Economy has taken the center stage in the U.S. presidential contest as rivals Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama made dueling economic speeches over how to boost the ailing U.S. economy on Monday.
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama recognizes a friend in the audience as he addresses a National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials conference in Washington, June 28, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Both candidates turned to the No. 1 issue for voters as a recent poll by Democracy Corps suggested that voters are very much up for grabs on economic issues.
In a speech to reporters after mechanical trouble forced his plane to make an unscheduled stop in St. Louis, Obama called for a 50 billion dollar stimulus package that would provide energy rebate checks for many families, a fund to help families avoid foreclosure and increased assistance for states hit especially hard by economic setbacks.
The Democratic senator favors tax cuts for middle-class workers and tax increases for top earners. He calls for substantial government subsidies for health care, college, retirement and alternative energies.
Obama said that McCain offers a third term of President Bush's policies.
"John McCain's policies are essentially a repeat, a regurgitation of what we've been hearing from the Republican Party over the last two decades, maybe three," Obama said, "It's part of the reason that we're in the situation that we find ourselves in right now."