Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Obama nears VP announcement

Obama nears VP announcement

Democrat Barack Obama reached out to working class voters in states crucial to a Nov. 4 presidential election victory, appealing to their concerns about the slumping U.S. economy with populist language.
He also continued to fend off Republican John McCain's claim that he is a political opportunist willing to lose the war in Iraq in order to win the White House.
With polls showing McCain has pulled about even with Obama in the presidential race, the Democrat has shifted his focus back to the economy as he heads into the party's national convention on Monday with speculation mounting over who he would name as his running mate.
In the first day of a two-day campaign tour through Virginia, a southern state where Republicans and Democrats face a tight battle, Obama pledged Wednesday to create millions of union jobs in alternative energy and to end tax breaks for companies that move jobs abroad.
The pitches were direct contrasts to policies supported by McCain, who backs corporate tax breaks and advocates opening new areas for oil drilling off the U.S. coast as a way of weaning the country off imported oil.
Obama's populist language echoed a tactic used by his former Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who did well in her last primaries appealing to rural and working-class voters.
At a visit to a community college in Martinsville, Virginia, Obama told about 350 supporters that he pledged to create millions of union jobs in alternative energy and to end tax breaks for companies that move jobs overseas.
Obama said it was wrong that the Iraqi government has been sitting on billions of dollars in oil revenue while the U.S. spends billions to rebuild the war-torn country.
"We should be using some of that money to rebuild Virginia, laying roads, building broadband lines and putting people back to work," Obama said.
As for tax breaks to companies taking jobs overseas, Obama said: "We sure as heck don't have to give them incentives to move. ... We should give companies tax breaks that are right here."
Obama was to spend the night in Virginia and campaign there Thursday with Gov. Tim Kaine, widely believed to be on the short list of possible running mates.
McCain, meanwhile, again emphasized his foreign policy credentials in a visit Wednesday to New Mexico.
McCain told voters he is not challenging Barack Obama's patriotism in criticizing his call to pull out of Iraq, only the judgment of his Democratic rival.
"He's making these decisions not because he doesn't love America, but because he doesn't think it matters whether America wins or loses," McCain said.
During a town-hall meeting, he repeated his charge that Obama would rather forfeit than win in Iraq just to boost his own political ambitions. Obama has denounced that assertion as an assault on his patriotism.
Also Wednesday, McCain's campaign reported that it raised more than $26 million in funds in July and spent $32 million last month.
Obama's campaign had not yet filed its July report, but the organization announced last weekend that he had raised more than $51 million in July.
President George W. Bush, in a speech Wednesday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Orlando, Florida, highlighted themes that McCain has been using to argue that he is better qualified to be commander in chief than Obama.
"America's future leaders must always remember that the war on terror will be won on the offense _ and that is where America's military must stay," Bush said.
Sharp divisions between McCain and Obama on the war surfaced again earlier this week when both men spoke to the VFW convention. Obama opposed it and says he will bring American forces home; McCain was a strong supporter of the war and opposes a quick pullout.
As the pre-convention campaign warm-up gives way to next week's Democratic party gathering in Denver, Colorado, the Obama campaign has indicated it is close to unveiling Obama's running mate.
A senior Obama adviser says the No. 2 will join the Democratic hopeful onstage Saturday at a rally in front of Illinois' Old State Capitol building, where the candidate launched his presidential bid on a sunny but frigid day in early 2007.
Abraham Lincoln, who led the American north in an 1861-1865 civil war that ended slavery, once served in the sandstone building. And the symbolism for Obama, who would be the first black U.S. president, is inescapable.
The list of those who might join Obama is widely believed to be down to Virginia's Kaine as well as Sen. Joe Biden, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh. Clinton, a New York senator, is seen by some Democrats as a long-shot.
Vice presidential picks have seldom been as important as this year. Obama was thought to be looking for a running mate who adds heft to the Democratic ticket, given the Illinois senator's brief tenure on the national political scene.
The choice is equally vital for Republican John McCain, who turns 72 on Aug. 29 and would be the oldest first-term American president.
The Arizona senator was considering a vice presidential announcement right after next week's Democratic convention ends on Aug. 28, gunning to diminish Obama's post-convention glow as party delegates leave Denver, Colorado. McCain has a three-day window before his Republicans assemble Sept. 1 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
With Obama expected to name his ticket mate as early as Wednesday, he and his campaign were refusing to give any clues. In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, however, Obama praised Biden, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, for proposing an additional $1 billion of reconstruction projects in the Republic of Georgia after the Russian invasion.
Biden is just back from Georgia, a visit requested by President Mikhail Saakashvili.
Those believed to be on Obama's short list for vice president have stayed mum. Only Obama, his wife, Michelle, a handful of his most senior advisers and his two-member search committee know for certain who has been vetted and discussed.
McCain, too, is wrestling with a vice presidential choice. The Vietnam veteran's top contenders for the vice presidency are said to include Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Less traditional choices include former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, an abortion-rights supporter, and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential pick in 2000 who now is an independent.
Underscoring how seriously McCain may be considering Ridge or Lieberman, Republican officials say top McCain advisers have been reaching out to big donors and high-profile delegates in key states to gauge the impact of putting an abortion-rights supporter on the Republican ticket.
___
Associated Press Writers Steven R. Hurst in Washington, D.C.; Christopher Wills in Springfield, Illinois; Beth Fouhy in Raleigh, North Carolina; Nedra Pickler in Chicago; Andrew Miga in Washington; and Richard Lardner in Crawford, Texas, contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-07-30 10:14 GMT+08:00