McCain: Obama Is A "Decent, Family Man"

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- His backers feeling increasingly confident, Democrat Barack Obama made a slight nod to his Republican rival on Saturday and asked voters to have faith in him as the next president.

Even as he criticized John McCain's economic policies, Obama acknowledged that the GOP nominee has asked his supporters to temper their attacks on him.

"I appreciated his reminder that we can disagree while still being respectful of each other," Obama told thousands of supporters at the first of four outdoor rallies in Philadelphia.

"Sen. McCain has served this country with honor," he said two hours later, in the city's Germantown neighborhood. "He deserves our thanks for that."

At a town-hall event Friday in Minnesota, McCain took the microphone from a woman who said Obama is an Arab. McCain said, "No, ma'am," and he called Obama "a decent, family man."

McCain drew boos at the same event when he told a supporter who expressed fear at the prospect of Obama's election that the Democrat is a "person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States."

Those reassurances aside, McCain's TV ads continue to attack Obama sharply. Some hit his ties to a former radical who co-founded a violent anti-war group in the 1960s. Yet on Saturday at an event in Iowa, McCain didn't mention the past association and focused on their policy disagreements.

Obama referred to the ads Saturday. "We've seen rough stuff on the TV from them," he said. "I can take it for four more weeks," but the nation cannot take "four more years of Bush-McCain economics."

"I will be a president who puts you first," he said, asking voters not to lose hope in the economy before President Bush can be replaced.

Polls show Obama leading in several battleground states, and some of his top surrogates feel victory is nearly in reach.

"The one thing we can't let happen is for us to be overconfident," Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell told donors at a Friday fundraiser, where he introduced Obama.

Although Obama says anything can happen in the campaign's final 24 days, hints of his optimism are creeping into his unscripted remarks.

"In some ways this is a celebratory event" as "we're now coming to the end of what has been a two-year process, an extraordinary journey," Obama said at a second Philadelphia fundraiser Friday night. The host, Comcast executive David L. Cohen, said the two events raised more than $5 million.

As 250 major donors ate beet salad and mahi-mahi under a huge tent, Obama seemed to look ahead to his first term as president.

"We're going to have to make some priorities, we're going to have to cut some things out," he said, referring to expensive goals such as improving health care, schools and college affordability.

"I'm going to be in some fights with my own Democratic Party in getting some of that done," he said.

Defying tradition in GOP-leaning states, he said, he is leading McCain in Montana and North Carolina. His lead in Virginia, which Democrats last carried in 1964, is 6 or 7 percentage points, he told the donors.

Obama added, however: "Who knows what can happen in the next 25 days?"

Democrats have carried Pennsylvania in recent presidential elections, although sometimes narrowly. McCain has campaigned aggressively in the state, but polls show Obama leading.

Democrats usually win huge margins in Philadelphia and try to minimize their losses in the state's smaller cities and more rural areas. Obama's barnstorming of Philadelphia was designed to drive his base's vote as high as possible.

Under a brilliant blue sky, thousands turned out at each spot. In some cases, thousands more were unable to get through the gates. They stood on cars and craned their necks for a glimpse, sometimes blocks away. Crowds cheered Obama's motorcade as it arrived and left each site.

Obama read the same speech each time, but he ad-libbed a bit and seemed increasingly buoyant as the day progressed. Telling his favorite new story about buying pie from a Republican-leaning Ohio diner owner, he joked with a woman who called out from the Germantown crowd.

"You will make me some pie?" he asked. "What kind of pie do you make? Sweet potato pie?"

As the crowd roared, he poured it on. "We're going to have to have a sweet potato pie contest," he said. "I'll be the judge, because I want my sweet potato pie."

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  • by C on Oct 22, 2008 at 07:09 PM
    This is for Jane : Ma'am, I will readily admit that there have been plenty of soldiers / police officers that have done things to shame their respective uniforms and the people they serve. However, when these people are caught and found to be wrong they are dealt with pretty decisively..and harshly. They are, however, a small minority, and the MAJORITY of our police / military folks serve us with honor, integrity, bravery and sacrifice. These upstanding men and women get just as angry as you do about those in their respective professions that do wrong ..maybe more so. Please remember that thousands of them, military and police,have lost their LIVES serving all of us..and yes, whether you will admit it or not, that includes YOU. I, and I would dare say, they, would respectfully ask that you judge them as individuals..not as a group. Take care.
  • by VBush Location: MHCY on Oct 16, 2008 at 09:08 AM
    Touched By An Angel; You are obviously liberal and facts are irrelevant to you. I could present you with irrefutable facts and you would still maintain your position, so I will not spend anymore time addressing you on this. Liberals ALWAYS ignore facts, especially when it doesn't support the way they FEEL. THAT IS A FACT.
  • by Touched By An Angel on Oct 14, 2008 at 01:46 PM
    To McCain Snake Oil, It depends on how you look at life. If you believe life begins at the time of conception. The Bible actually speak on Abortion In the Ten Commandments, the sixth Commandment says that "You shall not murder" But bear in mind I still think it is the mothers choice to KILL her baby.
  • by McCain Snake Oil Co. on Oct 14, 2008 at 12:47 PM
    Does the Bible actually speak on Abortion as in actually come out and say abortion is bad? Hate Me is pretty much right.
  • by Touched By An Angel on Oct 14, 2008 at 10:56 AM
    To VBush, Yes I believe Christ would support Obama, I also believe God knows that the mothers have abortions in order to murder their babies. OK bring me facts that proves otherwise. Don't come back with facts as you see them, I want hard cold facts. I am sick of some of you want to be intelligent people. I know I will be judged some day for what I do, not what the rest of the world does. If you are going to blame any one, then be decent enough to step up to the plate and take some of the blame. All inhabitants of the earth is to blame for mankind's sin. Please don't forget my cold hard facts I ask for. I WILL NOT except anything less. Have a good day
  • by Hate Me on Oct 14, 2008 at 09:09 AM
    KILLING BABIES! All religion aside, abortion does the world a favor. We have no need for more people on earth, especially unwanted people. I know it's a popular opinion to believe human lives are more important then anything else, and this mindset will probably never go away... but I choose to disagree. We live and die just like any other animal, except we destroy the planet in the process. Pre-emptive answers - no I don't want kids, and yes I could die tomorrow and that would be fine.
  • by VBush Location: MHCY on Oct 14, 2008 at 04:10 AM
    Touched By An Angel; Do you really think that there is even a remote chance the Christ supports abortion? I do not think Christ would be posting his support for Barrack Obama or any other liberal infanticide supporting politician. That issue alone would pretty much cancel any support from Jesus Christ. So I don't know what 'angel' it is you think you have been touched by unless it was the angel of death.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 13, 2008 at 09:33 PM
    You are touched, but by what, I don't know...
  • by Touched By An Angel on Oct 13, 2008 at 07:41 PM
    I find it so ridiculous that you Republicans would think some one in your life is a great person. When that person does not vote the way you want them to, you turn on them like a wild animal. We witnessed this characteristic even in McCain himself and now we see it in you when you speak about Dean Smith. You know I wonder what you all would do if Christ came on here and said, you know people I am going to vote for Barack Obama. What would you do then, would call him an idiot or would call him a terrorists or would shout out KILL HIM???? "THINK ABOUT IT PEOPLE"
  • by alex Location: vanceboro on Oct 13, 2008 at 03:45 PM
    decent, friends with a guy who's a confesses unapologetic terrorist, attends a church where the pastor says God ### america, supports the killing of the innocent unborn. yep we need a man like that as our leader!

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