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Obama and McCain Return to Campaign Trail After Tuesday Night Debate

by Steve Handlesman
NBC News

The day after the debate, they're at it again.

Barack Obama and John McCain trading tough jabs about the economic crisis and about the tone of their campaign.  

McCain, trailing in most polls and judged the loser last night by most critics turned again to negative attacks.
 
In economically depressed Pennsylvania Wednesday, John McCain blamed the financial crisis in part on Barack Obama.

"He said sub-prime loans were quote, 'a good idea.' Well Senator Obama, that good idea has now plunged this country into the worst financial crisis since depression," said McCain.

Obama was in Indiana.

"I can take four more weeks of John McCain's attacks, but America can't take four more years of John McCain's George Bush policies," said Obama.

Obama's economic message was upbeat.

"This isn't a time for fear or panic. This is a time for resolve and leadership," Obama said.

And Tuesday night's debate was mostly civil, but did get personal.

"Senator McCain, I think the straight talk express lost a wheel on that one," Obama said.

McCain called Obama "that one."

"You know who voted for it. You might never know: that one," McCain said.

"The truth is people have doubts about McCain and he's got to deal with those as importantly as he's got to deal with his opponent," Jeanne Cummings of Politico.com said.
 
Obama, still setting fund raising records, is putting on three ads to every one of McCain's. 

About a third are negative.
 
Joe Biden went after McCain.

"You can't call yourself a maverick when all you've ever been is a sidekick," said Biden.

Punch line-filled finger-pointing negative campaigning from candidates who both promised they'd be positive.
 
But so far there's no indication that the escalating nastiness has changed many minds. 

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