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Republican campaign showing signs of division -

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Republican campaign showing signs of division

Broadcast: 27/10/2008

Reporter: Mark Simkin

With opinion polls predicting Senator John McCain is heading for defeat in next month's US
presidential election, reports of division are emerging from within the Republican campaign.
Senator John McCain's staff are said to be frustrated with his running mate Sarah Palin, who has
been straying from the party line and contradicting mr McCain.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: With opinion polls predicting John McCain is heading for defeat in next
month's US presidential election, reports of division are emerging from within the Republican
campaign.

John McCain's staff are said to be frustrated with his running mate Sarah Palin, who has been
straying from the party line and contradicting Mr McCain.

In the State of Ohio, which was once staunch Republican territory, John McCain is having to work
hard to stop working class voters switching to Senator Obama.

North America correspondent Mark Simkin has been with John McCain in Ohio.

MARK SIMKIN, NORTH AMERICA CORRESPONDENT: Winter, Halloween and a historic election are all coming
fast.

We found some of the people who could decide the electoral race at the local drag strip. They're
swing voters in a crucial swing state.

No Republican's won the White House without winning Ohio. Many members of the white working class
were weary of Barack Obama during the primaries, and some still are.

VOX POP: We think that he is part Muslim and I think that's mostly unanswered questions about him.

MARK SIMKIN: That he could be a Muslim?

VOX POP: Yes. And McCain is a lot... I think would be a lot better.

MARK SIMKIN: Now, Obama himself says 'I'm not a Muslim, I'm a Christian; I'm a good family guy'.
Does that satisfy you?

VOX POP: Well, he could say that, but is he really?

VOX POP 2: He's been around a lot of bad people. And to just all of a sudden leave them people for
the past year... you know, they're still friends, as far as I'm concerned.

VOX POP 3: I'm really wary of Obama.

MARK SIMKIN: The recent polls suggest Barack Obama is on front in Ohio. His performance in the
debates, hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising, and the economic crisis are turning heads
and changing minds.

VOX POP 4: We need Obama. We've had eight years of hell; Ohio can't sustain another eight of what
we've been through, or even four more. So we need to make a change.

VOX POP 5: Everything you buy is made in China or Mexico or, you know, somewhere. Fair trade
doesn't always seem to be fair anymore, in my opinion.

VOX POP 6: Yep. Bring back the jobs to the United States and people will have money to spend in the
United States.

MARK SIMKIN: Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost in Ohio this decade. 8,000 more are
likely to be chopped by DHL, the delivery company.

SHERRY BARRETT, DHL EMPLOYEE: All our jobs are gone. People can't find work to keep things going,
and a lot of people are losing their homes.

MARK SIMKIN: Parts of Ohio are ground zero in the foreclosure crisis. You can buy a house for
$6,000 but suburbs are still wastelands.

In this small Cleveland suburb, more than 100 homes are going into foreclosure each month.

So may foreclosed homes have been abandoned, the city is knocking them down. The demolition
business is one of the few that's booming.

DAVE UNDERWOOD, XL EXCAVATING: All my friends that have companies, nobody's working. Everybody's
really in bad shape; they're repossessing their equipment, homes.

People are moving back with their parents. It's really bad; it's very depressing.

MARK SIMKIN: This man helped demolish the house he raised his children in.

JIM ANDERSON, XL EXCAVATING: It was pretty tearful to me because I would never imagine to do
something like that.

MARK SIMKIN: Thieves often get into the homes and strip them of anything valuable, including the
cooper wires and pipes.

JIM ANDERSON: They went in one house while the lady was in the bed sleeping. She wakes up the next
morning... yes; it was in the news and everything.

She wakes up the next morning... 'What's wrong with my water?' Went downstairs in the basement and
its flooded. They've been in her house whilst she's sleeping in the house...

MARK SIMKIN: And taken the pipes?

JIM ANDERSON: Taken the pipes! You know, this is crazy. So it's a rough time for everybody.

MARK SIMKIN: John McCain initially struggled to articulate a consistent message on the economy, but
know he's found one: Barack Obama is a pseudo-socialist.

JOHN MCCAIN, REPUBLICAN NOMINEE: We've finally learned what Senator Obama's economic goal is; as he
told 'Joe the plumber', he wants to "spread the wealth around", now Joe is getting smeared.

And it's remarkable that they're smearing Joe for asking a tough question. He's getting smeared for
revealing that Senator Obama believes in redistributing the wealth; not in policies that grow our
economy and create jobs.

Senator Obama's more interested in controlling wealth than creating it; in redistributing money.

MARK SIMKIN: There were reports of Republican infighting and finger-pointing. One staffer
apparently called Sarah Palin a diva; another accused the Alaskan of 'going rogue'.

John McCain insists his campaign is doing fine and he's shrugging off the opinion polls.

JOHN MCCAIN: I guarantee you that two weeks from now you will see this has been a very close race
and I believe that I'm going to win it.

MARK SIMKIN: The republican's are concentrating the resources in the handful of key states,
including Ohio.

The so-called buck-eye state decided the last election and it could still determine this one.

Mark Simkin, Lateline.