The presidential campaign's focus turned sharply to the economy Monday, an inopportune time for Republican John McCain as Americans cope with record-high gasoline prices and a spike in job losses.
Democrat Barack Obama seized on the issue by launching a two-week economic tour meant to highlight his differences with McCain on taxes, spending priorities and other matters. At every turn he is tying McCain to President Bush, whose approval ratings are consistently low.Today:
The national average hit $3.523 a gallon, the Energy Department said Monday, up 4.1 cents from a week earlier. Analysts said the early price shocker is likely a sign that pain at the pump will rise to some of the highest levels ever this year.