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McCain, Obama Keep Focus on Economy in Campaign Push

October 23, 2008 at 6:30 PM EST
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The candidates continued their campaigns in the key battleground states of Indiana and Florida, attacking each other's tax plans and promising to create new jobs. Spencer Michels recaps the latest campaign news.
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JIM LEHRER: The presidential candidates, they were all out in battleground states today. And NewsHour correspondent Spencer Michels has our report.

SPENCER MICHELS, NewsHour Correspondent: Barack Obama made one last stop in the traditionally red state of Indiana today before flying to Hawaii to visit his ailing grandmother.

The visit coincided with a new Big Ten Battleground opinion poll that showed the Democrat with a 10-point advantage over John McCain in the Hoosier state.

At an afternoon rally in Indianapolis, Obama accused McCain of favoring corporate tax breaks that would hurt American workers.

Obama's pledges on tax cuts

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), Illinois: Just yesterday, John McCain strongly defended the Bush policy of lavishing tax cuts on corporations, including those that ship American jobs overseas.

He made kind of a strange argument, that the best way to stop companies from shipping jobs overseas is to give more tax cuts to companies that are shipping jobs overseas, more tax cuts for job outsourcing. That's what Sen. McCain proposed as his answer to outsourcing. He said that's, quote, "simple, fundamental economics."

Well, Indiana, my opponent may call that fundamental economics, but we know that's just another name for Wall Street first, Main Street last. That's the kind of economic philosophy we've had for the past eight years, and that's fundamentally wrong.

If Sen. McCain wants to defend tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, that's his choice. But I say, let's end tax cuts for companies that ship American jobs overseas, give them to companies that are investing right here in Indiana, right here in the United States of America.

McCain's take on jobs, taxes

SPENCER MICHELS: McCain campaigned today in Florida, where another new poll -- this one from Quinnipiac University -- showed the Republican trailing Obama by 5 points.

At a morning event in Ormond Beach, McCain criticized Obama's tax proposal and his move earlier in the week to tweak his plan by adding a requirement that people who get a tax cut have to work.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), Arizona: Obama wants to spread the wealth around. Sen. Obama wants to spread it around.

That means fewer jobs at their businesses and fewer jobs here in Florida. You know, this week -- this week, we learned that Sen. Obama is concerned that his plan for wealth redistribution is seen as welfare, so he just added a work requirement.

Twelve days to go, 13 days to go in this election, he changed his tax plan, because the American people had learned the truth about it, and they didn't like it. It's another example that he'll say anything to get elected.

So now, if you're unemployed, Sen. Obama's plan won't help you at all, even as his tax increases make fewer jobs available to you so you can get back to work. And that's the problem with Sen. Obama's approach on taxes: He's more concerned about using taxes to spread the wealth than creating a tax plan that creates jobs and grows our economy.

Vice presidential nominees campaign

SPENCER MICHELS: Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, meanwhile, stumped in Ohio, where she blasted Obama for favoring tax credits rather than real tax cuts.

Democrat Joe Biden held a rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and said a major goal of an Obama administration would be to revive the middle class.

Tomorrow, Biden campaigns in West Virginia, McCain in Colorado, and Palin in Pennsylvania and Missouri.