MINNEAPOLIS - Sen. John McCain is the better choice for the financial services industry not for what he would do as president, but rather for what he would refrain from doing, GOP lawmakers said here this week during the Republican National Convention.
Several legislators contrasted the Arizona Republican's generally hands-off approach to market volatility with what they expect would be a hefty list of reforms that could hurt banks and other financial companies if Sen. Barack Obama won the election.
"Obama starts with a preconception that the government can solve all problems, and McCain starts with a view that the government should be a place of last resort," said House Minority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri. "All of the Obama pledges the other night were about how to spend money, not how to make money."
Democrats in Denver cited specific goals they said an Obama administration would advocate, including credit card, underwriting and bankruptcy reform, but last week, Republicans touted McCain for not being an interventionist.
"Sen. McCain believes in letting the markets do what they do best," said Rep. Randy Neugebauer of Texas, a member of the House Financial Services Committee.
"I think he's going to be one that says, 'Let's let the markets run their course.'"
Many Republicans argued that Sen. Obama's approach could hurt the economy.
"The free market concept would go away" under his administration, said Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, another Financial Services Committee member. "We'd see a great deal of regulation in the process and a lack of capital in an economic time where we need capital, so that people can create wealth."
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