This is IN THE NEWS in
VOA Special English.
debate was the third and last between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John
McCain. But on Thursday they both attended a yearly political tradition in New
York, a dinner to raise money for Catholic charities.
The first to speak was
Senator McCain, who is fighting from behind in most national polls.
JOHN McCAIN: "Events are moving fast in my campaign, and yes, it's true
that this morning I've dismissed my entire team of senior advisers. All of
their positions will now be held by a man named Joe the Plumber."
BARACK OBAMA: "Now
recently one of John's advisers told the Daily News that if we keep talking
about the economy, McCain's going to lose. So tonight I'd like to talk about
The jokes were a change
from the final ninety-minute debate the night before on the economy and other
domestic issues. Yet the debate produced an unexpected star who was not even
A working man named Joe
Wurzelbacher met Barack Obama earlier in the week during a campaign stop in
Toledo, Ohio. He told Senator Obama that he was getting ready to buy a company
and was concerned that his taxes would increase under the senator's tax plan.
John McCain used
"Joe the Plumber" as an example to attack Senator Obama's proposals.
JOHN McCAIN: "Joe,
I want to tell you, I will not only help you buy that business that you worked
your whole life for and I will keep your taxes low and I will provide available
and affordable health care for you and your employees. And I will not stand for
a tax increase on small business income."
Barack Obama would raise
taxes on earnings above two hundred fifty thousand dollars a year. But he said
ninety-eight percent of small businesses make less than that.
He talked about
Joe the Plumber:
BARACK OBAMA: "What
I essentially said to him was, five years ago, when you were not in a position
to buy your business, you needed a tax cut then. And what I want to do is to
make sure that the plumber, the nurse, the firefighter, the teacher, the young
entrepreneur who does not yet have money, I want to give them a tax break now.
And that requires us to make some important choices."
Both candidates looked
into the camera and addressed Joe the Plumber directly. His name was used more
than twenty times.
But with sudden fame
came news that he is not a licensed plumber and that he owed the state of Ohio
more than one thousand dollars in back taxes. Also, it was not clear that his
taxes would increase under the Obama plan.
Since the debate,
though, Senator McCain has talked about something else his opponent said to Joe
Wurzelbacher. Senator Obama said, "I think that when you spread the wealth
around, it's good for everybody." Senator McCain says spreading the wealth
means class warfare.
Barack Obama argues that
John McCain would continue the economic policies of President Bush.
The Democrat is
campaigning heavily in states that voted Republican in recent presidential
elections but which he has a chance to win. These include Virginia, North
Carolina and Colorado.
John McCain is working
on larger states like Florida and Ohio that voted for President Bush. Opinion
polls show that both of those states could go either way on November fourth.
And that's IN THE NEWS
in VOA Special English, written by Brianna Blake. For more political news, go
to voaspecialenglish.com or VOA's election site, usavotes2008.com. I'm Steve