IN THE HEADLINES
Candidates propose raising amount of bank deposits insured by federal government to $250,000 ... McCain continues focus on Iowa despite polls giving Obama double-digit lead ... Early voting begins in Ohio, election officials prepare for rush
Candidates propose raising deposit insurance limit
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama proposed that the government insure consumers' bank deposits up to $250,000 by raising the $100,000 federal limit as each sought to navigate the unpredictable politics of the financial crisis. Both sides also rolled out fresh advertisements tying the other to the Wall Street crisis.
Avoiding the term "bailout," the presidential candidates said in separate statements that Congress must make another attempt to pass an economic rescue plan. The House on Monday balked at approving the Bush administration's $700 billion proposal, its 228-205 vote sparking the largest sell-off on Wall Street since the day after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
The plan had the bipartisan support of congressional leaders, but about two-thirds of Republicans and about one-third of Democrats in the House voted against it. Polls showed widespread public disapproval for the plan.
"We haven't convinced people that this is a rescue effort, not just for Wall Street but for Main Street America, for working families, for small businesses, the heartland of America - all over America," McCain said on "American Morning" on CNN.
In a statement earlier Tuesday, Obama said Congress should not start over as lawmakers consider their next move in the wake of the House's rejection of what he called "the economic rescue plan."
"Given the progress we have made, I believe we are unlikely to succeed if we start from scratch or reopen negotiations about the core elements of the agreement. But in order to pass this plan, we must do more," he said.
McCain focusing on Iowa despite polls
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - John McCain's second visit to Iowa in less than a month is heartening Republicans who say it is proof their presidential candidate intends to compete for the state, despite polls showing him behind Democrat Barack Obama.
Democrats counter that McCain's event Tuesday shows he can't be elected president without winning in states where he trails his rival.
Republicans acknowledge that McCain is behind, but say the race is closer than the polling indicates.
"I honestly believe right now in Iowa that Obama is ahead but it is less than five (percent)," said former Iowa Republican Chairman Michael Mahaffey.
A Des Moines Register poll conducted Sept. 8-10 showed Obama ahead, 52 percent to 40 percent, while a Big Ten Battleground Poll a few days later, conducted Sept. 14-17, found the rivals tied at 45 percent.
The visit is McCain's second in less than two weeks. He has scheduled a small-business round-table in Des Moines, following up on a Sept. 18 stop in Cedar Rapids with running mate Sarah Palin. His campaign also has continued television advertising in the state at roughly the same level as Obama.
Ohio election officials brace for early voting
CLEVELAND (AP) - Voters in this crucial swing state began casting absentee ballots Tuesday, a day after state and federal courts upheld a disputed early voting law.
Five people were waiting at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections when doors opened at 8:30 a.m. Two in line said they were voting for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, including John Fuller, 73, a retired hospital orderly from Cleveland.
Fuller said voting early would allow him to work on Election Day helping others get out and vote.
Election officials around Ohio were preparing for a rush of early voting Tuesday, the first day absentee ballots are accepted in advance of the Nov. 4 presidential election.
The outcome of the court battles is likely to benefit Democrats in a state that narrowly awarded President Bush re-election in 2004.
Obama's campaign has organized car pools beginning Tuesday from college campuses to early voting sites.
Barack Obama is scheduled to attend a rally in Reno, Nev.
Joe Biden has no public schedule.
John McCain talks about small businesses in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sarah Palin has no public schedule.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"The whole spectrum of Main Street America's economy is going to be jeopardized unless we pass this legislation. And we didn't do a good enough job selling it." - Republican John McCain, speaking about the bailout legislation on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
STAT OF THE DAY:
The Commission on Presidential Debates has assigned 3,100 media credentials for the vice presidential debate - the most ever in the seven vice presidential debates hosted by the commission, the group says.