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While other Republicans shunned the B-word, the independent expenditure arm of the Republican National Committee used it on Tuesday in a new ad tying the giant package to Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama.

Mr. Obama, for his part, used the word “rescue” six times in a campaign speech in Reno, Nev., on Tuesday. The B-word was nary to be found.

“This is no longer just a Wall Street crisis: It’s an American crisis, and it’s the American economy that needs this rescue plan,” he said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to neutralize the word “bailout” by arguing that the financial mess is really about average consumers and taxpayers, not Wall Street executives.

In a floor speech, the Kentucky Republican highlighted the effects on his constituents, citing a woman who said she might have to sell off part of her family’s farmland and a small-business owner who said the interest rate on his building jumped 400 percent.

McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said the overwhelming opposition that flooded congressional offices over the past week had something to do with the way the plan was characterized.

“If this thing is determined to be a ‘bailout’ versus a ‘rescue’ plan for people at home, it makes a difference how they perceive it,” he said. “When people learn the real consequences of inaction versus a sound bite describing it as a bailout for fat cats, that makes a difference.”

Many conservatives, however, argue that it was not the marketing but the terms of the plan that led to its defeat in the House on Monday.

“The bailout had the support of every power broker and special-interest lobbyist in Washington,” said Richard A. Viguerie, chairman of “It had the support of virtually every fat-cat campaign contributor; it had the support of the mainstream media, who told us ad nauseam that everyone - everyone - supported a bailout.

“Everyone acknowledges something must be done with the financial situation, but the bailout bill was not what Americans wanted,” he said. “After the vote in the House, I looked out my window and the sky had not fallen, so America indeed has yet another day to resolve this mess.”