London, Oct 2 : Republicans have said that presidential candidate needs to be more aggressive in attacking his rival, as polls show the gap widening between the two, and have urged John McCain to adopt more aggressive tactics against rival Barack Obama amid fears that the White House is slipping away from them.
With ballots already being cast in battlefield states from Virignia to Ohio, Republicans are panicking that voting is taking place against the backdrop of the catastrophic events on Wall Street and that McCain could be a casualty, the Guardian reported.
Although McCain has been pumping out negative ads throughout August and September, Republican state leaders and officials want to see him becoming even more personal, exploiting Obama's links with figures he knew in Chicago.
These include: William Ayers, a former member of Weather Underground, a group involved in a 1970s bombing campaign in the US; the Rev Jeremiah Wright, his controversial former pastor; and Tony Rezko, the land developer convicted of fraud and bribery earlier this year who had contributed to his campaign funds.
Robin Smith, chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican party, urged McCain to intensify his attacks on the Democratic candidate. "People need to see a gladiator who's willing to defend what exactly he stands for," Smith said.
The chairman of the Republican Party in Indiana, Murray Clark, also advocated raising Obama's "troubling relationships".
Republican jitters increased with the publication of a series of polls showing Obama opening up leads in the battlefield states that could determine the election.
Republicans expressed regret that McCain was not more forceful in the first of the debates on Friday in Oxford, Mississippi.
Jeff Frederick, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, which is normally solidly Republican in White House elections but is now a swing state, showed disappointment with McCain's debate performance on the economy.
There is a backlash among senior party figures and officials too over his dramatic intervention in the Congressional wrangling over the Wall Street bailout and over his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate.