For McCain & Obama, it’s the economy, stupid!

Both McCain and Obama have been stuck speaking about economic issues for the past couple weeks amid rising gasoline prices and other economic worries. This brought me back to the early 90s when it was stated that ever election, regardless of other issues, is about the money in voters’ wallets.

The story from AOL News:

PEMBERTON, N.J. (AP) – Reports of rising inflation and weak gains in wages kept the paycheck struggles of Americans at the center of the presidential campaign Friday.

Republican John McCain sought to frame an economic policy that defends extending President Bush’s tax cuts but embraces quick measures that the president opposes.

Democrat Barack Obama, benefiting from public disapproval of Bush’s economic policies, has continued to link McCain to Bush.

The Labor Department reported Friday that consumer prices rose by 0.6 percent last month. It was the biggest one-month increase since last November, pushed up by surging gasoline costs. After adjusting for inflation, weekly earnings for nonsupervisors workers were down 1.2 percent in May, compared to a year ago, the department said in a separate report.

The economy is trumping Iraq as the top issue facing the country, a circumstance that places McCain at a distinct disadvantage. The public splits between him and Obama as to who could handle Iraq best, but Obama is viewed as the one best to handle the economy.

With the unemployment rate in May jumping to 5.5 percent, McCain said Friday he would support extending jobless assistance and said he was willing to discuss other short-term measures to boost the economy. He did not rule out another economic stimulus package this year.

“I support extension of unemployment benefits, I think we should do that now,” he told reporters following a town hall meeting in Pemberton, N.J. “I think we should explore a number of options.”

Bush and Republican congressional leaders have opposed the jobless benefits extension. Meanwhile, Obama has proposed a new $50 billion economic stimulus package.

But McCain also argued for continuing President Bush’s tax cuts, most of which are set to expire in 2010. Failure to extend them, he noted, would result in tax increases.

Obama has proposed tax cuts for low- and middle-income taxpayers, but would restore pre-Bush tax rates to the wealthiest Americans.

Here is video of Obama speaking about taxes:

McCain has also been talking economy this week and I’ll have more on that later with an update.