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Candidates Step Up Campaigning After Final Debate

With the last presidential debate behind them, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama and their running mates continued campaigning in several battleground states, focusing on the differences in their plans for the economy. Kwame Holman reports on the latest from the campaign trail.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    Now, a day after their final debate, the presidential candidates were back to campaigning. NewsHour correspondent Kwame Holman reports.

  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    Republican nominee John McCain today took some of the same criticisms of Democrat Barack Obama he used last night into his first post-debate event in Downingtown, Pa.

  • SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-Ariz.):

    The real winner last night was Joe the plumber.

  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    That included an analysis of the Obama economic program and its effect on one Ohio plumber, mentioned frequently by both candidates a few hours before.

  • SEN. JOHN MCCAIN:

    You might recall I related last night, Senator Obama had an encounter with Joe, Joe the plumber, out in Ohio, another battleground state. And, you know, Joe the plumber said, "Look, I've been working all my life, 10, 12 hours. I want to buy the business that I'm in, but you're going to raise my taxes."

    And you know what Senator Obama had to say to Joe? He wanted to spread his wealth around.

    He wanted to spread his wealth around.

    Now, what does that mean? He wants government to take Joe's money and give it to somebody else, his hard-earned dollars. We're not going to stand for that.

  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    And McCain also repeated his answer to Obama's charge that a McCain presidency would be a lot like that of George W. Bush.

  • SEN. JOHN MCCAIN:

    As I mentioned last night to Senator Obama, I'm not George Bush. And if he wanted to run against George Bush, he should have run four years ago.

    I'll take us in a new direction.

    My friends, the hour is late, our troubles are getting worse. Our enemies watch. We'll have to act immediately, and we need that new direction now, and we have to fight, and that's what America's all about, and that's what I'll do for you.