(CNN) – John McCain said Monday at a New Mexico campaign event that the House’s delay in passing the financial bailout bill last week was to blame for the market’s steep drop – and seemed to blame opponent Barack Obama for that delay.
"Even after [Obama] refused to lift a finger to prevent this crisis, when the crisis hit, he was missing in action,” said McCain, who announced two weeks ago that he was suspending his presidential campaign to support continuing efforts to address the crisis.
“He didn't start making calls to round up votes until after the rescue bill failed in the House and the markets crashed. We continue to see the price of delay today as the markets continue to fall. Today the Dow has fallen below 10,000. And yet, members of his own party said they felt no pressure to vote for the bill."
An initial compromise package, which was backed by Democratic leadership, the White House and Senate Republicans, was scuttled after objections from the House GOP over some of the measure’s provisions.
In the wake of the defeat of the measure, both Obama and McCain called members of Congress to urge support for a revised package, which passed late last week.
Obama’s campaign blasted McCain’s comments: “On a day when the markets are plunging and the credit crisis is putting millions of jobs at risk, the one truly angry candidate in this race kept up his strategy of ‘turning the page’ on the economy by unleashing another frustrated tirade against Barack Obama,” said Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor.
McCain also attacked Obama Monday over the subprime mortgage mess, accusing the Illinois senator of being “silent on the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac” adding that “his Democratic allies in Congress opposed every effort to rein them in.”
“As recently as September of last year he said that subprime loans had been, quote, ‘a good idea.’ Well, Senator Obama, that ‘good idea’ has now plunged this country into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. To hear him talk now, you’d think he’d always opposed the dangerous practices at these institutions. But there is absolutely nothing in his record to suggest he did.”
The Obama campaign said that McCain had taken the Democratic nominee’s quote out of context, and released a transcript of those remarks, which began with a reference to the subprime mortgage fiasco today.” In his September 2007 speech, Obama said that “subprime lending started off as a good idea – helping Americans buy homes who couldn't previously afford to…
“But as certain lenders and brokers began to see how much money could be made, they began to lower their standards. … Most everyone knew that some of these deals were just too good to be true, but all that money flowing in made it tempting to look the other way and ignore the unscrupulous practice of some bad actors.”
Both campaigns have accused their opponents of ignoring warning signs about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because of ties between campaign advisers and the troubled mortgage giants.