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U.S. presidential hopefuls trade barbs on economy
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09:11, March 28, 2008

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U.S. presidential hopefuls waged verbal wars against each other Thursday on economic policy.

Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-ILL.) laid out their proposals to reinvigorate the economy as they attacked the plan advocated by Republican presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona as "ineffective."

Clinton's campaign also attacked Obama's economic address as "just words" and accused him of copying her plan.

The former first lady said McCain's plan "does virtually nothing to ease the credit crisis or the housing crisis."

"He'd rather ignore the credit crisis and the mortgage crisis --or blame middle-class families instead of offering solutions on their behalf," Clinton said during campaigning in Raleigh, N.C.

Speaking from New York, Obama said earlier in the day that the United States must address "the immediate crisis in the housing market" in order to recharge the economy.

"McCain recently announced his own plan, and it amounts to little more than watching this crisis happen. While this is consistent with McCain's determination to run for George W. Bush's third term, it won't help families who are suffering, and it won't help lift our economy out of recession," Obama said.

McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, outlined his plan to address the housing situation earlier this week.

His campaign released a statement Thursday calling the housing crisis a "complex problem that deserves a careful, balanced approach that helps the homeowners in trouble, not big banks and speculators that acted irresponsibly."

"However, what is not necessary is a multibillion dollar bailout for big banks and speculators, as Sens. Clinton and Obama have proposed. There is a tendency for liberals to seek big government programs that sock it to American taxpayers while failing to solve the very real problems we face," it said.

Clinton's campaign also accused Obama of copying her plan, calling for an additional stimulus package one week after Clinton did.

But Obama's senior economic adviser Daniel Tarullo said Obama has laid out a plan for financial regulation that is more comprehensive than any other candidate.

Polls show that the economic slowdown caused by the credit crunch has become a top concern for U.S. voters.


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