Skip to main content

Commentary: Give real answers on the economy

  • Story Highlights
  • Campbell Brown: Obama's nonspecific answers on economy don't work
  • Brown: McCain answers are better, but he still needs to be more specific
  • Brown asks candidates not to dodge the question at Wednesday's debate
  • Next Article in Politics »
By Campbell Brown
CNN
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

Editor's note: Campbell Brown anchors CNN's "Campbell Brown: Election Center" at 8 p.m. ET Mondays through Fridays. She delivered this commentary during the "Cutting through the Bull" segment of Tuesday night's broadcast.

Campbell Brown says she wants to hear more than, "We'll cut pork barrel spending."

Campbell Brown says she wants to hear more than, "We'll cut pork barrel spending."

NEW YORK (CNN) -- On the eve of the third and final debate, a plea to the presidential candidates: Please don't tell us that as president you are going to have to make some tough decisions.

Yes, you are. We get that. We know that. We're in the middle of a financial crisis that analysts keep telling us is unlike anything we've been through as a country since the Great Depression. Families are at this moment losing their savings, losing their homes, losing their jobs.

We understand that if elected president you are going to have to make some tough decisions. That was Barack Obama's answer at the first debate when he was asked what he would give up among all his proposals and promises, given the financial mess. Video Watch Campell ask for specifics »

His response was about as nonspecific an answer as I have ever heard. And he only gave that answer after he was asked the question by the moderator three times. iReport.com: What do you want to hear tonight?

'No bias, no bull'
Get the latest on the presidential race on "Campbell Brown: Election Center."
8 ET Monday through Friday on CNN

At the second debate, his answer was even less helpful. He ignored the question entirely, again talking in vague generalities. I assume Sen. Obama has a sense of the magnitude of the economic challenges we are facing, but those answers sound like they are coming from someone living in la-la land.

John McCain also tried to avoid the question at first and then fell back on a plan he had proposed in April, well before the financial crisis.

At the first debate it took three tries for Sen. McCain to answer, finally repeating his call for a freeze on all discretionary spending with a few exceptions. Whether you love or hate his idea, that is a separate debate, but compared to what we are getting from Obama, McCain at least has offered something concrete.

advertisement

From both candidates, we need real answers. And please don't tell us that you are going to cut pork barrel spending and scrub the waste out of every bloated federal agency. I mean, name a political candidate who hasn't promised to cut the fat and eliminate waste in government. Please, no bull. Be straight with us, we can take it. Americans understand the stakes. Just give us brutal honesty, because so far we are not really getting it.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.

All About Barack ObamaJohn McCainNational Economy

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print