Jacksonville (Florida, US), Sep 22: The Democratic Presidential candidate, Barack Obama has called his Republican rival, John McCain, a 'Free Market Gambler', and suggested that his approach to government, not McCain's, is the tonic the country needs.
"There's only one candidate who called himself, and I quote, 'fundamentally a deregulator,' when it was reckless deregulation and lack of oversight that's a big part of the problem on Wall Street right now," Fox News quoted Obama as saying here. "We've got to have regulations in place to make sure that people are doing the right thing and that we curb some of the risk-taking ... that ends up causing so much enormous damage in the financial market," he added.
Further stressing his opponent's laissez-faire roots, Obama released an ad Saturday, Sep 20 criticizing McCain for backing President Bush's plan in 2005 to allow Social Security contributions to be directed to private accounts.
McCain's campaign accused Obama of resorting to scare tactics Saturday, Sep 21.
"John McCain is 100 percent committed to preserving social security benefits for seniors, and Barack Obama knows it," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement regarding Obama's latest ad.
"This is a desperate attempt to gain political advantage using scare tactics and deceit."
As Bush and his top economic officials request 700 billion dollars from Congress to move forward with a bailout, Obama - while not offering specific comment on the rescue package - is enthusiastically backing "broad authority" for the feds.
While doing so, he is dismissing his rival as a relic of small-government mindset.
But McCain, while sounding his own call for oversight and government intervention this week, has criticized Obama for ties to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - two faltering mortgage giants that the government took over earlier this month.
McCain offered more specific guidelines than Obama this week for the ongoing crisis.
He foremost called for the creation of a Mortgage and Financial Institutions trust, which he said would "identify institutions that are weak and fix them before they become insolvent."
Reiterating his ideas in his weekly radio address Saturday, he called for reforms to prevent firms from concealing bad practices, while urging the Federal Reserve to get out of the "business of bailouts."
"All of these measures will calm and help us to avoid future panics and disasters in the financial markets. And great reforms on this scale will require the best in the leadership of both political parties," McCain said.