ELKHART, Ind. — Barack Obama taunted Republican presidential rival John McCain on Wednesday for first ridiculing him for advising voters to keep tires inflated and then later acknowledging that the practice saves gasoline.
"It will be interesting to watch this debate between John McCain and John McCain," Obama said as he campaigned in Indiana with Sen. Evan Bayh, widely considered a top-tier candidate for running mate.
Discussing the air-pressure issue during an appearance Tuesday night, McCain said he wasn't opposed to Obama's suggestion.
"And could I mention that Sen. Obama a couple of days ago said that we ought to all inflate our tires, and I don't disagree with that. The American Automobile Association strongly recommends it, but I also don't think that that's a way to become energy independent," McCain said.
Obama had noted that keeping tires inflated and cars tuned was endorsed by both NASCAR and AAA and should be part of any comprehensive plan to reduce reliance on imported oil.
McCain called on Congress to return from its summer recess to immediately address the U.S. energy crisis, though he missed numerous energy-related votes in the Senate last year. McCain, campaigning on energy and economic issues in southern Ohio, said that as president he would tell members of Congress "not to leave town, not to take their vacation or pay raise" until they passed legislation to ease the burden of high energy prices on consumers. The liberal-leaning League of Conservation Voters said McCain missed all 11 votes in 2007 related to such critical energy topics as automobile fuel economy, offshore Virginia drilling, refinery construction, renewable electricity mandates, energy efficiency, liquefied coal and support for biofuels.
A poll says 48 percent of America's voters say they're already tired of hearing about Obama with Election Day still three months away. Just 26 percent said the same about McCain, according to the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.
Ralph Nader is making headway in his third bid for president. He clinched a major victory last Saturday by getting on the California ballot as the nominee of the Peace and Freedom Party. He said he's confident of getting on the ballot in 45 states this year.