From NBC/NJ's Adam Aigner
ALLENTOWN, Penn. -- After not attacking Obama in last night's debate as forcefully as his campaign had in previous days, McCain was back on the offensive today at a rally at Lehigh University with his running mate Sarah Palin.
As seen at recent McCain events, this afternoon's crowd was vocal in their support for McCain and their anger with Senator Obama. At one point one man could be heard yelling, "Off with his head," when McCain spoke about Obama's tax plan. That enthusiasm was even more present during Palin's remarks, and as other observers have reported in the past, today there was a sizeable number of people making their way towards the exit after McCain's running mate left the podium.
McCain's remarks were mostly a reprisal of his speech in Albuquerque on Monday, as McCain asked voters, "who is the real Senator Obama?"
"Is he the candidate who promises to cut middle class taxes or the politician who voted to raise middle class taxes?," McCain said. "Is he the candidate who talks about regulation or the politician who took money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and turned a blind eye as they ran our economy into the ditch? Is he the candidate who promises change or is he the politician who has brought into everything what is wrong with Washington? We can't change the system with someone who's never fought the system."
McCain brought up last night's debate, and received resounding praise after asking the crowd of over 7,000 how he had done. But today McCain put special emphasis on the rollout of his amended mortgage plan, which is largely an expansion of the housing plan he laid out earlier in the year with a significant increase in scope and costs.
The only other mention of yesterday's debate came when McCain hit Obama over his record on earmarks, but McCain made an interesting slip of the tongue before he got to the biggest charge.
"You and I together will confront the ten trillion dollar debt that the federal government has run up and balance the federal budget by the end of my term in office," McCain began, making his way to pork barrel spending. "Across this country this is the agenda I have set before my fellow prisoners and the same standards of clarity and candor must now be applied to my opponent."
Presumably McCain meant to say 'Americans' not "prisoners," but he didn't catch his mistake and powered on to criticize Obama for avoiding the tough questions in this campaign.