Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden on Sunday accused the McCain campaign of trying to distract Americans from economic woes by launching “unbecoming personal attacks” at Barack Obama.
Appearing at a boisterous rally near his childhood home, Biden said John McCain’s campaign is desperate to change the subject from the financial crisis that has wiped out many Americans’ college and retirement savings. He said McCain has resorted to making “ugly inferences” about Obama in the waning days of the campaign.
“Every single false charge, every single baseless accusation is a simple attempt to get you to focus on something other than what’s affecting your family and your country,” said Biden, who was cheered by about 6,000 people packed into a sports arena in the blue-collar city where he lived until he was 10.
The Delaware senator was joined on stage by former President Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The battered economy may be helping Obama in Pennsylvania, where he has surged ahead in polls over the past few weeks. A daily tracking poll conducted by Muhlenberg College has shown Obama with a double-digit lead over McCain since Oct. 3.
ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio
Palin promises jobs in small-town Ohio
Sarah Palin told voters in southeastern Ohio on Sunday that she and running mate John McCain would bring jobs back to this economically depressed piece of Appalachia.
Using her folksy appeal, Palin highlighted her record as mayor of a city about the size of this small one near the West Virginia border. She said Democratic rival Barack Obama doesn’t understand places like this.
“I love Small Town USA because hardworking, good American (families), you just get it,” Palin said while standing on a stage with an open barn as her backdrop.
“It’s kind of like those simple lessons our parents used to teach us: Don’t spend more than you have,” Palin said. “It’s that common sense conservatism that is John McCain. … America just cannot afford another big spender in the White House.”
On Sunday, one man shouted out “Obama loves terrorists” as Palin talked about “the bad guys.”
A poll released Sunday showed McCain and Obama in a tight race in Ohio, with McCain posting 48 percent support to Obama’s 46 percent. The same poll three weeks earlier had McCain leading 48 percent to 42 percent.
Ohioans tell Obama of money worries
During an hourlong visit to a neighborhood of ranch-style and split-level homes near Toledo, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was repeatedly asked what he could do to help struggling families.
His answers ranged from tax cuts to aid for struggling auto companies to measures to reduce home foreclosures.
Denise Knisley, a 53-year-old grocery store employee, said she had been thinking about voting for the Democrat and definitely will after meeting him. The two talked for several minutes in her driveway, with Obama leaning against the open gate of a silver Jeep Liberty.
“He sounds really positive, like he’s going to help us,” Knisley said. “You’ve got to believe in somebody.”
Obama is preparing for Wednesday’s debate with John McCain, their last before the election. He ended his visit to the neighborhood with a long, intense discussion with a man skeptical of his tax policy.
“I’ve got to go prepare for this debate,” Obama said as he headed for his SUV. “But that was pretty good practice.”
McCain promises a debate whipping
Republican John McCain vowed Sunday to “whip” Democratic rival Barack Obama’s “you-know-what” when the two presidential candidates meet Wednesday in their final televised debate.
Addressing several dozen volunteers at his campaign headquarters outside Washington, McCain promised some of his signature “straight talk” about the state of the race. National and many battleground state polls have shown him trailing Obama amid the deepening market crisis.
“We’re a couple points down, OK, nationally, but we’re right in this game,” McCain said to cheers. “The economy has hurt us a little bit in the last week or two, but in the last few days we’ve seen it come back up because they want experience, they want knowledge and they want vision. We’ll give that to America.”
McCain and Obama will debate Wednesday at Hofstra University on Long Island, N.Y. CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer will moderate the 90-minute forum.
McCain scheduled for Letterman show
Can Sen. John McCain and David Letterman bury the hatchet?
CBS has confirmed that McCain will visit “The Late Show” on Thursday, a day after the third and final presidential debate with Sen. Barack Obama. McCain angered Letterman last month when the candidate canceled a scheduled appearance at the last minute. Letterman said McCain told him that the economy was ready to “crater” and he needed to return to Washington – but, as it turned out, McCain was doing an interview with CBS News anchor Katie Couric. Letterman spent much of the show bashing McCain for breaking the engagement.
Insiders had said both sides were working to reschedule, a process made difficult by McCain’s campaign itinerary. Letterman told viewers last week that McCain’s side was being “squirrelly.” Yet McCain is something of a “Late Show” tradition. He has made a dozen visits to the program and announced his candidacy for president on the show in February 2007.