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Biden-CampaignAd 1stLd-Writethru 09-22

Biden says mocking McCain was "terrible"

Eds: UPDATES with Biden statement.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Barack Obama’s running mate says a campaign ad that mocked Republican presidential candidate John McCain as an out-of-touch, out-of-date computer illiterate was "terrible" and would not have been done had he known about it.

Obama, McCain’s Democratic rival, launched the ad earlier this month, part of an aggressive push to slow McCain’s rise in the polls after he chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate. It included unflattering footage of Sen. McCain at a hearing in the early ’80s, wearing giant glasses and an out-of-style suit, interspersed with shots of a disco ball, a clunky phone, an outdated computer and a Rubik’s Cube.

"He admits he still doesn’t know how to use a computer, can’t send an e-mail, still doesn’t understand the economy, and favors $200 billion in new tax cuts for corporations, but almost nothing for the middle class," the ad says.

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Asked about the negative tone of the campaign, and this ad in particular, during an interview broadcast Monday by the "CBS Evening News," Obama’s running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, said he disapproved of it.

"I thought that was terrible, by the way," Biden said.

Asked why it was done, he said: "I didn’t know we did it and if I had anything to do with it, we’d have never done it."

Late Monday, Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton issued a statement from Biden. In it, Biden said he "was asked about an ad I’d never seen" and was "reacting merely to press reports."

Biden said that, as he said in the interview, there was nothing "intentionally personal" in the criticism of McCain’s views.

"Having now reviewed the ad, it is even more clear to me that given the disgraceful tenor of Sen. McCain’s ads and their persistent falsehoods, his campaign is in no position to criticize, especially when they continue to distort Barack’s votes on an issue as personal as keeping kids safe from sexual predators," Biden said.

Biden was referring to a McCain ad that said Obama supported sex education for kindergartners, based on a bill he voted for as an Illinois state senator. Obama’s campaign said the ad was a "shameful" distortion of his record because the bill’s language meant young children would have been taught about sexual predators and concepts such as "good touch and bad touch."

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