St. Louis Public Radio News
3:49 am
Mon October 20, 2008

McCain rallies faithful in St. Charles

St. Louis, MO – About 3,000 people gathered at a planned community in St. Charles Monday to show their support for Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

McCain spent most of his 20-minute address to the crowd talking about the economy. Missouri's unemployment rate is higher than most of its surrounding states, and has jumped more than a percentage point since last August.

McCain promised the crowd he would cut taxes, and veto any budget that contained pork-barrel spending.

He accused opponent Barack Obama of ignoring history with his economic plans.

"Senator Obama wants to raise taxes and restrict trade. The last time American did that in a bad economy, it led to the Great Depression," McCain said.

Many of the other Republican speakers called Obama's plan socialism, including Congressman Todd Akin. "Although this is almost a cloudless day, there is a cloud that threatens that American freedom that we all enjoy, and that is the creeping socialism that we feel," Akin said as the crowd booed. "It's a lie, isn't it, it's a lie that big government can protect us from poor choices."

The attacks are based on the response Obama gave to an Ohio businessman who asked the candidate about taxes. Obama responded his goal was to "spread the wealth around."

Polls show the race in Missouri is basically a dead heat. McCain is also scheduled to campaign in Columbia and Kansas City.

A whirlwind 60 hours of political activity ends Monday night when former President Bill Clinton stumps for Obama in Kirkwood.