From CBS News' John Bentley:
(HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.) – John McCain is not going down without a fight.
In his most spirited debate yet, McCain did as his supporters asked and criticized Barack Obama on everything from Bill Ayers and ACORN to health care and out-of-control spending.
"He was not going to let Barack Obama get off with his pretty words. He is an articulate, eloquent, speaker, there is no question. Senator Government knows how to string a sentence together, there isn't a question about it," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds after the debate. "But what he doesn't do, is he doesn't know how to cut taxes, he's never done it, he doesn't know how to control spending, he's never done it, he doesn't know how to work in a bipartisan fashion, he's never done it. That's why the American people are going to choose John McCain."
The crux of the McCain camp's argument is that Obama will irresponsibly raise taxes.
"Sen. Obama is going to spend the country into a depression with the massive amounts of money that he's talking about spending," McCain's campaign manager Steve Schmidt said.
But Obama's campaign said McCain came off as angry, and that's not what voters want.
"We all read this morning that two-thirds of the American people believe that Sen. McCain is running a negative campaign. It feels as if he came in here tonight to try and persuade the other third that he's running a negative campaign as well," said Obama senior adviser David Axelrod. "He was edgy and seemingly angry for much of the debate."