YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Friday called the economic policies of rival Barack Obama from the far left of American politics. In its hunt for votes for next week's election, the Obama campaign continued to tie McCain to the unpopular President Bush and promise a reversal of tax policies favoring the wealthy.
McCain was spending a second straight day touring economically ailing Ohio, a swing state with 20 electoral votes that McCain aides acknowledge is central to a victory on Tuesday. McCain was behind Obama in polls in the state.
"We're going to fight it out on the economic grounds," McCain told ABC's "Good Morning America."
"Sen. Obama's economic policy is from the far left of American politics and ours is in the center," McCain said. "He wants to raise people's taxes - that's clear."
Obama maintains that families making under $250,000 a year and individuals under $200,000 annually would not see any tax increase if he were president.
McCain was scheduled to campaign Friday in Hanoverton, Ohio, and then in Columbus with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Obama was set to spend the day on a campaign crush across the Midwest, with a quick stop home in Chicago to see his kids. He makes his first stop back where his run began, in Des Moines, Iowa, where he upset Hillary Rodham Clinton in the campaign's first contest.
Independent polling in Iowa shows Obama consistently ahead in the race for the state's seven electoral votes, but McCain's campaign maintains the race is actually tighter than it appears.
After stopping at home for Halloween, Obama heads for a rally in Highland, Ind., a town in Democratic-dominated Lake County where Obama hopes to run up the vote to offset Republican domination elsewhere in Indiana.
Sprinting into the weekend, Obama was headed to the West, hoping to claim Colorado and maybe more. McCain was flying to Virginia, usually friendly country for the GOP but another place where polls give Obama the edge. McCain aides said the Arizona senator was likely to swing west also, to play to his base. A recent poll from McCain's home state showed the two candidates in a statistical dead heat.
There was nothing complicated about their closing arguments to voters, with the economy the top concern. Obama focused Thursday on linking McCain to Bush and blaming both for the nation's economic woes.
"John McCain has been right next to George Bush," Obama argued. "He's been sitting there in the passenger seat ready to take over every step of the way."
McCain had hoped the election would turn on issues like the Iraq war, where he could use his military background to convince voters he's the best choice as commander in chief. But he effectively has conceded that it's all about the economy and people's financial struggles.
"Ohio is hurting," McCain said. "People in Ohio are having trouble staying in their homes, keeping their jobs. We have to get this economy out of the ditch."
McCain was missing few tricks, campaigning with Joe the Plumber, the Ohio man McCain has made central to his stump speech since he asked Obama about his tax plans. The plumber, Joe Wurzelbacher of Toledo, Ohio, has joined McCain for the final push - though he missed one rally, leaving McCain to ask: "Joe, where are you? Where is Joe? Is Joe here with us today? Joe, I thought you were here today."
When he appeared at a later event, Wurzelbacher told the crowd: "Vote for a real American - John McCain."
Obama has an edge in most polling, both nationally and in key states. His closing schedule reflected that, including a swing through Missouri and another full day in Ohio on Sunday. Ohio provided the margin of victory four years ago, giving Bush a second term.