NASHVILLE, Tennessee (CNN) - Barack Obama said America is in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression as he began his second presidential debate with Sen. John McCain.
He blamed President Bush and McCain for the crisis, saying they had worked to "strip away regulation."
Neither candidate was willing to agree with moderator Tom Brokaw that the economy would necessarily get worse before it got better, with Obama insisting he was "confident about the American economy," but saying leadership from Washington was required, as was American cooperation with other countries.
McCain said what happened in the economy "depends on what we do."
McCain proposed having the government buy up and renegotiate bad home loans to stabilize the property market. He admitted the plan would be expensive but said it was necessary.
In response to a question from Brokaw, McCain floated the names of billionaire investor Warren Buffett - an Obama supporter - and Meg Whitman, the former eBay executive who is one of his economic advisors, as a possible Treasury Secretary.
Obama agreed that "Warren would be a pretty good choice," but declined to go into specifics about who he would nominate.