Democrat presidential hopeful Barack Obama says rival John McCain's campaign has been cynical, not racist, in trying to raise fears about his candidacy.
"I think they want to distract people from talking about real issues," the Illinois senator said.
Mr McCain's campaign said earlier this week that Mr Obama had "played the race card" by implying that his Republican rival was racist.
But Mr Obama in turn accused Mr McCain of bringing up the race issue.
Mr Obama was talking to reporters as he campaigned for a second day in Florida.
On Friday, he caused a stir when he signalled he was willing to compromise his stand against further offshore drilling along the US coastline.