briefest of embraces in a church full of evangelical Christians, Democrat Barack Obama quickly took off the gloves and was again battering John McCain as little different from President George W. Bush. The first-term Illinois senator also laid into the campaign team of his four-term Senate colleague from Arizona on Sunday for using "the same old folks that brought you George W. Bush" to paint Obama as unpatriotic and weak. Obama, who has been put on the defensive by a series of attacks on his character, experience and readiness for the presidency, has been responding to the McCain accusations blow for blow. McCain has sought to make the 2008 presidential contest a referendum on Obama, while trying to duck his associations with Bush, who has become deeply unpopular with voters disenchanted with 5 1/2 years of war in Iraq and a badly stumbling economy. Before a crowd of several hundred union members in Reno, Nevada, Obama said the American economy was a disaster and blamed "John McCain's president, George W. Bush."