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McCain, Obama battle into last weekend

Video by Yuka ROYER

Text by REUTERS

Latest update : 2008-11-01

The Republican presidential candidate said Friday he felt enough "enthusiasm" in Ohio to help him beat Barack Obama. Meanwhile, his campaign confirmed he would appear on the hit US comedy show Saturday Night Live.

 

Watch our two-part Debate: 'Can Obama live up to the hype?' 

 

HANOVERTON - Republican presidential nominee John McCain on Friday campaigned across Ohio, a state that is critical to his hopes of clawing back Democrat Barack Obama's lead going into Tuesday's election.

 

Obama, who is ahead in national opinion polls and in this Midwestern state that has been crucial to Republican victories in the last two presidential votes, warned his supporters to expect attacks from McCain in the last days of the campaign.

 

On the second day of a bus tour through Ohio, McCain urged his supporters to fight for him as he seeks to come from behind and defeat the better-funded Obama.

 

"The enthusiasm and the momentum that I feel here in Ohio is going to carry us to victory here in Ohio," McCain said. "We need a new direction and we have to fight for it and we'll fight for it together."

 

Obama was in Iowa, a state in which he already appeared to have a big lead. Campaign aides said he was visiting as a symbolic move to mark where he began his quest for the presidency by winning Iowa's primary contest last January.

 

"The people of Iowa I will always be grateful to you," Obama, in rolled-up shirt sleeves on an unseasonably warm and sunny morning, said at the start of his speech. "What you started here in Iowa has swept the country."

 

He criticized a McCain campaign ad that showed him praising McCain for his work on global warming -- "as if there's something wrong with acknowledging when an opponent has said or done something that makes sense."

 

He warned his supporters to expect to see from the McCain camp "more of the slash and burn, say-anything, do-anything politics, throw everything up against the refrigerator and see if anything sticks, a message that's designed to divide and distract; to tear us apart instead of bringing us together."

 

'WE'RE HITTING OUR STRIDE'

 

McCain's vice presidential running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was campaigning in Pennsylvania, hoping to help McCain win a state that voted Democratic in the last four elections. Obama leads there but it is the one Democratic-leaning state that McCain aides think their man has a shot at stealing.

 

Palin told Reuters in a telephone interview that "we're hitting our stride now."

 

"I'm a runner so I know what this feels like, and what it's supposed to feel like at the right time, where you're getting your second wind. Now is the time and I'm confident this new movement we're feeling will lead us to victory on the 4th," she said.

 

The McCain and Obama camps held dueling conference calls to give their opinion on what is happening at the end of an election year that has seen its share of dramatic finishes and unpredictable turns.

 

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said the Obama campaign would resume running advertisements in two states that it had stopped broadcasting in, Georgia and North Dakota, and would run ads even in McCain's home state of Arizona.

 

"We have organizations in all three of these states. The early vote numbers in Georgia are highly encouraging. We've seen movement in both North Dakota and Arizona," Plouffe said.

 

He said Obama felt confident about keeping all the states that Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry won in 2004 and was running strong in several states -- Iowa, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado and Virginia -- that helped push President George W. Bush to victory that year.

 

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis begged to differ, saying "we're pretty jazzed up" about some recent movement toward McCain in the polls.

 

"Obviously, we've had a lot of ups and downs in the course of this race, and the one that that has been the standard that the McCain campaign has created is that we fight back. And we are witnessing, I believe, probably one of the greatest comebacks that you've seen since John McCain won the primary," Davis said.

Date created : 2008-10-31

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