Crossfire

McCain on the Message Offensive

It's been a tough week for John McCain. He declared the fundamentals of the economy strong, only to declare them at risk. One aide, trying to stress McCain's record on economic progress, suggested the senator helped invent the blackberry.

Broadly, the deepening crisis on Wall Street has the potential to favor Democrat Barack Obama. All recent polling suggests when it comes to handling the economy, voters give higher marks to Democrats. Meanwhile, Obama has an easier time pushing for tighter regulations on Wall Street — since McCain has been a longtime fan of deregulation.

Give this state of play, it was no surprise when some of McCain's top advisers — Steve Schmidt, Mark Salter and Nicolle Wallace — paid a visit to the press cabin today for a message offensive.

"You look at the poll numbers," Schmidt said, with Salter and Wallace by his side. "We remain in a very close contest."

Schmidt previewed the aggressive message we should expect from McCain in coming days, as he tries to pummel Obama over Wall Street's woes. Schmidt summarized that message this way:

"Obama's notion of reform on these issues and change is a rhetorical device used to advance his political agenda. But he's got no record of reform. He's got no record of leadership really on any issue."

Schmidt also accused Obama of playing on the anxiety of Americans for political gain.

"I think as the American people prepare to make their choice in this election," Schmidt said, "they're likely to give consideration to the fact that the Obama campaign is cheer-leading this crisis."

The advisers spoke as McCain and running mate Sarah Palin did a "Rapid" tour, flying from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This caused some confusion.

"Thank you so much Iowa," Palin said as she began her remarks in Cedar Rapids. "It is so good to be here in Grand Rapids."

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How can you fall to continuing the spreading of political lies? I will never give to NPR again!

Sent by aaron bell | 4:57 PM | 9-18-2008

How will Obama fix Wall Street? Will he use his advisors that got millions when they were at Fannie? Obama handling the economy better? Really? How does the government spending more of our money improve the economy in the LONG run?

Sent by ac | 5:03 PM | 9-18-2008

Rove Politics 101

Step One: Assess your own biggest weakness and then accuse your opponent of that regardless of truth.
Step Two: When your veracity is questioned, dodge the question.

Palin was picked by former a Fannie/Freddie insider with almost no vetting. So they say Obama use to have one on his staff, without mentioning he was let go because of potential conflicts of interest. When questiones, claim sexism and metion the cage to avoid discussion of own conflict of interest issues.

When I listen to John McCain speak I hear him explaining how he would be great as a minority leader in the Senate where he can shake up corrupt Republicans like Palin did in Alaska. Not what he would do as POTUS to make things better for America.

Sent by Christopher M. Brown | 6:02 PM | 9-18-2008

Confused Cedar Rapids for Grand Rapids huh? Not to be inundated with information is one of the qualifications of the President of the USA. Imagine you are in G8 summit; 7 other leaders have 7 agendas each. There you are overwhelmed with information. What are you going to do?

Senator McCain and Governor Palin campaign together since after RNC like 2 inseparable halves of a thing. When they are separated, they uttered uninformed gaffes; when they are together, they uttered "out of touch" inundated gaffes. But we need a leader who is whole, not half of a leader.

Based on their performance, McCain/Palin are unqualified to lead.

Sent by Kim | 11:32 PM | 9-18-2008

John McCain was right...the fundamentals are strong. This drop in the market pails in comparison to the 9/11 drop, which pails in comparison to the "Dot Com" drop which pails in comparison to the 1987 drop. The media uses the term "crisis" much to often. Obama is painting as bleak a picture as he can for political purposes. And NPR is happy to comply.

Sent by Mike Cloghessy | 6:21 PM | 9-19-2008