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Obama, McCain Talk Economy, Iraq on the Campaign Trail

Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain hit the campaign trail yesterday to discuss their views on economic policy and Iraq. Kwame Holman reports on the state of the campaign.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    The presumptive nominees for president were back on the campaign trail today, each making his case for how to best tackle the struggling economy and the war in Iraq. Kwame Holman has our report.

  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    For the second time in a month, Barack Obama was in the key battleground state of Michigan today. He unveiled his plans for making the U.S. more competitive in the global economy.

    SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), Illinois: It's time for new policies that create the new jobs and the new opportunities of the future. It's time for a competitiveness agenda built around education and energy, innovation and infrastructure, fair trade and reform.

  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    Obama's proposal calls for investing $150 billion in a green energy sector over 10 years, which he said would create 5 million new jobs.

  • SEN. BARACK OBAMA:

    When I'm president, we will invest in research and development of every form of alternative energy, solar, wind and biofuels, as well as technologies that can make coal burn cleanly and nuclear power safe.

    We will provide incentives to businesses and consumers to save energy and make buildings more efficient. That's how we're going to create jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced. That's how we're going to win back control of our destiny from oil-rich dictators.

    And that's how we'll solve the problem of $4-a-gallon gas, not with another Washington gimmick, like John McCain's gas tax holiday that would pad oil company profits, while draining away the highway fund that Michigan depends on.

  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    Meanwhile, John McCain also talked about energy today, touting his plans for dealing with the rising cost of fuel. He spoke at a news conference in Virginia.

    SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), Arizona: Tomorrow, I'll call for lifting the federal moratorium for states that choose to permit exploration. I think that this and perhaps providing additional incentives for states to permit exploration off their coasts would be very helpful in the short term in resolving our energy crisis.

    And I will repeat my advocacy of a gas tax holiday, which would be — which is impacting low-income Americans on a fixed income, who are driving automobiles that consume gasoline at a greater rate, and they're driving further. And I think they deserve a break.