-- On the eve of the final presidential debate, John McCain rolled out a new economic plan Tuesday in Pennsylvania, one of the battleground states hard-hit by a faltering economy.
McCain unveiled his proposal to eliminate taxes on unemployment benefits at a campaign stop in Blue Bell, Pa.
Running mate Sarah Palin also worked the Keystone State, with a stop in blue-collar Scranton, which has been a favorite destination of both party's campaigns in recent days.
The Republican nominees will then head to New York City Tuesday night for a fundraiser.
Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, took the day off to get ready for the debate Wednesday night at Hofstra University in Long Island, N.Y. But the Illinois Democrat also kept a close eye on the fiercely contested Midwest map by setting up his debate prep camp in Toledo, Ohio.
His vice presidential nominee, Joe Biden, made a swing through Ohio Tuesday, criticizing McCain for attacking Obama instead of proposing new ideas.
"The distinction could not be clearer — one guy is fighting for you and the other guy is fighting mad," Obama said at a rally in Warren, Ohio.
Although Wednesday night's debate was the immediate concern for both camps, the nation's economic crisis continued to drive both campaigns in the final push to the Nov. 4 election.
McCain's speech on Tuesday comes one day after Obama presented his own new ideas for dealing with the troubled economy.
McCain, who cast himself in a retooled stump speech as the fighting underdog, also is proposing that taxes be lowered on seniors when they tap their retirement accounts.
In addition, he's pushing for an acceleration of the tax write-off for people who are forced to sell at a loss in the current market and wants to see capital gains taxes lowered for 2009 and 2010 as an incentive to save and invest.
McCain told a suburban Philadelphia audience that "the moment requires that government act. And as president I intend to act, quickly and decisively."
Obama spokesman Bill Burton said McCain's plan wouldspend $300 billion to bailout Wall Street banks "that got us into this mess without doing anything to help jumpstart job growth for America's middle class."
"John McCain's latest gambit is a day late and 101 million middle-class families short," Burton said.
Obama, speaking in Ohio on Monday, proposed his own steps for tackling the economy, including a 90-day moratorium on home foreclosures at some banks and a two-year tax break for businesses that create new jobs.
Contributing: The Associated Press