Final Pitch: Candidates Make Their Cases

Candidates make their final pitch to voters about why they should be elected.

Nov. 3, 2008— -- On the eve of the presidential election, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama today embarked on a final campaign push through a combined 13 states to get their supporters to the polls.

According to the latest ABC News/Washington Post daily poll, Obama leads McCain 54-43 among likely voters, but the McCain camp says that its internal numbers show the polls tightening in critical battleground states and McCain is poised for a comeback.

As the candidates make their closing statements to the nation, Obama and McCain told ABC News' Charles Gibson, for one last time, why they should be elected.

McCain's Closing Argument: 'No on-the-Job' Training'

"Six words: Duty, honor and country; reform, prosperity and peace," McCain told Gibson in an interview Friday. "I've spent my whole life serving my country as an advocate of reform, and honesty and integrity in government. And I will continue that battle. That means reforming the way we do business in Washington, restoring trust and confidence."

The GOP candidate differentiated himself from his opponent in terms of his "economic outlook" and said he would work to ensure prosperity for all Americans.

"We will bring this country out of the ditch by creating millions and millions of jobs through alternative energy, through keeping spending down, and keeping taxes low," he said.

McCain also stressed his experience on the international stage, working with foreign leaders and serving the United States in the military and in war.

"I know our enemies, and I know our friends," he said. "I know how to deal with them. We're in two wars. And I've served my country all my life. And I know who our friends are, and I know who our enemies are. And I know how to secure the peace and bring our troops home with victory and with honor.

"I need no on-the-job training," McCain said. "I'm ready to continue what I've done all my life: Put my country first and serve a cause greater than my self-interest and inspire a generation of Americans to do the same."

Obama's Closing Arguments: 'What Kind of Future Are We Creating'?

Obama emphasized his ability to lead the country in a new direction, as he has throughout the campaign.

"The real question in this election is, are we going to be better off four years from now or 12 years from now or 40 years from now? What kind of future are we creating for our children and our grandchildren?" Obama said.

Obama argued that the Bush administration has failed to provide for the bulk of its citizens.

"I would argue that over the last eight years, we've pursued a particular approach to the economy that says we give more and more to those with the most," Obama told Gibson last week. "We basically say to middle-class families, you're on your own. And that somehow, everything was going to work itself out. It hasn't. And the central premise of my campaign has been that we need a champion for middle-class families who are working hard so they can make it -- so they can achieve the American dream."

To help middle-class families stay afloat during this economic recession and stay in their homes, Obama cited his plans for tax cuts and health care reform. He also cited the need for education reform, an energy policy and a renewed foreign policy to restore "our moral standing in the world."

When asked why the American people should put their faith in a 47-year-old senator, Obama urged Americans to draw upon his diverse experiences as a law professor, senator, legislator and campaign manager.

"I think they should look at my conduct during the course of this campaign," Obama said. "And I think what they'll see is somebody who was a sound manager, somebody who presented a bold vision for moving the country in a new direction, somebody who, during the economic crisis, was able to, I think, present a clear, steady, calm and incisive approach to how we need to solve problems and the principles that should guide us moving forward, somebody who on critical foreign policy issues like the war in Iraq and Afghanistan has more often than not gotten it right."