Mayor Daley defends Obama, vouching for William Ayers

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PHILADELPHIA, PA.–Mayor Daley vouched for William Ayers on Thursday, praising the educator–and former radical– for his work on Chicago public school reform programs and sending a strong message of reassurance to voters who may be worried about Ayers association with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), which is a non-stop topic lately on Fox News.

Daley press secretary Jackie Heard said Daley decided on his own Thursday morning to issue a statement, after seeing Ayers’ name surface in the Wednesday Democratric debate, portrayed as an unrepentant former member of the Weather Underground. Daley’s brother, Bill, the former Commerce Secretary under Bill Clinton is an Obama backer; Daley’s media consultant is David Axelrod, Obama’s top strategist.

‘I dont condone what he did 40 years ago but I remember that period well. It was a difficult time, but those days are long over. I believe we have too many challenges in Chicago and our country to keep re-fighting 40 year old battles,” Daley said.

STATEMENT OF MAYOR RICHARD M. DALEY REGARDING SENATOR BARACK OBAMAS RELATIONSHIP WITH BILL AYERS:

There are a lot of reasons that Americans are angry about Washington politics. And one more example is the way Senator Obamas opponents are playing guilt-by-association, tarring him because he happens to know Bill Ayers.

I also know Bill Ayers. He worked with me in shaping our now nationally-renowned school reform program. He is a nationally-recognized distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois/Chicago and a valued member of the Chicago community.

I dont condone what he did 40 years ago but I remember that period well. It was a difficult time, but those days are long over. I believe we have too many challenges in Chicago and our country to keep re-fighting 40 year old battles.

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