Biden promises a bipartisan spirit in White House

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) -- Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden said Saturday that he and Barack Obama would take a bipartisan spirit to the White House in working to revive the nation's economy and restore America's reputation in the world.

"We have to unite this country," Biden told about 1,600 people at a downtown rally. "We need to move past the political attacks that we have seen in the last few weeks of this campaign."

Biden said Republican John McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, were running an entirely negative campaign.

"They're trying to take the low road to the highest office in the land," he said. "They are calling Barack Obama every name in the book."

Biden's stop in the southwestern tip of Indiana followed a Friday night rally by Obama in northwestern Indiana that drew about 40,000 in a final weekend push in hopes of Obama becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Indiana in 44 years.

Three statewide polls released this week have shown the race between Obama and McCain to be in a dead heat.

Biden urged people to vote early, noting that they could do so after the rally at a nearby civic center.

Indiana has a record 4.5 million voters registered this year, and election officials have encouraged early voting to ease congestion at the polls on Election Day. As of Friday morning, more than 455,000 people had cast early ballots statewide, and Secretary of State Todd Rokita has predicted a record turnout for Election Day on Tuesday.

McCain has scheduled an airport rally for Monday in Indianapolis. His last previous stop in the state was on July 1, but that wasn't even an appeal to Indiana voters as he spoke to a national sheriffs convention and then to a private fundraiser in Indianapolis. Palin has made three trips to Indiana since mid-October, drawing big crowds to rallies in Noblesville, Fort Wayne and Jeffersonville.

Martin Perry, 42, of Evansville, said he attended the rally to show his support for Obama and Biden, especially their message of change on the economic front.

"My wife and I went to the grocery store the other day and got one basket of groceries for $200," he said. "Every time we have to make a decision on paying a bill this week or going to the grocery store, there is something wrong with our economy."

He said his wife, Valerie, already had voted early and he planned to do the same right after the rally "because I think it's going to be chaos at the polls" on Tuesday.

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