While campaigning in Dayton, Ohio today, Barack Obama continued his attack on John McCain’s mortgage plan, by not only picking it apart but also called out McCain for shifting his position on the issue.
The Democrat went after McCain’s flip flop, “Now, this is just the latest in a series of shifting positions that Senator McCain has taken on this issue. His first response to this crisis in March was that homeowners shouldn’t get any help at all. Then, a few weeks ago, he put out a plan that basically ignored homeowners. And now, in the course of 12 hours, he’s ended up with a plan that punishes taxpayers, rewards banks, and won’t solve our housing crisis.”
He also pointed out that the McCain plan would reward lenders for bad behavior and
give them no incentive to help homeowners, “But it’s not just that the McCain bailout rewards irresponsible lenders, it’s that his bailout would make it more likely that those lenders keep up their bad behavior. Just yesterday, Countrywide, one of the nation’s largest lenders, reached an agreement to help homeowners refinance their mortgages. Under Senator McCain’s plan, lenders like Countrywide wouldn’t have any incentive to come forward and help homeowners – because they could just wait for the government to bail them out.”
Obama also went back to the theme that McCain is an erratic and uncertain leader, “Well, I don’t think we can afford that kind of erratic and uncertain leadership in these uncertain times. We need steady leadership in the White House. We need a President we can trust in times of crisis. And that’s the kind of President I intend to be.”
The most dramatic change in this race is the role reversal caused by the economic crisis. When the campaign revolved around foreign policy, McCain was viewed as the steady hand, but as campaign shifted to the economy, McCain fell apart, and Obama became the candidate that voters see as the safer choice. McCain has flip flopped on a number of issues in this campaign from offshore drilling to immigration he has moved to the right. The problem for him is that these shifts due undermine his theme of leadership, and make him look indecisive, impulsive, and erratic.
Obama is on the money to call this proposal by McCain what it is. It is a flip flop to get him in line with public opinion, and a gift to lenders who got themselves into trouble with poor business practices. I don’t understand how McCain can rail against the greed of Wall St. one day, then on the next propose that the government pay to bail out lenders who resisted helping homeowners for months while this crisis built. The reality is that McCain has no ideas or plans for the economy, and this could both end up being his downfall, and the issue that elects Barack Obama president.