(CNN) - Republican John McCain brushed aside suggestions the emergence of the economy as an issue on voters' minds could harm his presidential chances.
"I am very well versed in economics," he said during Thursday's presidential debate. “I was there at the Reagan revolution. I was there just after we enacted the first tax cuts and restraints on spending. I was chairman of the commerce committee in the United States Senate, which addresses virtually every economic issues that affects the United States."
Long viewed as a respected voice on national security, McCain has not made economic issues as much of a driving force in his presidential bid. Political observers have questioned whether the issue's new prominence in the campaign may shift votes towards successful businessman Mitt Romney - who has made economic policy a centerpiece of his run.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney