September 16th, 2008
08:05 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain still backing away from 'strong fundamentals' statement

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain appeared on CNN's American Morning Tuesday."](CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain continued to back away from his assertion that the "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" during a CNN interview Tuesday.

Watch McCain on American Morning

On Monday, after taking heat from Sen. Barack Obama's campaign for his earlier statement, McCain adjusted his language to say the American worker was the strength of the economy.

Watch: McCain's economy comment hammered

On Tuesday, McCain said the U.S. economy will rebound with the help of the American worker, which he called "the fundamental strength" of the U.S. economy.

The problems with the American economy are the result of rampant government spending and poor government checks on corporations, McCain said.

"I'll restrain spending. That's the reason our economy is in trouble today," McCain said.

McCain also said the U.S. is "the victim of greed, excess and corruption on Wall Street," and the senator said he foresaw the crises with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago.

"The Fannie and Freddie thing was a very serious problem and we had to work on it," McCain recalled saying then.

The regulatory agencies charged with monitoring Wall Street, which he called outdated, have been "asleep at the switch the last few years." Those agencies should evolve to the global economy, he said.

"We have to fix this alphabet soup of regulatory agencies that's left over from the 1930s," he said.

Asked if Obama's economic plan did more for the middle class than his own, McCain flatly said no. He also said one of the greatest hindrances to the middle class is its inability to get "affordable and available" health care.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. The Voice of Common Sense (Independent Voter - Charlotte, NC)

    How can the American worker be the strength of the economy, McSame, while that worker doesn't even have a job that allows them to work!!!???!!! I can't believe that so-called "educated" men and women say such nonsense!!! For McSame, maybe it has to do with him being rich and the American worker being out-of-work and poor? Out of Touch? Hmmm...I think so....

    Baldwin/Castle 08!!!

    September 16, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    I think Sen McCain wasn't thnking. If my wife had his wife money I could say that also. Go Obama/Biden

    September 16, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. allen

    Mccain is a dishonorable coward. He is too timid to stand up to the money, too afraid to stand up to his rich wife, and too cowardly to debate Obama. Mccain is a looser and if you support him so are you.

    September 16, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. Sarah

    "Cut spending"?

    This from a campaign which has been beating the drums of war against Iran and Russia almost from the get-go?! Give me a break!

    September 16, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. banderson

    Senator McCain knows that he got caught making a statement similar to what his economic advisor Phil Graham stated a couple of months ago that the economy is sound. I would caution the democrats to be careful because this guy is obviously adept at changing his tune without pause. I think it is called flip-flopping.

    September 16, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. alvino

    Did anyone explain to John that deregulation may lead to some major problems? If we are to believe that the McCain/Palin "little engine of change" can be effective when the leader is a "big oil dipstick," then we deserve what we get.

    September 16, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. Pam - Long Beach, CA

    ...and your pal Phil Gramm and his lobbyist pals are responsible for the lack of oversight.

    September 16, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. LB, VA

    Sentor McCain are you so out of your state of mind that you can not recall the lipstick on a pig comment that you called Senator Clinton healthcare reform. Truth be told, if Gov. Pailin called herself a pitbull let her defend herself. I am not buying your poor sexist comment since you have a way of insulting women too and turn it around and acuse someone else. When do you get off? You think like Bush and even have the same comments that he have said about economy. I was a Clinton supporter and I am not buying this Pailin person that all she has tell are lies for taking credits of things she has not done. If you call Gov. Pailin a reformer then we need to call all of our lawyers reformers too.

    September 16, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. fixthebroken

    The easiest things to say to try to win an election are:

    1. I will cut all taxes across the board
    2. I will reduce wasteful government spending

    Republicans say this all of the time. It is good to the ears. They get elected because people want to believe it.

    But, guess what happens - taxes rise and spending rise anyway.

    It is a great election ploy. At least Obama is being honest with the American people - he knows some taxes will have to be raised and he is going to try to cut spending where he can.

    September 16, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. Tom

    John Mcain I think you are not going to on write way please just stop and think towice other wayice usa ti going to more and more problem please give chanice for other people

    September 16, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. Brian MacDougall

    Remember when Obama was excoriated for saying that McCain had "lost his bearings"? That was when McCain still had a shred of dignity.

    Well, I think McCain has lost his bearings AND his driveshaft. The wheels are coming off, Johnny boy!

    September 16, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. i am not dumb...nor a whiner

    American workers are so strong ! that's the reason why we should tax them more...and cut taxes for the rich...

    I mean obviously, the rich are the weak ones...

    John McCain we beleive you....NOT !

    September 16, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. La Raza

    These times are too important to entrust the country in the hands of a McCain/Pain ticket. He is senile and she is clueless.

    September 16, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. lil jj

    I think McCain said the economy is sound because he had no other choice but to say that. What do you expect him tosay? The economy is in terrible condition and this happened during the time my party controlled Washington. McCainis trying to win the Presidency. He is going to say what ever it takes.

    September 16, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. Mike

    Senator John McCain knows nothing about the "word" or meaning of "economy".., let alone the United States "economy". Which he has freely admitted. When did "Alzheimer's disease" set in ? Mike, Montana

    September 16, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  16. Dylan

    WHAT on earth is he talking about? Govt. spending is the reason why there is a banking crisis the worst since the Great Depression, all-time record high gas prices, and record debt to foreign nations???

    Get a clue guy.

    September 16, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  17. helen557

    Based on McCain's recent record, everything he says should be considered lie until proven otherwise.

    Enough is Enough, Senator.

    September 16, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. inga

    Fact is – McCain said the same thing at least 3 times since January:

    "I still believe our fundamental underpinnings of our economy are strong."
    -Sen. John McCain (1/23/08)

    "I still believe the fundamentals of our economy are strong."
    -Sen. John McCain (8/20/08)

    "Our economy, I believe, still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong…"
    -Sen. John McCain (9/15/08)

    We Won't Get Fooled Again!

    September 16, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. J. Sully, New York


    September 16, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. no trickle down...

    Yerh, McCain also still stated in this interview that Palin opposed the bridge to nowhere, in answer (strangely) to the question about earmarks... and the interviewer (as always) let the LIE slide!

    When will the McCain camp be held accountable for their LIES in this campaign? I can't imagine what their administration would work like!!!


    September 16, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. Greg PA

    He sounds like Mrs. Obama. I said this, what I ment was this. Crap politics all arrond. I belive he ment what he said the first time. I also belive She ment what she said the first time. Spending is out of control in this country. I don't think anyone argues that. But you can't cut spending without leaving someone out in the cold.

    September 16, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. Every ones to blame

    Every one's to blam for this economic mess right now, let's not forget, the Democract's controlled congress for the last 4 years. I don't think a new goverment figure head is really going to promote that much change regardless of who gets elected.

    September 16, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. Mary

    Let's look at this

    Who pushed to get banks deregulized uh the republicans
    Where is the Senator you pushed through deregulization uh he is now John McCains chief economic stratagist
    Who helped back deregulization uh John McCain
    Who really thinks that lobbyist are going to reform Washington

    Duh John Mc Cain

    Are you people so concerned with being the best and always being right that you would watch the rest of the country go down in flames for your pride? After all do you really think that after this election McCain is going to support you after you supported him. On top of that he said he was only going to run for 1 term and then leave. This needs a long term president not just one going for a visit.

    September 16, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Barbara - NC

    Yep – it's a duplicate – it keeps getting CENSORED out – this guy is as bad as Sinderbrand about censoring AM\ERICANS

    What ever happened to the McCain that said "I'll veto every beer .."

    What ever happened to the McCain that said "I'll veto every earmark .."

    Now he says "I'll veto the 1st earmark and make them known .."

    Only the 1st one John? Which ones will you let go thru? Any for the 600,000 residents of Alaska? How about the ones for the 300 million people that live in our decaying society? No? OOPS.

    But then, "We'll never have to go to war for oil AGAIN ......."

    Take our country back for US – Obama/Biden '08

    September 16, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. applecrispbetty

    Make up your mind, John. Hard to know what you believe on any given day.

    September 16, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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