"Can you afford to take a chance on someone who's voted against the minimum wage 19 times," Obama asked a crowd of thousands under a blazing sun at a rally in western Colorado at the start of a swing through contested Western states. "When it was $4, he was against it, when it was $5 he was against it, when it was $6 he was against it."
The nation's economic anxieties were sharpened by a historic upheaval on Wall Street with the announcements that financial giant Lehman Brothers was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy while titan Merrill Lynch was being bought by Bank of America for about $50 billion.
Charging that McCain was out of touch, Obama said, "He doesn't get what's happening between the mountains in Sedona where he lives and the corridors of power where he works. Why else would he say that we've made great progress economically under George Bush. Why else would he say that the economy isn't something he understands as well as he should.
"Why else would he say, today of all days, just a few hours ago — think about this, we just woke up to news of financial disaster — and this morning he said that the fundamentals of the economy are still strong. Sen. McCain, what economy are you talking about?"