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John McCain broaches the R-word

July 8, 2008 | 10:05 am

Tom Petruno, The Times' ace business reporter and editor, recently wrote: "The debate over whether we are, or aren't, actually in a recession will go on, but to some analysts there's no question anymore. Merrill Lynch & Co. economist David Rosenberg says the lesson from history is that 'you don't have six consecutive monthly declines in payrolls and not be in an outright recession.' "

John McCain, like the fellow Republican he's seeking to replace in the White House, has been reluctant to use the R-word, even as he increasingly focuses on topic No. 1 for most Americans -- the sputtering economy.

Today, McCain pretty much threw in the towel when asked on MSNBC whether these are recessionary times.

"I would imagine that, technically, there is some question amongst economists about that, but the fact is Americans are hurting, they are hurting badly,'' he said.

He continued (a bit awkwardly), "If we're technically in a recession or not, I would imagine that we are, but the major thing is that Americans are hurting and Americans don't like it and they think America is in the wrong direction.''

Mark Silva has more on McCain's appearance in this item on The Swamp.

-- Don Frederick

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