SCOTT HORSLEY: And I'm Scott Horsley in Missouri. John McCain used the Harry Truman Library as a backdrop, today, as he, too, called for bipartisan support of the financial rescue package.
Senator JOHN MCCAIN (Republican, Arizona; Presidential Candidate): Following September 11th, our national leaders came together at a time of crisis. Now, with this measure, we have another chance to come together to prove that Washington is once, again, capable of leading this country. If the financial rescue bill fails in Congress, yet, again, the present crisis will turn into a disaster.
HORSLEY: Like Obama, McCain painted a bleak picture of what would happen if the rescue plan fails and credit dries up. Students couldn't get loans, families wouldn't be able to buy new homes or cars, and businesses would be unable to pay their workers.
Senator MCCAIN: If we fail to act, the gears of our economy will grind to a halt.
HORSLEY: McCain says he's confident that enough lawmakers have now recognized that danger and will support the rescue. But he also said it shouldn't take a crisis to get Congress working together.
Senator MCCAIN: Our government is on the wrong track. Our economy is struggling, and I expect we'll receive more bad news with Friday's unemployment report. It is now a time for leadership and a plan to create jobs and get our country on the right track. I know how to do that.
(Soundbite of applause)
HORSLEY: McCain repeated his call for lower taxes, restrained government spending and offshore oil drilling. He said he would freeze discretionary spending for a year to help offset the cost of the rescue plan, although he had already proposed a spending freeze as a way to help pay for his tax cuts. McCain suggested that Harry Truman was more successful as president than anyone expected, including Truman himself, because he put the country's needs ahead of his party's and his own. McCain said the country would be better served today if more people in Washington followed that example. Scott Horsley, NPR News, Kansas City.