September 22nd, 2008
01:25 PM ET
10 years ago

Fact Check: Has Obama offered no plan for the financial crisis?

Sen. McCain campaigned in Scranton, Pennsylvania Monday.

Sen. McCain campaigned in Scranton, Pennsylvania Monday.

The Statement: At a town hall meeting Monday, September 22, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain hit his Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama, on the economic crisis. "Sen. Obama has declined to put forth a plan of his own," McCain said. "In a time of crisis, when leadership is needed, Sen. Obama has simply not provided it."

Learn the facts after the jump!

The Facts: Obama has said several times since the recent Wall Street meltdown that, in meeting with top economists, he was encouraged to not roll out a specific plan for fear of overly politicizing work of the Congress on a government bailout of financial firms. Recently, though, he has proposed several principles for the plan - including limiting pay for executives of businesses that are bailed out by the government and making sure the effort includes a detailed plan for the money to be repaid.

"In the coming days, I'll work closely to examine the details of the Treasury and the Fed proposal, and, as I do, I'll work to ensure that it provides an effective emergency response by including four basic principles that my economic advisers and I just discussed this morning," Obama said at a Friday September 19 news conference.

Obama has proposed a "Homeowner and Financial Support Act" that he said would provide capital to the financial system and "get serious" about helping people restructure their mortgages to help them stay in their homes.

Later on September 22, Obama gave a speech in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in which he laid out a basic, six-point plan for overseeing Wall Street that included cracking down on market manipulation and expanded oversight of businesses that borrow money from the government.

McCain's own campaign has rolled out a response to the crisis similar in its level of detail to Obama's. On Tuesday, September 16, McCain senior adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin said, "I don't think it's at this moment imperative to write down exactly what the plan has to be." Asked when the time for a specific proposal would come, Holtz-Eakin responded: "I think the moment when we write down a specific plan is the moment we send legislation from a McCain administration to Congress."

On Friday, September 19, also at a speech in Green Bay, McCain outlined plans that include a trust to help companies avoid bankruptcy and Wall Street reforms that he said would prevent financial firms from concealing poor business practices.

In a conference call less than two hours after McCain's September 22 statement, his top advisers said it was premature to say whether McCain supports a congressional bailout planbecause the details of that plan have not been finalized.

Verdict: Misleading. Obama has voiced specific ideas about the bailout plan and the level of detail he has proposed is not dramatically different than McCain.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Fact Check • John McCain
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