McCain courts business, bikers

August 4, 2008 3:43:57 PM PDT
Republican presidential candidate John McCain and his wife talked with employees as they toured the National Label Company in Lafayette Hill. McCain took his campaign to workers at the Montgomery County business that manufactures labels for hundreds of products like ibuprofin and Suave shampoo.

"It really says that we mean something to him and the facility I work with, that we're important to him. And it's a great feeling of excitement here in our factory," said employee Jamie Shacklett.

After the tour, McCain did not take any questions from reporters, but during a four-minute speech to employees, he called on democratic opponent Barack Obama and others in Congress end their summer break, and return to work to solve the nations energy crisis.

"I call on Senator Obama and others in Congress to come back into town and come back to work, come off their recess, come off their vacation, and address this energy challenge to America and don't leave until we do," McCain said.

While McCain targeted Obama's views on addressing energy issues, he did not talk about his attack ads comparing Obama - seen as a rock star -- to celebrities he suggests have no substance. But McCain opponents, protesting outside the plant say the ad is inappropriate and shows McCain is off course. "He can't understand why Barack Obama appeals to working people, to the young people, the people of color in this country. It just shows how out of touch John McCain is," said Obama supporter John Meyerson.

A McCain supporter calls Obama an empty suit. But says the ad is not necessary. "I don't think they make a lot of sense because I think the guy is a lightweight anyway, Obama. So you don't need to make a point of it," said Richard Wermuth, a McCain supporter.

The Arizona senator will be campaigning for votes later Monday at what amounts to an annual motorcyclists' Woodstock in Sturgis, S.D. The event, billed as the largest rally of its kind in the world, is known as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. It features nine nights of entertainment, with bands including Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd and REO Speedwagon. McCain will speak about dinnertime.

Then to underscore his call for expanded nuclear power in the United States, McCain will tour a nuclear power plant in the battleground state of Michigan on Tuesday.

That trip comes a day after Democratic rival Barack Obama lays out his energy vision in a speech, also being delivered in Michigan.

This is the final week for McCain and Obama to compete for the public spotlight without having to share it with the Summer Olympics in Beijing.