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Aide Says McCain Will Focus on Economy

The campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) intends to compete on what is widely viewed as the turf of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), emphasizing economic issues during the final stretch of the presidential campaign, according to campaign manager Rick Davis.

Asked during a conference call on Friday where the focus would be during the campaign’s remaining days, Davis said McCain and GOP vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska would emphasize McCain’s plans to address the financial crisis while touting his proposals to cut taxes and rein in spending.

Polling shows the public, by a wide margin, views Obama as better equipped to handle the economy. Davis did not mention what is viewed as McCain’s strong suit — national security — though he did not specifically rule out talking about the issue during the time that remains.

The focus of the conference call was the McCain campaign’s ongoing effort to link Obama to the controversial activist group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now and accusations that it has participated in fraud by helping illegally register people to vote. Davis said that if the Obama campaign has nothing to hide, it should fully describe its relationship with the group and contacts Obama has had with ACORN in the past.

The Obama campaign has called the effort by McCain officials to draw attention to the matter a smoke screen designed to mask their own efforts to prevent new voter registration.

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