During a town hall meeting in Wisconsin on Thursday, Sen. McCain defended his campaign ad painting Barack Obama as a self-obsessed celebrity along the lines of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.
"We are proud of that commercial," said the presumptive Republican nominee. "There are differences and we are drawing those differences. But what we are talking about here is substance and not style. And what we are talking about is who has an agenda for the future. Campaigns are tough but I am proud of the campaign we have run I am proud of the issue we have tried to address to the American people. And I wish Sen. Obama would join me to discuss this."
The statement came after a young member of the audience -- a self-proclaimed admirer of the Senator -- told McCain that she was troubled by the recent tone of his campaign ads. McCain insisted that he was basing his candidacy "on what we should do for Americans here at home."
If McCain found himself looking for a better explanation for his recent spate of Obama attacks, it came from the next questioner.
"I'm 18 and I have to say, Obama terrifies me. You have to call him on every shot," she said. "Don't let him get away with it ... We can't afford it.
Following applause, the Arizona Republican replied: "I respect and admire Sen. Obama, we just have stark differences and those have to be drawn. He wants to raise your taxes and I want to keep them low ... whether we should have choice and competition for our children as I was discussing or are we going to let the teachers unions set the agenda."