Accessibility links

McCain, Obama Address US Credit Crisis

The U.S. financial crisis continued to dominate the presidential campaign Friday, as both major party candidates for the White House spoke about what they would do to deal with the market turmoil. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Republican candidate John McCain spoke in Wisconsin and said the U.S. central bank should stop bailing out failed financial institutions, and should return to the main job of managing the money supply and guarding against inflation.

McCain said that, if elected president, he would set up a Mortgage and Financial Institutions Trust, MFI for short, which he says would help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

"The MFI will restore investor and market confidence, build sound financial institutions, assist troubled institutions and protect our financial system, while minimizing taxpayer exposure," he said.

McCain also ramped up the attacks on his Democratic opponent, Senator Barack Obama. McCain said Obama's ties to the failed mortgage lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, including campaign contributions, make him part of the problem.

"We've heard a lot of words from Senator Obama over the course of this campaign," he said. "But maybe, just this once, he could spare us the lectures, and admit to his own poor judgment in contributing to these problems."

Senator Obama campaigned in Florida Friday, and met with his group of economic advisors, including several veterans of the Clinton administration.

Obama said he supports President Bush's decision to give the Treasury Department broad authority to deal with the financial crisis.

Obama also said he would hold off for a while before presenting his own detailed plan, which he said must take into account what he called the needs of Main Street as well as Wall Street.

"I'm glad that our government is moving so quickly in addressing the crisis that threatens some of our biggest banks and corporations," he said. "But a similar crisis has threatened families, workers and homeowners for months and months, and Washington has done far too little to help."

Obama also struck a note of bipartisanship by appealing to Senator McCain, President Bush and lawmakers from both major political parties to support an emergency economic stimulus plan for working families.

"John McCain and I can continue to argue about our different economic agendas for next year, but we should come together now to work on what this country urgently needs this year," he said.

Both candidates focused on the financial crisis all this week, well aware that the economy ranks as the Number One issue with voters in this year's election.

Obama has seen a modest boost in his poll ratings this week, as Americans react to the bad economic news.