Barack Obama said this afternoon that John McCain proved he doesn't understand economics with what the presumptive Republican nominee's campaign had billed as a major speech Tuesday on the housing crisis.
Obama said despite the growing wave of foreclosures that is putting families out of their homes, depressing house values, and forcing consumers to put off purchases, McCain "offered not one policy, not one idea, not one bit of relief."
McCain focused instead on warning against a leap to government intervention that would reward speculators and the irresponsible and hurt taxpayers in general.
But Obama said action is needed. "Our economy is grinding to a halt," Obama told voters in Greensboro, N.C., returning to the campaign trail after a family holiday in the US Virgin Islands.
The Democratic front-runner said that McCain would be more of the same as President Bush, whose call for an "ownership society" turned into a "you're-on-your own society."
"We can't afford another four years of Bush economics," Obama said.
UPDATE: McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds issued a response.
"Senator Obama’s blatant mischaracterizations aren't the new politics he’s promised America, they're the old attack and smear tactics that Americans are tired of," Bounds said in a statement. "Barack Obama's diagnosis for our housing market is clearly that Barack Obama knows best -- raise taxes on hardworking Americans and give government a prescription to spend."