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McCain in a different kind of rivalry

From NBC/NJ's Adam Aigner-Treworgy
NEW PHILADELPHIA, OH -- This afternoon, McCain may have slightly irked some Ohio voters who are fans of the Mighty Tornadoes in strongly Republican Tuscawaras County.

Appearing in the shadow of Woody Hayes Field, the GOP nominee stepped into the middle of a local high school football rivalry between the New Philadelphia Quakers and the Dover Mighty Tornadoes, wishing the Quakers "good luck" in their game against Dover tomorrow.

Earlier this month, McCain opted not to wade into a World Series match up between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays saying, "Now, I'm not dumb enough to get mixed up in a World Series between swing states." But apparently he had no qualms getting mixed up a bit in a game between Ohio's "twin cities."

While the Quaker fans in attendance loved McCain's support, they were slightly less happy about his confusion of their town with a big city by a similar name.

"I want to say to you I believe we have seen the kind of momentum and enthusiasm that is here in North Philadelphia today that I think is going to make," McCain said, using the wrong name for the second time at the top of his remarks. "In NEW Philadelphia. North Philadelphia's part of a big city. New Philadelphia is the heartland of America."

(Of course, McCain isn't the only one who has flubbed a city's name on the campaign trail. Obama has done it plenty of times.)
The New Philadelphia stop was McCain's eighth event in the midst of a two-day bus tour of this perennial bellwether state. Picking up on the Halloween theme, this morning McCain held a rally with Rudy Giuliani at United High School in Hanoverton, warning his audience about Democratic scare tactics. 

"Here's what's going on. It's Halloween, so what do the Democrats do? Every four years, they run out and they try to scare seniors by saying that Republicans are going to take away their Social Security or we're going to take away Medicare," McCain said to a crowd of 4,700 -- more than 1,500 of which were students and staff of the Hanoverton and surrounding school districts. "They do it every four years. And, my friends, our Americans have wised up. I'm going to protect Social Security. I'm going to protect Medicare and I'm not going to let this congress tax away your retirement savings."

Then during a stop in Steubenville, Ohio's town square McCain encountered some holiday-themed signs picking on his campaign's use of Joe the Plumber.

"Could you raise the signs again?," McCain said. "Doug the undertaker. A few Democrats may need to see you Doug after this election is over."