October 16th, 2008
12:05 PM ET
5 years ago

Fact Check: Has McCain offered no different economic plans from Bush?

Does McCain have any economic plans that are different than Bush’s?
Does McCain have any economic plans that are different than Bush’s?

The Statement

At a presidential debate Wednesday, Oct. 15 at Hofstra University Sen. Barack Obama criticized Republican opponent Sen. John McCain's stance on the economy. "Because in three debates and over 20 months, John McCain hasn't explained a single thing that he would do differently from George Bush when it comes to the most important economic issues we face today. Not one," Obama said.

Get the facts!


The Facts

During the course of the campaign, both McCain and Obama have talked about the economy particularly in the wake of last month's financial-sector meltdown that has seen the stock market plummet and the government take over lending institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and offer $97 billion to bail out lender AIG, which sits on the brink of collapse. Congress passed a sweeping economic bailout package that allows the Treasury secretary to buy up to $700 billion in troubled assets in an effort to kick-start lending.

In his response to the first question of the Oct. 15 debate, McCain repeated his proposal to use $300 billion from a bailout plan passed by Congress to purchase the leases on troubled home loans. He criticized Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, a Bush appointee, for not making homeowners a bigger part of the original bailout plan.

He went on to propose an across-the-board spending freeze for the federal government and cutting the federal business tax. The day before the debate, McCain unveiled what he calls his "Pension and Family Security Plan," which, among other things, would lower taxes for seniors tapping their retirement accounts, reduce capital-gains taxes for the next two years and eliminate taxes on unemployment benefits.

A day after the Oct. 15 debate, the Obama campaign pointed to a statement made by Sen. Lindsey Graham, a McCain supporter, during a televised interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulous in June in which his response to a question asking whether McCain supports "an extension, or maybe even enhancement of the Bush policies" with the words, "Yeah. Absolutely." They also cited a July CNN interview in which South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, a McCain supporter, said he was momentarily "drawing a blank" on differences between Bush and McCain's economic policies before mentioning differences over the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Verdict:

False. McCain has repeatedly mentioned new economic ideas in recent weeks. The interviews with McCain supporters that Obama campaign cites to back up its assertion are outdated.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Fact Check • John McCain
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Michelle

    Maybe the confusion came from all the changes McCain has made throughout his campaigning.

    October 28, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |

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