Page last updated at 17:26 GMT, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 18:26 UK

US rivals clash on banking crisis

Mr McCain appeared to shift his views in an interview with ABC

US presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and John McCain have clashed over their competing plans to deal with the US economic crisis.

In a TV advert, Republican nominee John McCain accused his Democratic opponent of offering "only... talk and taxes".

And in a statement on the federal bailout of insurance giant AIG, Mr Obama mocked Mr McCain's "eleventh hour conversion to the language of reform".

Polls suggest voters trust Democrats more than Republicans on the economy.

Policy shift

Commenting on the US government's $85bn (47.2bn) loan to AIG, Mr McCain appeared to shift his position during an interview on ABC's Good Morning America.

On Tuesday, before the loan was made, the Republican hopeful had told NBC: "I do not believe that the American taxpayer should be on the hook for AIG."

AIG office in New York City

But in his ABC interview, after the news of the government's intervention emerged, Mr McCain said: "I didn't want to do that, but there are literally millions of people whose retirement, whose investment, whose insurance were at risk here."

Meanwhile, Mr Obama released a two-minute advert - four times the length of most campaign commercials - in which he set out his plans to deal with the financial crisis.

He pledged to "give a $1,000 tax break to the middle class... end the 'anything goes' culture on Wall Street with real regulation... free [America] from our dependence on Mid-East oil in 10 years... crack down on lobbyists... and... bring a responsible end to this war in Iraq so we stop spending billions each month rebuilding their country when we should be rebuilding ours".

Mr McCain, in his campaign ad, vowed to "reform Wall Street and fix Washington", stressing that he had "taken on tougher guys than this before".

Michael Dimock, associate director of the Pew Research Center, told BBC News that the current economic situation could be beneficial for Mr Obama by reinforcing the overwhelming public view that the US was "going in the wrong direction".

Electoral College votes

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CNN New Turmoil and Uncertainly; Feds Playing a Bigger Role; Mexican Drug Gang Busted in U.S. - 5 hrs ago
CBS News AIG Bailout Takes Campaign's Center Stage - 13 hrs ago
London Review of Books After Kemal - 13 hrs ago
Los Angeles Times Obama, McCain seize on financial turmoil - 16 hrs ago
New York Times The Early Word: Fixing the Economy - 20 hrs ago

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