As the issue of race becomes more and more prominent in the US presidential campaign, the Republican camp is accused of stirring up feelings of hatred towards Democratic rival Barack Obama.
WASHINGTON - Republican U.S. presidential nominee John McCain,
scrambling to overcome Barack Obama's lead in the polls,
will assure supporters on Monday he will bounce back even
though his Democratic rival is already "measuring the drapes"
at the White House.
"My friends, we've got them just where we want them,"
McCain will tell a rally in the battleground state of Virginia,
according to advance excerpts obtained by Reuters, as he tries
to revitalize his faltering campaign in the final stretch to
the Nov. 4 election.
With the clock ticking down on his chance to narrow the
gap, McCain will unveil a new stump speech that a campaign aide
said would mark a "more forceful tone" by the Arizona senator
in his run for the presidency.
McCain's new rhetoric comes amid a growing sense of urgency
as he and top advisers consider new economic proposals to
address a deepening U.S. financial crisis sweeping markets
worldwide. The list of ideas has been narrowed and the first
could be rolled out later this week, the campaign source said.
McCain has been hurt by the perception of many voters that
Obama would be better at handling the economic upheaval, a view
so widely held that even fellow Republicans are increasingly
concerned about his ability to mount a comeback.
A Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Monday showed Obama
with a 4-point lead among likely voters. A new Washington
Post-ABC News survey had Obama leading McCain 53 percent to 43
percent among likely voters.
"MEASURING THE DRAPES"
Seeking to counter the impression of a campaign adrift and
unfocused, McCain will try to rally supporters by mocking Obama
as overconfident and insisting he has beaten the odds before.
"We have 22 days to go. We're six points down. The national
media has written us off. Senator Obama is measuring the
drapes, and planning with Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi and Senator
(Harry) Reid to raise taxes, increase spending, take away your
right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections, and concede
defeat in Iraq," McCain will say.
"But they forgot to let you decide," he will add.
"What America needs in this hour is a fighter, someone who
puts all his cards on the table," McCain, a former Navy pilot
and Vietnam prisoner of war, will tell his audience.
Other than exhorting the Republican faithful, it remained
unclear, however, whether McCain's new stump speech will
include any new specific policy ideas that some critics say
have been notably lacking so far.
And McCain intends to keep up attacks on Obama's character,
the campaign source said, despite signs the tactic has not
gained much traction.
The aide said in Monday's appearances in Virginia and North
Carolina, another key swing state, McCain would give the
economic crisis the same attention he has in other recent
speeches, despite criticism he has not focused enough on it.
The new plan under consideration would be designed to help
McCain show his concern for millions of Americans seeing their
savings vanish in the Wall Street meltdown.
"I think it goes along the lines that now is the time to
lower tax rates for investors, capital gains tax, dividend tax
rates, to make sure that we can get the economy jump-started,"
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of
McCain's closest supporters, said on Sunday.
The campaign source said, however, that the timing of
McCain's announcement will depend on related developments not
only in the United States but also in Europe, where financial
leaders are trying to coordinate efforts.
Obama has criticized McCain as being erratic on his earlier
proposals for dealing with the financial turmoil, jumping from
one idea to another.
Date created : 2008-10-13