Obama hits back over security credentials

A defiant Barack Obama said he would take no lectures from Republicans on which presidential candidate would keep the US safer, a sharp rebuke to rival John McCain’s aides who said the Democrat had a naive, "September 10" mindset toward terrorism.

“These are the same guys who helped to engineer the distraction of the war in Iraq at a time when we could have pinned down the people who actually committed 9/11,” the presumed nominee told reporters aboard his campaign plane.

“This is the same kind of fear-mongering that got us into Iraq ... and it’s exactly that failed foreign policy I want to reverse.”

The rival camps engaged in a war of words yesterday that echoed the 2004 presidential campaign in which President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other Republicans argued that Democratic nominee John Kerry was soft on terror, a claim that resonated with voters and helped propel Mr Bush to re-election.

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