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The regulatory agencies charged with monitoring Wall Street, which he called outdated, have been "asleep at the switch the last few years."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. Foreign observer

    Who earns more than 250 000 a year can vote McCain. The others will have a better deal with Obama.

    September 16, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  2. John

    He is not backing away from his comment. His meaning was always the same! CNN has the McLame syndrome. They can't see the truth when it is right in front of them. They prefer to offer spin. Shame on you!

    September 16, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  3. J

    More back peddling from the double talk express.

    September 16, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  4. D&D

    It's a little bit too late to get away from that will have to leave with that McCain!

    September 16, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  5. Phil, Ashburn, VA

    Double talk express. Voted for deregulation all these years and now wants more. This guy will run the country to the ground. People, please wake up and vote on issues. For once.

    September 16, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  6. Obama '08

    After hearing Senator McCain's, "the economy is strong" remarks yesterday, it fired me up to donate more money to Senator Obama's campaign. I do not understand why the polls are still tied. McCain and Palin are deceiving this nation, and I hope this ad will get the message out there.

    September 16, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  7. John Is An Idiot

    The economy is in trouble because of de-regulation. A practice the Republicans love.

    John is backing away from his statement because the statement was stupid. I'd back away from it, too. It was a stupid statement.

    The fundamentals are NOT STRONG. Once again, John was wrong.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 16, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  8. Trent

    Actually...restrain spending??? Really??? Really John McCain. BUT YOU VOTED FOR A WAR THAT WE SHOULDNT HAVE WAGED. I dont care about your judgement how to get us out. YOU VOTED TO GET US IN!! Talk about wasteful spending!!

    September 16, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  9. Mr. Aiken

    It doesn't matter he was a POW It doesn't matter he was a POW It doesn't matter he was a POW It doesn't matter he was a POW. He to rich to care in the first place.

    September 16, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  10. Chris

    I really wonder how the American Worker is going to help the economy if they don't have a JOB? The GOP is so out of touch with this trickle down theory on the economy. If you have a substantial amount of cash one would only think you will have an Accountant that will find the loop holes in the tax code so that, you keep most of that money. Therefore why is everyone thinking that Obama plans to tax folks making over 250K is not a break for the little folks? It's stupid McCain will just let everything be in a status quo and we see what that is causing. He is not going to tax any of the big business and for some crazy reason he is on this small business trip? Look I work for a large coporation not a little company so, if some one is going to give my company an incentive to help me keep my job then I think I will go with their plan. Like I said I don't work for a small company I work for a large one that has just merged and is screwing us around with layoffs. While the CEO's and the Board members made off like a fat cat with their buyouts!!! So you tell me how is McCain plan going to help me?

    September 16, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  11. Bud

    McCain continues backtracking and flip-flopping on EVERYTHING he says and does. Obama is jerking him around like a puppet on a string. If you believe something and state it publicly, McCain, at least have the spine to stand behind it! We're not buying the explanation that you were actually referring to the American worker. More lies and spin from McCain!

    September 16, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  12. Maureen

    If even Colin Powell, who was not only the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff under George Bush Sr, but the Secretary of State under George W. Bush, can't "find a reason" to vote for McCain, why should I? Colin Powell left the Bush administration as Sec. State when he was no longer in agreement with the policies. SO, if he's smart enough to know when the GOP was getting too gung-ho and heading for disaster, then I trust the judgement of this wise man and will wait to see what he has to say on Saturday night. I know that he will allow neither race nor partisanship to influence his decision.

    September 16, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  13. Barbara - NC

    Another shady person with no transparency whatsoever – McCain now seeks to take those traits right into our White House. After Bush/Cheney, I say NO NO NO NO NO.

    We need honesty, integrity, HONOR, and the Palin/McCain ticket just doesn't cut it. They're selling their soul to the devil for this election.

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

    September 16, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  14. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    OLD and CLUELESS..... and how many houses???

    September 16, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  15. ever

    double talk my friend! double talk!

    September 16, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  16. Concerned Republican

    Hey retard, great american workers without jobs equals weak fundamentals. Do you even know what the economy is built on? What a moron, no wonder I voted for Bush in 2000.

    September 16, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  17. Gary

    Gee... I wonder why he would back away from something like that.

    September 16, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  18. Independent Dave, Iowa

    Backpedaling is a waste of time and resources.

    Poor economic decision.

    September 16, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  19. Bob from Richmond VA

    When is McCain going to stop regurgitating RNC talking points and show us he can think for himself? Oh yeah, the economy is not a strong point for Johnny.

    September 16, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  20. Phil in KC

    For an old man, he back-pedals pretty good.
    Personally, I don't think it's enough, though.

    September 16, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  21. Go Sarah!

    Bloomberg said YESTERDAY the fundamentals of the economy are strong. Is Bloomberg wrong? Don't think so. The do-NOTHING democratic controlled Congress holds the purse-strings to the American Economy. McCain warned of Fannie and Freddie OVER A YEAR AGO. The dems did NOTHING! Oh, wait Pelosi and her 18% approval rating, blames everyone else but them. Let these Greedy, Corrupt banks fail! Let the stronger banks that didn't get into the subprime mess come in and take over and rebuild the banking industry!

    September 16, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  22. Kevin, TN

    God doesn't like ugly. Whether you believe in God or not, there's a reason the bottom is falling out now. It really is the economy.

    John's henchmen are talking on tv now, trying to cover up his huge gaffe that the "fundamentals of the economy are strong". I love it, they are so frightened that his mistake will come back to bite him. I hope it does because he is lying to the American people.

    Now the Rethugs will come out with another shiny metal object to distract Americans. What will it be today, lipstick, sexism? Let's wait and see.

    Don't buy it America, stay focussed.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 16, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  23. Abby

    McCain would send this country into the great depression 2…WE WILL NOT ALLOW THAT!!! OBAMA WILL WIN!!!

    September 16, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  24. TheOtherSide

    IF someone votes for this economic idiot, then American empire is dead. if fielding dressing a moose makes one qualified, then i can bite hyenas nose and therefore a more qualified.

    September 16, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  25. TyWebb

    "The fundamentals of troopergate ...errr...the economy are strong."

    September 16, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
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