John McCain continued today trying to paint Democratic rival Barack Obama as a tax-and-spend liberal, if not someone with socialist tendencies.
At a rally in Miami, McCain reprised a favorite new riff on Obama: "He 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 is running to be Redistributionist in Chief. I'm running to be Commander in Chief. Senator Obama is running to spread the wealth. I'm running to create more wealth. Senator Obama is running to punish the successful. I'm running to make everyone successful."
Obama, at a rally in Raleigh, N.C., is replying this way.
"Lately, he’s called me a socialist for wanting to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans so we can finally give tax relief to the middle class. I don't know what's next. By the end of the week, he’ll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten. I shared my peanut butter and jelly sandwich," Obama said, chuckling.
"That’s his choice. That’s the kind of campaign he chose to run. But you have a choice too. The fundamental question in this election is not 'Are you better off than you were four years ago?' We know the answer to that. The real question is, 'Will this country be better off four years from now?' ”
UPDATE: Tucker Bounds, a McCain spokesman, responded, “No one cares what Barack Obama does with his toys, but Americans do care that he wants to raise taxes, add a trillion dollars in new spending and redistribute your hard-earned paycheck as he sees fit.”
Obama also put out his rebuttal to McCain and running mate Sarah Palin's recent fondness for Joe the plumber and Tito the builder as real-life symbols of the damage they say that Obama's tax plans would wreak.
"Whether you are Nancy the nurse, Tina the teacher, or Carl the construction worker -- if my opponent is elected, you will be worse off four years from now than you are today," Obama said. "So let’s cut through the negative ads and the phony attacks – under John McCain, the middle class will watch wealth get favored over work, jobs get shipped overseas, and the cost of health care and college go through the roof."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.