July 7th, 2008
04:36 PM ET

The Vision Thing, all over again

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/07/art.split.candidates.jpg]
Barclay Palmer
AC360° Senior Producer

It's the economy, smartypants.

John McCain and Barack Obama talked today about how to save an economy plagued by six straight months of job losses, a bear market, rampant foreclosures, teetering credit card debt, a sunken dollar and falling consumer confidence. Oh, and three quarters of Americans think we're in a recession, says a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll out today.

So... did you catch their econ plans, carried live on cable nets? What do you think?

Thing is, both candidates have been talking about solutions for a couple months. But it's not clear that either has gotten much traction among the public. It could be because people don't always like hearing about the economy when it's bad - or ever, for that matter.

McCain promised to boost job growth, especially among small businesses, and to target wasteful spending. He used to oppose the Bush tax cuts, but now wants to extend them. His campaign today touts his plan to balance the budget by 2013, but McCain himself didn't mention that in his speech.

Obama said the US must boost research, especially for alternative energy sources, keep jobs at home, and focus on protecting families' economic security. He said rebuilding the nation's infrastructure - schools, roads, brudges etc. - would create jobs.

And the two criticized each other.

Solutions?  Vision?  Sometimes you can find them in the details.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Barclay Palmer • Economy • John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. bright, tx

    I wonder why people keep saying all Obama does is give speeches but does not have any real plans for the economy. When this guy started his campaign he was giving detailed speeches and the critics were like he is being too proferssorial. Now that he has found a way of inspiring people to hope again, he is being accused of giving only speeches. If you are not aware of this then learn it today, the president of the United States is not a Chief Operating Officer. He will appoint people to do that job. If you want details go to his website and read stuff for yourself and stop believing everything the media says.

    If you think McCain will do a better job then go ahead a support him. Sometimes i wonder why republicans chose him. Of course, he is their best choice but this guy does appear to know next to nothing except the fact that he fought in vietnam. If you are found of old wars and who did what then McCain is your man, but if you care about the future and the well being of your children then support something that brings progress.

    July 8, 2008 at 3:40 am |
  2. J.V.hodgson

    Neither candidate is getting a message accross to me that means anything on the Economy. Too generic and for both candidates too much is not clear from thier past positions.
    They both need to be much, much more specific and if it is a change from past voting they have to stop the media picking on this by explaining why. It is not a cardinal sin especially in the Economic and financial upheaval currently self evident in the US Economy ( global economy) to be permitted to even change ones mind or for either McCain or Obama to refine any of thier views, McCain "100 years in Iraq" and Mccains campaign and the media honing in on one word "refine" from Obama which means incidentally "to change in the details".
    Flip flop means "to change "significantly " and/or refine "without care"
    The whole point is a good politician will of necessity change economic plans via annual budgets, and foreign policy based on real changes in the global and political situation. The American people are clearly fed up with rigid Bush (GOP??) adherences and want change. Frankly I believe no voter really cares whether a candidate has changed or refined a past vote or words, what they will care about on 4th November is who they believe will best serve thier particular interests at that time based on clearly enunciated policy.
    QED back to the beginning on unclear positions still on Iraq especially Mccain ( total reliance on Military record) to lesser degree Obama and for both on thier Economic policy . After the conventions both need to sharpen these up considerably and how they are going to deal with Global warming and the consequences on OIL prices and resultant food production disruption and increased prices, both of which will see inflation expand rapidly in the US and globally.
    Finally, Oil drilling off shore is a catch 22 situation,medium term fix to Oil prices maybe but not a solution even medium term to food and global warming.

    July 8, 2008 at 3:28 am |
  3. Chris S.

    Well Jose Juarez,

    I dont know what to tell you. You oviously aint listening to what Barack is saying. John Mccain has flip flopped on more issues than any candidate in the history of politics. But what only matters to you is that Barack has flip flopped on some issues. Go ahead and be the fool that you have been for the last 8 years and support another Bush third term. Only a fool can vote against his/her own economic interest. A fool sir is what you are.

    July 8, 2008 at 2:58 am |
  4. NativeFlower

    All I know is, my husband and I will be TAXED MORE under nObama's nOplan .....not necessarily a good selling point for the Media's Golden Boy.
    ahhhh, too bad

    July 8, 2008 at 2:52 am |
  5. michael

    with the rise in gas and food prices and pretty much the cost of living I don't hear either obama or macain talking about rasing wages for the working people to help with living in america its hard when you have really not enough to make it bill collectors don't care they just want there money and if I don't have it I could be put out or have nothing to eat and no place to stay I would like to know because I am an american citizen and that's what we have a government for I think they forgot that the government is for the people by the people but the last eight years my government has not been doing what's best for me and the rest of america.

    July 8, 2008 at 2:33 am |
  6. Cindy

    I couldn't agree more. IF ONLY the Democratic Party, i.e., SUPERdelegates, as they are supposed to be known, lived up to their name. Meaning, they need to select a candidate who is knowledgeable and experienced AND electable – _especially_ when it comes to the economy.

    When it comes to Hillary Clinton, she's got it all, in spades. And the good news? We don't need to "start the election again," it 'aint too late! I know, for me, for sure, I cannot support Obama, he will not do our economy or our Party justice. And we need change, big time, after 8 years of Republican nightmare.

    "Hillary 2008!" The country needs her now, more than ever.

    July 8, 2008 at 2:32 am |
  7. Galen Ross

    I wouldn't trust John McCain as far as I could throw the White House. he is going to do what ever the GOP tells him to do. The tax cuts he is proposing will benefit no one except the rich. Companies like Exxon will beable to put more money in their pockets and the poor like me won't stand a chance.

    July 8, 2008 at 1:26 am |
  8. Mike in Vegas

    I agree with Mary , wake up America! dont you see that our current economic woes are all contributable to Bush and the Republican Party's failed economic policies. Those tax cuts you got, were they worth it now that energy and food prices have doubled and tripled? So you had a few good years because the artificially inflated economy increased your houses value and you tapped into the equity. Was it worth it now that you are losing your home or worse barely able to make the payments on a home you owe more for than what its worth?

    Democrats are associated with raising taxes and more government spending but how come we had a balanced budget and the longest term of economic expansion under the Clinton administration? Admit it your greed got the best of you. You saw a chance to get a few more tax dollars in your pocket for the short term, but look at the price you're paying for it now. Five Trillion dollars added to the national debt Under President Bush, more than all the other presidents combined. That is what has desroyed the value of the dollar which in turn has raised energy prices by way of speculative futures trading to hedge losses in a weakened stock market. You and your children are beng sold into servitude by the republican party.

    July 8, 2008 at 12:07 am |
  9. Oscar

    Obama hired people to run his good campain isnt that a sign of good judgement ? Tho I not a fan of Obama I raither have him then McCain anyday.

    Sure Dems wants to raise our taxes and Rep want to spend less if that what you truely believe. Let me really exaplain how both parties work. Dems raise your taxes to pay for programs. Reps spends just as much BUT they just add it to our national debt. But dont let them fool you into believeing they want less government. Fact is government have grown on both parties. Bush has add 60 percent more government since he been in office. Not to mention when Bush took office he HAD a balance budget and we was paying off our national debt. Who did that a Dem Bill Clinton. Clinton also was the 2nd highest Pres to create the most Jobs. Who was number one ? Well that lousy Jimmy Carter.

    Fact is less government means less police, less people to maintain our roads. Another fact is all of these cost alot of money so your choice is really this would you raither pay for it now or just add it on our national debt and have your children pay for it later ? And remember it has been our grandfathers and fathers that have giving us the debt we have now. And with no thanks to Reagan and his star wars program that started us into debt.

    July 8, 2008 at 12:02 am |
  10. Alex

    To Mary and HELP! HELP! HELP! Like it or not, we're stuck having to choose between McCain or Obama. I personally hate elections where I have to choose between two inferior candidate or choosing the lesser of two evils. Obama is a great orator, but has little to no history to back him up. What record he has in the Illinois Legislature is nothing to be proud of. McCain doesn't inspire people when he speaks. But voting for someone (Obama) who has said he'll raise taxes is absolutely unacceptible. Plus he wants to give government more control. At least McCain wants less. Both seem to be in a contest to see who can flip flop the most. Talk about sad....I may end up having to vote a "write-in" because so far McCain isn't moving me. Obama is not EVEN a consideration with his liberal agenda.

    July 7, 2008 at 11:46 pm |
  11. Linda

    There has been so much talk about Obama wearing a flag pin or not wearing a flag pin.  I can't remember the last time I've seen a flag pin on McCain's collar.

    July 7, 2008 at 11:41 pm |
  12. Linda

    I voted for Obama in the primary, but if Obama back paddles on his position of the Iraq war, I won't vote for him in November. I guess I'll just stay home.

    July 7, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  13. John Fleming

    Anderson Cooper, it seethes me that I have to lecture a person of your stature in the media . . . but we live in a Constitutional Republic . . . and our Constitution recognizes our RIGHT to vote for whomever we choose to. A Constitutional Republic does not specify, recommend, or convey in any way a two-party system. In fact, our system of government is designed for multiple parties so that political minorities may have a voice. In the days before major media, and the internet, I can understand why the country allowed for a two-party debate. But the world is far more dynamic now than it was then. We need fresh forward thinking voices in this election. The Demoplicans can only offer tired old re-worked policies of pacification and act in favor of their corporate friends who will set them up for retirement.

    Thus, I must ask you . . . the man who so smugly dismissed the likes of Ron Paul and Ralph Nader as candidates . . . when will you wake up to the governmental fraud being perpetrated on the American Public? Or is it the company that you work for has far more influence on your broadcast than you like?

    July 7, 2008 at 11:25 pm |
  14. Michelle Waterman


    I am a legal immigrant and still after 2 years waiting for the biometrics to arrive, and probably will wait longer for the citizenship test, etc. I feel that my "possible voting rights" are being delayed because the current administration wishes to keep people like me away from the ballot!

    My children are American-British, I pay my taxes, have stayed here continuously for the past 9 years, and can't apply for jobs in my area (I have graduate education) because most jobs require citizenship status. The economy is bad for most Americans, can you imagine for people like me, who want to work and contribute to society, but can't do a thing because of citizenship status?

    I speak 4 languages, have 2 degrees and I am a conservation biologist!

    July 7, 2008 at 11:22 pm |
  15. Jose Juarez, Jr

    I really hope Obama is not another Kerry. I did not vote for Kerry last election because he was a flip flopper. I hope he can me a good politian stick to his morals and defend what he believes in. Please don't make me vote republican again!

    July 7, 2008 at 11:14 pm |
  16. MJ

    Since I am Not Interested in Higher TAXES .... Obama can not and will not get my Vote!

    July 7, 2008 at 11:08 pm |
  17. Mary

    HELP, HELP, HELP can we start this election again so that we will know who not to vote for. Between these two no one is making any sence. Bring on Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton and see if either can improve these candinates.

    July 7, 2008 at 11:04 pm |
  18. Mary

    Americans , wake up from sleeping! Voting for Obama means voting for a better, prosperious and peaceful America and a peaceful world. Voting for McCain means more economic disaster, disasterious education system. and more war. Any person who have children and think wisely will not vote for McCain, a war monger. All McCain knows is more war and does not belief in peace and prosperity. More McCain lacks judgment he he and Bush misled the Americans to khelp kill over 4,000 of our men and women in Iraq. He is not for us McCain! How can a wealthy old man Like McCain making millions of dollars really understand the ordinary Americans? It is understandly clear that he does not understand the economic and he does not care about it either. McCain does not care about women's right he believes that men should dictate to women how they should think, what a shame?

    July 7, 2008 at 10:51 pm |
  19. Susan


    I have not heard from any candidate that they would review all government programs to see which ones are cost effective and working as opposed to cost prohibitive and not working. If something is not working you throw it out and start over again. I have not heard from either candidate about what they will do to keep the dollar from falling any further and what they will do about our trade deficits, both these have a great impact on the economy.

    Senator Obama want to increase the coporate income tax. How many more jobs will move overseas ? He also wants to increase capital gains taxes. That has been tried before and it failed to achieve its goal.. He also has a a lot of spending on new and improved social programs. This is just going to create hidden taxes. You can not spend your way out of a recession .

    Senator McCain is for less spending, retaining the Bush tax cuts ( I think Senator Obama is for this now too ), Less government and less corporate taxes.

    In defense of both candidates they have both flip flopped ( revised their positions ) on many of there original statements. It is now about what is the flavor of the day !!!


    July 7, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  20. Jolene

    I don't think McCain or Obama are very strong when it comes to the economy and it shows in their plans (not very detailed). I'd much rather hear what Mitt Romney has to say about it since he is seen as such an expert or at least he let us believe that when he was running as a candidate...

    Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    July 7, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  21. lampe

    I will vote for McCain because at least with him I will know what I am facing for the next 4 years. With Obama he reminds me to much of a rock star,with his one hit wonder song. We see what we are getting now ie. ( flip -flopping), if he had said this stuff when he was cheating HRC out the race, she would be running against McCain and would have my vote.

    July 7, 2008 at 9:40 pm |
  22. vern-anaheim ,ca

    i don't think much of john mcains ideas on fixing the economy,after all it was his president and the republican party that got us into the mess we're in.he would continue the policies of the currant administration which have proved to be a failure.we need someone with fresh ideas on how to fix this terrible economy and it isn't mccain

    July 7, 2008 at 8:54 pm |
  23. James Dylan

    Obama's run a good campaign? Whoopdie doo. He hired people to do it and it has nothing to do with running a country. A campaign is nothing but a homecoming queen contest. I prefer those who have been through adversity and come out the end better. It says a great deal more about their abilities.
    And when are these guts going to debate? I getting tired of hearing them trade jabs through the media. Is Obama shying away from this again? Would rather just give a speech then be questioned immediately?

    July 7, 2008 at 7:23 pm |
  24. Steve

    Frankly I don't trust either of them, but I am sure that the Republican stradegy does not work. Look where we are now, Look where we were when Clinton left office – Think – Think – Think – They are counting on you NOT thinking!

    and McCain? mad man, I am telling you mad man – and Family Values? Ask the wife he left to marry the present Mrs. McNutt. Is that integrity?

    July 7, 2008 at 7:02 pm |
  25. Adam T.

    Laughable to say the least......republican party, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on you, fool me 3 times?? Wake up folks, especially the middle class. Remember, neither of the candidates really have a plan to fix the government and the american dollar is losing value by the second. So, what do you do, do you keep putting your hand in the fire when you know its hot(LOL), or do you switch gears and hope for the best? As it stands, the Republican party has failed at representing the AMERICAN peoples interests and failed at being conservative.

    July 7, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  26. Rockne

    Seriously???.....All you McCain supporters need to rethink things. Maverick is a fun nickname for a Top Gun pilot but it's not a good attitude for a President who must lead the entire country and the huge federal bureaucracy. McCain has not been an administrator of anything since the 60's. I've lived in Arizona and seen him at work. He couldn't manage his way out of a paper bag. His hands off (no regulation) economic philosophy, straight out of the Goldwater Institute, has been responsible for the S&L debacle (Keating), the telecommunications mess (Qwest), the energy futures disaster (Enron), and the airline fiascos. The less government is more stuff is how we ended up with 9/11, Katrina, bridges that collapse, and the FDA that's a rubber stamp.

    Look at McCain's campaign in contrast to Obama's campaign... it's disorganized and almost went bankrupt twice. I vote for competency over mediocrity any day. Let's not vote in the C student this time but give the guy who has run a stellar campaign from day 1 a chance. Obama faced some pretty long odds, beat the Clinton machine, is flush with cash, and will not be beholden to the left or anybody for that matter. If he's no good, we'll turnover the congress in 2010 and bounce him in 2012.

    July 7, 2008 at 6:07 pm |
  27. Howard Roark

    Neither candidate has presented enough details to really assess what their respective plans are.

    That being said, extending both the tax cuts and the armed conflicts in Iraq & Afghanistan does sound like more of the same.

    The U.S. needs a new plan and it appears that of the two candidates, Obama is the one that will present alternative solutions to the problems created and/ or acerbated by the current administration.

    July 7, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  28. Barack's Change only sounds good.

    Barack wants change in our pocketbooks so he can increase government to the tune of trillions, as he hits us hard with taxes.

    McCain wants to cut our waisteful gov't spending and balance our budget.

    Barack wants to tax, us and then tax us some more so that we are more reliant on his government handouts, because he will put many of our businesses and us into the poorhouse.

    McCain wants to lower our taxes to stimulate our economy.

    I personally would prefer keeping as much money that I have worked for in my own wallet, but I am very supportive of the troops and helping the military and keeping our country secure from those that hate us. I am definitely voting for my Maverick, McCain. He represents change I can stomach.

    July 7, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  29. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Let's see................ Vision and politicians.......... NNAAHH!!
    The problem with American visions politically is that it has to get through Congress [and 'earmarks'!!] and the visions turn into nightmares!!

    July 7, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  30. Alex

    Both McCain and Obama are scary! McCain may have good ideas but his ability to arouse people and make them enthusiastic is simply terrible. Obama (aka: The Pied Piper of Illinois) talks a good line, but he sounds like a used car salesman who hasn't a clue how he's gonna get anything done to better the present situation. Given those choices, I'd rather go with the Old Man who may not deliver an inspiring speech, but at least knows what he wants to do to fix things.

    July 7, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  31. john galt

    Not economy, for me this election is about:


    McCain as an maverick has my outmost respect, and I think he should advertise that. It's shows his independence from party politics.

    Obama has never voted anything away from his party. He is not a leader but a follower and he has not shown any bipartisan effort in passing any "major" issues.

    July 7, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  32. Cindy

    It seems to me that both McCain's and Obama's plans are to help the country in the long run not in the short term. I really don't believe that either of them can do anything to help us in the mess that we are in now.

    And in all actuality McCain really has more of a plan than Obama. Obama's hangs on the uncertainty of finding better fuels and raising our taxes to pay for his healthcare plan, rebuilding our infrastructure, etc. while McCain is going to do things that will free up more money by cutting wasteful spending and trying to balance our out of control budget.

    And from what I have heard it would take money from several Iraq wars to solve our problems money wise! So stopping the war really won't put much of a dent in our money woes.


    July 7, 2008 at 4:50 pm |