McCain touts economic plan to business leaders


Ten miles south of Milwaukee is the city of South Milwaukee. It's a middle class town mostly with a solid business base.

The Bucyrus plant takes up several blocks to create it monstrous mining equipment. But production was quiet Wednesday as McCain participated in an economic summit. The day after offering a sweeping economic plan to spur growth, McCain discussed the issues facing Wisconsin business leaders.

McCain told a meeting of business leaders at Bucyrus International that the government has to act fast to help the nation's economy.

He cited part of the economic plan he unveiled Tuesday during a speech in Pittsburgh.

He's calling for extending Bush administration tax cuts he once opposed and eliminating federal gasoline and diesel taxes for the summer.

Senator McCain and the panelists discussed several issues including healthcare, tax reform, free trade and immigration.

"Our limits on immigration have posed probably the greatest competitive threat to American higher education we have seen. What are your feelings on that?" said Michael Knetter, University of Wisconsin Business School.

"We also have to embark on a comprehensive immigration reform that allows us to attract and retain workers needed in this work force," said McCain.

The summit was not open to the public. Senator McCain says it was a learning opportunity for him as he seeks to become the next president.

At the event, McCain was surrounded by supporters, in town there appears to be lukewarm support.

"I think he has good views, and I respect him for his past, but I probably won't be leaning that way," said Barbara Lampl, undecided voter.

"I could go his way. I said that in the past, especially when he ran against Bush in 2000, I liked him over our current president," said David Michel, undecided voter.

Senator McCain hopes to capitalize on that indecision as he visits swing states.

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