McCain "Hitting The Panic Button"

11/13/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Politico reports:

Three weeks before Election Day, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Monday is unveiling what his aides call a more forceful new stump speech in which he portrays himself as a scrappy fighter on the comeback trail against an opponent who's already "measuring the drapes" in the Oval Office.

"The national media has written us off.," McCain says in excerpts released by the campaign. "Senator Obama is measuring the drapes, and planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to raise taxes, increase spending, take away your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections, and concede defeat in Iraq. But they forgot to let you decide. My friends, we've got them just where we want them."

Allies are calling this "hitting the 'reset' button" on the campaign, with McCain reemerging after a long Sunday strategy session with a feisty tack that uses candor and humor, at a time when his rallies have become known for raucous rage and clumsy attacks.

But it's more like hitting the panic button. McCain is appearing Monday in Virginia and North Carolina - two states that are usually safe for Republicans in presidential races, and that he should have put away long ago. But Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is pouring visits and staff into the former Confederacy, and he has caught McCain in many Southern polls.

McCain had planned to unveil a new economic policy this week, but the plan fell apart amid internal campaign confusion. Insiders won't talk about what happened. "We're locked down," one official told the Politico. "I have no comment on anything, to anybody," policy adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said to the New York Times.

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