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Democrats flail at John McCain's comment on economic fundamentals

As word circulated that John McCain -- even while acknowledging Wall Street's financial meltdown and the additional worries that has caused many Americans -- picked this morning to once again express his confidence in the "fundamentals" of the U.S. economy, the sense of Democrats getting ready to pounce was palpable.Democrat Rep. Rahm Emanuel

Predictable sarcasm and criticism came from Joe Biden, speaking in Michigan, and shortly thereafter from Barack Obama, appearing in Colorado.

But other segments of the Democratic message machine also went into overdrive to flog McCain. And as typical of what to expect for as long as they can breath life into the matter, we pass along a release from Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois (the ex-Bill Clinton aide, at right, who in the 2006 election helped catapult Democrats into the majority in the House).

The release noted that McCain's remark about the economic fundmentals "came one day after former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said America was in a 'once-in-a-century' financial crisis." With that set-up, Emanuel's offered this:

John McCain keeps proving just how out of touch he really is. Last week, he said he was 'divorced from the day-to-day challenges people have.' Today, he said 'the fundamentals of our economy are strong.' All the while, unemployment is up, costs are rising, incomes are declining, and Alan Greenspan says we're in a once-in-a-century financial crisis. Only George Bush and John McCain can say the economy is strong and keep a straight face."

Bush, by the way, weighed in today on the Wall Street tumult after providing no comment over the weekend. He stressed the positive, as The Times' Countdown to Crawford blog reports.

-- Don Frederick

Photo credit: Bloomberg News

Comments () | Archives (66)

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The savings and loans debacle, the sub-prime loan mess, and the current collapse of brokerage firms have their root in one thing - the attempt to mask investment risk. By allowing investment companies to mask the riskiness of their investments either by repackaging bad loans or relying on the backing of the government have only replaced short term risks and smaller downturns with big ones that come less frequently. It is time to remove the abstraction and let the riskiness of investments become naked for all to see without any significant assurance of the government bailing them out. Let each bad loan and investment fail and hurt those who made them directly. Forget all this layer of bureaucracy that tries to hide or push back the bad news. If you are looking for the ones to blame for setting us up for failure, just look at congress including Obama, Biden and McCain.

on economy /energy Obama/Biden

WHY would America REWARD complete Republican FAILURE ?

Why ? Why would we ?

Never mind your spin ! The GOP IS to blame for this god-damned mess. Deregulation in the financial sectors have led to this mess. As for the 'housing crisis' - see Bush speech 5 years ago about how deregulation has led to great gains in home ownership... Yes- and now home foreclosure. Great Job!

Even McCain and Palin are at odds... even while he says the fundamentals are strong, she says that they're all wrong and they're going to change everything about Wall Street...
he says, she says, opponents, partners or cover all bases?....

"long as they can breath life into the matter" - should be breathe. Thanks!

Democrats 'flail' but Bush 'stressed'?

Biased writing. I resent it mightily.

Mr. Don Frederick,

What is your point? Your article appears to be flailing. Huh?

What exactly did McCain by good economic fundamentals? Compared to Europe, the US has a hardworking labor force (including immigrants), innovative small businesses, physical room to grow, domestic energy reserves (if the government permits us to tap them), the best universities and researchers in the world, etc., etc. Wall Street has brought us another financial crisis, yes. But that doesn't mean the US economy as a whole is in the toilet.

The democrats have to claim everything is horribly wrong they can claim they are the only hope to fix it. So when McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound they have to attack him as being wrong.

The only thing I see that needs to be addressed is for the dems to get out of the way and stop delaying a comprehensive energy plan that includes all resources currently available to us and to get out of the way of free markets and let them resolve the housing problem.

It don't matter to me, if McCain gets elected investments into our economy will continue. If Obama gets elected we will quickly return to a Jimmy Carter economy where instead of investments we saw it tied up in CD's paying 20%.

If Obama is elected I can not only wait out the four years before he is replaced, but I can safely increase my wealth without risk that comes with investment. So I will say sorry in advance to those I would have hired...but with the Obama tax plan you can always be retrained in caulking windows and filling tires with air in his government retraining program.

Where was congress when all this was going on?
Don't they share any responsibilities?

Wise up people - the Republicans had eight years of power - and look where we are.

If you look up history you will see the economy allways does best with a Democrat in the White House.

Reagan, Bush 1 and 2 were all "fiscal conservatives" and we had huge deficits.

With Bill Clinton we had prosperity and a surplus, from a "tax and spend liberal"

McCain says hes a "fiscal conservative" too.

This is a strange report--is it spin or what?

Democrats "flail" and "flog"--their readiness "with predictable sarcasm" to "pounce was palpable"...

Why is the main point here to unflatteringly typify the Democratic response?

McCain makes remarks from the looney bleachers and most of the language in your report takes not-so-subtle swipes at his critics.

Here's an idea: report McCain's remarks, report the Democratic response, and later even the McCain campaign's pushback, etc.

You know. Journalism.

But keep the instant cynicism-spin to yourself.

America has all but crumbled under Republican incompetence and corruption. Yet, the polls indicate that Americans have not learned a single thing in 8 years. Let McCain and his incompetent barbie have the presidency. It may as well be Mickey Mouse or anyone else. Let McCain, the senile old man inherit the mess that Bush and his corrupt Republicans have created. Good bye USA!!

For the post by sanjmoon,

He is simply in error. Mr McCain has been in Congress for 26 years without addressing this and over the time period when the republicans mostly controlled the Executive and Congress. You are hardly being honest.

In January 2008, the Congress is finally Democratic which means that they can override a veto potentially. However, the Republicans are quite active with the use of fillibuster. Only this election in process, will the Democrats take the Congress to the point that the fillibuster won't be the problem. Senator Obama has done an exceptional job in the Senate considering this Republican control and has worked in a bipartisan manner with many.

The problems with WallStreet, banking, etc. can hardly be blamed on Senator Obama.

Senator McCain who has always been a Republican was in a better position to put forth reform with his own party. This however did not happen with Senator McCain and the Bush/Cheney Administration and Republican Congress.

Please, if we have dialog let's be a little more honest and imaginative.

Exactly, sangjmoon. All the politicians' recommendations will make things worse, not better.

How out of touch Mcsame can be. He still believes the fundamentals of our economy are strong. If you are like jhon Mcain who has 9 houses and a net worth of more than 100 millions dollars, then you can feel free to say the same thing. People are losing their homes and their jobs, businesses are failing right and left, and this guys has been so detached from our realities that he has the gall to run on change. What is he going to change? He already agreed 100% with Bushism policies and plan on continue that trend. Only stupid people with no rational behavior will continue to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. The Choice is clear. We must change course otherwise America are bound to become a third world country in just one short generation.

So he's supposed to rant about imminent economic collapse and send the citizenry into a panic?

Are Democrats now telling Americans that the country is in a depression?

Anybody remember that Bush had tried to rein in both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for the last two years and he was thwarted by, guess who? Yup, a Democratic controlled congress. Let's see . . . that would include Obama and Biden. Let's all check and see how McCain voted, shall we. You do realize that these two weren't the only problem but they do represent the dam cracking.

Seriously? You title you article to demean the various democrats' responses to John McCain's obvious out of touch statement? You are a sham of journalist, Don Frederick. NOT fit to call yourself objective. You and all the other sham journalists are a big part of the fall of our democratic system. Try investigative reporting without your personal bias for once. REPORT THE NEWS!!!

I guess people missed the 3.3% GDP growth last quarter and record exports. Bill Clinton generated surpluses with a Republican Congress. A perfect example of how Checks and Balances work well in this country. See the Dollar's rally lately and falling oil prices? Unemployment is at 6.1% just a hair above the "natural" unemployment rating of 5.5-5.7.

Get a grip. Some of you have short memories. The recession of 1991 and the 1970s was much worse.

I guess you forget about NAFTA under Mr. Clinton that began the outsourcing movement and record low interest rates..

Sorry can't blame the Republicans for everything. Mr. Greenspan had a hand in this, stupid Wall Street firms had a hand in this, and extremely stupid individuals who had this "Buy now Pay Later" mentality had the biggest hand in this.

Those Wal Mart low prices come from somewhere you know...CHINA...

Looks like the Democrats are even willing to fuel a financial panic in order to win. What was it that Marxist king of the community organizers taught? "By any means necessary?"
Country first ... Nobama!

If you had as many houses as McCain does, would you think that times were tough? McCain is the kind of guy who, when told that people have no bread to eat, is sure to reply, "let them eat cake!"

To: Don Frederick

You really ought to try to hide your pro-McCain bias better. Nice verb choice: 'flail at' vs. "savage," "rip," "cut," or "tear into." You're a hack.

The reporter's prejudice (as pointed out by some commenters) aside, I keep reading how people point a finger at the current Democratic majority in the House and Senate and say, "so what are they doing to change things?" These are people who probably did not do their homework in American History class. If there are 41 or more Republicans in the Senate, and they vote in lock step (which they pretty much do), they can block any legislation by threat of a fillibuster. Without a 60 vote count, the Democrats (who don't have 60 Senators) cannot pass anything the Republicans block. That means only bills that are innocuous will be passed by this Congress. Anything substantive will be blocked. Some may argue that this ensures bipartisan cooperation, prevents "radical" legislation from being passed. But, it hamstrings the government from passing legislation that may help homeowners caught in the sub-prime mortgage horror show, or meaningful energy legislation. So, stop blaming Democrats. It is the 40+ Republican "robots" who block any significant legislation. And, by the way, even if Barack Obama wins, unless the Democrats pick up enough new senators to overcome that 40+ opposition, you're not going to see a whole lot of change without the Democrats energizing people to complain to their senators about their blocking tactics. That's a long shot.

This is an unbiased report? To me, it is an extreme example of fully discredited YELLOW journalism. I have lost my respect for the Los Angles Times and what passes for it's editorial staff for letting this slanted piece to get through their editing. It belongs in the editorial section or wrapped around a dead fish.

I don't understand the lame headline of your blog. I think you must have meant to say that John McCain is flailing over the economy with B.S. comments like "the fundamentals are sound". McCain, Bush, Greenspan and other enablers of this economic disaster are flailing because they are the obvious focus of outrage for creating the "fundamentals" of the collapse of the markets on the GOP's collective watch. Maybe your money is in a mattress somewhere, Don, but you don't get how seriously past the lame GOP "talking points" we are.

Republican controlled congress for 6 years.
Republican President Bush in office for 7.5 years.
Republican broke record for fillabusters with the 2006 Dem controlled congress.
Republican appointed supreme court.

Repubs can't blame Dems for anything. They have been in control and vetoed or fillabustered anything that Dems wanted that represented real change.

Repubs acknowledged that they lost their way. But now they want to convince us that they are the solution to the problems that they caused.


No Repub adminstration has ever left office with less than 5% unempolyment

Bush entered office with 4.1% unemployement he will leave with more than 6%. He reached 6% once before a few years back.

Bush took White Houise with 11000 Dow. Dow dipped into 10000s today.

Cliinton took office with 3,000 Dow. He left office with 11,000 Dow.

Bush took office with 4 trillion debt. Thanks to getting rid of pay-go, Repubs will leave office with 9 trillion in debt. Clinton reduced debt. No Repub in modern history has done that.

Repubs are the only solution to the Repub economic philosophy and problems.

On the contrary, Democrats are the only solution to the problems that the Republicans have caused.

I would like McCain to elucidate what he means when he refers to the fundamentals.

Does he mean the markets are working as they are supposed to? Does he mean the forces of supply and demand?

It's disingenuous to express outrage or support when he has failed to define "fundamentals".

I, also, noted a lot of bias in the language of this "news item". Someone (McCain) is trying to tell Americans that the economy is 'fundamentally sound'. This comes after the former (and much revered by the Republicans) Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, has stated that America is in a "once-in-a-century financial crisis"!!! And with this as a background its the Democrats who are "palpably pouncing', 'predictably sarcastic', and 'flailing'? If telling the truth about a situation can be characterized in such a negative way... oh, wait, this is after 8 years of electing and re-electing Bush... silly me... What's truth OR reality got to do with it anyway?

I didnt see anyone complaining about how bad deregulation or the econony was 1 year ago when everyone was getting seconds on there house to buy boats and unnessary crap and the market was spitting out 10 to 20% on your money. Ooohhh but now that the banks want the money you said you were good for and dont have... everything snow balls because of it and you have the balls to blame everyone but yourselve...typical finger pointing Americans....we all put all the jackasses in office..and the the new Jackass this Nov. will be the same as the old. Both side of the ailse are o blame..WAKE UP

Graniteman, Our U.S. dollar being on the decline should also be a good indicator. It used to be worth a lot more.

The truly maddening thing isn't that the Republicans/McCain still make the idiotic claims that they make (cuz that is what they do), it is that so many of "We the People" are actually listening and believing them - anyway - despite all of the evidence to the contrary!

Sarah Palin is a diversion to distract us from what has actually be going on these past eight years. Those of you who are even considering her, consider this:

If you would have asked her six months ago if she would be nominated for the position of VP of the US, she would have laughed at you. How ready can she possibly be?

Now the GOP are continually grooming her so that she seems ready enough to you. She has five kids - one just headed off to Iraq (how distracting is that?, one is pregnant (how distracting is that?), the same one is making wedding plans (oh my, how distracting is that!), another one is a young infant (how distracting is that), and that same infant has a disability (how distracting is that)?

She is being used to manipulate us, and it's time to wake up! Consider the following article:

This is a very interesting read concerning McCain's choice of Palin and Republican manipulation from an unusual and surprising religious perspective. I highly recommend checking it out:


Obama has has the media in his pocket from day one. The press hasn't fully investigated his questionable associations-Rezco, Ayers etc., nor have they fully reported his Marxist economic agenda. If McCain gets into the white house, the press like the rabid dogs they are will go after him no matter what he does and as a result, the economy will truly tank. If Obama gets in, he'll destroy the economy while the press reports that all is peachy but it won't work. As far as I'm concerned, it won't matter who gets in so I'll be shorting the market. I hate the US media.

The tone of this article is classic. We essentially continue to see the principles of Reaganomics exposed as complete farse, yet Democrats "flail" and offer "typical" and "predictable" criticism.

This is not journalism, and is instead typical of the kind of weak reporting you get when writers worry they'll be viewed as biased for offering legitimate analysis.

Nowhere did I see mention that Alan Greenspan disapproves of McCain's tax proposal. Talk about biased reporting of the facts.

So many economic genius in this Liberal comment area. Look past your blind hatred of Bush and who actually caused the problems. If I have to explain it to you morons then you are too far gone. Let's see according to you phd's Bush caused Katrina, Global Warming, Economic collapse, 9/11, the wars, high oil pricing, death of elvis, the moons craters, and super nova's. I guess the last 4 years of a democratically controlled congress had nothing to do with it? Last I looked they had a lower favorability rating than Bush. This is the worst congress in the history of congress. Look to this papers location north and the moron who leads the do nothing congress is 50% of the blame. You genius keep talking amongst each other to make yourselves feel better and you will go down with this sinking ship called a news paper. our thoughts and comments will fade in obscurity like this paper.

And what would the Messiah have done differently? This crisis has less to do with having a Republican in the White House than it does to have the Socialist Left in charge of Congress. Is it merely a coincidence that the economy started in its downward sprial when the Democrats gained control of both chambers? Think about it:Sen. McCain may have voted 90% of the time in favor of the Bush Administration, but The One voted 100% of the time in faovr of Speaker Pelosi and Majoirty Leader Reid and Chairman Frank--and that's why He is so sanctified and adored. The Demoncrats, after all, are simply not partisan--they are so much more in tune with the hearts and minds of the People... Ha!

Yes, Really, the US dollar has declined during recent times. But so what? That means vacation trips to Europe are more expensive for US tourist. It also means that US exports are booming because US products look cheap abroad. This is why the US recession has been less severe than expected. Let's not ignore the good news and focus entirely on the bad news just to elect Obama.

Bush, McCain and the GOP......Should we really "Stay the Course" further. You're nuts if you vote for these Bozo's.

Just another reason to vote for Democrats this year.

The republicans MUST NOT be rewarded with the presidency again. They are 100% to blame for yet another disaster to our once-great nation.

I heard today about how European central banks pumped something like 50 - 60 billion dollars to keep their banks afloat. I couldn't help but think about the 1 - 2 TRILLION dollars Bush and the republicans have pumped into our utterly failed Iraqi occupation.

This is our money folks. These are our homes. These are our lives, and this is our government! Time to take it back!!!

Senator Obama will be getting my vote!

Even Lou Dobbs tonight said the administration was asleep at the switch...

An McCain offers platitudes?

It's ironic to see how many people blame Bush for the state of the economy when congress has been controlled by the Democrats for the past four years. Add to that the fact that a lot of people are in this mess because of decisions they made due to greed and stupidity. I'm not referring to people who lost jobs due to no fault of their own or investors who lost money because of the failure of investment bankers. I'm talking about the people who got greedy and tried to make a killing by putting their money into speculative investments or leveraged their homes to make investments. I'm referring to those business leaders who gutted perfectly good companies to reap huge profits or the CEOs who had non concern for the stock holders and reaped obscene salaries and bonuses while the company went under and people's retirement savings went down the toilet.

Grow up and quit blaming one individual or a political group for the ills of the country. We are in this mess largely because of poor decisions by a lot of people, including the politicians on both sides of the aisle. One man could not do all this by himself.

People who like to blame are usually the same ones who hold at least some of the blame for the problem. They don't usually have the emotional maturity to accept responsibility for themselves.

I keep reading comments from people who are either completely brain-washed the the neo-conservative right or are completely crazy.

Listen up.

Obama has been completely vetted. He is a good Christian man who is smart and wants to serve his fellow Americans.

The entire Republican party is corrupt. Ask true moderates like Lincoln Chafee who is a Republican backing Obama.

Ever wonder why the right CONSTANTLY complains about the media? It's because they are masking the fact that they run much of the media now, and use it as a propaganda tool against uniformed people. Just look at Fox News. There is zero doubt that this entire organization exists to support Republicans, and they own HALF of the cable news market. Look at all of media aquisitions that have been made to News Corp. (owners of Fox, Fox News, Wall St. Journal, Dow Jones, etc.). These people are absolutely distorting the stories you see and hear.

Everything has to be "fair and balanced" when all this really means is that every event needs to be told with a republican spin that, quite frankly, often end up just being a pack of lies and deceptions.

The Republicans are not serving you if you are not rich. Period. We've lost man constitional rights under the Bush administration, and we're very close to losing more under a McCain administration.

Obama got to where he is by being honest and talking about fundamental problems we all face..

Do not reward the reward the Republican corruption machine with another win this year!

in all honesty...
as an independent reading this i would have to say that the only thing flailing here is mr. don frederick. this article is very biased. i find it interesting that i can usually tell who the author will vote for based on their articles...
but this is simple politics. any smart american would hear john mccain say "we have a fundamentally stable economy." and take it as it is...fundamentally stable. not stable. the washington nationals are having a pretty rough season, but that doesnt mean that they have forgotten the fundamentals of baseball. our economy has a great base for how things work. we have checks and balances. we have stock and store...and we have back up plans and back up plans for the back up plans. FUNDAMENTALLY, were in a good spot. were just having an off season. please people. listening to politicians rant at each other, while entertaining, does not lend any credible reason for you to vote for one or the other. do your homework. dont copy answers. make your own educated decision. then stand behind it.

McCain/Palin 08

Don, you actually did some true reporting today. Your reporting was not embedded in a cloud of commentary. Wow! Miracles do happen.

hey cathy are you kidding? you think obama has a marxist agenda dn you probably also think he is related to osama...

anyway, if McCain gets elected I am taking all of my money out of the country.
and get this...I am a Republican!
I can't handle what he is doing to my party and everything we stand for...he is making it all into a game show mentality...

I am just going to sit back and observe the spectacle. I turned to GREEN PARTY when Bush became our president back when? 01

remimber it was the so colled moral majority that trashed the banking regulations these people who comtrol the republican party are not loyal to america there loyal to there religious empire and vote in unison with the dictates of the buissnesses controled by there chuches is this not the reason for seperation of church and state.

good site for all of us republicans that are open to objective thinking to take a look at

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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