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AP Obama slams McCain for not mentioning middle class

By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer 9 minutes ago

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Saturday called Republican rival John McCain out of touch with middle-class Americans, telling supporters that the GOP senator never once uttered the words "middle class" during their first debate.


"Through 90 minutes of debate, John McCain had a lot to say about me, but he didn't have anything to say about you," Obama told a cheering crowd at the J. Douglas Galyon Depot in downtown Greensboro. "He didn't even say the words 'middle class.' He didn't even say the words 'working people.'"

Obama debuted his post-debate attack on McCain with a campaign swing through North Carolina and Virginia, Republican-leaning states where he thinks he can make inroads.

The Illinois senator is trying capitalize on his debate performance by taking McCain to task for not talking about any plans for helping the middle class in the midst of the country's financial and fiscal crisis.

"Just as important as what we heard from John McCain is what we didn't hear from John McCain," Obama said. "We talked about the economy for 40 minutes and not once did Sen. McCain talk about the struggles of middle-class families. Not once did he talk about what they are facing every day here in North Carolina and across the country."

McCain's campaign suggested Saturday that the Arizona senator had referred to the middle class during the debate when he argued that Obama had voted in favor of higher taxes on families making $42,000 a year and proposed hundreds of billions in new government spending that would place a crushing burden on families and businesses. Obama disputed both of those assertions and said that 95 percent of America taxpayers would not pay more in taxes under his plan.

"If he was honest, Barack Obama knows he was unable to debate the merits of supporting higher taxes on the middle class, and bloated government spending during a looming economic crisis — it simply proved indefensible last night," McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement.

Appearing with Obama on Saturday, running mate Joe Biden called McCain's judgment on every important issue "wrong."

"Last night, John McCain's silence on the middle class was deafening," said Biden, a Delaware senator. "We need more than a brave soldier. We need a wise leader."

The Obama campaign tried to back up that point in its newest ad, a spot released Saturday that also notes McCain never mentioned the middle class during the debate. "McCain doesn't get it," the announcer says. "Barack Obama does."

"We need a president who will fight for the middle class every day, and that's what I will do when I'm in the Oval Office," Obama told the cheering crowd.

Obama advisers were encouraged by his performance in the foreign policy arena at the debate at the University of Mississippi but immediately started dampening expectations for future debates.

"This was supposed to be John McCain's turf, and Barack Obama owned it," Biden said.

Obama adviser David Plouffe told reporters the Democrat "spoke really to people in their homes about needing a president who is going to fight for the middle class, who is going to work on things like education and health care."

The presidential hopefuls are scheduled to debate twice more, at Belmont University in Nashville on Oct. 7 and at Hofstra University in Hempsted, N.Y., on Oct. 15.

The next debate will be a town hall format, and Plouffe called McCain the "undisputed town hall champion."

Entry #344


ToddComment by Todd - September 28, 2008, 10:11 pm
This is the best he can come up with? Too bad Obama can't come with a real argument. This is pitiful stuff.

Obama has the natural advantage on the economic stuff, and I suppose he could be seen by some as "winning" that part of the debate ("winning" is used quite loosely here), but when it came to the final two-thirds of the debate, McCain cleaned Obama's clock. There is no substitute for experience, and that was amply clear.

So Obama comes up with the Earth-shattering, awe-inspiring comment that "McCain didn't mention 'Middle Class' once."

Comment by wiltay - September 30, 2008, 11:53 am
What Obama is saying is true, McCain isn't for the people who pay the real taxes here, people making under $54,000 per year. It's not fair that people who make the least pay the most. Big business and corporations, and big oil get away with paying little or nothing while the real working class people carry the burden of almost a third of their paychecks to keep the government operating . It's just not fair. Those making more should pay more, not less. This is just greed. If they would stop stealing the tax dollars that are paid, that would help some.
Some of those people in Washington should be in prison for the things they do. Where is their compassion for the underdog who is struggling to just buy gas to put in their cars to even go to work. It's a shame that some people think they should have it all and the majority have nothing. What's wrong with making sure everyone taken care of. If it were not for the little man, this nation would come to a halt. But the good news is, God is still in control and he is only going to allow so much for so long, and then He will step in and all the greed and money and power will no longer be important, they will be throwing it in the streets. I look forward to that day. In the mean time, I hope those people and all who think like them will do some soul searching and find some compassion for their fellow man.

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