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McCain recalls own economic gaffe, slams Obama over 'doing fine' remark

However, the Arizona senator argued that aside from the backlash, the two statements made by the presidential one-time rivals were not alike. 

"Back then we had just had a terrible stock market crash, people were very nervous and I wanted to try to reassure them that the fundamentals of our economy were good," said McCain on "Fox and Friends" Monday. 

McCain said he interpreted Obama's comments differently, because the president spoke specifically of the "private sector." 

"I'd like to go down Central Avenue in Phoenix with him and show him these small business owners and these closed business and the store fronts and all of the impact that this recession has had on the economy of the private sector," he added. 

Republicans this weekend pounced on the president’s statement Friday that the private sector was “doing fine” despite Obama’s own efforts to immediately walk back the remark.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, in the midst of the financial crisis, then-Republican contender McCain was similarly slammed by Democrats for saying "the fundamentals of our economy are strong."

The former presidential hopeful and Mitt Romney supporter said Obama's statement highlighted the president's economic philosophy. 

"He believes that having state, federal and local governments hire more people, that that's the answer, the way out. Mitt Romney believes that business creates jobs," he said. 

On Monday, Obama's deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, said that the private sector had improved under the president and that the administration was looking to address what is now the economy's most urgent problem: layoffs in the public sector. 

"The president actually was speaking to the American people on Friday with a solution," she said. "Mitt Romney's solution on how to strengthen the economy [is to] fire more people."

When pressed on whether the president's "doing fine" statement will have as much of an impact on the election outcome as his own campaign stumble, McCain said it "depends on the media coverage."

"I would argue that a lot of the media is not too unfriendly to the president," McCain said.

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