(CNN)— Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama criticized John McCain’s economic policies Tuesday, saying they not only represent a third Bush term, but reveal the presumptive Republican nominee to be a flip-flopper.
John McCain “used to say that tax cuts in a time of war were a bad idea, and that they violated his ‘conscience,’” Obama told a trade group conference in Washington, D.C. “Somewhere along the way to the Republican nomination, I guess he figured that he had to stop speaking his mind and start toeing the line – because now he wants to make those tax cuts permanent.”
John McCain voted against President Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, but has recently said he is in favor of extending the tax cut through 2010.
The latest criticism comes on the heels of John McCain’s economic speech delivered Tuesday on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, where he highlighted his plans for economic stimulus, job loss, tax cuts, and took a swipe at Obama.
“Economic policy is not just some academic exercise,” McCain said. “Senator Obama recently suggested that Americans are protectionist because they are bitter about being left behind in the global economy. Well, what's his excuse for embracing the false promises of protectionism.”
Both Obama and McCain have spent more time in recent weeks criticizing each others policy issues and less time focusing on those of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
The Illinois senator spent much of his speech moving back to his campaign message of hope and change, telling the group he is confident about the future of jobs for Americans, and though it’s a tough battle, he is hopeful to provide healthcare for every American.
“I know how frustrated people are,” Obama said. “Just because you're mad, just because it seems like nobody is listening to ordinary Americans, that's not a reason to give up hope.”
"You get mad and then you decide you're going to change it. If you're not angry about something you're going to sit back and let it happen to you. If you're only angry, you don't feel hopeful, and you won't get the energy to change it. I'm mad, but I'm also hopeful."