Dean: McCain's economic plan "more of the same"

April 19, 2008 6:31:09 PM PDT
John McCain doesn't have an effective plan to turn around the faltering U.S. economy, Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean said Saturday. "As I listened to Senator John McCain's remarks about the economy this week, I heard more of the same Republican policies that George Bush has brought us for the last eight years," Dean said in the Democrats' weekly radio address.

Among those policies, Dean said, are "privatizing Social Security, denying our children health care, adding $8 trillion in new deficits, no plan to turn our economy around or help people keep their homes."

Despite the nation's current economic woes, including rising unemployment, lower wages and record gas prices, "Senator McCain believes we are better off," Dean said.

Republican Party Chairman Mike Duncan, in turn, accused Democrats of trying to "smear" McCain and argued that Dean was resorting to distorted and laughable attacks on the GOP nominee in waiting.

On Friday, Democratic candidate Barack Obama criticized McCain for comments he made in a television interview saying there had been "great progress economically" in the period since Bush became president. McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said the Arizona senator's remarks had been taken out of context, noting McCain went on to say the economic improvements were "no comfort to families now that are facing these tremendous economic challenges."

In the radio address, Dean said: "If you want to see more of this Bush economy, if you want to see our troops in Iraq for a long period of time, we can stay the course with Senator McCain. But the Democrats have a different vision for America's future. Both of our candidates for president have a plan to get us out of Iraq responsibly so that we can invest in the American people and American jobs."

Either Obama or Hillary Rodham Clinton "will turn our economy around with fair and honest tax policies, will help people keep their homes, and finally have a health care system that makes sense for all of us," Dean said.