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On the Trail / TALKING HARLEYS

Race is on for biker vote

August 13, 2008|Kate Linthicum

John McCain's recent appearance in South Dakota at the Sturgis Rally, America's largest motorcycle convention, was by most accounts a roaring success. But Barack Obama's campaign isn't going to give up the biker vote without a fight.

At Sturgis, McCain ridiculed Obama for drawing "hundreds of thousands" of people to an outdoor speech in Berlin. "I'll take the roar of 50,000 Harleys any day," he boasted, as dozens of cyclists revved their engines.

Now, Obama is airing a new radio spot in Wisconsin -- the home of Harley-Davidson -- attacking McCain's quip.

The spot quotes McCain's Sturgis Rally joke, and then calls the Republican a hypocrite for opposing a requirement that the government buy American-made motorcycles. "When it comes to his record," an announcer says, "American-made motorcycles like Harleys don't matter to John McCain."

The ad closes with fighting words: "It's time to hear the roar of the strong American economy again -- and stop John McCain from shipping our jobs overseas."

-- Kate Linthicum

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