Thursday, August 21, 2008

Obama Casts McCain as Rich, Out of Touch

RICHMOND, Va. – Democrat Barack Obama Thursday depicted John McCain as rich, out of touch and less a foreign-policy expert than he claims — part of the increasingly negative tone of the presidential hopeful's message as he tries to fight the perception that his campaign has stalled.

Two national polls released Wednesday showed McCain has drawn almost even with Obama in the last few weeks, thanks to an aggressive new tone and a series of negative campaign commercials painting Obama as a tax raiser who is ill-prepared to lead in a dangerous world. That, in turn, has prompted Obama to step up his rhetoric against McCain.

Both an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll and a CBS News/New York Times survey found the race close — Obama with 45 percent to 42 percent for McCain.

At a town-hall meeting here, Obama was introduced by Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, widely believed to be on Obama's short list of possible vice presidential contenders. The two met privately for about 15 minutes before the campaign appearance. Kaine later batted away questions about his prospects.

"I'm going to let the campaign speak for the campaign," he said.

Speaking to supporters, Obama chided McCain for an interview he gave to the Politico Web site where he said he didn't know how many homes he owns. McCain's wife, Cindy, is an heiress to a large beer distributorship whose wealth is estimated to be at least $100 million.

"If you're like me, and you've got one house, or you are like the millions of people who are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so they don't lose their home, you might have a different perspective," Obama said.

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