Obama Campaigns Another Day In Florida

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama continued Tuesday to make the economy the centerpiece of his campaign for votes in the battleground state of Florida. Obama says President Bush has failed to address the crisis on Main Street, and that John McCain has failed to fully acknowledge it. The latest polls show Obama with a slight lead in Florida.

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DON GONYEA: This is Don Gonyea in southern Florida where Barack Obama continues to make the economy the centerpiece of his campaign for votes in this battleground state.

(Soundbite of economic forum, Palm Beach Community College)

(Soundbite of crowd chanting "Obama")

GONYEA: This event sounded like an Obama rally, but these supporters had come to Palm Beach Community College for an economic forum featuring Obama, several corporate leaders, and the governors of Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, and New Mexico. Obama offered a critical assessment of the current president and of the Republican nominee.

(Soundbite of economic forum, Palm Beach Community College)

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democrat, Illinois; Democratic Presidential Candidate): While President Bush and Senator McCain were ready to move heaven and earth to address the crisis on Wall Street, President Bush has failed so far to address the crisis on Main Street. And Senator McCain has failed to fully acknowledge it.

GONYEA: And while Obama himself pushed for and voted in favor of the recent congressional rescue plan for the financial sector, he said for middle-class Americans it's not enough.

(Soundbite of economic forum, Palm Beach Community College)

Senator OBAMA: Instead of common-sense solutions month after month, they've offered little more than willful ignorance, wishful thinking, outdated ideology.

GONYEA: Next it was on to Miami and a big outdoor rally. The tally: 30,000 people. At this event, Obama noted that 115,000 jobs in Florida have disappeared just in the past year and that the state has sky-high foreclosure rates. But he also responded directly to recent attacks by John McCain, particularly the charge that some of Obama's proposals are socialism.

(Soundbite of Democratic campaign rally)

Senator OBAMA: Now first of all, I think it's hard to imagine that Colin Powell and Warren Buffett would endorse somebody socialistic.

GONYEA: Latest polls do show Obama with a slight lead in Florida. Today Obama shifts his focus to foreign policy. He'll meet with his team of national security advisers in Richmond, Virginia. Don Gonyea, NPR News, traveling with the Obama campaign.

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