Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) criticized President Barack Obama on Monday for his statement that the private sector is "doing fine," telling Fox & Friends that it shows the president's "philosophy" toward the economy.
"I'd like to go down Central Avenue in Phoenix with him and show him these small business owners and these closed businesses and the storefronts and all of the impact that this recession has had on the economy of the private sector," McCain said.
Republicans immediately seized on Obama's remark Friday, saying it is a clear sign that the president is "out of touch." Although McCain did not offer the same characterization, he went after the president's approach to solving the country's economic problems.
“It shows the philosophy of the president of the United States,” he said. “He believes that having state, federal and local governments hire more people, that that’s the answer, the way out. Mitt Romney believes that it's business that creates jobs.”
McCain was also quick to dismiss comparisons between Obama's comments and his own gaffe in 2008 following the collapse of the stock market, when he said “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.”
“We just had a stock market crash, and the people were very nervous, and I wanted to try to reassure them that the fundamentals of our economy were good –- I still believe that,” McCain said.
The senator could not say whether Obama's comment would have any impact on his reelection bid. "I would argue that a lot of the media is not too unfriendly to the president," he said.
When asked to describe the president's handling of his first term, McCain listed off Obama's three biggest legislative achievements -- the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the stimulus package and health care reform -- and referred to them as “absolute failures."