Obama, McCain raise stakes in their rhetorical battle

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New York, Sept. 15 : Barack Obama and John McCain are engaged in a rhetorical battle over who is further out of touch with ordinary Americans.

According to a FOX News report, each is attempting to cast his presidential ticket as the force for reform in Washington.

Though the candidates diverge sharply over taxes, Iraq, diplomacy, abortion and other issues, a week after the close of the GOP national convention both candidates are trying to run on an increasingly similar message, with McCain even borrowing some of Obama's phrases to make his case.

Obama, speaking at a rally in Manchester, N.ew Hampshire on Saturday., accused McCain of being divorced from current economic troubles.

"John McCain doesn't get it, he doesn't know what's going on in your lives, he's out of touch with the American people - why else would you say the economy's made great progress?" Obama said.

Obama is dismissing both McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin as candidates-come-lately to his message of change.

The McCain campaign released a statement accusing Obama of showing "zero restraint," given his criticism Saturday of McCain.

"It says a lot about Barack Obama's judgment that while his campaign canceled his appearance on Saturday Night Live and his running mate stayed home, Obama went ahead and delivered a series of scathing personal attacks. Today's attacks mark a new low from Barack Obama," spokesman Tucker Bounds said.

Meanwhile, McCain borrowed Obama's "doesn't get it" expression in his weekly radio address Saturday morning.

"Senator Obama has gone out of his way to support his party leadership. But to really fight for change in Washington, you have to know just who you're taking on, and Senator Obama just doesn't get it," McCain said.

"The problem in Washington is not Republicans, and the problem is not Democrats. The problem with Washington is that too many people are working for themselves and not working for you," he added.

McCain suggested Saturday that Democrats are seeking to stifle debate with one-party rule.

"When Americans demand change in Washington, one-party rule where power is an end of itself isn't exactly what they have in mind," he said.

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