Obama turns attention back to struggling economy

29th July 2008, Comments 0 comments

The US presidential candidate turns his attention back to the struggling US economy after a week-long trip to Europe and the Middle East.

29 July 2008

WASHINGTON - Home from a week-long trip to Europe and the Middle East, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama turned his attention back to the struggling US economy and met Monday with a collection of top economic officials.

Republican rival John McCain spoke of his own plans to combat surging energy prices at a townhall meeting Monday, after a week of sharply criticising Obama on the war in Iraq and other foreign policy issues.

Obama held a more than two-hour meeting in Washington with economic officials, including former US Treasury secretaries, central bank chiefs, governors and business leaders.

The group included Paul O'Neill, who served as treasury secretary under President George W Bush from 2001-2002, and Eric Schmidt, chief executive of search-engine giant Google Inc.

Obama, who returned Sunday to the United States, called the gathering a "wide-ranging and hard-headed conversation about where the economy needs to go".

McCain, meanwhile, renewed his call to open up oil drilling off the US coastline, a measure Obama has derided as a campaign ploy and that has been part of a long-running dispute over how to reduce surging petrol prices in the United States.

"Offshore drilling is something we have to do. I'm sorry that Senator Obama opposes it," McCain said at a campaign event in California.

[dpa / Expatica]

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