US Presidential hopefuls Democratic Barack Obama and Republican John McCain were forced to focus on economy ahead of their first debate later this week which is supposed to centre on foreign policy, the US News and World Report said on Monday.
In the wake of the financial turmoil on the Wall Street, there is no much word about foreign policy from the mouths of both candidates.
Instead, they are trying to influence the course of the Bush administration's Wall Street bailout plan.
The pair would confront each other on Friday night at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi.
"The Bush Administration has only offered a concept with a staggering price tag, not a plan," Obama said last Sunday in North Carolina.
He called the initial outlay of 700 billion dollars "sobering.
" Obama laid out a series of conditions that he says the plan must meet.
The first four: no blank cheque "when American taxpayers are on the hook for this much money," not a dime to reward Wall Street CEOs, taxpayers should be able to recoup their investment and homeowners must be helped.
Additionally, Obama said other nations must help secure financial markets, new 21st century "rules of the road" must be put in place for financial institutions, and Congress should pass a stimulus plan to save jobs and help states avoid fiscal pain.
McCain said last Sunday any plan "must keep people in their homes and safeguard the life savings of all Americans by protecting our financial system and capital markets.
" He said he looked forward to "reviewing the full administration proposal.
" McCain mentioned he has a plan for "comprehensive reform of the broken institutions that allowed this crisis to become a grave threat to our economy.
" Among his proposals are creation of a Mortgage and Financial Institutions Trust, designed "to identify institutions that are weak and take remedies to strengthen them before they become insolvent.
" Congress is expected to vote on the administration's bailout plan this week.
Neither campaign would say if the candidates would interrupt their week to fly to Washington and vote, or how they might vote on a final plan.
Obama would travel to south on Tuesday to start debate preparations.
McCain's Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker declined to comment on specifics of debate preparation.