The politics behind McCain's proposal

September 24, 2008 7:24:18 PM PDT
Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain wants to call off Friday night's presidential debate. He says he is suspending his campaign to focus on solving the nation's financial crisis.

McCain says it is time for Republicans and Democrats to put politics aside and concentrate on getting the bailout passed. Ironically, his proposal has put presidential politics front and center.

Mccain told reporters the administration's bailout proposal cannot pass and the country is running out of time.

"I am calling on the president to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Sen. Obama and myself," said McCain.

However, Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama says he was the one who called McCain Wednesday morning with a proposal for joining forces.

"I proposed putting out the joint statement and he concurred with that," Obama told reporters.

Obama said he will do whatever is required to help, but that need not require postponing Friday night's debate.

"It's not necessary for us to think that we can only do one thing and suspend everything else," said Obama.

Obama has seen his poll numbers rise since the nation's attention has turned toward the economic crisis. An ABC/Washington Post poll on who is more trusted to handling the economy has Obama up 53 to 39 percent over McCain.

ABC7 political analyst Bruce Cain says clearly McCain needed to shift the momentum.

"I think it is a smart move. I think it's going to be up to the Obama people to make it clear that they were working on their own bipartisan statement and that they were -- they did this first," said Cain.

Professor Cain says there are also risks to getting involved in the negotiations over what is a very unpopular bailout. One of the most unpopular provisions is the administration's insistence that giving taxpayers a stake in the bailed out companies would hurt the recovery.

"This is trying to make the market as a whole to work by getting many institutions to participate in auction and other market-based processes. If you particularly stigmatize the individual institutions that participate you're going to guarantee no participation," said Bernanke.

However, billionaire investor Warren Buffet is getting preferred shares of stock for his $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs.

Concord Congressman George Miller told ABC7 that taxpayers should be getting the same kind of deal.

"It's being negotiated. I think, in fact, it will become part of that provision where taxpayers get protected not only on the cost of the assets, but also in taking equity preferred shares, warrants in the companies that seek federal assistance," said Miller.

Miller said he is confident they will be able to hammer out an agreement by this weekend.


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