McCain, Obama Head to Final Debate

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WASHINGTON - Tonight's third and final debate between Barack Obama and John McCain could make or break their campaigns.

With Obama up in the polls, McCain is hoping tonight's performance will help him gain some ground with the elections now less than three weeks away.

What can you expect from tonight's debate? Click play to watch CBN News Political Reporter David Brody for more, following this report. Be sure to check back here at tonight, 9 p.m. ET to watch the debate live and for CBN News full coverage following.

McCain Unveils Economic Plan

The stakes for this debate couldn't be any higher for McCain.

As the economy began to dominate the headlines and weigh on the minds of voters, McCain's popularity began to slide. A day ahead of the faceoff, he sought to reverse the tide by unveiling his economic plan.

"I will lead reforms to help families keep their home and retirees keep their savings and college students pay their tuition," McCain vowed.

McCain proposes eliminating taxes on people collecting unemployment, lowering the penalty on withdrawing from retirement funds to 10 percent on the first 50,000 withdrawn.

In addition, he proposed cutting the capital gains tax in half - from 15 percent down to 7.5 percent for the next two years.

His $52-billion plan also calls for the government to step in and struggling homeowners.

"I want a plan implemented where we will go in and buy up these bad mortgages renegotiate at the new values of the homes and give people a mortgage payment they can afford and stay in their homes," McCain said.

Obama Pooh-poohs McCain's Proposal

But rival Obama panned the proposal as an illustration of McCain's bad judgment when it comes to the economy.

"The idea to buy back houses at full price to help the banks but immediately hurt the consumer - that's a bad idea," the Illinois senator said.

Obama, who unveiled his proposals on Monday, also wants to suspend taxes on unemployment benefits.

Unlike McCain, he would allow up to $10,000 of people's retirement funds to be withdrawn this year and next without penalty.

He's also calling for a $3,000 tax credit for each new job created through the year 2010 and wants a 90-day moratorium on home foreclosures.

"The proposals that I put forward to create jobs, help families, homeowners - if we don't get it done, then they're going to be some of my top priority when I become President," Obama said.

All the talk about the sluggish economy has definitely benefited Obama. Polls show voters think he would do a better job than McCain at handling the economy.

Tonight, McCain is hoping to show that he's a fighter who will lead differently than President Bush but better than Obama.

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CBN News
John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Washington Correspondent

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