ABC News’ David Wright, Sunlen Miller and Andy Fies Report: At a raucous town hall meeting on the economy in Albuquerque, N.M., Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama today accused Republican presidential contender Sen. John McCain of towing the Bush Administration line on tax cuts out of political opportunism.
Watch the VIDEO HERE.
“There was a time when some Republicans like John McCain agreed with me,” Obama said, of his calls to roll back Bush’s temporary tax cuts for the richest Americans instead of making those tax cuts permanent.
“There was a time when Senator McCain courageously defied the fiscal madness of massive tax cuts for the wealthy in the midst of a costly war,” Obama said. “That was before he started running for the Republican nomination and fell in line.”
During last night’s CNN debate in Los Angeles, Obama also looked past the Democratic nomination fight to take aim at McCain. At one point, he observed that, “Somewhere along the line, the Straight Talk Express lost some wheels.”
The town hall meeting focused on the package of middle class initiatives Obama has framed as “Reclaiming the American Dream.”
Unlike previous forums, the audience for this one was huge. According to the fire marshal more than 6,000 people were here, including two overflow areas. Obama addressed the overflow crowds using a megaphone.
This being New Mexico, the event also featured a bit of Southwestern flavor. One Native American voter greeted the candidate in a tribal language. Others asked his views on illegal immigration.
“I’m not a big fan of vigilante justice,” Obama said, prompting a burst of applause. “We are a nation of laws AND we are a nation of immigrants. Those two things are not contradictory.”
Obama lavished praise on New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson for his "important work" on the immigration issue. Obama is openly courting Richardson’s endorsement.
"We have no plans on receiving an endorsement but I would love to be pleasantly surprised,” Obama said today.
After Albuquerque, Obama heads on to Santa Fe before ending the day in Boise, Idaho as he criss-crosses the nation days before the Feb.5 Super Tuesday multi-state votes.