CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AFP) — Republican White House candidate John McCain on Thursday branded Barack Obama's tax policies as "just plain dumb" after new global finance shocks rocked the presidential race.
McCain said here that he would fire the head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission for turning Wall Street into a "casino" and proposed a new trust to rescue troubled companies before they become insolvent.
"Senator Obama talks a tough game on the financial markets but the facts tell a different story," McCain said here, in a speech interrupted by an anti-war protestor.
The Republican said his Democratic rival had failed to do anything to avert the crisis with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, two giant organizations which guarantee billions of dollars in mortgages which were taken over by the government on September 7.
"He didn't lift a hand to avert this crisis," McCain said, accusing Obama of remaining silent in Congress as the mortgage crisis was building.
McCain also pounced on a comment by Obama's vice presidential running mate Senator Joseph Biden that it would be "patriotic" for wealthy Americans to pay higher taxes at a time of economic need.
"Raising taxes in a tough economy isn't patriotic," McCain said. "It's not a badge of honor, it's just plain dumb."