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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

National cat fund returns as campaign issue

Update! The Florida Democratic Party launched a new website attacking McCain on this issue.

Update 2! McCain campaign responds, see in jump.

Florida insurance could become a big issue during this general election.

The Obama campaign hosted a conference call on Thursday with Congressman Ron Klein and Florida House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber to show the similarities between Sen. John McCain and President George W. Bush, saying both oppose creating a National Catastrophic Insurance Fund.

"Sen. McCain had said he thought (the national catastrophe fund plan) was a good one. All of the sudden when President Bush came out against this.....Sen. McCain decided this was not something he could support," Congressman Klein said.

What they failed to point out is that others in the Senate, especially those from land-locked states, which includes some Democrats, also oppose creating such a fund.

When asked what Obama has done to champion the issue, campaign spokesman Hari Sevugan said the Obama campaign came out early with support for the national catastrophe fund issue. Although the Illinois senator has not been a leader on the issue, which has gotten virtually no hearing in the Senate.

McCain's response through spokesman Tucker Bounds: "It's disappointing that for the second day in a row for Senator Obama has chosen to use natural catastrophes to launch political attacks -- 'that's not change we can believe in.' John McCain is opposed to a government-run National Catastrophe Fund, not because he doesn't have serious concerns about the cost of insurance in Florida, but because it ignores the need for private insurance reforms to broaden markets and protections against the cherry-picking of individual states..."

Bounds goes on to point out that McCain's credentials were good enough to win Gov. Charlie Crist's support.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:21am]

    

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