POLITICS

McCain Drops 'Main Street' Stimulus, Follows Obama's Lead On Taxpayer Protections

10/24/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

This afternoon, John McCain gave his first press conference in nearly six weeks, answering only a few questions and totally punting on the most important issue facing the country: the need to help average American families hit hard by the economy.

On the bailout package, McCain said that he thinks a bailout must be must be enacted soon, warning of dire consequences if Congress fails to act.

On the question of whether taxpayers must be protected and whether there must be oversight, McCain adopted the key points of Barack Obama's plan.

Unlike Obama, however, McCain offered no plan to put in place new regulations that would prevent a crisis like this from ever happening again.

The Obama campaign took McCain to task for his baseless attacks on Obama's response to the financial crisis.

"Contrary to the lies told by the McCain campaign, it was John McCain who followed Senator Obama's lead in laying out principles that call for strict oversight and accountability, protecting taxpayers, and cracking down on CEO pay. We only wish he had adopted those same principles over the last 26 years rather than cheerleading for the deregulation agenda that helped produce today's crisis and repeatedly opposing limitations on the obscene compensation given to failed CEOs," said Obama-Biden spokesman Hari Sevugan.

McCain also failed to address the economic crisis facing Main Street.

Asked by a reporter if he would support the Democratic stimulus plan, McCain refused to answer, instead focusing on his plan to cut spending and taxes. In fact, McCain didn't use a line that he had said just yesterday, that any plan must "help homeowners stay in their homes" -- a telling omission.

McCain also wasn't totally in command of his words during the press conference. At one point, McCain badly mangled his words, urging that we "grow this government...not grow the economy." Here's video of that moment:

And here's video of McCain punting in response to the question about the Democratic stimulus package for Main Street:

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