McCain facing a Republican mutiny

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Washington, Oct.13 : Senior members of the Republican party are reportedly in open mutiny against John McCain's presidential campaign, after a disastrous period which has seen Barack Obama solidify his lead in the opinion polls.

McCain is being told to settle on a coherent economic message and to tone down attacks on Democratic rival Barack Obama.

The Independent quoted two former rivals for the party nomination, Mitt Romney and Tommy Thompson, as saying over the weekend that the Republican camp is in disarray because of McCain's erratic performance risks.

They and other party leaders of accused McCain of taking the party down to heavy losses not just in the presidential race but also in contests for Congressional seats.

Thompson, a former governor of Wisconsin, a key swing state, said he thought McCain would lose the state. He admitted that he was not happy with the campaign.

"I don't know who is," he added.

Romney said McCain should "stand above the tactical alternatives that are being considered and establish an economic vision that is able to convince the American people that he really knows how to strengthen the economy".

Some Republicans seeking election to Congress have begun distancing themselves from McCain.

The McCain camp was reportedly considering launching a new set of economic policies last night, on top of the plan for government purchases of mortgages which he unveiled in a surprise move at last week's presidential debate.

Possible options include temporary tax cuts on capital gains and dividends.

With just over three weeks to go to Election Day, a new Reuters/Zogby tracking poll showed Obama gaining momentum during the past week.

From a two-point lead four days ago, the latest reading has Mr Obama up 6 points. A Gallup poll yesterday put him at plus- seven per cent. Senior Republicans have sharply conflicting views about the direction the McCain campaign should take, with some arguing that their candidate has not hit Obama hard enough on the shady associates from his past.

McCain appears keen to cool the temperature at rallies over the weekend, at one point snatching the microphone from a woman in Minnesota who declared Obama was an "Arab".

He chided her, and another man who said he was "scared" of an Obama presidency, and told a booing crowd to be respectful.

"He is a decent family man, a citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues," said McCain.

ANI

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