Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was on Face The Nation today where he said that John McCain deserves no credit for the bipartisan agreement on a federal bailout bill for the financial markets.
When asked if McCain deserves credit, Obama said, “No. Look, here are the facts. For two weeks, I was on the phone every day with Secretary Paulson and the congressional leaders, making sure that the principles that have ultimately been adopted were incorporated into the bill…But understand this. The important thing here is making sure that we don’t have a photo op session. Because this is serious. We should not have been here in the first place.”
Obama married McCain and Bush by asserting that they share the same economic theory, “And, you know the problem with Senator McCain’s positions generally have been that for all his talk about being a maverick and wanting to reform the system, he has supported on economic policy George Bush more than 90 percent of the time. His differences on other issues with the president he likes to tout, but they don’t have to do with his fundamental economic theory that helped to get us into this mess in the first place. And if we’re going to get out, then we have got to fundamentally change course.”
He expanded his point to include foreign policy, “It’s true I don’t understand Senator McCain’s positions on a whole host of issues, because given how the Bush administration has created an extraordinary crisis in the economy and considering that we remain bogged down in Iraq, Al Qaida is resurgent, Iran is developing nuclear weapons, that our foreign policy is if not in a shambles, then certainly in a place that I think anybody is comfortable with — given those facts, what I don’t understand is that Senator McCain continues to promote them. There was not one instance where Senator McCain could support his assertions with some indication that in fact he had some secret understanding of what the Bush administration was doing that made sense.”
It was clear though out the interview that Obama plans on hammering home the theme that McCain does not equal economic change until Election Day. This is exactly what he should do, because McCain has no economic strategy, except to talk about spending and earmarks, which are not winning issues when an economy is as terrible as our current one.
What jumped out at me during the debate, and what Obama was trying to reinforce today, is that McCain doesn’t offer any answers, except to emphasize that he is a leader and that Obama should not be trusted. People are looking for change while McCain continues to defend the status quo. The dynamic of this race has become change versus experience, which is a question that the Obama campaign is built to win.