RENO, Nev. A day after Barack Obama and John McCain exchanged an embrace during a faith forum at a California megachurch, Obama called the U.S. economy a disaster thanks to "John McCain's president, George W. Bush," and chided his Republican rival's campaign team for trying to make him look unpatriotic.
At a town hall meeting with several hundred union members, Obama said he had had a great conversation with McCain at the forum at Saddleback Church sponsored by the popular evangelical pastor Rick Warren. The two candidates shook hands, briefly hugged and stood onstage with Warren, the first time they appeared together in public since the end of the primary season.
Obama and McCain stated their stands on abortion. McCain said a baby's human rights begin "at conception," while Obama restated his support for legalized abortion.
Obama said he would limit abortions in the late stages of pregnancy if there are exceptions for the mother's health. He said he knew that people who consider themselves pro-life will find his stance "inadequate."
McCain expressed his anti-abortion stand simply and quickly, saying human rights begin the instant that a human egg is fertilized. McCain, who adopted a daughter from Bangladesh, also called for making adoption easier.
On Sunday, Obama methodically tore into McCain's health care, tax and energy policies and criticizing his advisers.
"McCain says 'Here's my plan, I'm going to drill here, drill now' which is something he only came up with two months ago when he started looking at polling," Obama said of McCain's energy policy.
The Illinois senator also criticized McCain's advisers as "the same old folks that brought you George W. Bush. The same team." He noted many had been lobbyists in Washington before McCain asked them to sever all lobbying ties.
McCain told fellow veterans in Orlando, Fla., Monday that Obama tried to legislate failure in Iraq and has refused to admit he erred when opposing the military increase there last year.
McCain said Obama placed his political self-interest ahead of his country's, a theme the Arizona Republican has often repeated. McCain told a friendly convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars that Obama's positions changed as his political ambitions grew.