ABC'S David Kerley, Andy Fies, and Sunlen Miller Report: In Daytona, Florida, Barack Obama made it clear he believes he has a winning argument on the economy and continued to hammer John McCain's positions.
At the end of a week of Wall Street bailouts and government negotiations to take over hundreds of billions in bad loans, Obama contends McCain is a newcomer to government regulation of Wall Street.
Speaking before a crowd of 2,500 at an event focused on women’s issues – Obama called McCain out for once suggesting deregulation of the health care industry like the banking industry.
Obama used McCain’s words – and the financial crisis against him – reading a quote from McCain which was published in "Contingencies" magazine last year.
"Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation, McCain said in the magazine in their September/.October 2007 issue.
Today, Obama read back the quote to the crowd and in astonishment said, “So let me get this straight – he wants to run health care like they’ve been running Wall Street. Well, Senator, I know some folks on Main Street who aren’t going to think that’s such a good idea.”
Obama also brought up the back and forth that’s been going on for some time over lobbying –and which presidential candidate would truly stand up to the special interests, mocking McCain for suggesting that lobbyists “wont even get past the front gate” in a McCain White house.
“My question is – who is going to stop them? Those seven lobbyists that are running his campaign? His campaign manager? His campaign chairman? The economic advisor, who got a $40 million golden parachute when she was fired as a CEO? Or maybe the 26 advisors and fundraisers who lobbied for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? I mean, give me a break.”
Senator Obama disputed his association with former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines which the McCain campaign tried to connect him with this week –laughing that it took a letter and an Obama campaign statement from Raines to clear up the misconception of their connection.
“My opponent attacked me for being associated with a Fannie Mae guy who I met once and talked to for maybe 5 minutes – he did a TV ad saying this guy was my advisor. The guy actually had to send out a letter saying, ‘uh, that’s not true. I actually don’t really talk to the guy’.”
Senator Obama told voters in Florida- and specifically women voters - that they can make the difference in this election. Obama told the crowd – many older African Americans - that John McCain is not committed to preserving social security benefits for seniors.
“I know Senator McCain is talking about a “casino culture” on Wall Street – but the fact is, he’s the one who wants to gamble with your life savings,” Obama warned the crowd,
McCain’s campaign was quick to issue a response, calling Obama's statement a scare tactic, “John McCain is one-hundred percent committed to preserving social security benefits for seniors, and Barack Obama knows it – this is a desperate attempt to gain political advantage using scare tactics and deceit. Barack Obama has supported alternative private accounts himself which makes these reckless attacks a perfect demonstration of his willingness to ignore facts in favor of his own self-promotion,” McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement.
Both campaigns have accused the other of "saying anything and do anything" to win this election.