Obama holds back specifics of crisis plan The Chicago Tribune - The Swamp Posted September 19, 2008 By John McCormick CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Sen. Barack Obama today called for a bipartisan effort to deal with the financial crisis wreaking havoc on Wall Street, but stopped short of presenting his own detailed proposal for how to resolve the situation. After meeting with his top economic advisers, the Democratic presidential candidate said this was not the time to present specific details for how to fix the immediate problem, a reversal from what he had said a day earlier. "Given the gravity of this situation, based on conversations I've had with both Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke, I will refrain from presenting a more detailed blueprint about how an immediate plan might be structured until I can fully review details of the plan proposed by the Treasury and Federal Reserve," Obama said. "I think it's critical at this point that the markets and the public have confidence that their work will be unimpeded by partisan wrangling." The Illinois senator said the crisis has "not just threatened trading floors and high rises on Wall Street, but the stability and security of our entire global economy." Obama said the Treasury and Federal Reserve need "as broad authority as is necessary" to stabilize markets and to maintain credit. "I fully support the efforts of Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke to work in a bipartisan spirit with Congress to find a solution," he said. As he prepared to appear at a rally here, Obama called on his Republican rival to join him in trying to find solutions now. "I urge Sen. McCain, President Bush, Republicans and Democrats to join me in supporting an emergency economic plan for working families," he said. "John McCain and I can continue to argue about our differing economic agendas for next year, but we should come together now to work on what this country urgently needs this year." Obama also stood by his proposal for tax cuts, despite the slumping economy. "Now more than ever, we've got to have the kind of broad based, middle class tax cut that I've talked about," he said. "I think it is very important that even as we stabilize the financial system that we understand that people have been hurting long before Wall Street was hurting." Obama met briefly with reporters after spending part of the morning meeting with his top economic advisers in person and via telephone. Attending the meeting were former Treasury secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers; former Bill Clinton economic advisers Gene Sperling and Laura Tyson-Haas and former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. Joining Obama by phone were billionaire investor Warren Buffett, former commerce secretary Bill Daley, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, and Joseph Stiglitz, a Columbia University professor.