Obama And McCain, On The Campaign Trail

Barack Obama and John McCain raced through battleground states Wednesday, rallying support with less than two weeks to go before the Nov. 4 election. Hear extended sound clips from each candidate on the campaign trail.

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

From NPR News, this is All Things Considered. I'm Melissa Block.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

And I'm Michele Norris. Less than two weeks to Election Day, and we begin this hour with the home-stretch sprint.

BLOCK: First, we're going to listen to some extended portions of the candidate's speeches. Here's Barack Obama at a rally today in Richmond, Virginia.

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democrat, Illinois; Presidential Candidate): The economic crisis we face is the worst since the Great Depression. Businesses large and small are finding it impossible to get loans, which means they can't buy new equipment or hire new workers, or even make payroll for the workers they had. We've lost more than 750,000 jobs this year. Wages are lower than they've been in a decade. At the same time, the cost of everything from health care to college, have never been higher. It's harder to save, it's harder to retire, it's harder to make the mortgage or fill up your gas tank, or even keep electricity on at the end of the month. Now, at this rate, the question isn't just how - whether you're better off than you were four years ago. The question is, are you better off than you were four weeks ago?

(Soundbite of crowd cheering)

Senator OBAMA: So, I know these are difficult times. And I know folks are worried. But I believe we can steer ourselves out of this crisis because I believe in you. I believe in the American people. We are the United States of America. We're a nation that's faced down war and depression, great challenges and great threats. And in each and every moment, we have risen to meet these challenges, not as Democrats, not as Republicans, but as Americans with resolve, with confidence.

(Soundbite of crowd cheering)

NORRIS: Now, here's John McCain speaking today at a hockey arena in Goffstown, New Hampshire.

Senator JOHN MCCAIN (Republican, Arizona; Presidential Candidate): It doesn't matter what the pundits think or how confident my opponent is, the people of New Hampshire make their own decisions and more than once.

(Soundbite of crowd cheering)

Senator MCCAIN: More than once, they've ignored the polls and the pundits and brought me across the finish line first. I can't think of anyplace I'd rather be as Election Day draws close than running an underdog campaign in the state of New Hampshire.

(Soundbite of crowd cheering and clapping)

Senator MCCAIN: By the way, I see some, I think some hockey players here. I'll tell Sarah Palin that I met you, one of the great hockey moms in America, my governor and my - Sarah Palin, a wonderful person.

(Soundbite of cheering)

Senator MCCAIN: I'm so proud of the enthusiasm that Sarah Palin has sparked across this country. And I'm proud to have her as my running mate. And I know you're proud of her, too.

(Soundbite of cheering and shouting)

Senator MCCAIN: Well, as I said, my opponent's looking pretty confident, confident these days. He'll be addressing the nation soon. He's got another one of those big stadium spectacles in the works, but acting like the election is over.

(Soundbite of crowd booing)

Senator MCCAIN: It won't let him take away your chance to have the final say in this election.

(Soundbite of clapping)

BLOCK: That's John McCain in New Hampshire this morning. From there, he went to Ohio before he moves on to Florida and Colorado. We also heard from Barack Obama in Virginia today. He'll be in Indiana tomorrow, and then he'll take some time off the campaign trail to visit his seriously ill grandmother in Hawaii. Senator Obama will be back campaigning in Nevada on Saturday.

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