As the campaign enters its final days, John McCain is stressing two themes in his comeback bid against Barack Obama.
One is McCain's experience. The other is that Obama will use the government to redistribute the nation's wealth.
"Senator Obama is running to be redistributionist-in-chief, I'm running to be commander-in chief," McCain charged.
When Obama told 'Joe the Plumber' that he would raise his taxes, he helped define the central issue in McCain's campaign-stretch-drive.
"That's when Senator Obama revealed that he wanted to spread the wealth around," McCain said, drawing a round of boos from his audience. "And now more and more it's coming to light that he's wanted to spread the wealth around for a long time, my friends.
The McCain team has seized on a 2001 Chicago Public Radio interview in which Obama suggested that the government hasn't gone far enough in its efforts to redistribute income.
"...The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society," Obama said in the interview.
He continued, "One of the… tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court-focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change. And in some ways we still suffer from that."
The Obama campaign says his comments have nothing to do with his economic plan or his plan to give the middle class a tax cut. Obama also ties the GOP nominee to President Bush at every opportunity.
"After 21 months and three debates, Senator McCain still has not been able to tell the American people a single major thing he'd do differently from George Bush when it comes to the economy," Obama said.
American voters have jitters about the nation's economic picture, and every poll shows the economy is the number one issue.
The McCain campaign believes it is gaining traction with 'Joe the Plumber' and Obama's comments on spreading the wealth. That means it's likely to remain in the stump speech until Election Day.