Obama, Biden Swing Through Swing States

Sen. Barack Obama has been campaigning with his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, states that could decide the election.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

LIANE HANSEN, host:

This morning, Republican John McCain and his choice for a running mate, Sarah Palin, traveled to Jackson, Mississippi to get a briefing on the state's hurricane preparations. His opponent, Democrat Barack Obama, urged residents in New Orleans and other areas in potential danger to heed the warning to evacuate. Obama is considering whether to visit the region, but said he didn't want his presence to be disruptive. Yesterday, Obama and his running mate, Joe Biden, campaigned in Ohio, and NPR's Don Gonyea has this report.

DON GONYEA: This weekend, the focus for Obama has been the upper midwest: Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, three states that could decide the election. After starting yesterday in Cleveland, where he attended a morning memorial service for Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the first black woman elected to Congress from Ohio, Obama headed to the town of Dublin, where he enlisted the help of some popular Ohio politicians, including the former senator and astronaut, John Glen, and the current governor, Ted Strickland, who warmed up the crowd of some 19,000 at the local high school football stadium.

Governor TED STRICKLAND (Democrat, Ohio): I want to ask you just a couple of questions. Do you like the way things are in our country today?

(Soundbite of crowd shouting, "No!")

Do you want more war?

(Soundbite of crowd shouting, "No!")

GONYEA: In the past two presidential elections, Ohio went for George W. Bush. But with the loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs, the Democarts have hopes for capturing the state. At the event last night, John McCain was painted as offering more of the same. He was even mocked for past statements about the economy by vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Senator JOE BIDEN (Democrat, Delaware; 2008 Democratic Vice-Presidential Nominee): I could walk from here to Cleveland and I wouldn't run into a single person, I suspect, who would tell me, thank God the economy is strong, unless I ran into John McCain.

(Soundbite of audience applause)

GONYEA: Finally, it was Senator Obama's turn.

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democrat, Illinois; 2008 Democratic Presidential Nominee): I have said it before, and I will say it again. John McCain served this country with distinction and bravery, and for that we owe him our gratitude. But we don't owe him our vote!

GONYEA: Today, Senators Obama and Biden campaigned together again in Toledo and in Battle Creek, Michigan. Don Gonyea, NPR News, in Dublin, Ohio.

(Soundbite of music)

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