The economic meltdown dominated presidential politics again Friday as Republican John McCain, who campaigned in the all-important battleground state of Wisconsin, pledged to protect the retirement accounts of senior citizens.
McCain also predicted a come-from-behind victory in November.
"We're the underdogs. How many times have the pundits written off the McCain campaign? We're going to come from behind one more time," the Arizona senator said to a crowd in Wisconsin.
McCain also said the election comes down to one basic question:
"In short, who is ready to lead?" he asked the crowd.
McCain and the Republican party are trying to help voters answer the question with new ads attacking Senator Obama's character and his former associates, like convicted felon Tony Rezko and 1960's radical Bill Ayers.
"In the last couple of days, we've seen a barrage of nasty insinuations and attacks, and I'm sure we're going to see more of that in the next 25 days," Obama said.
The Illinois senator told his supporters in another key state, Ohio, that a barrage of attack ads won't change the fact that Americans trust him more than McCain on economic issues.
"Nothing's easier than riling up a crowd by stroking anger and division, but that's not what we need right now in the United States. The times are too serious. The challenges are too great. The American people are not looking for someone who can divide this country. They're looking for someone who will lead this country," Obama said.
More than 1,000 women supporting Senator Obama from around the country were in Chicago Friday for a private 'megabucks' fundraiser being coupled with a two-day conference on women's issues. The conference was expected to include speeches by a lot of heavy hitters, including Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and vice presidential candidate Joe Biden. Senator Obama was scheduled to speak Saturday, after returning from another bare knuckles day on the campaign trail for both himself and John McCain.