Obama, McCain campaigns blast each other over economy

Jake Turcotte

As financial fears escalate in the wake of continuing Wall Street chaos, both presidential campaigns are hitting the economy and each other hard.

Fanning out to the expected states (Ohio, Nevada, New Mexico, Florida, and Michigan), the respective campaigns are trying to communicate to the American people that they are the ones who can better reform Wall Street.

Meanwhile, campaign offices full of young staffers are watching the speeches and press releases, ready to jump on any fumble. Both camps have displayed aggressiveness in their rapid responses.


Back out on the road -- someone must have put something in Joe Biden's coffee. The guy is on fire.

The Democratic nominee has a new stump speech, and there's a lot of attack dog in it. Yesterday Biden blasted GOP charges that Obama isn't as supportive of US troops as McCain.

“I am sick and tired of this Republican garbage," he said. "I am sick and tired of being told we don’t care.”

Yeah, I'm angry

Today, in speaking about the financial crisis, Biden went after McCain for what he said was the Arizona senator's revolving positions on financial deregulation.

“If I sound angry, it’s because I am angry," Biden said. "I am sick and tired of this.”

“John has said to the folks on Wall Street, and again I’m quoting here – this is in the Wall Street Journal – I’m always for less regulation," Biden said. "Here now, John has said he’s going to crack down on the greed on Wall Street. The greed of American corporations."

“Lets take a look at John’s conversion here," he continued. "Something happened on the road to Damascus. John fell off his horse, but he got back on the same horse.”

Oh yeah?

The McCain campaign shot back an email this morning, responding to Biden's charges.

"If Barack Obama’s running mate wants to criticize distortions and misrepresentation, he should aim his accusations at Obama’s tax-talk versus his tax record – because Barack Obama has voted almost 100 times in just 3 years in support of higher taxes," said Ben Porritt, McCain spokesman. "No matter how fiery the sales job, Ohio voters prefer John McCain’s maverick record of reforming government and fighting for change."

Another volley

Campaigning in Elko, Nevada, Obama issued the sound bite of the day when responding to a McCain pledge to take on the "ol' boys network" in Washington.

“Now he tells us that he’s the one who will take on the ol' boy network,” Obama said .  "The ol’ boy network?  In the McCain campaign, that’s called a staff meeting."

Ad wars

When the candidates aren't talking at a campaign event, new political ads are doing the duty. Both campaigns released new commercials focused on the economy.

They are similar in that each features candidate talking directly to the camera about the credit crisis and the need for reform. But they are different in the length of the spots. McCain's is the standard 30 seconds while Obama takes more of a "director's cut" approach, issuing a rare two-minute commercial.

McCain's mixes it up a bit, mentioning his opponent:

My opponent's only solutions are talk and taxes. I'll reform Wall Street and fix Washington. I've taken on tougher guys than this before.

Obama leaves out mention of McCain, opting just to explain what he'll do to fix the economy:

End the "anything goes" culture on Wall Street with real regulation that protects your investments and pensions.

Negative campaigning

McCain goes negative and Obama does not -- a pattern? No. It's actually the opposite, according to a new study released today. The Wisconsin Advertising Project found that Obama went negative in 77 percent of his commercials last week while McCain's were only 56 percent negative.

The director of the study, Ken Goldstein, said "advertising reflects reality" and that reality appears to suggest that Obama needed to fight back.

"It suggests that the Sarah Palin pick and the newfound aggressiveness by MCain got into Obama's head a little bit," Goldstein says. "He was under great pressure to show some spine, be aggressive, fire back."

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