WASHINGTON Former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat making her second run for the U.S. Senate, said Saturday that Republican John McCain "doesn't get it" when it comes to fixing the economy and helping struggling families.
"His economic plan is four more years of George Bush's economic plan," Shaheen said in the Democrats' weekly radio address. "Four more years of record spending, record deficits, record giveaways to the special interests and a reckless disregard for the middle class."
Shaheen, who is in a closely watched rematch campaign against Sen. John Sununu, said Barack Obama "will lay out a new direction for jump-starting our economy and rebuilding a strong middle class" when he speaks at the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Denver.
Shaheen, the first woman elected governor in New Hampshire, in 1996, served three two-year terms as governor before running unsuccessfully against Sununu in the 2002 Senate race. This time, he's defending a seat widely seen as one of the nation's most vulnerable and has trailed Shaheen in early polling.
Shaheen, who also served as the director of Harvard's Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and as the national chairwoman of John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign, is scheduled to speak at the convention Wednesday with other Democratic Senate candidates on the plight of families.
Shaheen, who is married and has three daughters, said the typical family's income in New Hampshire has decreased by almost $1,000 during the Bush years, while the cost of "everything from gas to groceries, health care to college tuition, has gone up."
She said Democrats will cut taxes for middle-class families three times as much as the Republicans would.
Republicans countered that McCain's approach is better.
"While Barack Obama and the Democrats continue to shift economic positions and pass the largest tax increases in American history, John McCain has consistently fought against Washington's pork-barrel spending and proposed a real plan to keep taxes low for American families and small businesses," said Amber Wilkerson, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee.