From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:
BRISTOL, VA. -- Barack Obama shifted his focus entirely to John McCain and the general election at a town hall meeting here today, where he jabbed at the Arizona senator's health care proposals. Obama called McCain's plan "Bush-lite," and accused him of covering only the "healthy and the wealthy."
"Instead of offering a comprehensive plan to cover all Americans and control rising costs," Obama said, "he's offering a tax cut that doesn't even amount to half of the cost of an average family health care plan, and won't make health care affordable for the hardworking Americans who need help most. "
Although health care was a point of contention between Hillary Clinton and Obama during the primary contests, he has not aggressively gone after McCain's plan until today. The campaign says that Obama is now making up for lost time by quickly emphasizing major policy differences with his presumptive Republican opponent.
Obama admitted today that his health care plan, which offers a $2,500 premium to middle class families, will come up against resistance by the drug and insurance companies and some members of Congress. However, after a 95-year-old man presented him with a maple walking stick, he joked that he will "whoop" Congress with the stick if they don't pass his bill.
"This is a beautiful stick. I really like this," Obama told the man. "And if members of congress don't pass my health care bill? I'm ready! I'll whoop them. I'll whoop them! That's right. They better not mess with me. I'll have that stick."