McCain, Obama weigh in on Wall Street bailout

Leading up the foreign policy debate on Friday evening, the economy is still dominating the headlines this week. Today both Obama and McCain were speaking of the proposed trillion-dollar bailout being pushed by the Treasury Secretary, President Bush, and most of congress.

Video report from ABC News:

More video of the candidates speaking:

Report from USAToday:

Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain are trying to influence the course of the Bush administration’s Wall Street bailout plan as they prepare for their first debate this week.

The two presidential candidates meet Friday night at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. While the scheduled topic is foreign affairs, the nation’s financial mess may also surface.

“The Bush Administration has only offered a concept with a staggering price tag, not a plan,” Obama said Sunday in North Carolina. He called the initial outlay of $700 billion “sobering.”

In Maryland, McCain said Sunday that any plan “must keep people in their homes and safeguard the life savings of all Americans by protecting our financial system and capital markets.” On Saturday, he said he looked forward to “reviewing the full administration proposal.”

Obama, in his Charlotte, appearance and in a separate “statement of principles,” laid out a series of conditions Sunday that he says the plan must meet.

The first four: no blank check “when American taxpayers are on the hook for this much money,” not a dime to reward Wall Street CEOs, taxpayers should be able recoup their investment and homeowners must be helped.

Additionally, Obama said other nations must help secure financial markets, new 21st century “rules of the road” must be put in place for financial institutions, and Congress should pass a stimulus plan to save jobs and help states avoid fiscal pain.

I’ve seen polling which shows that the American people, by a high margin, do not support such an open-ended bailout of the banking system. I’m betting the smartest thing either candidate could do is speak out against this massive bailout as overreaching of government power and spending.