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Published: Thursday, 10/9/2008

Obama uses Ohio visit to slam McCain's plan to buy back failed mortgages

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER

DAYTON, Ohio Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama Thursday sharply attacked Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain s plan to buy back failed mortgages as a bail-out of "greedy speculators" who helped create the current fiscal crisis.

His poll numbers rising in the state, Mr. Obama launched a two-day swing of southern Ohio with a rally in Dayton s Fifth Third Field baseball stadium, home of the Dragons.

Senator Obama said Mr. McCain s proposal, unveiled in a nationally televised debate Tuesday, is to pay full value of failing mortgages, rather than their reduced value, after first saying government would buy the loans at a discount.

"Senator McCain actually wants the government to pay the full face value of mortgages on the books, even though they re not worth that much anymore. So banks wouldn t take a loss, but taxpayers would take a loss," Mr. Obama said.

"It s a plan that would guarantee that American taxpayers lose by handing over $300 billion to underwrite the kind of greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street that got us into this mess."

He called it an example of Mr. McCain s recent "erratic behavior."

He said buying failed mortgages is a plan he supports and in fact is allowed under the $700 billion rescue package adopted last week, if done right.

Mr. Obama is to continue his tour to Cincinnati and end today in Portsmouth. The tour resumes tomorrow with rallies in Chillicothe and Columbus.

Still unclear are the Illinois senator s plans for coming to Toledo where the campaign has announced he will spend at least two days next week preparing for his debate against Mr. McCain in New York on Wednesday.

Mayor Rhine McLin said the Dayton area has lost more than 33,000 jobs in the last seven years. She linked Senator Obama s proposals for reinvigorating the economy with its history of innovation, as shown by the aviation creativity of the Wright Brothers.

"Senator Obama is the only candidate offering original ideas," she said.

Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland also rallied the crowd of about 8,500, telling them that "the people of Ohio have suffered greatly" during President Bush s two terms, and that between President Bush and Senator McCain, "there s not a dime s worth of difference."

Montgomery County, which is home to Dayton, voted for Democrat John Kerry in 2004 by 4,626 votes. Mr. Kerry also won in Franklin County. He lost to Republican President Bush in the other three counties Mr. Obama will visit this trip Scioto, Ross, and Hamilton. Statewide, Mr. Bush won Ohio s 20 electoral votes by about 118,000 votes.

The candidate was introduced by Tony Curington who worked 22 years at Delphi Automotive Services in Dayton and took a buyout in 2006 when the company filed for bankruptcy and then closed five factories.

Now Mr. Curington works for a nonprofit agency helping displaced workers get retraining.

"He ll make sure that working families who have been ignored for eight years again have a friend in the white house," Mr. Curington said.



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