Home International Time running out for McCain: Obama

Time running out for McCain: Obama


Leesburg, Virginia : Front-running Democrat Barack Obama Wednesday mocked his White House foe John McCain as “out of touch and running out of time” after rejecting new Republican jibes on tax and national security.

But just 13 days before the presidential election, Republican McCain warned the Illinois senator not to take victory for granted, despite his mammoth financial edge and solid lead in a slew of opinion polls.

And McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin insisted to supporters that the race would “come right down to the wire” on November 4 and that the outcome was “in God’s hands.”

“I’m going to know, at the end of the day, putting this in God’s hands, that the right thing for America will be done,” she told Christian evangelical leader James Dobson on Wednesday. Obama lampooned McCain’s idealized picture of “Joe the Plumber” — an Ohio tradesmen who had challenged him on his tax plans.

“Let’s be clear who John McCain is fighting for — he’s not fighting for Joe the Plumber, he’s fighting for Joe the Hedge Fund Manager,” Obama said in Richmond, Virginia. “John McCain likes to talk about Joe the Plumber, but he’s in cahoots with Joe the CEO,” Obama said in the first of two stops in the southern state which normally votes Republican, but where he is leading in the polls.

Palin took another feisty run at Obama, ramming home the Republican claim that the Democrat would hike tax rates across the board in a “socialized” wealth sharing scheme.

“He’s hiding his real agenda of redistributing your hard-earned money,” she warned an enthusiastic crowd in Green, Ohio. But Obama said such attacks were distortions, and symptomatic of a McCain-Palin effort that was “out of ideas, out of touch and running out of time.”

The fierce new clashes over tax came on another sickening day for the US economy, with stocks diving on grim company data, sparking fears of a global recession as the broad-market Standard & Poor’s 500 index hit a five-year low.

Obama also rebuffed McCain’s latest attacks on his readiness to be commander in chief, after Republicans renewed attempts to turn the key campaign issue from the economy, where voters find McCain weaker, back to national security, where McCain’s credentials are more respected.

“Whoever is the next president is going to have to deal with a whole host of challenges internationally,” Obama said, after gathering a phalanx of veteran national security advisors in key swing-state Virginia. “A period of transition in a new administration is always one in which we have to be vigilant.”

His remarks served as a rebuttal of Republican assaults following a comment by Democratic vice presidential pick Joe Biden that a president Obama would face a test from US enemies early in his mandate.

For the second straight day, McCain pointed to his experience as an on-alert pilot during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, saying “I have been tested.” “We don’t want a president who invites testing from the world at a time when the economy is in crisis and America is already fighting two wars.” “We’ve seen the wrong response from him over and over again.”

McCain also sought to portray Obama as taking the electorate for granted, given a clutch of favorable polls and the massive 150 million dollar war chest he amassed in September.

“My opponent’s looking pretty confident these days,” McCain said in New Hampshire, which revived his moribund presidential campaign earlier this year.

“He’ll be addressing the nation soon. He’s got another one of those big-stadium spectacles in the works, acting like the election is over.” But in a chilly evening rally before an estimated crowd of 35,000 in Virginia, Obama rebuked supporters for falling prey to the triumphal mood.

“I am superstitious, I don’t like counting those chickens before they hatch.” A Fox News survey put Obama up nine points nationwide, 49 percent to 40, and several surveys had him in a strong position in several traditionally Republican states.

The Gallup Daily survey of registered voters gave Obama up nine points, while the Rasmussen daily tracking poll by 51 percent to 45 percent.