[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/10/art.obamamccain.ap.jpg caption=" Obama criticized McCain's new mortgage relief plan Thursday."]GARY, Indiana (CNN) - Barack Obama had strong words for Republican John McCain's economic speech Thursday, saying the Arizona senator's plan to assist homeowners doesn't include "any real answers" to the housing crisis.
Speaking to an audience in Gary, Indiana, Obama said, "I'm glad he finally offered a plan. Better late than never."
"Don't expect it to actually help struggling families," he continued. "Because Senator McCain's solution to the housing crisis seems like a lot like George Bush's solution to the housing crisis, which is to sit by and hope it passes by while families are facing foreclosure and watching their home values decline."
McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds was quick to respond.
"Unlike Senator Obama, John McCain doesn't believe that writing checks with other people's money is the solution to every problem," Bounds said. "He has produced thoughtful, near-term solutions that provide a bridge to a stronger economy that replaces workers' fears of losing a job with a pathway to opportunity and prosperity for their families."
Later while taking questions from the audience, Obama was asked if he would withdraw any remaining U.S. troops from countries other than Iraq in order to spend the money in better ways.
Obama used this question to further attack McCain, this time for saying he would be willing to keep a U.S. presence in Iraq for a 100 years as long as forces weren't being killed. Obama has said he would not put any permanent bases in Iraq.
Obama said of McCain mockingly, "When I criticized him he said, 'Wait, wait, wait. That's not fair. Don't criticize me. I didn't say I wanted war for 100 years. I said if US troops weren't being injured or killed we could have them there for 100 years, just like in Korea.'"
"Understand, that would cost us a trillion dollars or more," Obama continued. "That means investments that we are not making here in the United States. And so he doesn't even take into account the costs that are involved as well as the message that is sent around the Middle East if we have permanent bases there."
Earlier in his speech, Obama touched on President Bush's comments that he plans to halt current troop pullouts.
"This war should be coming to an end. But President Bush announced today that he was going to put a pause on the withdrawal."
"It's estimated that we will have at least 140,000 troops there until the end of the year. In other words, there is no end in sight under the Bush policy. If that isn't enough for you to want change, I don't know what is."