McCain, Obama Bailout Support Is Hesitant

10/23/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • JOHN HARWOOD and MICHAEL COOPER NY Times

PHILADELPHIA -- Senators John McCain and Barack Obama warned Sunday that there should be more oversight built into the government's $700 billion plan to stabilize the financial markets but said the potentially enormous expenditure would not force them to scale back their ambitious governing agendas.

Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, and Mr. Obama, his Democratic rival, agreed in separate interviews that steps should be taken to ensure taxpayer dollars are not used to enrich the executives of troubled financial firms bailed out by the government. They echoed each other in assessing the threat from the financial crisis as severe enough to warrant government intervention.

But Mr. McCain said in an interview here with CNBC and The New York Times that he would press on with his plan to extend the Bush tax cuts and to cut others. Contrary to the warnings of fiscal analysts, he said he believed he could do so and balance the federal budget, which was falling deeper into deficit even before the financial crisis, by the end of his first term.

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