In a Wednesday speech, Obama told the audience that Senator John McCain would attempt "to make you scared of me" by telling them that Obama didn't "look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills," referring to a McCain attack ad shown below which transplants Obama's face with those of famous presidents on Mount Rushmore and Benjamin Franklin on the $100 bill.
Graham said Obama's comments had unjustly accused John McCain of mounting attacks based on race.
"John McCain doesn't have a racist bone in his body," Graham said. "And there's no doubt in my mind that what Senator Obama is trying to suggest that he's a victim of something."
Graham continued by claiming that Obama's popularity stems from an undeserved celebrity, effectively reinforcing another recent McCain ad that coupled images of Obama with images of Britney Spears.
"He is living off celebrity, not ideas, and one of the campaign issues is credibility," Graham said. "To say that Barack Obama did not intentionally inject the idea that he was going to be a victim of his name and his race is a lie."
Daschle said that Obama publicly stated he didn't believe McCain was a racist and that it was McCain, and not Obama, who had launched a smear campaign.
"First of all, again, I say John McCain is not a racist. Nobody's ever accused him of being that," Daschle said. "But you've just seen the evidence here. You're seeing exactly what Barack is talking about. If you're going to say that Barack Obama is no better, no different than Britney Spears or Paris Hilton, what is that? That's exactly what Barack is talking about, Chris. That's exactly what Lindsey seems to overlook here. We've talked about changing the tone. I can't think of a worse tone than simply going negative and using these kinds of accusations and allegations over and over again."