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Obama, McCain React to Wall Street’s Turmoil

Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama pushed their proposals to reform Wall Street Monday as the financial sector reeled from the demise of Lehman Brothers and the selling of Merrill Lynch. Political reporters discuss the latest campaign news.

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    For an update on the latest developments, we turn to Amy Walter, editor-in-chief of the Hotline, National Journal's political daily, and Susan Page, the Washington bureau chief for USA Today.

    Good to see both of you.

    Susan, first of all, how are the two campaigns, presidential campaigns, handling all this bad news from Wall Street?

  • SUSAN PAGE, USA Today:

    Well, they're both focusing on it. I got the first e-mail from Barack Obama's campaign at about 6:00 and one from John McCain…




    … a.m. — and one from John McCain's campaign about an hour later expressing concern, saying they empathize with the problems Americans were having, but with rather different approaches to addressing these.

    Much more attitude of government role from Barack Obama and what he said today. John McCain, in his initial statement, said he was glad there had been no federal bailout for Lehman Brothers, said that was the right thing to do.

    And while John McCain is stepping up his attention to this issue, he's not going as far as Barack Obama is going and talking about what the government would do to help solve it.


    So you really see a difference here in approach, Amy?

  • AMY WALTER, Editor-in-Chief, The Hotline:

    Well, and I think it's a difference in approach we've been talking about for a while, in terms of the kind of ways in with these two candidates are trying to talk about the idea of changing the bad economic news, right?

    Both of them are saying clearly this is not good. What is my administration going to do about this?

    The McCain campaign actually launched an ad — that was one of the first things that came into my e-mail box that piqued my interest, was an ad that went out almost immediately after the news of this came out, saying, you know, this is why you need mavericks like John McCain and Sarah Palin in Washington, because they're going to be able to reform, insisting you need reformers to reform.

    Now, what that means specifically we don't know yet. And same with Barack Obama, who's coming out and certainly trying to make the case that John McCain, because he has subscribed to the same policies as George Bush, isn't going to be able to take us out of this yet.

    What it means for average people, I don't think they've actually enunciated that yet.

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