September 16th, 2008
08:05 AM ET
6 years ago

McCain still backing away from 'strong fundamentals' statement

McCain appeared on CNN's American Morning Tuesday.
McCain appeared on CNN's American Morning Tuesday.

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain continued to back away from his assertion that the "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" during a CNN interview Tuesday.

Watch McCain on American Morning

On Monday, after taking heat from Sen. Barack Obama's campaign for his earlier statement, McCain adjusted his language to say the American worker was the strength of the economy.

Watch: McCain's economy comment hammered

On Tuesday, McCain said the U.S. economy will rebound with the help of the American worker, which he called "the fundamental strength" of the U.S. economy.

The problems with the American economy are the result of rampant government spending and poor government checks on corporations, McCain said.

"I'll restrain spending. That's the reason our economy is in trouble today," McCain said.

McCain also said the U.S. is "the victim of greed, excess and corruption on Wall Street," and the senator said he foresaw the crises with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago.

"The Fannie and Freddie thing was a very serious problem and we had to work on it," McCain recalled saying then.

The regulatory agencies charged with monitoring Wall Street, which he called outdated, have been "asleep at the switch the last few years." Those agencies should evolve to the global economy, he said.

"We have to fix this alphabet soup of regulatory agencies that's left over from the 1930s," he said.

Asked if Obama's economic plan did more for the middle class than his own, McCain flatly said no. He also said one of the greatest hindrances to the middle class is its inability to get "affordable and available" health care.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. gso-chris

    The problems with the American economy are the result of rampant government spending and poor government checks on corporations, McCain said.

    "We have to fix this alphabet soup of regulatory agencies that's left over from the 1930s," he said.

    His "fix" is MORE deregulation ... look at who is economic adviser is - Phil "mental recession/whiners" Graham, who wrote most of this banking regulation to get government OUT of the markets. McCain is delusional! Obama is like Alice in Wonderland, the only one who is sane in an election where up is down ... Obama is "too popular" - but Sarah is not; Obama says people "cling to their guns and religion", Graham claims we are a naiton of Whiners; Tina Fey does a spot-on impersonation of Palin - and that's SEXIST?!?!? Obama was raised by a single-mother, is interracial, and his only "fame" are a couple of best-selling books, but McCain is down to Earth, since he is learning how to use the Internet and his wife is only worth $100 million.

    I can't take it, my head is going to explode. It's as if someone took a decorated war veteran, ran a two-bit drunk who skipped out on reserve duty against him and somehow made the verteran the "wimpy" of the two.

    I say again ... HUH!!!

    September 16, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. Pam

    Back peddle all you want, Grandpa. You've said things like this too many times for it to not be what you really believe.

    September 16, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  3. James

    OK McSame: and where are you going to restrain spending? Pull us out of Iraq? Reduce spending on new weapons programs? Medicare? Social Security? Default on the debt?

    Bush put us in the red by almost $750 billion. To come up with that kind of money you would have to disband the military and eliminate Medicare! If you think that is what it is going to take, you really are out of touch.

    September 16, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. bill c.

    Am i the only one who is amazed that Carly Fiorina can still spout off about John McCain and his difference between him and George Bush on the economy. She is his chief economic advisor. Isn't she the kind of person McCain is supposed to be going after when he talks about the corporate heads taking big payoffs. Isn't she the one who got fired as head of Hewlett Packard and got over $100 million dollars in a severance package? Then yesterday she had the nerve, i an interview, to say that John McCain never said that the "fundamentals of the economy are still strong". Problem is, Carly, the interview was all over the news. Just more lying from the McCain camp.

    September 16, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. S. Boatman

    How Can The American Worker Be Strong Without A Job?

    September 16, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. Carol- TX

    Has McCain been a POW for 26 years .. He's certain tying to convince everyone. This is why he's out of touch

    September 16, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  7. Catherine

    McCain would have to back all the way to January 2008 to get away from his comments that the economy is fundamentally still strong.

    Everyone knows what he said in the primaries. That people are overall better off then 8 years ago. NO WE ARE NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. jason,tx

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.... *wipes tears off face. YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME!

    September 16, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. Tony in NM

    just imagine if McCain were President......

    very scary.

    September 16, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. Toni Jones

    I totally agree with Maureen. Colin Powell would not allow himself to be a puppet in the Bush administration as he is an independent thinker. They say a leader is only as good as
    the people he surrounds himself with. And we all know the kind of people that Bush has surrounded himself with. If Colin Powell had run for President I would have voted for him.

    September 16, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. Lee

    He says the reason our economy is in trouble is because of spending. Really??? This morning he said we were in trouble because of greed and corruption.

    He really doesn't get it.

    September 16, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. JC

    The press and the public are just beginning to note the derailment of the "Straight Talk Express". Now with Governor Palin flip-flopping on the "full cooperation" with the so-called troopergate investigation, the reality behind the rhetoric sinks in.....

    September 16, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. katrina

    The economy will rebound "with the help of the worker" - uh-huh. I don't think it tanked because the workers weren't helping, do you? Of course, there are all those slackers who lost their jobs.... and their homes.... only to see a Republican promise to challenge their votes if their names are on foreclosure lists (this is true: google Michigan Messenger for details).

    September 16, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. John from WA

    God, I hate these political "clarifications". And notice how carefully he was reading the new statement. My guess is that the candidate who doesn't necessarily speak for the campaign (see quote from McCain's chief economic advisor on July 24th) is going to be on a shorter leash from now on. Face it: (a) the grind of a Presidential campain and the pressure to never make a mistake are absurd, and (b) McCain ain't up to it.

    September 16, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. Foreign Observer

    "restrain spending" by extending the tax cuts for the rich, right? because trickle-down has worked so splendidly. Oh, I forgot, it was because the "American worker" didn't help enough....

    sickening. Go Obama!

    September 16, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. Barbara - NC

    Maverick – unpredictable, reckless.

    September 16, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. RePeat in Cville VA

    "I'll restrain spending. That's the reason our economy is in trouble today," McCain said.

    This comment proved that John McCain really doesn't know anything about the economy. How on EARTH has government spending caused Merrill Lynch to be sold, AIG to be in financial straights, and Lehman Brothers to go under? It's federal deregulation, supported by Republicans, that has caused this mess, NOT government spending.

    And hasn't McCain been in DC for 26 years? Didn't the Republicans have control of Congress from 1994-2006? And the White House for 20 of the last 28 years? As Joe Biden said this morning, if a doctor has been found guilty of malpractice, you don't hire him to do a second surgery! Wake up, America. It's time for a REAL change ... Obama/Biden '08

    September 16, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. returntocommonsense

    Anytime the word deregulation comes out of a politician's mouth, it only means one thing – more money out of our pockets and into the company's coffers.

    Poor checks on corporations?! How about no checks. Look at the obscene amounts of money going into the CEOs and other high ranking corporate officier's pockets while those who work in the trenches day in and day out get told that we should be "happy" with the 3% slap in the face that they call a raise.

    McCain has no idea of what economic principles are let alone sound ones.

    September 16, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. Lee

    Carly Fiorina, one of his biggest mouths, was one of those greedy, corrupt fat cats that took a big corporation, ran it into the gound, got a big payoff, and now HP says they'll be laying off thousands of people in the next few years.

    September 16, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. John in KY

    The "TRUTH AIN"T IN THIS PAIR" McCain/Palen

    September 16, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. Baze

    The economy will rebound with help from the American worker. That's nice, I guess they'll help from the unemployment line. This guy is simply confused, by debate day he won't know which way is up.

    ONE NATION

    September 16, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. JohnLee

    Restrain spending – does that include the mega billions for the wars?

    Come on McCain – you can't take all sides of the issue.

    September 16, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  23. Cathy

    I loved how when McCain was "explaining" what he meant by "fundamentals of the economy are strong, " he had to read off of note cards. Basically meaning...he didn’t know what the heck he was talking about because his speech writer prepared it after his horrible statement at the previous rally.

    McCain is right...HE DOESN'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE ECONOMY....and it's going to learn it in 2 months either!!!!

    McCain would have to back track all the way to January 2008 to get away from his comments that the economy is fundamentally still strong.

    Everyone knows what he said in the primaries. That people are overall better off then 8 years ago. NO WE ARE NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  24. Brian

    Those wrkers need to take paycuts to help the economy.... its the workers faults that we are in this mess. The Libs are the main cause.

    McCain/Palin... for the rich!

    September 16, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  25. GINA, OHIO

    AMERICA PLEASE!!!! CANT YOU SEE THIS MAN WILL BE A DISASTER FOR OUR COUNTRY!!! HE DOESN'T GET IT!!! AND YOU CANT TEACH AN OLD DOG A NEW TRICK EITHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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