CONCORD, North Carolina (CNN) – John McCain stepped up his rhetoric against Barack Obama on taxes in his weekly radio address, comparing his plan to 'socialist' programs that would “convert the IRS into a giant welfare agency, redistributing massive amounts of wealth.”
The remarks were part of a theme McCain has used since the final presidential debate that criticizes Obama’s philosophy, but his most recent comments were the first time he directly invoked the word 'socialist.'
In the radio address that aired Saturday morning, McCain didn't directly call Obama a socialist, but he let the now-famous Joe 'the Plumber' Wurzelbacher nearly do it for him.
“You see, [Obama] believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that help us all make more of it. Joe in his plainspoken way, said this sounded a lot like socialism,” McCain said.
In an interview with ABC last week, Wurzelbacher said Obama's proposal to raise taxes by 3 percent on those making $250,000 and over is a "very socialist view."
Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin has used the word in speeches the last two days as well.
Sen. John McCain's speech to a Latino group Saturday was interrupted by hecklers. Photo credit: AP.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - John McCain has been taking most weekends off since effectively securing the Republican nomination, but the Arizona senator has a busy weekend, including a speech to a Latino conference where he was heckled several times.
McCain spent the morning speaking at the annual conference of NALEO, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. Sen. Barack Obama is scheduled to speak at the event after McCain.
Three hecklers from the anti-war group, Code Pink, disrupted McCain's speech at separate times and were later escorted from the room.
According to the group, Phoenix resident Liz Hourican, holding a camera aimed at the candidate, stood up when McCain said "I represent Arizona..."
Watch: McCain gets heckled
"John you do represent Arizona! And we want a peace candidate!," she yelled. "We want a peace candidate! Peace takes courage!"
McCain, laughing off the disruption, joked, "that's a long trip out," adding: "I'm sure you've seen the polls out now about trust and confidence in our government, and the one thing the American people want us to stop doing is yelling at each other."
Five minutes later, two more female protesters jumped up, yelling loudly.
"Your silence is consent to war crimes! War criminal!" one said. Another heckler carried a pink banner that read "McCain=Guerra" — or "McCain=War."
BAYAMON, Puerto Rico (CNN) - Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama took their campaigns to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico on Saturday in an effort to woo voters before the June 1 primary.
There are 55 Democratic delegates up for grabs, though voters cannot take part in the general election in November.
Obama campaigned early Saturday at the University of Puerto Rico in Bayamon, where he praised the nation's veterans before Memorial Day.
"It's fitting to be here today, not just because Memorial Day is around the corner but because Puerto Ricans are such an important part of the United States military. On this island and in Puerto Rican neighborhoods across America, you can go into almost any home and find a veteran living there or a photograph of a loved one in uniform hanging on the wall," he said.
Obama also took aim at Republican Sen. John McCain over his opposition to an update of the GI Bill. The legislation passed the Senate on Thursday afternoon by a 75-22 vote and passed the House this month by a similar margin. It proposes to essentially provide a full scholarship to in-state public universities for members of the military who have served for at least three years.
"I don't understand why John McCain would side with George Bush and oppose our plan to make college more affordable for our veterans. ... Putting a college degree within reach for our veterans isn't being too generous; it's the least we can do for our heroes," Obama said.
Shortly after Obama's remarks, the McCain campaign hit back.
"Barack Obama talks about helping veterans, but when the choice came between delivering for our military men and women and playing partisan politics, he decided politics was more important," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said Saturday.
Clinton, meanwhile, hosts a "Solutions for Puerto Rico's Families" town hall in Aguadilla on Saturday.
Clinton has done well among Hispanic voters in this year's primaries. She is expected to do well Puerto Rico's primary; Puerto Ricans make up a large swath of her New York constituency.
(CNN) - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama haven’t crossed paths yet during their weekend barnstorming across Pennsylvania. But they’ve been constant campaign trail companions, as each invokes the other at virtually every whistle-stop during the final blitz before Tuesday’s primary vote.
Clinton has attacked Obama for his recent comments about some small town Americans, his heath care plan, and his relative Washington inexperience – which she argues makes him unprepared to lead the country in a crisis.
Obama has taken aim at Clinton over her acceptance of money from political action committees, her health care plan, and her Washington experience – which he argues makes her unprepared to bring real change to the city.
But the most-often repeated charge, the one that makes an appearance at virtually every stop, is: negative campaigning.
"I just heard that my opponent has put out an ad attacking my health care plan, which is kind of curious because my plan covers everybody, and his leaves out 15 million people, just leaves them out in the cold,” said Clinton at a campaign rally in York Saturday. “Instead of attacking the problem he chooses to attack my solution.”
For his part, Obama accused Clinton of looking to create “fake controversy” around him in the race’s final days.
(CNN) - Robert Reich, a former Clinton cabinet member and longtime friend of the former president, has formally endorsed Barack Obama's White House bid, saying Friday that "my conscience won't let me be silent any longer."
"Although Hillary Clinton has offered solid and sensible policy proposals, Obama's strike me as even more so," Reich wrote on his blog. He served as the Secretary of Labor from 1993-1997 and is currently a professor at UC Berkeley.
"His plans for reforming Social Security and health care have a better chance of succeeding," Reich continued. "His approaches to the housing crisis and the failures of our financial markets are sounder than hers. His ideas for improving our public schools and confronting the problems of poverty and inequality are more coherent and compelling. He has put forward the more enlightened foreign policy and the more thoughtful plan for controlling global warming."
Reich, whose relationship with the Clintons dates back to their law school days at Yale, has long been a critic of the New York senator's White House bid. Shortly before the Iowa caucuses in January, he wrote that voters would have a choice "between someone who talks the talk, and somebody who's walked the walk."