Washington, Oct.4 : The economy continues to remain the number one issue on the presidential campaign trail, with both John McCain and Barack Obama saying that the race will be won or lost based on who carries the most clout on that issue. "I'm glad to see that we've finally got this dealt with," Barack Obama told reporters Friday after the bill passed, adding: "The final thing is understanding that even if this rescue package works exactly as it should, it's only the beginning. ... The fundamentals of the economy aren't sound, and we're gonna have to do a lot of work moving forward."
Obama criticized John McCain and McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, earlier in the day for promoting policies that are "killing jobs in America every single day," after the latest jobs report showed employers cut 159,000 jobs last month.
"It's all about jobs, our economic future. It's all about jobs," McCain said at a Colorado town hall meeting in reference to the jobs report.
As for the bailout, he called it a "tourniquet ... not a cure."
For McCain, the passage of the bill relieves a major headache for his campaign.
Voters generally see Obama as more attuned to economic concerns, and as the bailout bill festered, McCain continued to lag Obama in the polls.
"I think what McCain needs to do is focus like a laser beam on the economy," former President Bush staff member Brad Blakeman told FOX News after the rescue plan passed.
"I'd show an economic team to the American people to give confidence that not only does he have the ideas for America, but he also has the personnel to carry it out."
Democratic leaders did not hold back in praising Obama. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi publicly commended the Democratic nominee for his efforts, and several freshman Democrats claimed Obama helped persuade them to change their votes from "no" to "yes," according to The Hill newspaper.
Obama later told reporters he did speak with freshman Democrats about the bill.