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Obama the Change Agent - Above Washington Politics as Usual

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Pennsylvania, can you hear me...

Posted: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:49 PM by Domenico Montanaro

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro

It’s been whack, whack, whack to start this general election campaign. Take, for example, not one, but two Obama conference calls with reporters today attacking McCain hard with tough rhetoric from high-profile surrogates.

In response to McCain’s speech in Philadelphia, the Obama campaign rolled out congressman Bob Brady and state treasurer Robin Weissman to hit McCain on his gas tax holiday proposal. While they were at it, they gave a peek into the Democrats’ Pennsylvania strategy.

“It’s so bogus, it’s unbelievable,” Brady said of the gas tax holiday proposal. He called it nothing more than “a feel good.” “First of all, it can’t happen,” Brady continued. “What happens to our infrastructure … He’s right when he said he doesn’t understand the economy. … [it] Would cost Pennsylvania millions.”

Weissman, a Clinton supporter during the primary said, “I really do appreciate the need … that there are so many people who feel like they want something done [about gas prices]. But I think this short-term effort really does nothing to create a long-term solution. We have to develop a long-term energy policy.”

Clinton had proposed a gas tax holiday and said she would pay for it from a oil company windfall profits tax. McCain said money would come out of the general fund.

Hey Pennsylvania, ‘Status quo or do you want to move forward?’

On how Democrats try to win Pennsylvania after the contentious Democratic primaries, Brady said, “It’s quite simple. You want status quo or do you want to move forward?”

He went on to describe McCain as another Bush term.

“He [Obama] offers the change; he offers the real change,” Brady said. “And nobody wants to go back with status quo” on Iraq, the economy and tax cuts for the rich.

“The Republican Party, they are going to give tax cuts to the rich and those that don’t need it,” Brady said, adding that Obama is for tax cuts for the middle class.

Weissman referred to McCain as “McBush.” With McCain, “we will have no change, in terms of the war,” which she called a “litmus test for most Democrats.”

She added that Republicans are pouring “financial resources into that war” instead of “shoring up our own home economy. …

“On a substantive level, the party is not divided.”

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