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Interest Rate Cut Expected; McCain Fighting for Florida; Obama's TV Infomercial Buy; Obama Speaks in Raleigh, NC

Aired October 29, 2008 - 12:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Let's see, a quick look at the markets, the New York Stock Exchange now and the Big Board.
And again, it's been kind of a mixed day. We've been down, we've been up, but right now it's good news. We are up in positive territory, 38 points.

We will get a market check with Susan Lisovicz a little later in this hour.

With the markets jumping all over the place, and as the economy looks for some kind of direction, the Fed is eyeing another interest rate cut today.

Live now to our Christine Romans in New York.

And Christine, on the idea of an interest rate cut, on a percentage basis, what are we expecting today? And how much of a cut is the street looking for? We know those two numbers could be different.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well, we're looking for on how many percentage points they're going to lower it. And most people expect either a quarter of a point or a half of a point. But keep in mind, we've seen moves already several times this year.

We had that emergency rate cut, remember, October 8th, when they came out without even having a meeting and just cut rates pretty dramatically, a half a point. So we don't know for sure. We won't know for sure for two hours and 15 minutes, but the street is expecting another rate cut.

So, what would the level be? About 1.5 percent, would be the fed funds target. This is what it is now, sorry, 1.5 percent is where it stands right now. The primary stands at 4.5 percent.

The goal of a rate cut, of course -- why would it matter to you? Well, the goal is to make it cheaper to borrow. Businesses can expand and hire more people, can save on lower rates, and consumers are able to spend more. But that's it in theory.

Remember, we've had pretty low rates throughout the year, and the concern here is not the level of interest rates being low, but that banks aren't lending, and people aren't lending, and the normal lending isn't happening. So, as cheap as the rates are, you're still not seeing the lending that they would like to see. HARRIS: Yes.

ROMANS: But the intention of a rate cut, Tony, as we know, is to make borrowing costs lower, to make it easier to borrow, and to goose the economy. And we know the economy could use some goosing.

We got more job cuts announced today from all different kinds of industries, from magazines to auto parts. You know, you saw Qwest Communications announce some job cuts today. Down the line you're seeing job cuts. And that's expected to continue.

So pink slips for a lot of people at a lot different kinds of company. Enterprise Rent-A-Car, this was, like, yesterday. They're cutting some 200 jobs. They've never had what are called mass layoffs, 50 layoffs or more at a time, in the history of that company.

So you're seeing the belt tightening at the office.

How is the economy affecting where you work? Well, you're already starting to see it.

In a recent poll, a survey, from Watson Wyatt Worldwide, showed that a lot of employees are expecting hiring freezes and more job cuts. In particular, a quarter of employers surveyed said they're going to lay off workers next year. About a quarter of them said they're going to be having a hiring freeze.

They're going to cut training. Eighteen percent said they'd slash the holiday party.

And look at this. Four percent of companies surveyed in this Watson Wyatt Worldwide survey said they were going to cut their 401(k) match, at least temporarily.

HARRIS: Well, that's the reason a lot of us are involved in those programs to begin with, because we get the match.

ROMANS: I know.

HARRIS: It makes sense, but we love the match.

ROMANS: We love the match. And so if you're an optimist, I think you're going to say it's a tough economy. And 96 percent of surveys said next year they're not going to touch their 401(k) match. But boy, if you're one of those employees that you will see a suspension there, that's certainly not good.


ROMANS: We always say that that's the free money. You know, don't give up the free money. So...


ROMANS: ... most people are still going to get that next year. But you'll be looking at the office, Tony. You're going to see how companies are starting to cut corners. And they have a fine line to walk here.

They have to keep morale up, because people are seeing a weak economy all around them. So they have to keep morale up, but they also have to cut costs where they can.


ROMANS: So maybe that big, extravagant Christmas party and the holiday party, out the window maybe for a lot of companies this year.

HARRIS: Bye-bye. All right, Christine. Good to see you. Thank you.

ROMANS: Bye-bye.

HARRIS: The energy crisis and how it contributes to our money problems. Just a short time ago in Ohio, Sarah Palin made her case for offshore drilling and the development of other energy solutions.


GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AK), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Oil today is running at about $64 a barrel. That's less than half of what it was just a couple of months ago. And though this sudden drop in prices sure makes a difference for all of our families and our pocketbooks, and for our local communities' budgets and our state budgets, the danger still of our dependence on foreign oil is just as real as it was before this decline in oil and gas prices.


HARRIS: Well, Palin says energy prices will stabilize when the U.S. has achieved its own energy security.

And for more on the financial crisis, just go to

Six days to seal the deal. The candidates packing in as much as possible on their last lap of campaigning.

Barack Obama coming to you live any minute now from Raleigh, North Carolina. And we will take you there the minute that he begins speaking.

Last hour, John McCain wrapped up his rally in Miami. We brought you his speech live. McCain's got another big event coming up this afternoon in Palm Beach.

It is critical strategy time for the McCain camp.

Our Ed Henry reports from Miami.


ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: John McCain spending the day here in Florida because it is the mother of all battlegrounds. First of all, he's meeting with his national security team to try once again to raise questions about whether Barack Obama is fit to be commander in chief, but the rest of the day is all about the economy.

McCain aides know that he's behind, but they still believe he can come back, and here's his emerging strategy.

First of all, they say he has to hold states that George W. Bush carried in 2004, such as North Carolina, Virginia, and here in Florida. So he was holding an event here at this lumberyard in Miami, a "Joe the Plumber" event, it's called, where he was trying to level the charge once again that if Obama is elected, his tax plan will make the financial crisis worse.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You see, Senator Obama believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs. He said that even though lower taxes on investment help our economy, he favors higher taxes on investment for "fairness." There's nothing fair about driving our economy into the ground.

HENRY: If McCain does succeed and hold the states that George W. Bush covered in 2004, McCain aides say he could get to around 260 electoral votes, 10 short of the magic number of 270. So then he would have to do one of two things -- either carry Pennsylvania with its 21 electoral votes to put him over the top, or carry a combination of smaller states like Nevada, Iowa and New Hampshire.

The problem, though, is in all four of those states: Pennsylvania, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire. McCain is behind in all those states in the latest CNN Poll of Polls. So this will be an uphill climb.

Ed Henry, CNN, Miami.


HARRIS: Ten issue, 10 days. Countdown to the presidential election.

So far this week we've looked at the candidates' stands on the economy, taxes, energy, and health care. Today we turn to education.

Let's look at candidates' plans for teaching your children.

Barack Obama would increase early childhood education funding. John McCain emphasizes virtual schools and online education.

Obama wants to expand mentoring programs and give scholarships to teachers. McCain favors bonuses for teachers who boost student performance. He also wants extra funding for states that recruit teachers near the top of their graduating class.

Obama favors a $4,000 tuition tax credit. He also wants to expand Pell Grants and lower interest rates on college loans. McCain wants to simplify tax benefits and consolidate the government's financial aid program.

Those are just some of the things the candidates are proposing.

The high cost of college forcing teens to make some tough choices. I'll put a face on the problem for you in an interview with a very smart young lady from Brooklyn. Don't miss it at the bottom of the hour.

Barack Obama's campaign spending has been at record levels, and now the way he's spending it is also a political first.

And a live picture now, Raleigh, North Carolina, Barack Obama's event to start in minutes. We will take you there when it begins.


HARRIS: Record turnout reported as weeks of early voting winds down. At least 31 states offered early voting. Officials say more than 250,000 voters showed up in Louisiana before pre-Election Day balloting ended. That was yesterday. And it is hurry up and wait for early voters still lining up in Georgia and the key battleground states of Ohio and Florida.

Barack Obama's campaign pockets pretty doggone deep. And he is spending big tonight. He will drop up to $5 million for a 30-minute television appearance on some broadcasting cable networks.

CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider is helping us keep track of all the dough. He joins us from our Election Express in Kansas City, Missouri.

Bill, good to see you.

You know, 30 minutes of television is a long time. We certainly know that in our universe.

Do we have any idea at this point what's going to be in this 30-minute political ad?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, there have been some early reports of what's going to be in the ad. They released a one-minute trailer, "The New York Times" reported on it this morning.

It will feature some ordinary voters, as many as four ordinary American voters and families, talking about the kinds of problems they're facing, the difficulties they're having. And Barack Obama addressing those problems and talking about the kinds of solutions he's proposing. And then towards the end of this half-hour infomercial, Obama will speak live from Florida to the American voters as a whole.

HARRIS: Hey, Bill, is this kind of a television buy by a candidate unprecedented? And I'm curious as to whether or not you believe it will set some trends for the networks.

SCHNEIDER: Well, this was done -- something like it was done by Ross Perot 16 years ago, but not this late in the campaign. We're less than a week before Election Day. Ross Perot bought 15-minute intervals or several occasions, I think about eight occasions, to talk about his ideas. If you remember, he used flip charts, he talked about the deficit and the economy.

HARRIS: That's right. That's right.

SCHNEIDER: Yes. He did that in 1992. But it is unprecedented to buy this kind of an ad this long, 30 minutes long, less than one week before Election Day.

Whether it sets trends, well, you can't really tell.

HARRIS: Yes. Yes.

SCHNEIDER: Most of the networks, most broadcast networks, not all, are taking this. But I'm not sure you can talk about trends at this point, because nothing like it has ever been done before.

HARRIS: You mentioned most networks, but not all are going to carry this tonight. Why did CNN pass?

SCHNEIDER: Well, CNN issued a statement that says the network has declined the request to carry this paid infomercial from the Obama campaign. "We did not," the statement says, "want to preempt our programming lineup with a 30-minute paid commercial program. We would rather use our air to continue to cover the campaign, candidates and issues like we always do from all poithts of view."

So CNN has issued that statement, and has declined the request of the Obama campaign, but it will be carried by several broadcast networks and by other cable networks.

HARRIS: OK. Bill, appreciate it. Thank you.

Bill Schneider for us.


HARRIS: And this reminder. CNN has all the basis covered for your election night one week from -- no, we're six days away, November 4th. From the first vote to the last, we're bringing you the results from all 50 states.

To hit the pedal or not? A car that will tell you what to do and how to increase your fuel efficiency.


HARRIS: And very quickly, let's take you to Raleigh, North Carolina, right now. Barack Obama with what looks like a pretty big rally there in Raleigh.

Barack Obama's going to go through some thank yous, and we are going to try to time this out so that we can get you back to his opening comments.

Big changes ahead.

All right. Let's take you there live.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is beautiful. I've got just a couple of special acknowledgements I have to make.

First of all, one of my favorite people, not only one of the finest governors in the country, but also one of the funniest governors in the country -- and that's important -- give it up for Governor Mike Easley.


His predecessor, and somebody who continues to do outstanding work on behalf of the education of all our children, former governor Jim Hunt.

I want to thank Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker.


The next governor of the great state of North Carolina, Beverly Perdue.

And United States Senate -- soon-to-be member of the United States Senate, Kay Hagan. Give it up for Kay.


Now, for all those of you who have not yet voted -- how many people have early voted?


I like that. Keep your hands up. Keep your hands up.

If you haven't early voted, talk to the person who's got their hand up next to you, and they will tell you how easy it is to early vote. And remember to join our walk. We've got a walk after this rally to early vote sites.

Even if you're not registered, you can register and vote right now, today. It's a beautiful day. Don't wait. The lines will be long on Tuesday.

Do it now. All right?

Everybody -- who's going to go early vote today? That's what I like to see. We've got to get those folks out.

North Carolina, I've got two words for you: six days.


Now, you don't even have to wait six days to vote. You can vote early right now. But this is important when you do vote. You have to vote in two steps. One for president, and one for the rest of the ticket. If you vote for a straight ticket, you have not voted in the presidential election. You need to vote for president separately.

Six days.

After decades of broken politics in Washington, eight years of failed policies from George Bush, 21 months of a campaign that's taken us from the rocky coast of Maine to the sunshine of California, we are six days away from changing America.


In six days, you can turn the page on policies that have put the greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of Main Street. In six days, you can choose policies that invest in our middle class, and create new jobs, and grow this economy so that everybody has a chance to succeed, not just the CEO, but the secretary and the janitor. Not just the owner of the factory, but the men and women on the factory floor.

In six days, you can put an end to the politics that would divide us just to win an election, that tries to pit region against region and city against town, Republican against Democrat, that asks us to fear at time when we need to hope. In six days, at this defining moment to history, you can give the country the change we need.

You know, we began, North Carolina, this journey in the depths of winter. In Illinois, it gets cold up there. It was 7 degrees.

Nearly two years ago, on the states of the old state capitol in Springfield, Illinois. And back then, we didn't have much money, we didn't have many endorsements, we weren't given much of a chance by the polls or the pundits. We knew how steep our climb would be.

But I also knew this -- I knew that the size of our challenges had outgrown the smallest of our politics. I was convinced that Democrats and Republicans, Americans of every political stripe, were hungry for new leadership, new ideas, a new kind of politics. One that favors common sense over ideology. One that focuses on those values and ideals that we hold in common as Americans.

Most of all, I believed in you. I believed in the American people. I knew that the American people were decent and generous, willing to work hard and sacrifice for future generations. And I was convinced that when we come together, our voices are more powerful than the most entrenched lobbyists, the most vicious political attacks, or the full force of a status quo in Washington that just wants to keep things the way they are.

Twenty-one months later, my faith in the American people has been vindicated. That's how we've come so far, come so close, because of you. That's how we'll change this country with your help. And that's why -- and that's why, Raleigh, we cannot afford to slow down or sit back or let up one day, one minute, one second in this last week! (APPLAUSE)

Not now. Not when there's so much at stake.

We are in the middle of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Seven hundred and sixty thousand workers have lost their jobs this year alone. Businesses and families can't get credit. Home values plummeting. Pensions are disappearing.

Wages are lower than they've been in a decade, at a time when the cost of health care and college have never been higher. It's getting harder and harder to make the mortgage or fill up your gas tank, or even keep the electricity on at the end of the month.

Here in North Carolina, the job losses have been severe. Plants keep on closing, jobs are being shipped overseas.

At a moment like this, the last thing we can afford is four more years of the tired, old theory -- the tired old theory that says we should give more and more money to millionaires and billionaires and big corporations, and hope that prosperity trickles down on everybody else. The last thing we can afford is four more years where no one in Washington is minding the store. Nobody's paying attention to what's happening on Wall Street because politicians and lobbyists kill commonsense regulations.

See, those are the theories that got us into this mess. They haven't worked. It's time for a change, and that's why I'm running for president of the United States of America.


Now, John McCain has served this country honorably. He can point to a few moments, like his opposition to torture, where over the last eight years he's broken from George W. Bush. He deserves credit for that.

But when it comes to the economy, when it comes to the central issue of this election, the plain truth is that John McCain has stood with this president every step of the way. He hasn't been a maverick. He's been a sidekick.

He voted for the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that he once opposed. He voted for the Bush budgets that have led us to a half a trillion dollar deficit and added immeasurably to our national debt. He's called for less regulation on Wall Street, across the board in the banking sector, over 21 times just this year.

Now, those are the facts.

John McCain says we can't spend the next four years waiting for our luck to change. He's right about that. But you understand the biggest risk we can take is to embrace the same old policies that have failed us over the last eight years. That's what John McCain's offering.

We've tried it John McCain's way, we've tried it George Bush's way, and it hasn't worked. That's why I'm running for president, because we need a fundamental change.


Now, deep down John McCain knows his economic theories don't work. That's why his campaign said that if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose. That's why I keep on talking about the economy.


They don't want to talk about the economy. That's what you want to talk about. That's what affects your lives, day in and day out.

Now, because he knows that his economic theories don't work, he's been spending these last few days calling me every name in the book. Lately he's called me a socialist for wanting to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans so we can finally give tax relief to the middle class.

I don't know what's next. By the end of the week, he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten.


I shared my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Look, that's his choice. That's the kind of campaign he chooses to run. But you have a choice, too.

The fundamental question in this election is not, are you better off than you were four years ago? We know the answer to that. The fundamental question is, will we be better off four years from now?

Now, for eight years we've seen Washington take care of the extremely well off and the extremely well connected. And now my opponent is making the same arguments to justify the same old policies that have been a complete failure for the middle class.

I mean, the arguments he's making now are the same arguments that George Bush made all these years. Kept on saying, you know, if we give tax cuts to all these really wealthy people, it's going to help everybody. It will grow the economy. The economy has not been grown, and the average middle class family is $2,000 poorer now than when George Bush took office.

When Bill Clinton was president, your average wages and income went up $7,500. Under George Bush it went down $2,000. So if I've got economic theories that are similar to Bill Clinton's, and he's got economic theories similar to George Bush's, can you look and see which one worked and which didn't.

The facts are there for everybody to see. John McCain wants to give more to billionaires, more to corporations that ship jobs overseas, more to the same people whose greed and irresponsibility got us into this crisis in the first place. And we're here because we know they shouldn't get away with it anymore.

We don't need another president who fights for Washington lobbyists and Wall Street. We need a president who stands up for hard-working Americans on main street. And that's what I intend to be.

With six days left, it's time for the American people to think very hard about what four years of John McCain's policies would mean for the middle class. If Senator McCain is elected, 100 million Americans will not get a tax cut. Won't see a cent. But the average Fortune 500 CEO will get $700,000 in tax relief. Average Fortune 500 CEO will get an average of $700,000. Big oil will get $4 billion. Somebody said, that ain't right. Not only is it not right, it ain't right.

If Senator McCain is elected, your health care benefits will get taxed for the first time in history. And at least 20 million Americans risk losing their employer-based health insurance. That ain't right.

If Senator McCain is elected, we'll have another president who wants to privatize part of your Social Security. That ain't right. Can you imagine if you had your Social Security invested in the stock market these last two weeks, these last two months? You wouldn't need Social Security. You'd be having a -- you know like -- what was it, "Sanford & Son." I'm comin', Wheezy. It ain't right.

If John McCain is elected, he won't make your college tuition affordable. His campaign has no plan to make college more affordable. So then somebody asked -- a reporter asked one of his chief economic adviser, why don't you have a plan to make college more affordable? And they said, we don't have the money to give a whole bunch of money to a bunch of interest groups. Interest groups. I don't think young people in America are an interest group. I think they're our future. So whether you are Susie the student, or Nancy the nurse, or Tina the teacher, or Carl the construction worker, if my opponent is elected, you will be worse off four years from now than you are today.

So let's cut through the negative ads and the phony attacks. Under John McCain, the middle class will watch wealth get favored over work. Jobs get shipped overseas. The health care costs and college costs continue to go through the roof.

North Carolina, we know that just won't due. Not this time. It is time for change. It is time to do what's right for you, what's right for our economy, what's right for our country. That's why I'm running. That's why you're here. That's why we're going to win on November 4th.

CROWD: Obama. Obama. Obama.

OBAMA: So I just want everybody to keep this in mind. When you're talking to your friends and your neighbors, they're saying, oh, I don't know. I'm not sure. You just ask them, what is John McCain going to do that's different from George Bush? Just ask them one thing.

If they're satisfied with what's happened over the last eight years, they should vote for McCain. But ask them, what good idea does he have for our future? You don't know? You know his attacks on me. You know the bad things he's saying about me. But ask yourself, can you name one thing that John McCain is offering that improves this economy? You don't know because he spends all his time attacking me.

Now I know that my opponent's worried about losing an election, but I'm worried about Americans who are losing their homes and losing their jobs and losing their life savings. I'm worried about the middle class. And I won't just fight for your vote in the final days of the election, I will fight for you every single day that I'm in the White House, because that's why I'm running, for you.

So I can take six more days of John McCain's attacks. This country can't take four more years of the same old politics and the same old policies. It's time to try something new, North Carolina.

Now, I know these are difficult times. I know a lot of you are worried and concerned. But I also know that we've faced difficult times before. The American story has never been about things coming easy. It's been about rising to the moment when things are hard. It's about seeing the highest mountaintop from the deepest of valleys. It's about rejecting fear and division for unity and purpose. It's about how we've overcome war and depression. That's how we won great struggles for civil rights, women's rights and workers' rights. That's how we'll emerge from this crisis stronger an more prosperous than we were before as one nation, as one people.

Remember, we still have the most talented, most productive workers of any country on earth. We are still the home to great innovation and technology. Colleges and universities that are the envy of the world. Some of the biggest, brightest ideas in history have come from our small businesses, from the back of a garage, from our research facilities. So there's no reason we can't make this another American century. We just need a new direction. We need a new politics.

Now, I don't believe that government can try -- I don't believe the government can solve all our problems. I don't think that it should try to solve all our problems. I know you don't either. The American people are self-reliant. They're independent. They like to do things for themselves.

But I do believe that government should do that which we cannot do for ourselves. Provide for the common dements (ph). Protect us from harm. Provide a decent education for every child. Invest in our infrastructure. Invest in new science and technology. Our government should reward drive and innovation and growth in the free market.

Our policies should strengthen capitalism, but it should also make sure that businesses live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs and look out for American workers, and look out for American investors, the people with a pension. The small person who's trying to save for their retirement. Should make sure that Wall Street plays by the rules of the road.

Government should ensure a shot at success. Not only for those with money and power and influence, but for every single American who's willing to work, because in America, you should be able to make it if you try. That's how we created not just more millionaires, but more middle class families. That's how we've always grown the American economy, from the bottom up. John McCain calls this socialism, apparently. I call it opportunity. And there's nothing more American than that.

Now, understand, if we want to get through this crisis, we need to get beyond the old, tired, ideological debates. The divisions between left and right. We don't need bigger government or smaller government. We need a better government. A smarter government. A more competent government. A government that upholds the values we hold in common as Americans.

We don't have to choose between allowing our financial system to collapse and allowing it to just run wild. As president, I will ensure that the financial rescue plan helps stop foreclosures. Not just helps protect Wall Street banks. That it protects your money, instead of enriching corporate CEOs. I'll put in place the common sense regulation that I've been calling for throughout this campaign so that Wall Street can never cause this crisis again. That's the kind of change we need, updating our financial regulations for the 21st century.

The choice in this election isn't between tax cuts and no tax cuts. It's about whether you believe we should only reward wealth or whether we should also reward work and the workers who create them (ph). I want everybody in North Carolina to understand because John McCain, he just mangles this thing. He's just making stuff up.

So let's -- I want everybody to pay attention. This is the talk to your friends and neighbors when they say, Obama, I'm worried about, he might raise my taxes. I will give a tax break, a tax cut, to 95 percent of Americans who work every day and get taxes taken out of their paychecks. I'll eliminate income taxes for seniors who are making under $50,000 a year. We're going to give the average homeowner and working parents more of a break.

Now, nobody can dispute this. John McCain tries to dispute it, but he can't dispute it. That's my plan. And I will help pay for this by asking folks who are making more than $250,000 a year to go back to the tax rates they were paying back in the 1990s, before the Bush tax cuts.

Now, let me just see a show of hands. How many people are making less than a quarter million dollars a year? All right. So I just want you to be clear, no matter what these ads say, the Republican National Committee and McCain's ads and whoever else is running ads, here are the facts. If you make under $250,000, you will not see your taxes increase by one single dime. Not your income taxes. Not your payroll taxes. Not your capital gains taxes. No taxes. Because the last thing we should do is raise taxes in this economy on the middle class. Period. So my tax rates will be lower than they were under Ronald Reagan. Those are the facts. Don't let them hoodwink you. Don't let them bamboozle you.

When it comes to jobs, the choice in this election is not between putting up a wall around America, or continuing with trade deals that are bad for America, allowing jobs to disappear overseas. The truth is, we won't be able to bring back every job that we've lost.

Did somebody fall down? OK. If we can get an emergency person -- they probably just fainted. They were standing too long. Give them a little room and give them a little bit of water. Somebody have some water back there? There. They'll be all right. Just give them some space. Give them some space.

Now, hold on. They'll be OK. They'll be OK.

Now, what was I talking about? I was talking about jobs. We won't be able to bring back every job that we've lost here in North Carolina. I just want to be honest with you. Some of those have been replaced by new technologies. Some of them, the industries have shrunk. But that doesn't mean we can just stand by and do nothing. That doesn't mean we should follow John McCain's plan to keep giving tax breaks to corporations that ship our jobs overseas.

I will end those tax breaks. And we will give tax breaks to American businesses that are creating jobs right here in the United States. A $3,000 tax credit for every job they create right here in America.

We'll eliminate capital gains taxes for small business and start-up companies that are the engines of job creation in this country. We'll create 2 million new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges and schools. By laying broadband lines to reach every corner of North Carolina, every corner of the country, so businesses can locate there and all our young people can access the Internet.

We'll invest $15 billion a year in renewable sources of energy to create 5 million new energy jobs over the next decade. Jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced. Jobs building solar panels, wind turbines, a new electricity grid. Jobs building the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow. Not in Japan, not in South Korea, but right here in the U.S.A. Jobs that will help us eliminate the oil we import from the Middle East in 10 years and help save the planet in the bargain (ph). That's how America can lead again.

When it comes to health care, we don't have to choose between a government-run health care system and the unaffordable one that we have now. How many people have seen their premiums go up on your health insurance? See, now, if you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change under my plan is that we're going to work with your employer to lower your premiums.

How many people don't have health insurance? If you don't have health insurance, you'll be able to get the same kind of health insurance that members of Congress, including John McCain, give to themselves.

We'll invest in preventive care and new technology to finally lower the cost of health care for families and businesses in the entire economy. And as somebody who watched his own mother on a hospital bed arguing with insurance companies at the end of her life because they were calling her cancer a pre-existing condition and saying maybe they didn't have to pay for her treatment, I will stop insurance companies from ever again discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most. When it comes to giving every child a world-class education so they can compete in this global economy, the choice is not between more money and more reform. Our schools need both. As president, I'll invest in early childhood education. We'll recruit an army of new teachers. We'll pay our teachers higher salaries. We'll give them more support.

I'll demand higher standards and more accountability from our schools and I'll make a deal with every young American who's out there all across the country. If you commit to some form of national service, serving your community or your country, in the military, in the peace corps, working in a veterans home, working in a homeless shelter, whatever national service you choose, we will make sure you can afford your tuition, no ifs, ands, or buts. We'll invest in you. You invest in America. Together we'll move this country forward.

And when it comes to keeping America safe, we don't have to choose between retreating from the world and fighting a war without end in Iraq. It's time to stop spending $10 billion a month in Iraq while the Iraqi government sits on a huge surplus. So, as president, I'll end the war in Iraq by asking the Iraqis to step up. And I will finally finish the fight against bin Laden and al Qaeda. We will put them out of business.

And I will never hesitate to defend this nation. But I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home. No more homeless veterans. No more veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder without getting treatment. No more begging for disability payments.

I'll build a new partnership to defeat the threats of the 21 century. And I'll restore our moral standing so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom. To all who long for lives of peace, who yearn for a better future.

Now, Raleigh, I won't stand here and pretend that any of this will be easy or that it will be quick. Especially now. George Bush has dug a deep hole. The cost of this economic crisis and the cost of the war in Iraq means that Washington will have to tighten its belt, just like you have to tighten your belt. Put off spending on things we can afford to do without.

On this, there's no other choice. As president, I'm going to go through the federal budget line by line and we're going to end program we don't need. And we'll make the ones that we do need work better and cost less.

But as I said from the beginning of this journey, all those months ago, the change we need isn't just about new programs and new policies. It's about a new attitude. It's about a new politics. A politics that calls on our better angels instead of encouraging our worst instincts. One that reminds us of the obligations we have to ourselves and to one another.

Part of the reason this economic crisis occurred is because we've been living through an era of profound irresponsibility. On Wall Street, easy money and an epic of, what's good for me is good enough, blinded executives to the dangers of the decisions they were making.

On main street, lenders tricking people into buying homes they couldn't afford. Some folks knew they couldn't afford those houses. They bought them anyway. All right.

In Washington, politicians spent money they didn't have. They allowed lobbyists to set the agenda. They scored political points instead of solving problems.

Even after the greatest attack since Pearl Harbor, all we were asked to do by our president was to go shop. There's no sense of sacrifice. No sense of service or duty. Responsibility. That's why what we've lost over these last eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or trade deficits alone. What's been lost is the idea that in this American story, each of us has a role to play.

Each of us has a responsibility. All of us have to work hard and look after ourselves and our families. And each of us has a responsibility to our fellow citizens. That's what's been lost over these last eight years. Our sense of mutual responsibility. Our sense of common purpose. That's what we need to restore right now.

So, yes, government must lead the way on energy independence, but everybody here can play a role in making their homes and businesses more energy efficient. Yes, we have to put more money into our schools, but government can't be the parent that turns off the TV set and puts away the video games and makes sure your child does their homework. That's your job, instilling them with a thirst for knowledge.

We've got to provide more ladders of success for young men who fall into lives of crime as despair. But, fathers, you've got to be fathers and be in your son's and daughter's lives. Give them the love and guidance that they need.

All of us have responsibilities. We can argue and debate about our position passionately, but at this defining moment all of us have to summon the strength and the grace to bridge our differences, to unite in commonality, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, young, old, rich, poor, gay, straight, disabled, not disabled, whoever you are, you need to be a part of this process.

In this election, we can't afford the same political game that have been used to pit us against one another. Make us afraid of one another. Folks in North Carolina know something about that. Folks in my home state of Illinois know something about that. That's the old politics.

The state stakes are too high to divide us by race, or class, or region, or background, by who we, what we believe. Despite what our opponents may claim, there are no real or fake parts of this country. There's no city or town that' more pro-American than anywhere else. We're all one nation. All of us proud. All of us patriots. There are patriots who supported this war in Iraq. Patriots who opposed it. Patriots who believe in Democratic policies. Patriots who believe in Republican policies. The men and women who serve on our battlefields, some are Democrats, some are Republicans, some independent, but they've fought together, they've bled together, some died together under the same proud flag. They did not serve red America or blue America, they served the United States of America. That's what I want to serve as president of the United States.

Now it won't be easy. It won't be quick. But you and I know that we can come together and change this country. Some of you may be cynical. Some may be fed up with politic. A lot of you may be disappointed or even angry with your leaders.

You got another person who fainted? Now I just want everybody to know, eat before you come to these rallies. There's an EMT person right here. All right. EMT person right here, staff (ph).

I know that many of you may be disappointed with your leaders, but despite all this, I ask of you what's been asked of Americans throughout our history. I ask you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about change, but in yours.

I know this change is possible because I've seen it over the last 21 months. Because in this campaign, I've had the privilege to witness what's best in America. I've seen it in the lines of voters that stretch around schools and churches, and the young people that cast their ballot for the very first time, and those not so young folks who got involved again after a very long time.

I've seen it in the workers who'd rather cut back their hours than see their friends lose their jobs. And the neighbors who take a stranger in when the flood waters rise. And the soldiers who reenlist after losing a limb.

I've seen it in the faces of men and women that I've met at countless rallies and town halls across the country. Men and women who speak of their struggles, but also their hopes and their dreams.

You know, I got an e-mail from a woman named Robin (ph). She'd come to a rally like this in Fort Lauderdale. Sometime after our event, her son nearly went into cardiac arrest, was diagnosed with a heart condition that could only be treated with a procedure that costs tens of thousands of dollars. And her insurance company refused to pay and her family just didn't have that kind of money.

So she wrote me an e-mail. And Robin wrote, I ask only this of you. On the days where you feel so tired you can't think of uttering another word to the people, think of us. When those who oppose you have you down, reach deep and fight back harder.

North Carolina, that's what hope is. That thing that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that there are better days ahead, if we're willing to work. If we're willing to shed our fear, if we're willing to reach deep down inside ourselves, when we're tired and come back fighting harder. That's what kept some of our parents and grandparents going through tough times. What lead them to say, maybe I can't go to college, but if I work hard, maybe my child can go to college. Maybe I can't own my own business, but if I work really hard, maybe my child could open one of her own. That's what lead immigrants to come from distant lands to these shores, for liberty and opportunity, working against great odds to carve a new life for their families in America. That's what lead those who couldn't vote to march and organize and stand for freedom, led them to cry out. It may look dark tonight, but if I hold on to hope, tomorrow will be brighter!

That's what this election is about. That's the choice we face right now. Don't believe for a second this election's over. Don't think for a minute that power will concede without a fight. We have to work like our futures depend on it, because they do.

In six days, we can choose an economy that rewards work, creates new jobs, fuels prosperity. In six days, we can choose to invest in health care for our families and education for our kids, and energy for our future.

In six days, we can choose hope over fear. Unity over division. Change over the status quo.

In six days, we can come together as one nation and one people and choose our better history. That's what the stakes. That's what we're fighting for. And if you'll knock on some doors for me, if you'll make some calls for me, if you'll talk to your neighbors for me, convince your friends for me, if you'll stand with me, and fight with me, and give me your vote, then I promise you, we won't just win North Carolina, we will win this general election. And you and I together will change this country and change the world.

God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And there you have Barack Obama in Raleigh, North Carolina. The big summation speech at the end of it there. Running out of a little bit of steam at the end. We've seen that summation in other speeches here in the final week. And it has been delivered with a tad more energy, I would say.

We're going to take a quick break and we will come back with more of CNN NEWSROOM and get you to Kyra's show in just a minute.


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Six days left in the race that never ends. Millions of voters still haven't made up their minds. Is the choice that tough or is there something about the brain of the undecided voter? Dr. Sanjay Gupta take as look.

Busted in Boston. A state senator caught on camera allegedly padding her salary with bribes.