by Kevin Flynn - Monday September 29 2008 08:14:54 AM
From the Associated Press:
Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain on Sunday gingerly embraced a newly negotiated congressional deal for a $700 billion bailout of the hobbled financial industry.
...Obama said he was inclined to back "because I think Main Street is now at stake."
..."Here are the facts: For two weeks I was on the phone everyday with (Treasury) Secretary (Henry) Paulson and the congressional leaders making sure that the principles that have been ultimately adopted were incorporated in the bill," Obama said in an interview on "Face the Nation" on CBS.
...The measure would allow the government to buy defaulted mortgages and other distressed housing-related assets, many of them held by Wall Street banks, in an effort to keep the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression from spreading throughout the entire economy.
Obama predicted quick passage of the measure, which he said contained important consumer-friendly provisions he had supported. "Today, thanks to the hard work of Democrats and Republicans, it looks like we have a rescue plan that includes these taxpayer protections," Obama said in remarks prepared for a Detroit rally. "And it looks like we will pass that plan very soon."
...The $634 billion measure passed the Senate on Saturday. It also includes $25 billion in taxpayer-subsidized loans for automakers.
Obama said in his television interview that he was inclined to support the bailout because it includes increased oversight, relief for homeowners facing foreclosure and limits on executive compensation for chief executives of firms that receive government help.
"None of those were in the president's provisions. They are identical to the things I called for the day that Secretary Paulson released his package," Obama said. "That I think is an indication of the degree to which when it comes to protecting taxpayers, I was pushing very hard and involved in shaping those provisions."
Congressional leaders continued to work through the weekend on the bailout package and hoped to have a vote on the measure Monday in the House, with a vote in the Senate coming later.
From the Wall Street Journal:
"When taxpayers are asked to take such an extraordinary step because of the irresponsibility of a relative few, it is not a cause for celebration," Sen. Obama said in a statement Sunday [in reponse to the revised bailout plan]. "But this step is necessary."
...On Sunday, Sen. Obama hammered on economic themes. "The truth is, through 90 minutes of debating, John McCain had a lot to say about me, but he had nothing to say about you," Sen. Obama told 35,000 people at a rally here. "He didn't even say the words 'middle class.' Not once did he talk about working families."
On Saturday, the Obama campaign launched a new ad that struck at Sen. McCain for not saying "middle class" during the debate.
...During the Detroit rally, where Sen. Obama and running mate Sen. Joseph Biden were joined by their wives, Sen. Obama said he laid out conditions for the bill when negotiations began. "I said it was unacceptable to expect the American people to hand this administration, of all administrations, a $700 billion check with no conditions and no oversight," he said. "And today...it looks like we have a rescue plan that includes these taxpayer protections."
From the Detroit Free Press:
When Michigan is the stop, presidential candidates turn to the economy, and Sen. Barack Obama went straight to work in Detroit on Sunday, railing against Wall Street and Washington for the current financial crisis.
Michigan has the nation's highest unemployment rate, at 8.9%; more than 300,000 manufacturing jobs have evaporated, and the mortgage foreclosure rate is among the highest in the nation.
"We meet here at a time of great uncertainty in Detroit and all across America," Obama said. "The era of greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street and in Washington has led us to a financial crisis as serious as any we have faced since the Great Depression.
"I know these are difficult days, and nowhere has it been more difficult than Michigan and Detroit. But here's what I also know: We can steer ourselves out of this crisis. Because that's who we are. Because that's what we've always done as Americans."
Travonne Young, 42, of Detroit hears hundreds of distressing stories a day from people who need help. As an employee of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a social services agency in Detroit, she said she believes Obama can help swing the economy back from the brink.
...The setting of Obama's rally Sunday -- the stretch of Woodward flanked by the Detroit Institute of Arts on one side and the opulent Detroit Public Library on the other -- was a reminder of more prosperous times in Detroit. And Obama said that memory can become a reality once again.
He said he'll cut taxes for people in the middle class and eliminate the capital gains tax on small businesses and start-up companies. He pounded on Republican rival John McCain for supporting deregulation.
"My opponent, John McCain, talks about getting tough on Wall Street now, but you can't make up for 26 years in 26 days," Obama told the crowd, estimated by Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans, a Democrat, at 30,000 people.
"He's been against the common-sense rules and regulations that could've stopped this problem."
..."It looks like we have a rescue plan that includes these taxpayer protections. And it looks like we will pass that plan very soon," Obama said. "But our job is far from over. Because now that we're fixing the mess on Wall Street, we need to move with the same sense of urgency to help families on Main Street."
...Obama said McCain simply didn't understand the problems facing ordinary Americans and demonstrated that at Friday night's debate.
"The truth is, through 90 minutes of debating, John McCain had a lot to say about me, but he had nothing to say about you. He didn't even say the words 'middle class.' Not once."
...At the rally, Denise Ilitch, daughter of Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch, introduced Obama, vice presidential nominee Joe Biden and their spouses, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, and gave all four Wings jerseys bearing their names.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Sen. Barack Obama on Sunday sharpened his attacks on rival Sen. John McCain over the crisis gripping the financial sector.
"Sen. McCain doesn't get it. He doesn't understand the storm that hit Wall Street hit Main Street long ago," Obama said before a large crowd outside the Detroit Public Library. "That's why his first response to the greatest financial meltdown in generations was a Katrina-like response. He sort of stood there."
...[Joe] Biden was with Obama in Detroit. He, too, bore in on McCain, saying that the Republican had only supported federal intervention in the markets when convenient.
"John didn't see the light," Biden said. "John saw the polls."
...On Sunday, Biden returned to his home state to begin preparing, bringing along Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to serve as Palin's stand-in.
Suggesting the importance to Obama of the upcoming debate, top-level campaign strategist David Axelrod flew to Delaware on Sunday evening with Biden and Granholm.