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Martinez: McCain gets an "incomplete"

Florida Sen. Mel Martinez endorsed John McCain and is credited with helping him win the Florida primary.

But that didn't stop the former HUD chief from criticizing McCain's stance on the mortgage meltdown.

Appearing on CNN's Late Edition, Martinez said he'd give McCain an "incomplete" for saying that it's "not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly whether they're big banks or small borrowers."

"He stated the obvious, which is that we cannot rescue those who made poor investments and poor decisions," Martinez said. "However where I think he fell short, and where I think he will agree with me, is that we need to do some things that can help families, that can help people."

"There are some things that need to be done that we can do without a bailout of investors who made bad investments, that are focused on families," Martinez said.

The Republican senator, who appeared with his Democratic counterpart, Sen. Bill Nelson, said he agrees with Nelson that the parties need to overhaul the presidential primary process. Florida Republicans were also sanctioned for holding an early primary in violation of national party rules, though the party lost only half its delegates.

"I agree with Bill that we have to go ahead and reform the primary system, but I'm not ready to junk the electoral college," Martinez said. "I think the balance we've had in our nation, which has been so wise for centuries, two centuries, of having small and large states participate in the election of our president, I think ought to be preserved.

"But I totally agree with Bill that we need to redo the primary," he said. "We need to regionalize them and come up with a sequential way of doing them that takes out the kind of nonsense we've had this year."

Read the full transcript in comments.