Obama's Sunday foray into eastern N.C. was his first

FAYETTEVILLE - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama brought his campaign to the conservative-leaning eastern part of North Carolina on Sunday, warning people not to be "hoodwinked" by a series of Republican charges in the final weeks of the campaign.

Obama, the Illinois senator, said Republicans were assailing his character and were leveling baseless charges of socialism in speeches, robocalls and campaign fliers.

"My opponent has made his choice," Obama told an overflow crowd of more than 10,000 people at Crown Coliseum.

"Senator McCain's campaign actually said a couple of weeks ago that they were going to launch a series of attacks on my character," Obama said. "They said, 'If we keep talking about the economy, we are going to lose.' That is one promise that John McCain has kept. They have been attacking the heck out of me."

"I can take a few more weeks of John McCain's attacks," Obama said. "But the American people can't take four more years of failed economic policies."

This was Obama's first foray for the general election to the eastern part of the state - a region that has long been dominated by conservative white Democrats and is bristling with military installations. He made a surprise stop at a Dunn hotel and picked up lunch at a barbecue restaurant in Fayetteville, where a patron accused him of being a socialist.

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