by Kevin Flynn -Saturday September 20 2008 08:30:29 AM
The Democratic presidential candidate [Barack Obama] praised efforts by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to rescue endangered financial firms and keep credit markets solvent and said "even bolder and more decisive action" was necessary.
...Obama said the government must be given broad authority to stabilize the markets, but any rescue plan must also include new oversight and regulations of financial institutions while ensuring public money is replaced as quickly as possible with private assets.
...As he talked to reporters he was flanked by Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, former treasury secretaries under President Bill Clinton. Obama also met with former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and Laura Tyson, former chairwoman of Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers.
Obama has been scathing in his criticism of his rival's response to the crisis, including McCain's statement earlier in the week that the fundamentals of the economy were strong and his call for a commission to investigate the financial collapse.
...Obama told a cheering crowd in Florida, a key battleground in the November election campaign, that McCain was "in a panic" as he tried to deal with the growing economic crisis.
"At this point he seems to be willing to say anything or do anything," he said.
From the Miamia Herald:
Campaigning Friday in Miami, Democrat Barack Obama broadly endorsed the government's plan to rescue Wall Street and promised middle-class tax cuts to revive Main Street.
...Obama, who arrived in hard-hit Florida three days after McCain left the state, ridiculed his rival for casting blame after serving for decades longer in Washington.
...He added: ``This isn't a time for fear or panic. It's a time for resolve, and it's a time for leadership.''
...Focusing for the first time in Florida on Social Security, dubbed the ''third rail'' of state politics because it's such a sensitive issue for retirees, Obama accused McCain of being willing to risk pensions in the stock market. McCain supported Bush's failed proposal in 2005 to shore up the troubled fund by investing some money in private accounts.
''When I am president, we are not going to gamble with Social Security'' Obama said, echoing a new ad running in Palm Beach County.
...Obama leaves Miami with a long-sought endorsement from Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and heads to rallies Saturday in Daytona Beach and Jacksonville.
Much of Obama's speech Friday focused on women, whom he described as bearing the brunt of economic hard times.
He touted his sponsorship of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, aimed at making it easier for women to sue employers for equal pay by giving them more time to file complaints.
McCain opposed the measure, named for an Alabama factory worker who took her claim of sex discrimination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
''I won't give up until women in this country are paid what they have earned and not a penny less,'' Obama said.
Obama's speech was preceded by a lineup of female elected officials who tried to make the case that the Illinois senator is on the right side of women's issues.
From the Washington Post:
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr drew several hundred partisan supporters to a Sterling park yesterday for an event targeting female voters in a region that has emerged as a battleground.
Biden (Del.) said he and presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) would, if elected, press for equal pay for women and health-care reform.
He also touched on the Wall Street meltdown, offering a two-pronged response to the financial crisis.
"Short-term need: to staunch the bleeding," Biden told the crowd at Claude Moore Park. For the long term, he said, "We have to have a major, major, major overhaul of how the financial system works."
...Yesterday, Biden was flanked by several women from his family as he repeatedly sought to tie the Republican ticket to the incumbent president.
"The Bush administration has dug us into a very deep hole," Biden said. "When the economy goes south, who are the first people that get hurt the most? It's women! We're going to change that!"
Biden said his own support of legislation to prevent domestic violence stood in contrast with McCain's record.
"John McCain didn't believe there was need for the Violence Against Women Act," Biden said, drawing boos from the crowd. "He voted against it. He said it was ineffective and ill-conceived. Ladies and gentleman, tell that to the 1.5 million women who found it necessary."
Biden also criticized McCain's support of a Bush administration effort to privatize Social Security. "Imagine if all the money that he wanted to put in the market were in the market today," Biden said. "Tens of thousands of elderly women would be in a worse situation than they are in today."