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McCain and Obama spar on economy

McCain says Obama is 'more interested in controlling wealth than creating it'

Republican John McCain and Democratic rival Barack Obama are attacking each other's economic plans, as they enter the last full week of campaigning.

Speaking after a meeting with economic advisers in Ohio, Senator McCain said his plan would create jobs whereas Mr Obama would cut jobs and raise taxes.

Mr Obama told an Ohio rally that the US was at a "defining moment" in history.

Ahead in the polls, he said Mr McCain was offering "four more years" of the Bush administration's economic policy.

Mr McCain, meanwhile, has warned that a Democratic sweep of the White House and Congress will give the party unbridled power.

The presidential rivals will both campaign in Pennsylvania, a swing state Mr McCain hopes to take from the Democrats, before heading south into previously safe Republican territory.

Senator McCain's attack on Mr Obama's financial plans followed a meeting with economic advisors including Mitt Romney, a former rival for the Republican nomination, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Housing Secretary Jack Kemp.

Barack Obama says the US cannot afford 'the same old Bush-McCain policies'

Mr McCain said: "We both disagree with President Bush on economic policies.

"My approach is to get spending under control. The difference between us is he thinks taxes have been too low, and I think spending has been too high."

He urged voters not to listen to Mr Obama's rhetoric but rather to look at his record on taxation.

"The difference between myself and Senator Obama is that our plan will create jobs, his plan will raise taxes on small businesses, impose insurance mandates on families and cut jobs," he said.

Defining moment

Mr Obama, senator for Illinois, told supporters in Canton, Ohio: "We can't afford to slow down, sit back. We cannot let up for one day or one minute or one second in this last week."

"In one week, at this defining moment in history, you can give this country the change we need," he said.

"At a moment like this, the last thing we can afford is four more years of the tired, old theory that says we should give more to billionaires and big corporations and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else," he added.

From Ohio, Mr Obama was travelling to Pennsylvania - the only big state that voted Democrat in 2004 where Mr McCain is still actively campaigning.

Later in the week, he will be in Florida with former president Bill Clinton, and on Wednesday his campaign will broadcast a half-hour documentary across all major television networks.

Republican divisions

Mr McCain and his vice-presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, will spend the final week of campaigning mainly in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri, and Indiana, all states which voted Republican last time but are now up for grabs.

Any serious Republican has to ask: 'How did we get into this mess?'
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives

With the Democrats also leading in many key Congressional races, Mr McCain is warning voters of the dangers of one party controlling both the executive and legislative branch.

He is also seeking to distance himself from the unpopular Republican administration.

"The fact is I am not George Bush. The fact is I was not popular in my own party," he said in a US television interview.

And he repeated his claim that he is closing the gap in the opinion polls and "will be up all night" on election day.

But in-fighting has broken out among Republicans worried about the scale of any possible defeat.

"Any serious Republican has to ask, 'How did we get into this mess?'", former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who led the Congressional Republicans to victory in 1994, told the New York Times.


Electoral College votes

Winning post 270
Obama - Democrat
365
McCain - Republican
173
Select from the list below to view state level results.

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