Sept. 15, 2008
"There's been tremendous turmoil in our financial markets and Wall Street and ... people are frightened by these events. Our economy, I think, still the fundamentals of our economy are strong. But these are very, very difficult times. And I promise you, we will never put America in this position again. We will clean up Wall Street. We will reform government."
John McCain, speaking at a campaign rally in Jacksonville, Florida
The fateful remark was made on the same day the news broke of financial giants Lehman Brothers filing for bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch being sold to Bank of America, two landmark events that ushered in the global financial meltdown. Despite later trying to clarify the statement by claiming that he was talking about the strength of American workers, not economic indicators, McCain's ill-chosen words would haunt him the rest of the campaign. Whatever else happened, the Obama campaign was able again and again to tout the remark as evidence of McCain being out of touch with the plight of the middle class and the struggling economy an image that effectively sealed the election.