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McCain starts fundraising blitz in Missouri

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John McCain

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Republican presidential candidate John McCain kicked off a national fundraising campaign Monday in St. Louis.

The Arizona Senator attended a fundraising dinner in Frontenac. He'll follow that with a town hall-style campaign event with employees of Savvis Communications in Chesterfield on Tuesday.

Some Missouri labor leaders say McCain is embracing a "status-quo" of failed economic policies.

Herb Johnson, a spokesman for the Missouri AFL-CIO, said the senator's position on Social Security also puts him at odds with elderly voters.

"He's consistently supported privatizing social security; it just scares the dickens out of older folks. [He has] generally not supported improvements to Medicare, he's always in that camp that wants to look at cuts."

On his website McCain says he would allow Americans to supplement social security with private accounts.

He has also come under fire from labor for his support of international trade agreements such as NAFTA and CAFTA.

The senator addressed those criticisms by drawing a distinction between his positions and what he calls the "tax and spend" programs of his rivals.

"I've been actively involved in economic issues my entire political career, far more than anyone else who is running," said McCain.

"I'll stand on that record, but it's a conservative record, not the big-spending liberal practices that the Democrats have engaged in, which have gotten us into economic difficulties time and time again throughout our history."

McCain voted in favor of President Bush's economic stimulus package.

His rivals, Senators Clinton and Obama, both mentioned the sub-prime mortgage crisis heavily when they campaigned in Missouri, and have offered plans to reduce its impact.

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