At a campaign rally in Detroit today, an emboldened Barack Obama kept up his attack against John McCain and the economy. Obama went for the heart of McCain’s campaign by saying that McCain talks a lot about him, but says nothing about the middle class.
“On Friday, we had a debate. And on issue after issue – from taxes to health care to the war in Iraq – you heard John McCain make the case for more of the same policies that got us into this mess. But just as important as what we heard from John McCain was what we didn’t hear. We talked about the economy for forty minutes, and not once did Senator McCain talk about the struggles that middle class families are facing every day right here in North Carolina and around the country,” Obama said.
“He defended his plan to give $300 billion in tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest Americans, but he had nothing to say about the fact that wages have flat-lined and jobs are being shipped overseas.
He railed against some study of bears in Montana, but he had nothing to say about the fact that more and more Americans can’t afford to pay for college; can’t afford health care for their families; and can’t afford a retirement that is dignified and secure,” Obama continued.
He hammered McCain for not talking about the middle class, “Senator McCain spoke again and again about the need to keep spending $10 billion a month in Iraq, but he said nothing about the need to end this war so that we can invest in good jobs, and rebuild our roads and bridges and broadband lines right here in America. The truth is, through ninety minutes of debating, John McCain had a lot to say about me, but he had nothing to say about you. He didn’t even say the words “middle class.” Not once.”
The Democrat accused McCain of flip flopping on the economic crisis, and looking for a photo op, “You see, I think Senator McCain just doesn’t get it – he doesn’t get that this crisis on Wall Street hit Main Street a long time ago. That’s why his first response to the greatest fiscal meltdown in generations was to say that the “fundamentals of the economy are strong.” That’s why he’s been shifting positions these last two weeks, looking for a photo-op, and trying to figure out what to say and what to do.”
I think Obama gained momentum from the debate on Friday, and it is showing on the campaign trail. The Democratic campaign is intent on driving home their message on the economy every day until November 4, and McCain has looked neither like a maverick nor a leader for the past couple of weeks. His aimless flailing around on the financial crisis has made it easy for Obama to look presidential.
McCain has taken on the look of a candidate who wants to be president, but can’t explain to the American voters why they should vote for him. The choice of Sarah Palin has now completely backfired, and she can’t be expected to change the momentum at the vice presidential debate this week. Barring a major gaffe by Obama, McCain has two more chances to explain on the national stage why he should be president. Obama has hit his stride, and if McCain does not find a message that connects beyond the Republican base soon, he is probably looking at defeat on Election Day.