WASHINGTON – President Bush said Thursday he shares Americans' concerns about the financial markets and his administration will act to prevent a deepening crisis.
"American people are concered about the situation in our financial markets and our economy and I share their concerns," Bush said from the White House lawn in a brief statement.
"American people can be sure we will continue to act to strengthen and stabilize our financial markets and improve investor confidence," he added.
Bush said he cancelled a fundraiser trip so he can keep an eye on the markets.
"I'll continue to closely monitor the situation in our financial markets and consult with my economic advisers," he said.
The president's remarks were his first on the economic earthquake since Monday. He canceled a statement planned for Tuesday on the developments and has spurned all attempts by reporters to ask him about it this week.
The last few weeks have seen enough Wall Street turmoil and corporate collapses to prompt a blitz of federal interventions under Bush's watch. It is the kind of taxpayer-supported help for the private sector that might seem at odds with Bush's conservative, free-market economic philosophy.
But Bush and his economic advisers say the government has stepped in to keep taxpayers from facing the potential of even worse problems.
"In recent weeks, the federal government has taken extraordinary measures to address the challenges confronting our financial markets," Bush said Thursday.
"These actions are necessary and are important and the markets are adjusting to them. Our financial markets continue to deal with serious challenges. As our recent actions demonstrate, my administration is focused on meeting these challenges."
The latest action was an $85 billion emergency loan for insurance giant American International Group Inc. The government gets almost an 80 percent stake in the company, the most far-reaching intervention into the private sector ever for the Federal Reserve.
House Republicans decried the bailouts Thursday and worried about the next wave.
"These bailouts are not worth the long-term pain," Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling said. "We do not want the U.S. to enter into the next decade like Japan."
Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann wondered if Starbucks would be the next firm to be bailed out.
"We're all worried when Friday night rolls around because that's when over the weekend these bailouts happen," she said. "Pretty soon we'll just open up the cash drawer and feathers will fly out."
Bachmann blamed the economic woes on Democrats for protecting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
House Minority Leader John Boehner said Thursday that a weekly meeting of the House Republican Conference was cancelled because the White House wouldn't send someone up to brief them on the current economic situation and bailouts.
The recent economic upheavel has sent the administration into overtime. Paulson had been scheduled to go to the Senate on Thursday but rescheduled, according to Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., because he is so busy.
Bush had planned Thursday to attend Republican fundraisers in Jupiter, Fla., and Huntsville, Ala., and take and tour a waste facility there, but he cancelled and sent Vice President Dick Cheney to attend the Huntsville fundraiser in his stead.
In cancelling his plan, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said late Wednesday that the president "will continue to work with his economic advisers on the serious challenges confronting U.S. financial markets."
Fratto said, "The president remains focused on taking action to stabilize and strengthen the markets and to restore investor confidence."
FOX News' Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.