Barack Obama has been raking John McCain for two weeks now for saying on the day the Wall Street crisis ballooned that the fundamentals of the economy were strong.
Now, Republicans are jumping all over Obama for saying what they argue was something very similar.
“After this immediate problem, we’ve got the long-term fundamentals that will really make sure this economy grows," Obama said today in Colorado.
That was just after he repeated his criticism of his Republican rival: "You see, Senator McCain just doesn’t get it -- he doesn’t get that this crisis on Wall Street hit Main Street a long time ago. That’s why his first response to the greatest fiscal meltdown in generations was to say that the ‘fundamentals of the economy are strong,’ and why he didn’t say the words 'middle class' once in an entire 90-minute debate.”
McCain tried to clarify that he was talking about the fundamental strength provided by American workers, but by then it was too late.
UPDATE: Obama's campaign asserted that the Republican National Committee was taking the comment completely out of context because Obama was not talking about the economy, but about his economic plan.
"We don’t just need a plan for bankers and investors, we need a plan for autoworkers and teachers and small business owners," Obama said. "I have said it before and I’ll say it again: we need to pass, after this immediate crisis is over, an economic stimulus plan. Right now. For working families – a plan that will help folks cope with rising food and gas prices, that can save one million jobs by rebuilding our schools and our roads, and help states and cities avoid budget cuts and tax increases. A plan that would extend expiring unemployment benefits. For those Americans who have lost their jobs and have been working hard to find a new one, but haven’t found one yet. That’s part of the change we need.
"And then after this immediate problem, we’ve got the long-term fundamentals that will really make sure this economy grows. Change means a tax code that doesn’t reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses that deserve it. As president I am going to eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses and start-ups. That’s how we’ll grow our economy and create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow."
A similar circumstance unspooled Friday, with Obama's campaign sending out a YouTube snippet that suggested that Republican congressman had said McCain killed a Wall Street bailout deal and McCain's camp distributing the full context.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.