PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) - During his four-stop swing around the city of Philadelphia Saturday morning, Barack Obama acknowledged John McCain's efforts to "tone down the rhetoric" on the campaign trail.
"I appreciated his reminder that we can disagree while still being respectful of each other. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - Senator McCain has served this country with honor, and he deserves our thanks for that," Obama told a north Philadelphia crowd, to a mix of heavy boos and cheers.
Earlier: 'Don't be scared' of Obama presidency, McCain tells supporters
At an event Friday in Minnesota McCain referred to Obama as a "decent person," and praised him as a "family man" after two voters expressed fear over Obama being elected.
Obama, however, quickly dispensed with polite talk Saturday, and pivoted to his main campaign trail argument: that McCain is out of touch on the economy.
"Senator McCain's campaign manager actually said that Senator McCain wasn't talking about the market because there's just not much a candidate for President can say - and they aren't sure what he'd say each day even if he did talk about it," Obama said.
"But here's the thing Philadelphia. They can run misleading ads, and pursue the politics of anything goes, they can try to change the subject. They can do that what they want to do because the American people understand what's going on - but it's not going to work. Not this time."
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (CNN) – Governor Ted Strickland told southern Ohio voters here that the McCain-Palin ticket and gone too far with its campaign tactics in an effort to keep the White House in Republican hands.
"I know Barack Obama. I think I know what's in his heart. He is bright he is capable he is mature he is steady we can trust Barack Obama," he said.
A native of the area, Strickland has traveled with Obama on his bus tour here, and offered testimonials in a region that would not automatically be considered friendly to Democrats. At the Friday morning rally on the county court house steps, the Ohio governor told the audience Obama was a "strong Christian family man" and to the gun owners and sportsmen he said they had "nothing to fear" when it came to their Second Amendment rights.
"Why do I share those two things with you this morning? Because the McCain-Palin campaign, and unfortunately some of their followers, would want you to be afraid of Barack Obama," he said. "They want you to believe that he is untested and unknown, and they are doing it my friends for one reason, they want to hold onto the power they have and to the positions that they want. This election is too important for us to be fooled by untruths and half-truths and smear tactics. They don't want us to focus on the fact that they have been in charge of the White House for eight long years."
Later, he added, "We are drawing a line in the sand in Chillicothe and southern Ohio."
Obama echoed Strickland's sentiments, although not as overtly. He continued to argue that the McCain campaign's "barrage of nasty insinuations and attacks" were a result of the Republican nominee's failed economic ideas.
"They can run misleading ads, they can pursue the politics of anything goes. It will not work. Not this time. I think that folks are looking for something different this time. It's easy to rile up a crowd, nothing's easier than riling up a crowd by stoking anger and division. But that's not what we need right now in the United States. The times are too serious," Obama said.
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (CNN) – Barack Obama told thousands in Indiana that John McCain failed to present a case for change in Tuesday night’s debate and would simply continue the policies of the Bush administration should he be elected.
“In order to bring about change we’re going to have to take a new direction. It will take new leadership in Washington. It will take a real change in the policies and politics of the last eight years,” he said. “All we heard from Senator McCain was more of the same Bush economics that led us into this mess in the first place.”
Obama said he supported the Federal Reserve’s emergency rate cut and the decision to act in concert with other countries’ financial entities. He explained to the wet crowd assembled at the state fairgrounds why the extraordinary Wall Street rescue package signed into law was necessary to help the average family struggling to make ends meet.
“Here in Indianapolis and all across America, you’re seeing your hours getting cut or realizing that you can’t pay every bill that’s sitting on the kitchen counter,” he said. “You know back in 1980 Ronald Reagan asked the electorate whether you were better off than you were four years ago, at the pace things are going right now you’re going to have ask whether you’re better off than you were four weeks ago.”
As he has for the last several weeks, Obama remained laser focused on the economy but did acknowledge the nasty tenor of the campaign.
“Senator McCain’s campaign announced last week that they plan to 'turn the page' on the discussion about our economy and spend the final weeks of this election attacking me instead. He and Governor Palin are out there saying all kinds of stuff,” he said in a not so subtle nod to Palin’s recent comments that Obama associates with “terrorists.” “I can take four more weeks of John McCain’s attacks, but the American people can’t take four more years of John McCain’s George Bush policies.”
Recent polls show Obama trailing here, a red-state his campaign has targeted for a possible pick up. Obama heads to Ohio Thursday for a two-day swing and plans to return there early next week to prepare for the final presidential debate.
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (CNN) - Barack Obama told voters here that if John McCain became president he would “privatize” their Social Security – a debate over the program that could resurface as a major issue in the closing weeks of the campaign given the wild swings in financial markets.
“If my opponent had his way, the millions of Floridians who rely on it would’ve had their Social Security tied up in the stock market this week. Millions would’ve watched as the market tumbled and their nest egg disappeared before their eyes,” he said. “I know Senator McCain is talking about a ‘casino culture’ on Wall Street – but the fact is, he’s the one who wants to gamble with your life savings and that is not going to happen when I’m president. When I’m President, we’re not going to gamble with Social Security.”
The McCain campaign disputed Obama’s assertion calling it “a desperate attempt to gain political advantage using scare tactics and deceit.”
CNN Election Center: Where the candidates stand on Social Security
Obama also highlighted an article McCain penned in this month’s issue of the American Academy of Actuaries magazine, called “Contingencies,” in which he said consumers would have more choices for health insurance products if the market was opened to more “vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking.”
“He wants to run health care like they’ve been running Wall Street. Well, senator, I know some folks on Main Street who aren’t going to think that’s such a good idea,” Obama said.
The Democratic nominee has one more event in Jacksonville before heading to North Carolina for an event Sunday in Charlotte.
The campaign announced Obama will spend several days next week prepping for Friday’s first presidential debate in the Tampa area – a spot along the I-4 corridor which is considered a crucial swing vote region for both candidates.
Protesters holding posters saying Sen. Barack Obama was endorsed by the KKK are escorted from his speech
(CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign rally in Coral Gables, Florida Friday was interrupted by a group of about 10 African-American protesters holding signs that called themselves, "Blacks Against Obama."
The signs said Obama was for gay marriage and abortion, and said his candidacy was "endorsed by the KKK." Another sign said, "Jesse Jackson hates Obama."
Obama originally said the protesters could stay inside the event, but they were escorted out when they would not stop shouting.
ESPANOLA, New Mexico (CNN) – The economy remained the focus Thursday as Barack Obama continued to criticize John McCain for not being consistent in his response to the staggering financial roller coaster this week.
“On Tuesday, he said the government should stand aside and allow one of the nation’s largest insurers AIG, to collapse, I mean he said this in three different interviews despite the possibility that it would put millions of Americans at risk,” Obama told a crowd of thousands at a northern New Mexico rally. “But by Wednesday, he changed his mind. And today he accused me of not supporting what the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank did with AIG, despite no evidence whatsoever that that’s what I had said.”
The McCain campaign seized on Obama’s comments Wednesday that not enough “details” were known about the “arrangement with AIG and the Federal Reserve” to criticize the Democratic nominee for not taking a solid position on the deal. Obama also said the deal “must not bail out the shareholders or management of AIG.”
Obama plans to meet with his “top” economic advisors tomorrow while he is in Miami to discuss further economic proposals. During his remarks here, Obama said he would work to pass what he called the “Homeowner and Financial Support Act” which would “establish a more stable and permanent solution” and help provide “liquidity” and “capital to the financial system.” This act would also help homeowners “restructure” mortgages to try and avoid foreclosure.
LOS ANGELES (CNN) - Senator Barack Obama rubbed shoulders with the glitterati in a pair of fundraisers Tuesday night that brought in about $11 million for his campaign and the Democratic Party - breaking his own campaign's one-night fundraising record.
With the likes of Will Ferrell, Chris Rock and Leonardo DiCaprio looking on, Obama told the crowd "the financial crisis has suddenly focused people's attention and it's reminded people of what's at stake, it's reminded people that this is not a game, this is not a reality show, no offense to any of you," he said to laughter.
Obama took a serious tone. "The pain that we're seeing now on Wall Street I've been seeing for the last 19 months as I've traveled all across the country," he said at a dinner at Greystone Mansion which boasted views of Los Angeles most only see in movies and the per plate cost was $28,500. "Just remember what this campaign has been about from the start, it's not about Barack Obama it's not Joe Biden or Sara Palin or John McCain but it's about you and it's about us and it's about those who will never see the inside of a building like this and don't resent the success that's represented in this room, but just want the simple chance to be able to find a job that pays a living wage."
Obama acknowledged the tight race and tried to assuage fears that he would not close the deal in November – a sentiment he has heard frequently from voters on the trail.
GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado (CNN) – At the start of his western swing, Senator Barack Obama continued to paint John McCain as a creature of Washington, so steeped in the ways there that “change” under a McCain-Palin administration is impossible.
“It’s great that he now wants to talk about putting corporate lobbyists in their place. But he needs to explain why he put seven of them in charge of his campaign,” he said at an outdoor rally under a cloudless Colorado sky. “If you think those lobbyists are working day and night for John McCain just to put themselves out of business, well I’ve got a bridge to sell you up in Alaska.”
While Obama said McCain was not personally responsible for the current turmoil in Wall Street, he said the Arizona senator would continue the policies that put various financial institutions like Lehman Brothers on the brink.
Sen. Obama met with former president Clinton in Harlem Thursday in their first extended sit-down meeting since Obama defeated Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
NEW YORK (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton predicted Barack Obama will "win" this fall's election and "will win pretty handily.”
The two men chatted with reporters in a photo-op at Clinton's Harlem office before sitting down for a private lunch.
Clinton is scheduled to campaign for Obama in Florida later this month. According to aides, the former president will appear at a mix of fundraisers and campaign events on behalf of the Democratic ticket throughout the fall.
"We're putting him to work," said Obama.
Clinton said he’d "agreed to do a substantial number of things, whatever I'm asked to do.”
Obama smiled at Clinton's prediction that he would take the White House: "There you go, you can take it from the President of the United States. He knows a little something about politics."
The image of the two men meeting comes as a relief to many Democrats who have been hoping to put to rest the "Clinton-Obama rift" storyline. Both Clintons praised Obama in their convention speeches, but agreed a face-to-face meeting with the president was a necessary step in putting the contentious primary season behind both camps.
The two men were said to be dining on a mix of sandwiches, salads and pizza from the lunch chain Cosi.
Chants of "zero" are filling the Xcel Center as Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle asks how much executive experience Barack Obama has.