Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

A thin line between fact-checking and propaganda in Gaza social media coverage

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive

Read more

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies casting light on a dark history...

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

  • Hamas rockets reaching deeper into Israel

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces close in on Donetsk

    Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Gaza as militants target Israeli cities

    Read more

  • UN chief Ban Ki-moon appoints new Syria mediator

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

Obama, McCain suffer friendly fire

©

Latest update : 2008-07-14

The two main contenders for the White House have finally got down to the tough issues. Both, however, spent the best part of last week trying to limit the damage caused by ill-advised comments coming from their own camps.

In recent weeks, the two main contenders for the White House have finally got down to the tough issue of curing the United States’ troubled economy. Republican candidate John McCain and Democrat rival Barack Obama have begun putting forward their plans for the troubled US economy, amid soaring oil prices and fears of recession.

Both, however, spent the best part of last week trying to limit the damage wrought by ill-advised comments coming from their own camps.

Obama was the first to suffer a blow, at the hands of civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson, a former acolyte of Martin Luther King. In crude remarks caught by an open microphone on the set of Fox News on July 8, Jackson complained that Obama could seem to be “talking down to black people at times,” before suggesting he wished to “cut his nuts off”.

While the reverend was quick to apologise, the episode soon spiralled into a huge scandal. Fortunately for Obama, however, a helping hand came from the opposing camp, as an incident in the McCain campaign quickly stole the spotlight. 

 
In an interview with the Washington Times, the Republican candidate’s economic adviser Phil Gramm suggested Americans were in a “mental recession”, while the US was a nation of “whiners”.

Of course, Obama was quick to pounce on the opportunity. “When people are losing their homes and property values are declining,” he said in a fiery speech, “it isn’t whining to ask government to step in and give families some relief”.

Meanwhile, McCain could do little besides trying to control the damage. “Phil Gramm does not speak for me, I speak for me,” was his terse reply.

Yet, the damage was done, casting further doubt on McCain’s credentials on economic policy, just a few months after he admitted that the economy was not his strong suit.  

As FRANCE 24’s correspondent in Washington, Guillaume Meyer, explains, “John McCain’s hesitation when it comes to economic questions could cost him dearly.” Indeed, according to a recent poll, Americans worry much more about the economy than any other issue, including the war in Iraq.
 

Date created : 2008-07-14

Comments

COMMENT(S)