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Today on the presidential campaign trail

IN THE HEADLINES

McCain says Bush tactic on economy is wrong; promises lid on government spending ... Palin promises to work with Israeli ambassador, warns of Democratic monopoly in Washington ... Obama offers closing argument in Ohio; vows to restore prosperity and higher national purpose ... Biden compares Obama attacks to those lobbed against past presidents

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McCain says Bush wrong on economy

CLEVELAND (AP) - Republican John McCain promised to pivot from President Bush's economic policies and impose strict controls on government spending that would spur investor confidence and the stock market's recovery.

"I will protect your savings and retirement accounts and get this stock market rising again," said McCain, after huddling with economic advisers and pledging a break with Bush administration policies.

Aides said that McCain's call for cuts in the capital gains tax and tax breaks for seniors who invest would help the market rebound, a nod to the top issue on voters' minds little more than a week out from Election Day.

"A stronger economy with greater investor confidence would help turn the stock market around," said Tucker Bounds, a McCain spokesman. "That would help drive up stock prices and the market recover."

In his closing argument of the marathon election, McCain tread a thin line between bashing Democratic rival Barack Obama and making clear that he would steer a different course than the current GOP administration.

"We both disagree with President Bush on economic policies," McCain said. "My approach is to get spending under control. The difference between us is he thinks taxes have been too low, and I think that spending has been too high."

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Palin promises to work with Israel's ambassador

LEESBURG, Va. (AP) - Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin told a cheering crowd Monday that Democrats would raise taxes and "punish hard work" if Virginia voters break a 44-year preference for GOP presidents and helped send Barack Obama to the White House.

Palin, Republican John McCain's running mate, also tried to burnish her foreign policy credentials by meeting here with Israel's ambassador to the United States, apologizing for the session's delay.

"I look forward to hearing about your work with the Jewish Agency and all the plans that we have," Palin told Ambassador Sallai Meridor. "We'll be working together."

She was apparently referring to the Jewish Agency for Israel, an organization of which Meridor was formerly chairman.

Israeli embassy officials said Palin and Meridor discussed relations between the United States and Israel and the Iranian nuclear threat. They added that Meridor also discussed ongoing peace efforts in the Middle East and noted that he was to talk with Palin's Democratic counterpart, Sen. Joe Biden, later Monday.

At the rally, Palin portrayed Obama as "on the side of bigger, more controlling government" and warned that an Obama White House would leave the Democratic agenda in Congress unchecked.

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Obama promises in Ohio to restore prosperity

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Closing his case for the presidency, Barack Obama promised on Monday to restore economic prosperity and a sense of "higher purpose" to a tired, embattled nation.

"We are one week away from changing America," the Democratic presidential candidate proclaimed, campaigning with the confidence of a contender nearing victory.

Obama returned to the soaring oratory of his first days as a candidate. With the luxury of a lead in the polls, Obama's goal was to remind voters of why he ran in the first place - and how he differs from his Republican rival, John McCain.

"In one week, we can choose hope over fear, unity over division, the promise of change over the power of the status quo," Obama said. "We can come together as one nation, and one people, and once more choose our better history. That's what's at stake."

The campaign called Obama's speech nothing less than a closing argument. The jury is out, though, until the election on Nov 4., and McCain vows to pull out a late victory.

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Biden compares Obama attacks to past presidents

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden on Monday compared the criticism of his running mate to the attacks directed at past Presidents Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Kennedy.

Biden said new leaders are almost always confronted with new negative attacks. He compared what Barack Obama has faced to challenges to Thomas Jefferson's Christianity, Abraham Lincoln's commitment to individual rights, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's change and whether it was safe to pick John F. Kennedy.

The Delaware senator repeatedly asked the crowd at East Carolina University whether those attacks sounded familiar.

Biden returned to campaign in North Carolina just four days after appearing here on a three-city bus tour.

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DAILY TRACK

Democrat Barack Obama has a 10-percentage-point lead over Republican John McCain - 52 percent to 42 percent - among registered voters, according to the latest Gallup Poll daily tracking update.

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THE DEMOCRATS

Barack Obama campaigns in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Joe Biden campaigns in North Carolina and Florida.

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THE REPUBLICANS

John McCain campaigns in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Sarah Palin campaigns in Virginia.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"New ideas and new leaders are often met with new attacks - almost always negative attacks built on lies which are the last resort of those who have nothing new to offer." - Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden.

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STAT OF THE DAY:

Barack Obama spent more than $105 million during the first two weeks of October, according to campaign finance reports.

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Compiled by Ann Sanner.

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