***UPDATE*** 11:25PM The Washington Post reports that the flap over an article McCain published that touted, with the example of the banking industry, the benefits of deregulation for the healthcare industry underscores how the current economic crisis has put the McCain campaign on the defensive:
The article, which appeared under Sen. McCain's name, included a favorable reference to banking deregulation that, in light of this week's near-meltdown in the financial industry, provided an irresistible target for Sen. Obama's campaign and once again put McCain on the defensive. McCain's campaign accused Obama of manufacturing an attack by deliberately misreading the Republican's words...
...McCain's campaign, caught off guard by the uproar caused by the article, called the criticism from Obama a red herring. What McCain was referring to, one of his advisers said, was the change in regulations that allowed banks to operate across state lines, thereby opening up more competition while providing easier access to services for consumers...
...Coming only a few days after McCain had defended the economy as "fundamentally strong" as the stock markets were plunging last Monday, however, this latest episode underscored anew the extent to which the economic crisis has put McCain on the defensive.
Paul Krugman of the New York Times posted an entry on his blog Friday night about an article John McCain recently published on health care reform in a magazine put out by the American Academy of Actuaries. Given what happened to the US economy last week, Krugman observed that McCain's remedy for health care now looks all the more problematic:
Here's what McCain has to say about the wonders of market-based health reform:
"Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation."
So McCain, who now poses as the scourge of Wall Street, was praising financial deregulation like 10 seconds ago -- and promising that if we marketize health care, it will perform as well as the financial industry!
On the campaign trail Saturday, Obama attacked McCain's enthusiasm for deregulation in a manner similar to Krugman, even referencing the article McCain wrote.
There's only one candidate who's called himself "fundamentally a deregulator" when deregulation is part of the problem. My opponent actually wrote in the current issue of a health care magazine - the current issue - quote - "Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation."
So let me get this straight - he wants to run health care like they've been running Wall Street. Well, Senator, I know some folks on Main Street who aren't going to think that's a good idea.
Watch video of Obama's comments.
Read more from the AP.
As MSNBC's First Read notes, Obama also went after McCain on the similar issue of privatizing social security by tying into the recent economic crisis:
Obama told the crowd McCain supported privatizing Social Security and asked them to imagine how people would feel had their retirement savings been tied up in the rocky stock market this past week. "I'll protect Social Security, while John McCain has talked about privatizing it. Now without Social Security half of elderly women would be living in poverty. Half. But if my opponent had his way, the millions of Floridians who rely on it would've had their Social Security tied up in the stock market this week. How do you think that would have made folks feel?"