(CNN) - John McCain is campaigning in Denver, Colorado this hour, a state he hopes to keep red.
"We need to win Colorado on November 4th, and with your help - we're going to win Colorado, and bring real change to Washington," he told supporters.
Watch the event on CNN.com/live
Read McCain's full prepared remarks
It's great to be back in Colorado. We need to win Colorado on November 4th, and with your help - we're going to win Colorado, and bring real change to Washington.
It's been a long campaign and we've heard a lot of words, and after months of campaign trail eloquence, we've finally learned what Senator Obama's economic goal is. As he told Joe the plumber back in Ohio, he wants to quote "spread the wealth around." Just this morning, he said it again. He believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs. Senator Obama is more interested in controlling wealth than in creating it, in redistributing money instead of spreading opportunity. I am going to create wealth for all Americans, by creating opportunity for all Americans.
Senator Obama may say he's trying to soak the rich, but it's the middle class who are going to get put through the wringer, because a lot of his promised tax increase misses the target. To pay for nearly a trillion dollars in new government spending, his tax increase would impact 50 percent of small business income in this country, and the jobs of 16 million middle class Americans who work for those small businesses.
My opponent's massive new tax increase is exactly the wrong approach in an economic slowdown. Just yesterday, we received news that jobless claims have increased by 15,000. And yet, just this week, Senator Obama announced that his plan would have a work requirement, meaning that those who are unemployed will receive no help under the Obama plan, while Senator Obama's tax increases would put even more people out of work. The answer to a slowing economy is not higher taxes, but that is exactly what is going to happen when the Democrats have total control of Washington. We can't let that happen.
We've already seen a preview of their plans. It's pretty simple and pretty familiar: tax and spend. When the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee says that they are going to, quote, "focus on an immediate increase in spending," We should take him at his word And when he says that there are, quote, "a lot of very rich people out there whom we can tax," It's safe to assume that means you.
We know it means you because the Democratic budget plan they passed just this year - with Senator Obama's help - called for raising taxes on people making just 42,000 dollars per year. No wonder they think there are a lot of "very rich" people out there - Rich for Senator Obama and the Democratic Congress means change in your pocket.
Senator Obama assures us that he has a very clear target of just the top five percent of income earners. And anytime you hear talk of a targeted tax increase, you might want to double-check the skill of the marksman - the U.S. Congress has been known to fire wildly. Remember the Alternative Minimum Tax? You probably do if you're one of the more than 30 million Americans currently threatened by it. That "targeted tax" was originally aimed at just 155 specific people. Once enacted, taxes have a way of spreading and rising. And that is why, as president, I am going to put a stop to the out of control spending, so we can keep taxes low.
The McCain-Palin tax cut is the real thing. We're going to double the child deduction for every family. We will cut the capital gains tax. And we will cut business taxes to help create jobs, and keep American businesses in America.
As Joe the Plumber and small business owners across the country have now reminded us all, America didn't become the greatest nation on earth by giving our money to the government to "spread the wealth around." In this country, we believe in spreading opportunity, for those who need jobs and those who create them. And that is exactly what I intend to do as President of the United States.
The next President won't have time to get used to the office. We face many challenges here at home, and many enemies abroad in this dangerous world. This weekend, Senator Biden guaranteed that if Senator Obama is elected, we will have an international crisis to test America's new President. We don't want a President who invites testing from the world at a time when our economy is in crisis and Americans are already fighting in two wars.
Yesterday Senator Obama tried to explain away this warning by saying that his running-mate sometimes engages in "rhetorical flourishes." That's another way of saying that he accidentally delivered some straight talk.
My friends, Senator Biden referred to how Jack Kennedy was tested in the Cuban Missile Crisis and I had a little personal experience in that. I was a Navy pilot on board the U.S.S. Enterprise, and I was ready to go into combat at any minute. I know how close we came to a nuclear war and I will not be a president that needs to be tested. I have been tested. Senator Obama hasn't, and it shows in his responses to our challenges abroad.
What is more troubling is that Senator Biden told their campaign donors that when that crisis hits, they would have to stand with them because it wouldn't be apparent Senator Obama would have the right response. Forget apparent. We know Senator Obama won't have the right response.
Senator Obama said yesterday that if you want to know how he would respond in a crisis, look what he's done during his campaign. But we've seen the wrong response from him over and over during this campaign. He opposed the surge strategy that is bringing us victory in Iraq and will bring us victory in Afghanistan. He said he would sit down unconditionally with the world's worst dictators. When Russia invaded Georgia, Sen. Obama said the invaded country should show restraint. He's been wrong on all of these.
We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: hoping for our luck to change at home and abroad. We have to act. We need a new direction, and we have to fight for it.
I've been fighting for this country since I was seventeen years old, and I have the scars to prove it. If I'm elected President, I will fight to shake up Washington and take America in a new direction from my first day in office until my last. I'm not afraid of the fight, I'm ready for it.
I'm not going to spend $750 billion dollars of your money just bailing out the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess. I'm going to make sure we take care of the working people who were devastated by the excesses of Wall Street and Washington.
Two weeks ago, I announced a plan to protect the value of your home and get it rising again by buying up bad mortgages and refinancing them so if your neighbor defaults he doesn't bring down the value of your house with him. This will help stem the tide of foreclosures that are hurting families, and it will put a floor under the broken housing market that was at the root of the financial crisis.
While Washington has been bailing out banks, I have been arguing that we need to focus on fixing the underlying problem: foreclosures on bad mortgages and the collapse of our housing market. Without fixing this fundamental problem, our economy will not get back on track. Yesterday, we learned that the number of foreclosures spike by 71 percent last quarter, and finally Congress and the Administration are putting together a plan to address this problem. Let me say: It's about time.
I have been focusing my priorities on helping those people who have been impacted by this crisis. I have a plan to let retirees and people nearing retirement keep their money in their retirement accounts longer so they can rebuild their savings. Today we have seen more chaos in the markets. Where is Washington for those who are seeing their retirements shrink? We need to add flexibility to tax rules so that people have a chance to rebuild their wealth.
I have a plan to hold the line on taxes and cut them to make America more competitive and create jobs here at home. Raising taxes makes a bad economy much worse. Keeping taxes low creates jobs, keeps money in your hands and strengthens our economy.
The explosion of government spending over the last eight years has put us deeper in debt to foreign countries that don't have our best interests at heart. It weakened the dollar and made everything you buy more expensive.
If I'm elected President, I won't spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money. Senator Obama will. And he can't do that without raising your taxes or digging us further into debt. I'm going to make government live on a budget just like you do.
I will freeze government spending on all but the most important programs like defense, veterans care, Social Security and health care until we scrub every single government program and get rid of the ones that aren't working for the American people. And I will veto every single pork barrel bill Congresses passes.
If I'm elected President, I won't make it harder to sell our goods overseas and kill more jobs. Senator Obama will. I will open new markets to goods made in America and make sure our trade is free and fair. And I'll make sure we help workers who've lost a job that won't come back find a new one that won't go away.
If I'm elected President, we're going to stop sending $700 billion to countries that don't like us very much. Senator Obama will argue to delay drilling for more oil and gas and against building new nuclear power plants in America. If I am president, we will start new drilling now. We will invest in all energy alternatives - nuclear, wind, solar, and tide. We will encourage the manufacture of hybrid, flex fuel and electric automobiles. We will invest in clean coal technology. We will lower the cost of energy within months, and we will create millions of new jobs.
We have less than two weeks until the election and what America needs now is a fighter; someone who puts all his cards on the table and trusts the judgment of the American people. I have fought for you most of my life. There are other ways to love this country, but I've never been the kind to do it from the sidelines.
I know you're worried. America is a great country, but we are at a moment of national crisis that will determine our future. Will we continue to lead the world's economies or will we be overtaken? Will the world become safer or more dangerous? Will our military remain the strongest in the world? Will our children and grandchildren's future be brighter than ours?
My answer to you is yes. Yes, we will lead. Yes, we will prosper. Yes, we will be safer. Yes, we will pass on to our children a stronger, better country. But we must be prepared to act swiftly, boldly, with courage and wisdom.
I'm an American. And I choose to fight. Don't give up hope. Be strong. Have courage. And fight.
Fight for a new direction for our country. Fight for what's right for America.
Fight to clean up the mess of corruption, infighting and selfishness in Washington.
Fight to get our economy out of the ditch and back in the lead.
Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.
Fight for our children's future.
Fight for justice and opportunity for all.
Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.
Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. America is worth fighting for. Nothing is inevitable here. We never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.
Now, let's go win this election and get this country moving again.