McCain still sees the fundamentals of the economy as strong

MCCAIN STILL SEES THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ECONOMY AS STRONG…. The Obama campaign routinely tweaks John McCain for having argued that the “fundamentals of our economy are strong.” Last week, the Washington Post’s Jonathan Weisman criticized Obama for using the line, insisting that the quote is “months old.”

Except, it’s not. This morning, in the midst of a genuine crisis on Wall Street, John McCain once again touted the underlying strength of the economy.

For those who can’t watch clips from their work computers, McCain, in a speech in Jacksonville, Florida, this morning, said, “You know that there’s been tremendous turmoil in our financial markets and Wall St. And it is — people are frightened by these events. Our economy, I think still — the fundamentals of our economy are strong. But these are very, very difficult times.”

Watching the video, this wasn’t an instance in which McCain repeated a line out of habit — he read the quote from a prepared text. While he was reading the speech, the markets here and around the globe were tanking.

As Sam Stein explained, “[W]ith financial and job markets in disarray, and with Lehman Brothers, the troubled investment bank, filing for bankruptcy, it may not be the wisest political message to tell voters that the fundamentals are a-okay.”

There’s being politically tone-deaf, and then there’s being this politically tone-deaf. It’s almost as if McCain wants to make it easy for Obama to call him out of touch.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.