John McCain Declares 'Underdog' Status in Race Against Barack Obama

"Americans' faith and confidence is shaken," McCain said. "I think I saw a poll where five-percent of the American people think that they are -- that the country's on the right track. They must be the short sellers. I haven't met anyone else. Look, the American people are -- I don't like to use the word fear because Americans by nature know we can overcome any challenge. But they're very badly shaken out there."

"And Senator Obama wants to raise -- increase spending by $860 billion," McCain continued. "He wants to increase the taxes on 50 percent of small business income. He's been all over the place on all of his tax proposals. I have the experience and the knowledge and the judgment to make the right decisions, including on reigning in the growth of government."

The Arizona senator would not comment on whether his campaign had been hurting by weeks of bad economic news.

"I don't know, Charlie. I think by offering wise solutions and providing mature leadership that it'll redound in my behalf," he said.

But there is no question Obama's growth in national polls as well as in key battleground states has coincided with the economic crisis.

"I'm not going to complain about the hand I'm dealt, my friend. We're coming up with solutions. We're trying to give the vision and leadership for the American people. And I'll accept their judgment," he said.

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