CONCORD, N.H. – Barack Obama accused Republicans on Friday of trying to shift the focus of the presidential debate away from serious issues such as the economy and toward frivolous subjects like lipstick, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.rtx8oqq.jpg

Taking on a feistier tone, the Democratic presidential hopeful sought to show his supporters he wants to fight back aggressively against escalating attacks by his rival John McCain.

Democrats have become concerned about the momentum gained by McCain and his new running mate as polls have shown McCain has pulled even or slightly ahead of Obama, erasing the lead the Democratic presidential nominee held throughout the summer.

“You’ve seen the other side not want to spend any time talking about the issues,” Obama said. “I mean, what have they been talking about? They’ve been talking about lipstick. They’ve been talking about pigs. They’ve been talking about Britney. They’ve been talking about Paris.”

“These are serious times and it requires a serious debate,” he said. Obama was referring to a blitz of ads McCain has run, including one that likened him to celebrities such as Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.