Obama To Missourians: McCain Is Out Of Touch

Barack Obama arrives Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. He was in Missouri on Tuesday, continuing his tour of some battleground states before he accepts his party's nomination for president. In Kansas City, Obama argued that the American middle class is worse off than it was eight years ago when President Bush took office.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Barack Obama has been meeting with groups of people very different from the crowds he will address in Denver this week. The Democratic candidate will soon be speaking to many thousands of supporters. He began the week speaking with small groups of voters. Obama is one of three candidates we'll catch up with in the next few moments. The others are vice presidential choice Joe Biden, who speaks tonight, and Republican John McCain, who turned up at a different kind of convention. We begin with Barack Obama and NPR's Don Gonyea.

DON GONYEA: It's all carefully choreographed. Whatever the topic of the day is at the Democratic National Convention, that's what Senator Obama is talking about out on the stump. Tuesday's theme in Denver was restoring America's promise. Here's Obama yesterday in Kansas City, talking to a small audience of mostly union members. He said you learn something traveling across the country as a candidate.

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democrat, Illinois; Presidential Candidate): People are anxious. People are scared about the future.

GONYEA: And the senator continued to hit John McCain on the economy. He noted McCain's comment that the economy made great progress under President Bush, and that McCain owns seven houses.

Sen. OBAMA: I just don't think he gets it. He is out of touch. I don't think he realizes what ordinary American families are going through. I don't think the Bush administration understands what ordinary Americans are going through. But I do, and that's why I'm running for president of the United States of America - move this country in a new direction.

GONYEA: Then, Senator Obama launched into the following refrain, offering an economic review of President Bush's eight years in office.

Sen. OBAMA: Over the last eight years, your lives are less secure. Over the last eight years, you're more likely to have lost your health insurance. Over the last eight years, you are more likely to not be able to save. Over the last eight years, your home values have started to drop. That's the track record.

GONYEA: It's a likely preview of what the senator will say in his acceptance speech tomorrow night. Obama arrives at the convention in Denver today after a meeting in Billings, Montana with military families.

Don Gonyea, NPR News.

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