SARASOTA, Florida (AFP) - Democrat Barack Obama pounced on news the United States is officially staring at recession to accuse White House rival John McCain of driving the economy into a ditch and vowed to steer it back to prosperity. Five days from Tuesday's election, the Illinois senator bidding to be America's first black president launched a one-day blitz of battleground states, aiming to bury McCain's prospects in Florida, Virginia and Missouri. "If you want to know where John McCain will drive this economy, just look in the rear-view mirror. Because when it comes to our economic policies, John McCain has been right next to (President) George Bush," he said. "He's been sitting there in the passenger seat, ready to take over, every step of the way," Obama told more than 13,000 supporters at a sports stadium in Sarasota, an epicenter of Florida's recount fiasco in the 2000 election. After nine straight months of job losses, falling wages and rocketing home foreclosures, he said, "why would we keep driving down this dead-end street?" "It is time to change drivers. It is time to have somebody else at the wheel." Earlier, the US government said the gross domestic product (GDP) of the world's largest economy contracted 0.3 percent in the period from July to September. Another fall in fourth quarter would confirm a recession.  The news was the latest blow to McCain, who has struggled to effectively counter Obama's attempts to tie him to Bush's shattered economic legacy. "All this didn't happen by accident," Obama said. "Our failing GDP is a direct result of a failed economic policy, of the Bush administration's trickle-down, Wall Street first, Main Street last policies that John McCain has embraced for the last eight years and plans to continue for the next four. "These policies didn't work then, they won't work now, and I'm running for president to end them." Polls have consistently shown that the economy remains the overwhelming concern for US voters, and the lavishly funded Obama put the issue front and center of a 30-minute "infomercial" broadcast on US networks Wednesday evening. Campaign aides were delighted with the positive critical reception given to the infomercial, which ended with a technically daunting live cutaway to the thumping climax of an Obama rally in Sunrise, Florida. The Democrat meanwhile hit back at McCain's claims that his tax policies amounted to "socialism," by taking money from families earning more than 250,000 dollars a year to finance tax cuts for the worse off. "I love rich people. I want you all to be rich. Go for it. That's the American way," Obama said at a midnight rally Wednesday near Orlando with former president Bill Clinton. Obama promised to steer the US economy back to Clinton-era prosperity when average incomes rose, consumer spending was buoyant and businesses were expanding " at least until the "dot com" bubble imploded. "Everybody is better off, all boats rise. That's what happened in the 1990s, and that's what we need to restore," Obama said. "John McCain and (Republican vice presidential nominee) Sarah Palin, they call this socialistic. I don't know when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness," he said. While once again warning his fired-up supporters against complacency, Obama said change was coming. "In five days, we can come together as one nation, and one people, and once more choose our better history."