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John McCain responds to the eye contact question

September 28, 2008 | 10:19 am

John McCain was asked today about the charge, pressed by some Barack Obama supporters in comments posted to The Ticket and elsewhere, that he intentionally avoided eye contact with his rival during their Friday night debate as a way of expressing his disdain for him.

Here's what he said on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos": “I was looking at the moderator a great deal of time. I was writing a lot of the time. I in no way know how that in any way would be disdainful."

He also noted that in many of the debates in which he has participated, "I don't look at my opponents because I'm focusing on the people and the American people that I'm talking to.”

He did not mention what others have postulated -- that the severe injuries he suffered as a prisoner of war make a shoulder pivot awkward for him.

Regardless, the vibe between McCain and Obama -- which, as The Ticket previously noted can be key to public reactions to the debates -- will now be even more closely watched Oct.7, when the two next share a stage. It will be a town-hall format for their encounter in Nashville, so there should be lots of body language to analyze.

-- Don Frederick