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REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

Let's hear about healthcare, rival says

Barack Obama says GOP speeches ignore pocketbook issues.

September 05, 2008|Noam N. Levey | Times Staff Writer

YORK, PA. — As John McCain prepared to accept the Republican nomination Thursday, Barack Obama intensified his criticism of the GOP, accusing the party of ignoring the economic hardships of working Americans at its convention.

"You're hearing a lot about John McCain. And he's got a compelling biography as a POW. You're hearing an awful lot about me, most of which is not true," Obama told workers at a turbine plant in this old manufacturing center.

"You have not heard one word about how they're going to make the healthcare system work," he said. "You haven't heard a word about how we're going to deal with any aspect of the economy that is affecting you and your pocketbook."

Since accepting the Democratic nomination last week, Obama has been campaigning across the Rust Belt.

As Republicans gathered in St. Paul, Minn., this week, Obama and his allies increasingly turned their fire on the festivities there.

The Illinois senator ridiculed comments by McCain's campaign manager that the election would be more about personalities than issues.

And Thursday, he testily responded to some of the attacks by Republican officials, singling out former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who the day before had mocked Obama's work as a community organizer in Chicago two decades ago.

"Maybe that's not really interesting work for Rudy Giuliani," Obama told about 10,000 people at a rally in Lancaster, Pa., Thursday. "But for the people on the ground who are seeing differences in their lives, that's important stuff."

Republicans, Obama said, were returning to ugly campaign tactics they have used for years. "When you've got no new ideas," he said, "then you run on the same stale politics."

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noam.levey@latimes.com

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