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For his part, Mr. Obama mentioned his support for the Class Action Fairness Act during the final presidential debate last month.

“First of all, in terms of standing up to the leaders of my party, the first major bill I voted on in the Senate was in support of tort reform, which wasn’t very popular with the trial lawyers, a major constituency in the Democratic Party,” Mr. Obama said.

His record on tort reform consists more of statements in favor of it than votes on the issue, compared with Mr. McCain, who has had a much longer legislative career.

While he ran for the Senate in Illinois earlier in his career, Mr. Obama said, “Anyone who denies there’s a crisis with medical malpractice is probably a trial lawyer.”

He co-authored an article with Hillary Rodham Clinton in the May 25, 2006, edition of the New England Journal of Medicine that advocated medical malpractice lawsuit reform but tied it to new measures to ensure fewer medical errors.

He co-sponsored with Mrs. Clinton the National Medical Error Disclosure and Compensation Act of 2005. It would have required hospitals to disclose medical errors to patients and would have granted doctors liability protections if they promptly disclosed their own errors.

Congress never approved the bill.

As with Mr. McCain, the Web site for the Obama campaign says nothing explicit about lawsuit abuse.