US presidential rivals Barack Obama and John McCain have begun the final phase of their campaigns following their anointment by the party conventions.
Mr Obama, the Democratic candidate, seized on high unemployment figures to tell a rally that Republicans must be driven from the White House.

Republican John McCain promised to work to fix the economy.

Both candidates are focusing on key battleground states ahead of the presidential election in November.

Campaigning in the industrial north-east, Mr Obama criticised Mr McCain's acceptance speech at the Republican convention on Thursday, citing the country's economic woes.

"If you watched the Republican National Convention over the last three days, you wouldn't know that we have the highest unemployment in five years," Mr Obama told workers at a factory near Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Friday.

"They didn't say a thing about what is going on with the middle class."

Government figures show that the jobless rate reached 6.1% in August.

Mr McCain told supporters in Wisconsin - another swing state - that the sagging economy had squeezed everyone in the country.

"These are tough times," he said. "They're tough times in Wisconsin, they're tough times in Ohio, tough times all over America."

But he promised that "change is coming".

They used their respective party conventions to address vulnerabilities in their campaigns.

Mr McCain - who has a reputation as a maverick - tried to strike a balance between distancing himself from an unpopular presidency and rallying the party's conservative base.

His selection of conservative Sarah Palin as a vice-presidential running mate helped rally supporters of President George W Bush.

A week earlier, Mr Obama - who needed to heal Democratic divisions after his primary election battle with Hillary Clinton - got a boost when her husband, former President Bill Clinton, gave him unqualified backing in his convention speech.

rivals 競爭者,對手,敵手
conventions會議,大會;全體與會者[C]
seized 抓住;捉住
woes悲哀;悲痛[U]  困難;災難;不幸
Pennsylvania美國賓夕法尼亞州
swing 搖擺,擺動,搖蕩 轉變,轉向
sagging 下陷;下彎;下垂   物價等)下降,下跌;蕭條
tough 堅韌的,牢固的,折不斷的 強壯的,結實的
respective 分別的;各自的[B]
address 住址,地址[C] 演說,致詞
vulnerabilities  易受傷 易受責難;弱點
reputation 名譽,名聲
maverick 不服從的人;持不同意見的人
distancing 使疏遠[(+from)]
vice副的
heal 治癒;使恢復健康
divisions (意見等的)不一致,分裂
boost 舉,抬;推  提高;增加
former 前任的;一度的
unqualified 不夠資格的,不合格的  無限制的,無條件的;完全的





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