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The regulatory agencies charged with monitoring Wall Street, which he called outdated, have been "asleep at the switch the last few years."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

    John tell us again that the government needs to get out of the way. Also tell us about your afvisers who deregulated wall street. Reformer? God yes. You just hide the adviser.

    September 16, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  2. Joe Green

    Restrain spending? What like Bush did? Or Sarah Palin, who left her city $22 million in debt and took every earmark she could for Alaska (the most $$ per capita of ANY State) INCLUDING THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE?

    I guess if you just SAY you are going to change things, that is more important than your actual DEEDS.


    September 16, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. CRAZY



    September 16, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Senator McCain, the workers in America are the best in the world, it is just the management team that is the most incompetent group in the world. For instance, one of your campaign’s most influential people is Carly Fiorina who took a healthy company such as HP and totally decimated it. During her tenure, HP lost half of its value and incurred heavy job losses. She also said, “There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore.” She believes in sending jobs overseas to enhance a corporation’s bottom line.

    September 16, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  5. Moderate Republican for Obama

    I must be psychologically disturbed and fundamentally seeing things when I went to fill my gas tank up (mid-size sedan) at $4.19 a gallon for regular. I must also be fundamentally wrong when I saw that my stock investment fell a few hundred dollars! I must also be out of my mind when the money I used to fill my gas tank was money I wanted to use to by a few groceries on my way home from work.

    September 16, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. Celeste

    Senator McCain: I have completely lost respect for you as a politician but more so as a person. The way you have allowed others to manipulate your campaign and do to Senator Obama what those same people you have hired from George Bush's lot have done to you in the past. It is really shameful and downright dishonorable. It's really, really sad, I almost feel sorry for you – that you would do anything to be elected. May God have mercy on you all.

    September 16, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. Tired of W, OH

    If anyone believes that McCain was talking about the American worker when he said the economy's fundamentals are strong, they're lying to themselves. The American worker is only strong if they have WORK. McCain will keep encouraging corporations to out-source and put more workers out of work, like he did here in Ohio with his DHL deal.

    Someone needs to put training wheels on the straight-talk express. It's not designed to do all this back-pedaling.


    September 16, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. Scott NYC Independent

    Either he thinks we are stupid or he is ignorant of the economy and its current crisis. Anyone knows from eco 101 that when discussing economic fundamentals one is addressing the basic foundations of economic theory, not people. Things like M1, M2 and M3, loan rate, fed rates and the effects. Most of the country may not know those details but guess what – we all know that people are not fundamentals. So either we're stupid and he's talking down to us or he's ignorant and trying to deceive us into thinking he is knowledgeable.

    September 16, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. Bob Stephens

    Another Senior Moment from the Double Talk Express.....

    September 16, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. welches, oregon

    What a flip-flopper. What a liar. No Way No How No McCain.

    September 16, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. ran

    The solution to the economy problems and to our other problems is simple: Vote for Obama/Biden and other Democrats. The work will not be easy; but would you rather have a proven community organizer working for and with you or a pseudo-CEO type?(i.e. Fannie-maie/mack/Enron/Halliburton etc.)

    My pick is easy and hopefully yours will be too. People we can not get this wrong this time and we can not let the courts decide for us ever again.

    September 16, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. ChrisP

    If he "doesn't get it" ... he just doesn't ... there's not enough backing up!!! It's our economy ... he's from the old school – we need a 21st century president ... just look at how professionally and within budget Obama's campaign was run ... and he also "changed" campaign financing just by giving his campaign truly back to the people!!!

    4 more years? Sorry, not this time!!

    Obama/Biden '08/12

    September 16, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  13. America the Stupid

    Either your completely stupid or a complete racist to sit there and back a complete fool like McSame. Which one are you?

    September 16, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. Typical White Person

    Obama wants a panic on Wall Street because he thinks it will help him win the election. Just like he wants American soldiers to keep being killed in Iraq because he thinks it will help him win the election.

    Obama pressured the Iraqis to NOT negotiate a pullout of forces from Iraq until after the election. That is a fact. Google it for independent confirmation 'cause you ain't likely to see it here.

    September 16, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. RobinLC

    John McCain are you crazy, stupid, or lying? My choice is all of the above but then you would have choice stripped away by the supreme court wouldn't you?

    September 16, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. si mwen te konen tou jou deye

    IS anyone else watching or is it just me. i mean this is no smear this is really ignorance by a potential candidate. what does he mean the fundemental of the american worker is strong. two words senator GLOBAL ECONOMY. the fundamental of the american worker can't be strong when china, bangladesh and dozens of other country are providing the same job we are doing over here for a quater of what we are paying over here. things will get worst if we put his man in the white house. people on wall street and people like senator mcprofit only care about themself and they'll do anything to keep the profit coming. we the so call fundamentally strong workers of this economy will keep on losing job while these big politician and greedy execs tripple up their profit by making good over see and selling them here. Nike cost 10 cents to make and it sold here for $100 on average. this is what we the fundamentally strong american workers are up against.

    September 16, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. drone

    McCain, I hate you.... You are the lowest of the low.. Why isnt anyone talking about those provacative photos floating around the inernet of Palin.. Thas probly why her 17 year old daughter has a baby.. THE APPLE DOESN'T FALL FAR FROM THE TREE.. If Palin ends up in the white house, we are DOOMED.

    September 16, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. DebM, Allentown, PA

    Senator McCain, it's too late. You let the cat out of the bag yesterday with your comments. And backtracking to say that you really meant American workers and American ingenuity are strong doesn't work for those of us who realize that you misspoke.

    Combine this with the fact that Phil Gramm – he of the "nation of whiners" and "mental recessions" – is still your chief economic advisor and may be your Secretary of the Treasury should cause all of us who care about our economic survival to run screaming away from your ticket.

    Vote smart!!

    September 16, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  19. Educate yourselves

    Go read a book people! Did anybody listen to Joe Biden on the Today Show? He is absolutely correct. It was the Republicans that allowed the de-regulation of Wall Street that caused this mess! Since John McCain agrees with GWB 90% of the time, it is fair to say that he would continue the same failed economic policies. Less government does not work! When we give these big companies tax breaks they pocket the money. Even John McCain is saying that now he is for stricter regulation when he called himself a "de-regulator" a couple of months ago.

    PS Did anybody notice that oil is the lowest its been in months but gas prices are soaring? Here's a clue for all the "drill baby drill" sheep. Oil does not equal gas!!!!

    September 16, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. Gerry

    McCain has not been and is not a friend of workers. He has voted for corporate welfare and against raising the mininmum wage repeatedly. Yet, he invokes the worker to cover a gaffe about the economy. Clearly, McCain has little understanding of the economy. We know he was reading material prepared for him by Bush aides because he made the same statement Bush had used many times before and just a few days earlier. We know he has little understanding of what he was discussing because he repeatedly emphasized the wrong words in making his points. When he made emphatic gestures, he spoke the wrong word. We don't make such mistakes when we speak with knowledge and conviction. McCain has said that he knows little about the economy; and it is showing.

    September 16, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  21. sandy

    I guess the straight talk express is flat out of tyres at this point!

    September 16, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. McCain for Pres.

    While there are a lot of people hurting in our country, there are still a lot of people making a lot of money. If the FUNDAMENTALS OF OUR ECONOMY WERE NOT STRONG THIS WOULDN"T BE THE CASE.

    September 16, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. Scott NYC Independent

    These are the first 5 areas of economic fundamentals and none of them sound like poeple to me.

    What do we mean by wealth; and what determines economic growth?
    Factors affecting performance in the industrial economies.
    Factors affecting economic and social development elsewhere.
    Employment, engagement and exclusion.
    Funding the state: sources of income, drivers of expenditure.

    September 16, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. PT

    He want's an Economic Commission...LOL

    September 16, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. Dem for unity

    MCcain is so out of touch. At this point he is a joke. Mr. The Economy fundementals Are Strong(TEFAS). Lies and more lies. Thank you Mr. Hero. Thank you but no Thank you. No Way. No How. No MCcain.

    September 16, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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