In the U.S. presidential election campaign, Democratic candidate Barack Obama
focused on national security Wednesday, while his Republican counterpart, John
McCain, spent time discussing education. Some new public opinion polls show
Obama with a lead over McCain, and VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has
more from Washington.
Senator Obama spoke at a meeting in Indiana
that dealt with a range of national security threats including nuclear
proliferation as well as cyber and bio-terrorism.
Obama said his
intention to wind down the U.S. involvement in Iraq would allow the United
States to take the lead in securing nuclear materials around the
"For the amount of money that we are spending in Iraq in one
month, if that same amount of money was spent over the course of the next four
years, we could lock up all the loose nuclear material that exists out there,"
said Barack Obama. "That strikes me as a good investment to
Obama's Republican opponent, Senator John McCain, focused on
education reform during a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio, to the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a leading civil rights
McCain said if elected he would make it easier for parents
in low income areas to send their children to better performing private schools
as an alternative to public education.
McCain also spoke about
the weakened domestic economy, which public opinion polls indicate is the top
issue in the election campaign for voters.
The presumptive Republican
nominee reiterated his commitment to cutting taxes.
"I believe that in a
troubled economy where folks are struggling to afford the necessities of life,
higher taxes are the last thing we need," said John McCain. "The economy is not
hurting because workers and businesses are under-taxed."
Three new public
opinion polls give Senator Obama a lead over Senator McCain of between six and
nine points. The surveys were conducted by CBS News and the New York Times, ABC
News and the Washington Post, and Quinnipiac University in
The CBS News-New York Times poll also suggests a racial
divide remains among American voters. That survey found that 55 percent of white
voters believe race relations in the country are good at the present time, while
only 29 percent of African-Americans feel the same way.
majorities of both blacks and whites did agree that the country is ready for an