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McCain Courts Small Towns


We know John McCain will make a cameo on "Saturday Night Live" this evening, but New York is definitely not where the senator is concentrating his time. Here's NPR's Scott Horsley.

SCOTT HORSLEY: John McCain's two-day bus tour through Ohio was a red, white, and blue salute to small-town America. But a big city mayor also pitched in. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told supporters in Hanoverton, Ohio, that McCain would keep taxes and government spending down. More importantly, Giuliani said, McCain would also protect the nation's security.

Mr. RUDOLPH GIULIANI (Former New York Mayor; Lawyer): He's fought for us all of his life. Now it's our time to fight for him, to prove all those people in Hollywood, all those people in the media wrong.

(Soundbite of crowd ovation)

HORSLEY: Republicans love to bash Hollywood, but they make an exception for Arnold Schwarzenegger. The movie star turned California governor helped pump up the crowd at a McCain rally last night in Columbus.

(Soundbite of Republican campaign rally, Columbus, Ohio)

Governor ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (Republican, California): Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, I only play an action hero in my movies, but John McCain is a real action hero.

(Soundbite of crowd ovation)

HORSLEY: Polls show McCain is still trailing Barack Obama in Ohio and nationally. But aides insist he's mounting a comeback. Campaign manager Rick Davis says McCain has shaken off the damaging effects of the financial crisis and begun gaining momentum in the last 10 days. He's also been doing more advertising after being heavily outspent on ads by Obama in recent weeks. McCain's basic message in ads and on the campaign trail has not changed. He keeps trying to tag Obama as a tax-and-spend liberal while fending off Obama's charge that he would simply follow in the footsteps of President Bush.

Senator JOHN MCCAIN (Republican, Arizona; Republican Presidential Candidate): You know we both disagree with President Bush on economic policy. The difference is Senator Obama thinks taxes have been too low, and I think that spending has been too high.

HORSLEY: McCain campaigns this weekend in two red states, Florida and Virginia, and two blue states, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, before launching a whirlwind tour of seven key states on the eve of Tuesday's election. Scott Horsley, NPR News, traveling with the McCain campaign. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Scott Horsley is NPR's Chief Economics Correspondent. He reports on ups and downs in the national economy as well as fault lines between booming and busting communities.