McCain Calls For Financial Crisis Commission

Republican presidential nominee John McCain proposed Tuesday setting up a high-profile commission to study the financial crisis in hopes of stabilizing U.S. markets. He also called for tighter federal regulations on Wall Street, and railed against Barack Obama's tax plan.

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DAVID GREENE: I'm David Greene, traveling with Senator McCain, who had some things to say about Obama's fundraiser out in Beverly Hills.

Senator JOHN MCCAIN (Republican, Arizona; Republican Presidential Nominee): He talked about siding with the people, siding with the people, just before he flew off to Hollywood for a fundraiser with Barbra Streisand and his celebrity friends.

(Soundbite of crowd jeering)

Senator MCCAIN: Let me tell you, my friends, there's no place I'd rather be than here with the working men and women of Ohio.

GREENE: McCain was in an airport hanger in Vienna, Ohio, outside Youngstown. The event yesterday afternoon reunited McCain with his running mate Sarah Palin. She also went after Obama.

Governor SARAH PALIN (Republican, Alaska; Republican Vice Presidential Nominee): Now I know that there are a lot of small towns in this beautiful valley. And folks here don't quite know what to make of a candidate like our opponent who has lavished praise on working people when they're listening, and then talks about, though, how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening.

(Soundbite of crowd jeering)

Governor PALIN: We all tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Vienna or Youngstown and then another way in San Francisco.

GREENE: Palin was pointing to a comment Obama made at a fundraiser back in April. She kept hammering the theme of Obama not being on the side of working families.

Governor PALIN: There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you.

GREENE: John McCain, Palin said, is the candidate voters should trust to deal with the current turmoil on Wall Street. And McCain's been talking about solutions. He said yesterday that he'd set up a high-profile body, much like the 9/11 commission, to study the economic crisis. And he called for tighter federal regulations on Wall Street. McCain's challenge, though, is that he's long been a fan of deregulating government. That led to questions like this from Matt Lauer on NBC.

Mr. MATT LAUER (Host, NBC's "The Today Show"): When we start to hear you say things like, we're going to crack down on the fat cats and the greed on Wall Street, it makes some people think you are now changing your views, you want more regulation. Set the record straight for me.

Senator MCCAIN: Absolutely. Of course I don't like excessive and unnecessary government regulation. Ask any American citizen who is subject to bureaucracies. But the fact is, I warned about this problem a couple years ago. I am a Teddy Roosevelt Republican. Teddy Roosevelt believed that we needed a government that can function - an economy that can function without government interference. But he also said unfettered capitalism can breed corruption. We're seeing Teddy Roosevelt's words come true. I know how to fix it.

GREENE: McCain presented himself as the man to fix the economy as he did interviews on seven different news networks yesterday. Still, a big part of his strategy remains raising doubts about Obama, which he was busy doing at a rally in Tampa earlier yesterday.

Senator MCCAIN: And the worst thing we can do in this bad economy, and it is a bad economy, is to raise people's taxes. I will not raise your taxes. Senator Obama wants to raise your taxes.

GREENE: These days, McCain's speeches are all about the economy. They come to an end with barely a mention of the war or foreign policy.

Senator MCCAIN: We need to carry the state of Florida. And with your help we will do that. And I will support - thank you for your support....

(Soundbite of crowd ovation)

GREENE: Oh, and there's also no Barbra Streisand music.

(Soundbite of song "Here I Go Again")

WHITESNAKE: (Singing) Walking down the only road I've ever known.

GREENE: David Greene, NPR News, traveling with the McCain campaign.

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