What happened
John McCain and Barack Obama responded to Wall Street’s deepening crisis with calls for tighter financial regulation, a departure from the Bush administration’s largely hands-off approach. McCain has long opposed government intervention, but said the time has come to stop “running Wall Street like a casino.” (BusinessWeek.com)

What the commentators said
It was bad enough that John McCain claimed the economy was fundamentally sound as Wall Street erupted in turmoil, said The New York Times in an editorial. Then he made things worse by suggesting that anyone who disagrees is insulting American workers. Clearly, he “offers no alternatives” to the disastrous economic policies of the Bush years.

That’s what Barack Obama wants voters to think, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial, but McCain shouldn't have let his rival bait him into blaming greed and calling for more regulation on Wall Street. McCain can score points in this crisis by explaining why his “worthy tax-cut plan” is smarter than Obama’s solution—soaking the rich.

Obama really thinks he can benefit by blaming Wall Street’s excesses on “McCain-Bush” deregulation, said Sebastian Mallaby in The Washington Post online. It's true that some regulatory reform is needed, “but you can’t blame the mess on either political party.”