Obama Ad Questions McCain Mortgage Plan
By Howard Kurtz
The Ad: (Narrator:) In a time of crisis, our leaders' judgment is tested. On Tuesday, an announcement.
(McCain:) I would order the Secretary of the Treasury to immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America.
(Narrator:) On Wednesday, the details. McCain would shift the burden from lenders to taxpayers, guaranteeing a loss of taxpayer money. Who wins? The same lenders that caused the crisis in the first place. Putting bad actors ahead of taxpayers? We can't afford more of the same.
Analysis: This Barack Obama ad again tries to tie John McCain to the mess on Wall Street, this time by using his own words at Tuesday's presidential debate.
The $300-billion plan, which would be funded under existing legislation, has drawn criticism from across the political spectrum. The ad shows an article from CNNMoney.com that says, "McCain mortgage plan shifts costs to taxpayers." Aides to the senator from Arizona don't deny this, saying that the effort is justified because of the magnitude of the banking crisis and the need to stabilize the housing market.
Media reports have criticized the plan from the left and the right, saying that it would lower rescue standards to the point that lenders would reap a windfall (and irresponsible homeowners would be bailed out). In that sense, it is accurate to say "the lenders that caused the crisis" would benefit. What the spot doesn't mention is that Obama voted for the $700-billion federal bailout that, with stricter standards, would also aid lenders by buying up distressed mortgages.
The senator from Illinois, whose aides have decided the ailing economy is the overriding issue, has hammered McCain on the subject in recent ads. The "more of the same" line, along with an obligatory shot of McCain with President Bush, has become a signature element.
Posted at 5:13 PM ET on Oct 9, 2008
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