McCain Previews His Own Debate, Coming Tuesday
By Michael Abramowitz
DENVER-- "When are you going to take the gloves off?" a John McCain supporter wanted to know this afternoon.
"How about Tuesday night?" McCain replied, grinning and looking ahead to his crucial second debate with Democrat Barack Obama.
The crowd roared at the first of two town hall-style McCain events here in Colorado, a swing state considered to be leaning ever so slightly to Obama. Today's event was pitched at women, and roughly 500 boisterous women supporters turned out in the ballroom of a downtown hotel this afternoon to hear McCain and cheer wildly when the GOP nominee noted that his running mate Sarah Palin would be having "a little debate tonight."
Skirting the recent controversies surrounding his running mate, McCain said he could not be prouder of Palin and the "inspiration" she has provided women around the country. He said the "me-first" crowd in Washington fears the arrival of the McCain-Palin team to take over the government in January.
"Change is coming and some of them aren't going to like it," said McCain, who was interrupted repeatedly by standing ovations from a crowd that peppered him with questions about the economic crisis.
McCain, who is struggling to stem an erosion of support over the past two weeks, previewed what are likely to be his main lines of attack against Obama Tuesday night -- namely that the Democrat would raises taxes, grow the size of government and not work across the aisle. "Senator Obama has never taken on the leaders off his own party on any issue," McCain said. "Ladies and gentleman, I will do that."
McCain said he he will try to draw out these difference with Obama on Tuesday. He said the two have "a fundamental disagreement about who is best able to help our economy, whether it be through lower taxes and less government and more job opportunities.... Senator Obama has a clear record of wanting government to do the job that citizens do."
During the hour-long town hall meeting, McCain touched on the financial meltdown on Wall Street, saying the legislation before Congress this week is "like a tourniquet -- it's not a cure" and promising to change the way business is done in Washington. "Its going to take a new broom," he said. "I will fix it"
"America is hurting tonight," McCain said, "because people are sitting around the kitchen table ... trying to figure out how stay in their jobs."
McCain, whose own campaign manager was a paid consultant to the two Fannies, explained the genesis of the current financial crisis as rooted in what he described as the corruption of Washington and the "out of control" situation at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, where, he said, overpaid executives encouraged risky behavior in the real estate business.
"The greed and corrupt practices in Washington bred this problem," McCain said. "It's not fair for America."
Posted at 7:19 PM ET on Oct 2, 2008
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