Barack Obama can stand four more weeks of John McCain’s attacks but America cannot stand four more years of President George Bush’s failed policies, the Democratic presidential candidate said today.
Mr Obama linked his Republican rival to the unpopular president as he returned to the campaign trail in the battleground state of Indiana after performing well in the second presidential debate last night.
The McCain campaign has said it intends to “turn a page on this financial crisis” and divert attention from the candidate’s stumbling response which has damaged his presidential bid by “discussing Mr Obama’s aggressively liberal record and how he will be too risky for Americans”.
Mr Obama said Mr McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin were “out there saying all kinds of stuff”.
He went on: “And McCain’s campaign actually said, and I quote, I’m quoting here: ’If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose’.
“Well I’ve got news for John McCain, this isn’t about losing a campaign, it’s about Americans who are losing their jobs, Americans who are losing their homes, Americans who are losing their life savings.
“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 Bush policies.”
With just four weeks to go until the election, Mr Obama leads in virtually all the battleground states and has more than a five-point lead nationally in the latest average of polls by RealClearPolitics.com.
Mr McCain’s poll numbers plummeted as his campaign stumbled in its handling of the financial crisis engulfing the nation in recent weeks.
Mr Obama said it was the “final verdict on the failed economic policies of the past eight years” as he linked Mr McCain’s candidacy to the presidency of Mr Bush.
Speaking in Indianapolis, Indiana, Mr Obama criticised his rival’s healthcare policy, which he said would give with one hand and take away with the other.
“I’ve got news for John McCain,” he said. “We notice, we know better. We’re not going to be hoodwinked. We’re not going to be bamboozled. We’re not going to let him get away with it.”
Later, the 47-year-old Illinois senator said “No no no” and added “I’m superstitious” when the crowd chanted “when” as he said “if I’m president...”.
He told the rally: “In order to bring about change we are going to have to take a new direction, and that’s why the decision you make in 27 days is so important.
“That’s why this is no ordinary election because this is no ordinary moment for America. This country and the dream it represents are being tested in a way that we haven’t seen in nearly a century.
“The future generations will judge us by how we respond to this test.”
He said if the voters back him and he wins the election, “you and I together, we’re going to change this country and change the world”.
Earlier, just hours after last night’s mostly-cordial debate finished, Mr McCain and Mrs Palin returned to familiar criticism of the Democrat.
The McCain campaign released an advert that described Mr Obama as “not presidential”, with clips of Mr Obama accusing his critics of lying.