The House’s failure to pass a $700 billion bailout package Monday not only held back billions for Wall Street, but also was a major blow to Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign. The Republican presidential nominee raised the stakes for himself last week when he suspended his campaign and returned to Washington for negotiations over a solution to the financial crisis.

“Even before the House vote, voters blamed Republicans more than Democrats for the crisis. Then McCain suspended his campaign to come back to Washington to rally support for a rescue plan,” said Bill Schneider, a CNN political analyst. “He failed, so he gets blamed by both supporters and opponents of the rescue plan.”

During a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday, McCain appeared to distance himself from Monday’s House vote, saying the congressional inaction had “every American and the entire economy at the gravest risk.”

Terry Jeffries, a Republican strategist and CNN contributor, also said McCain may have hurt himself among conservatives by losing sight of his party’s free-market principles.

“I think that John McCain failed to lead,” Jeffries said. “He should be right there pushing the principles, and the conservatives in the House are doing that right now.”

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