It’s Wall Steet greed, stupid!
Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama dusted off President Bill Clinton‘s old mantra - “It’s the economy, stupid! - to cast themselves today as the best, most worker-friendly antidote to Wall Street‘s meltdown.
McCain hit all seven morning news shows to talk up his idea for a new commission, similar to one that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks, to study the financial woes on The Street.
He also ramped up his populist rhetoric, saying American workers “have been betrayed by a casino on Wall Street.”
“They’ve been betrayed by corruption and distress that’s damaged their futures,” McCain insisted on ABC. “We’re going to fix it.”
The Arizona‘s senator’s comments came a day after he declared that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong,” a comment that Obama used again today to cast McCain as an out-of-touch clone of President Bush.
“Sen. McCain’s approach was the same as the Bush administration’s,” Obama told a midday crowd in Golden, Colo. “Support ideological policies that made the crisis more likely, do nothing as the crisis hits, and then scramble as the whole thing unravels.”
Obama pointed to his own record of warning about the impending mortgage meltdown — starting with a bill he introduced in February 2006 aimed at curbing fraudulent or risky mortgage transactions — and called for creation of “a 21st century regulatory framework.”
He also slammed McCain’s idea for a commission to study new regulatory approaches as a way to pass the buck.
“This isn’t 9/11,” Obama said. “We know how we got into this mess. What we need now is leadership that gets us out. I’ll provide it. John McCain won’t.”
McCain, while long known as a free marketer, also said it was time to reorganize the oversight of Wall Street and allow for greater openness, although neither candidate offered many specifics.
“We’ve got the SEC, the CFTC, the FDIC, the SPIC and the OCC,” he told a rally in Tampa, reeling off the government agencies with a hand in Wall Street. “But for all their big and impressive sounding names, the fact is they haven’t been doing their job right, or else we wouldn’t have these massive problems.”
“Under my reforms,” he added, “the American people will be protected by comprehensive regulations that will apply the rules and enforce them to the full.”
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