McCain, Obama spar over taxes

October 18, 2008 9:37:27 PM PDT
The road to the White House is taking both candidates to states not always up for grabs this late in the campaign season. Barack Obama drew a record-setting crowd in Missouri Saturday, while John McCain called Obama's tax policy "socialist" during stops in Virginia and North Carolina.

With 17 days to go until America's next president is picked, the dynamics of the race are shifting. The Obama campaign is pouring money and manpower into traditionally Republican leaning states; and, two-and-a-half weeks before the election, that has the McCain camp working to cover its flank.

"The winds of change are blowing all across America," Obama said Saturday in front of a record-setting crowd. One-hundred-thousand people gathered around the St. Louis Arch to hear Barack Obama -- his largest rally on American soil.

"George Bush and John McCain are out of ideas, they are out of touch, and if you stand with me in 17 days they will be out of time," said Obama.

Obama is making a play for states President Bush previously carried, like Missouri.

John McCain is campaigning in the once reliably red state of Virginia. Voters there haven't voted for a Democratic president since L.B.J. in 1964, but polls now give Obama the edge.

"We are 6 points down. The national media has written us off and Senator Obama is measuring the drapes," McCain said Sunday.

Obama is also engaged in an air war, outspending his Republican rival by more than $60 million on ads. McCain is answering with cheaper automated phone calls.

Some in McCain's own party are saying the messages go too far. The co-chair of his state campaign in Maine said the calls need to stop.

On the trail, John McCain said Obama's tax plan is little more than Socialist scheme.

"The McCain-Palin tax cut is the real thing. We are gonna double the child credit, reduce capital gains taxes and reduce business taxes," said McCain.

Obama racked up support from the editorial pages of many of the nation's top papers this weekend. Endorsements came from the LA Times, Washington Post, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Tribune.

The Tribune had never before endorsed a Democrat for president.

Mayor Richard M. Daley said the Trib "has finally seen the light." "When you look at Barack's campaign in the primary, when you look at Barack's campaign in the general it's not negative. It's positive, it's about what he's saying," Daley said.

Senator McCain enjoys the endorsements of the New York Post and Boston Herald, to name a few. The McCain team is also bringing in another former Bush campaign strategist in an effort to re-enforce Republican strongholds like Virginia and North Carolina.

Indiana has been in the red column for Republicans since '68. Current polls have McCain up there by a little under 4 percent but it's now in the "toss-up" column.


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