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Video by Kate WILLIAMS

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-10-25

Republican presidential candidate John McCain hit the campaign trail with fresh attacks warning working-class voters that rival Barack Obama will seek to redistribute their hard-earned money.

See France 24's full coverage of the US election.



With Barack Obama off the campaign trail, Republican White House hopeful John McCain Friday courted working class voters slamming his rival for wanting to share out hard-earned American wealth.
Despite trailing in national polls ahead of the November 4 vote, McCain's senior advisors hope steady attacks on Democrat Obama's alleged "socialist" tendencies will draw back wavering Republicans and woo key independent voters.
As Obama "told Joe the Plumber back in Ohio, he wants to quote 'spread the wealth around,'" McCain told a rally in Denver, Colorado.
"He believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs. Senator Obama is more interested in controlling wealth than in creating it, in redistributing money instead of spreading opportunity.
"I am going to create wealth for all Americans, by creating opportunity for all Americans," McCain vowed.
With Obama visiting his gravely ill 85-year-old grandmother in Hawaii Friday, McCain is hoping to grab the limelight and chip away at the Democrat's lead in the polls with 11 days left in the US presidential race.
National tracking polls have Obama up anywhere from four to 14 percentage points -- and he has a solid lead in surveys of most key battleground states.
But the gap has narrowed this week as McCain hammered away at Obama for telling an Ohio plumber -- wary at the Democrat's tax plans -- that everyone is better off when you "spread the wealth around."
One senior advisor told reporters on McCain's campaign plane that people are uncomfortable with the fact that Obama -- who Friday was endorsed by the influential New York Times -- is "so liberal."
The campaign is holding up plumber Joe Wurzelbacher of Holland, Ohio as a symbol of the hopes of all Americans who own a business or dream of doing so one day.
"Senator Obama may say he's trying to soak the rich, but it's the middle class who are going to get put through the wringer, because a lot of his promised tax increase misses the target," said McCain.
The debate over what's best for Joe the Plumber has "put a face" on the argument McCain has been trying to make for some time in the run-up to November 4, another campaign advisor said.
"We're aware we're behind, but we're in better shape than some of the public polls," senior advisor Mark Salter told AFP. "This is definitely a winnable race."
McCain launched an ad this week titled "Sweat Equity," in which ordinary people declare: "I'm Joe the Plumber," and one man says: "Obama wants my sweat to pay for his trillion dollars in new spending."
Taking a 36-hour break from campaigning, Obama was spending Friday with his grandmother Madelyn Dunham, who raised him for much of his childhood, in his birth state of Hawaii. He resumes campaigning Saturday in Nevada.
Dunham, who broke her hip earlier this month and suffers from osteoporosis, is Obama's sole remaining link with his tight-knit immediate elder family after his mother died of cancer more than a decade ago.
"We knew that she wasn't doing well but, you know, the diagnosis was such where we thought we had a little more time and we didn't. And so I want to make sure that I don't make the same mistake twice," Obama told CBS television.
The McCain campaign says it now considers 14 states to be competitive, but is focusing its resources on those most critical to a McCain victory -- Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina.
The New York Times endorsed Obama for president on Friday, saying he has grown into the kind of leader the United States needs after eight years of President George W. Bush in the White House.
"He has shown a cool head and sound judgment," it said. "We believe he has the will and the ability to forge the broad political consensus that is essential to finding solutions to this nation’s problems."

Date created : 2008-10-24