Candidates focus campaign on economy

October 10, 2008 10:17:36 PM PDT
The crisis in the economy dominated the speeches of both major presidential candidates. They called it the economic crisis of a lifetime.

John McCain came up with an idea that is getting a very warm reception from seniors. Seniors are a very reliable voting block, and they are concerned about their retirement accounts.

When the stock market opened this morning, the dive in the Dow was breath taking. It went down nearly 700 points in less than 10 minutes.

Two hours later in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, John McCain made a pitch to change the rules on retirement accounts.

"Current rules mandate that investors must begin to sell off their IRAs and 401ks when they reach age 70 and a half to spare investors from being forced to sell their stocks, at just the time when the market is hurting the most. Those rules should be suspended," said Presidential nominee (R) Sen. John McCain.

At a senior center in San Leandro, the lunch time crowd told me they don't like having to sell into a down market.

"This is my extra money for all the things that social security doesn't pay for," said Colleen Nelson.

Nelson says those extras have turned out to be necessities -- dentist bills, a hearing aid, having to sell when the market is down is painful and worse because she's wants to save that money.

"What happens to it do I put it under the bed or dig a hole in the yard I doesn't make sense," said Nelson.

Eighty-two-year-old George Ellard says the rules need to be changed.

"We've saved all our lives and we have to try and make the most of it," said Ellard.

"You should have the privilege of selling when you're ready to sell and not be pushed into it," said Warren Higgins of San Leandro.

Everyone of the people that we talked to said McCain's onto something.

"And I'd rather keep my money in there while it's still low, so it's in there when it gets high," said Joanne Silver from the Bancroft Senior Center.

Silver says she's hasn't decided yet who will get her vote.

"Does it make you feel disposed more towards john McCain to hear him propose that," asked ABC7's Mark Matthews.

"Well it sure puts a plus over there," said Silver.

But at his rally in Wisconsin, McCain spent much more of his time going after Barack Obama.

"My opponent was silent on the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. On health care, Barack Obama has been misleading on two fronts, he promised to raise payroll taxes," said Sen. McCain.

And the latest McCain's TV ads are also going negative. On Friday, Barack Obama advocated fixed rate loans to small businesses, and responded to McCain.

"Senator McCain's campaign actually said and I quote: 'if we keep talking about the economy we're going to lose,' so in the last couple of days we've seen a barrage of nasty insinuations and attacks," said presidential nominee (D) Sen. Barack Obama.

At the senior center in San Leandro, they'd like to hear more ideas from both candidates less stone throwing.

"Because they're still in a glass house," said Silver.

Going negative can be effective in hurting your opponent, but it also has a tendency to bring down your own numbers.


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