Candidates Hope to Cash in on Economy

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With rising gas and food prices and falling home prices, the economy's front and center for most Americans -- and it's taking center stage on the campaign trail, too.

The candidates are talking about the economy, hoping it might translate into a win among voters in November.

These are hard times for American families.

"I cannot believe the prices in the stores - even the food stores," a consumer said.

With gas averaging $3.26 a gallon and food prices spiking 4 percent in the last year, many are pinching their pennies.

"I think people are very wary right now, and I think they hesitate about spending," another consumer said.

And today the candidates are honing in, talking the economy.

John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee, says he'll evaluate all the options in addressing the mortgage meltdown that spawned the credit crunch.

McCain wants reform, but he may be open to potential short-term fixes, although he stops short of a government "bail out."

Hillary Clinton spoke on the issue, saying, "In today's economy, trouble that starts on Wall Street often ends on Main Street."

Clinton continues her economic stump speech with a town hall meeting today, after laying out her four-point plan to stem the tide of rising home foreclosures.

"If the Fed can extend $30 billion to help Bear Stearns address their financial crisis, the federal government should provide at least that much emergency help to families and communities address theirs," Clinton said.

Barack Obama now heads back to the campaign trail after a weekend vacation in the Virgin Islands.

His campaign gave examples of similar proposals offered by Obama and called Clinton's plan repackaged themes from before.

But when it comes to the economy, it's not all doom and gloom.

The housing slump saw an unexpected bump in home sales after falling six straight months.

Although it's just one snapshot report, February sales of existing homes rose 2.9 percent -- the biggest increase in a year.

Analysts say falling prices appear to be bringing buyers back into the market.

Likewise, the candidates are hoping with all the talk on the economy now, they'll be able to cash in with voters in the fall.

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CBN News
John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Washington Correspondent

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