With Eye On Upset, McCain Campaigns In Pa.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain promoted his plan to cut capital gains taxes and business income tax. Campaigning in Pennsylvania, he criticized his Democratic rival Barack Obama's plan to raise taxes on families making more than $250,000.

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MICHELE NORRIS, host:

Today, Pennsylvania was the scene of some relatively close quarter politicking. John McCain and Barack Obama held rallies less than 100 miles apart. Senator McCain was in Hershey, and Senator Obama was in Chester outside Philadelphia. Most polls give Obama a double digit lead in the state, but McCain is devoting a lot of time and a lot of money to Pennsylvania in hopes of an upset. We're going to hear about both candidates. First, NPR's Scott Horsley on the road with the McCain campaign.

SCOTT HORSLEY: Pennsylvania is the keystone to John McCain's comeback strategy. He and Sarah Palin teamed up today in the town of Hershey hoping for some sweet revenge on the forecasters who are already counting them out.

Senator JOHN MCCAIN (Republican, Arizona; 2008 Republican Presidential Nominee): My friends, it's wonderful to be back in Pennsylvania, and it's wonderful to fool the pundits because we're going to win the state of Pennsylvania.

(Soundbite of crowd shouting and cheering)

Senator MCCAIN: My friends, we're going to win it on November 4th. You're going to get out the vote, and we're going to win.

HORSLEY: McCain talked up his plans to cut taxes on capital gains and business income and to promote clean coal, a popular notion in this coal-rich state. He also criticized Barack Obama for his proposal to raise taxes on families making more than a quarter million dollars a year in an effort to spread the wealth around. That's a theme McCain and Palin had been hitting repeatedly, ever since Joe the Plumber from Ohio questioned Obama about his tax plans. Palin noted in Hershey today that Joe has spawned a lot of imitators.

Governor SARAH PALIN (Republican, Alaska; 2008 Republican Vice Presidential Nominee): And a lot of folks around the country, they identify with Joe. We see posters that say Doug the Barber and Cindy the Citizen. I like the one up here, Joe the Chocolate Maker.

HORSLEY: Pennsylvania is so important to the GOP ticket that McCain and Palin had planned to hold two joint rallies here today, but the second outdoor event was cancelled on account bad weather. Palin continued to campaign on her own in Pennsylvania while McCain headed on to North Carolina. McCain is still being heavily outspent on advertising around the country, including Obama's plans for a half-hour telecast on most major networks tomorrow night. Nodding to the Philadelphia Phillies fans in the audience today, McCain cracked that, when he's president, no one will delay the start of a World Series game for an infomercial. Scott Horsley, NPR News Hershey, Pennsylvania.

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