Page last updated at 23:12 GMT, Monday, 29 September 2008 00:12 UK

US rivals clash on bail-out vote

John McCain, 29 September 2008
A McCain advisor attacked the Democrats over the bill's failure

The rival US presidential campaigns have clashed in response to the failure of the bail-out bill in Congress.

An adviser to John McCain accused Barack Obama and Democrats of "putting politics ahead of country".

A spokesman for Barack Obama responded by criticising "the angry and hyper-partisan statement released by the McCain campaign".

Meanwhile, national opinion polls suggest Senator Obama is opening up a lead of several points over his rival.

A Gallup daily tracking poll published on Monday gave Mr Obama an eight-point lead of 50% to Senator McCain's 42%, for the second day running.

A Rasmussen poll published on the same day suggested Mr Obama held a five-point margin over Mr McCain, with 50% to his 45%.

Analysts say the current economic turmoil may have contributed to a shift back towards Mr Obama in the polls, with more voters considering him better qualified to handle the economy.

Meanwhile, audience research has shown that last Friday's McCain-Obama debate drew a TV audience of 52.4 million viewers in the United States.

That was slightly fewer than the 52.7m who watched President Bush's live address on the financial crisis on Wednesday.

The October 1980 debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan still holds the TV record for presidential debates, with 80.6m viewers.

'Clean up'

The $700bn (380bn) rescue plan agreed by top Democrats and Republicans, which would allow the Treasury to buy bad debts from ailing banks in the US, was rejected by the House of Representatives by 228 votes to 205.

This is something that all of us will swallow hard and go forward with
John McCain

Prior to the vote, both White House hopefuls had given their backing to the bill.

Interviewed on morning TV on Sunday, Mr McCain said the proposal hammered out over the weekend took into account his demands for stronger oversight and a limit to compensation for bank executives.

He said: "This is something that all of us will swallow hard and go forward with. The option of doing nothing is simply not an acceptable option."

Speaking about the financial institutions at a rally in Detroit, Mr Obama said it was an outrage that Washington was "now being forced to clean up their mess".

In a TV interview, he also stressed that the plan now met his calls for more oversight, protection for taxpayers and help for people faced with the loss of their homes.

Electoral College votes

Winning post 270
Obama - Democrat
McCain - Republican
Select from the list below to view state level results.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific