Candidates War on Britney Spears, Economy

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WASHINGTON - The campaign trail is heating up as John McCain and Barack Obama slug it out over policy, leadership and celebrity.

Today, they're tuning into Americans' number one concern: the economy.

Click the play button for an analysis by Quin Hillyer with the Washington Examiner.

But the candidates views on how to keep it growing land on opposite ends of the spectrum.

"Senator Obama says he wants to change Washington and his solution is to simply make government bigger and raise your taxes to pay for it. And I want to look you in the eye - I will not raise your taxes nor support a tax increase. I will not do it," McCain said.

McCain supports extending the Bush tax cuts and offshore drilling to offset high gas prices.

The Illinois senator, on the other hand, wants to invest billions of dollars in new alternative fuels, has called for a second stimulus package to jump start the economy, and supports raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

"If you are a family making less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes go up," Obama said.

But in a new campaign ad, McCain goes after Obama and one of his biggest assets by portraying his worldwide popularity as a negative. It compared Obama to the likes of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

"He's the biggest celebrity in the world," the McCain add said. "But is he ready to lead?"

The ad is airing in 11 states and aims to show Obama - who drew a crowd of 200,000 in Germany last week - as all flash and no substance.

"Higher taxes. More foreign oil. That's the real Obama," the ad charged.

Obama dismissed the ad, accusing McCain of using scare tactics and going entirely negative.

"I mean, you haven't heard a positive thing out of that campaign in a month," Obama said.

Not to be outdone, the Obama campaign quickly released an ad of its own.

The ad said, "False. Baloney. The low road. Baseless. John McCain - same old politics. Same failed policies."

Despite pledges from both the McCain and Obama campaigns to keep it positive, the candidates are desperately trying to draw stark contrasts. And with less than 100 days before voters head to the polls, the tone is quickly changing.

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CBN News
John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Washington Correspondent

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