Amid inaction on financial bailout, blame game continues in McCain ad

September 30, 2008

PHOENIX  – U.S. lawmakers have yet to back a plan to try and stem the global financial crisis. But the vigorous round of finger-pointing over who is to blame for it continued on the campaign trail on Tuesday as John McCain’s camp singled out Democratic rival Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton in a new ad.


The 60-second spot argued that, while the veteran Arizona senator sought to rein in excesses by troubled mortgage titans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – which were rescued by the government earlier this month — Obama, an Illinois senator, did nothing.

“John McCain fought to rein in Fannie and Freddie,” a voiceover says. It then quotes The Washington Post saying McCain “pushed for stronger regulation … while Mr. Obama was notably silent.”

“But Democrats blocked the reforms. Loans soared. Then, the bubble burst. And taxpayers are on the hook for billions.”

The salvo laying blame and charging inaction over the crisis comes a day after the U.S. House of Representatives voted down a bailout plan backed by President George W. Bush that sought to buy up $700 billion in troubled bank assets.

The surprise 228-205 House defeat sent markets tumbling around the world and unleashed a sharp blame game in Washington.

House Republicans, a majority of whom voted against the bill, blamed the failure on a “partisan” speech given before the vote by House speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, in which she chided Republicans for what she said was their “budgetary recklessness” and an “anything goes mentality” that led to the crisis.

The ad aired by the McCain camp also seeks to heap blame for the financial debacle on former President Clinton.

“Bill Clinton knows who is responsible,” the voiceover intoned, before cutting to a clip of the former president saying: “I think the responsibility that the Democrats have may rest more in resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress or by me when I was President to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

It concluded: ‘You’re right, Mr. President. It didn’t have to happen.”

(Photo credit: REUTERS/Jim Bourg, Sept 26, 2008, USA)


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Obama does not have the experience to tell Americans anything. He was given the nomination by DNC charades. And Democrat beside his name does not make him any more qualified. He is an empty suit.

Tell Obama NO!
Tell 20 YEARS of Wright and ANTI-American hatred NO!
Tell Obama and his BIG BLANK CHECK with the majority congress NO!
Tell Obama NO!

Posted by DEM now IND | Report as abusive

Shock— mccain running a false misleading ad….what else has he run this entire campaign…Liar, liar..slime, slur, mcsame , mcBush . old guard—

Posted by Docb | Report as abusive

Of the two main presidential candidates, John McCain was the only candidate to give the economic crisis his full attention. Briefly suspending his campaign and returning to Washington to try and bring people together on this economic issue while also adding other concepts into the discussion of how best to proceed. Whether people say it was for political purposes that he did it or whether other people who really have followed John’s real record over the past 20 years say, “that’s the John McCain we know and are voting for”, the fact remains that McCain went back to Washington to do his job as a U.S. senator and a republican party leader and find compromise and support for effective legislation. He went back to help find compromise and Democrats tried to run McCain out of the congressional talks as if he wasn’t a United States senator and a party leader. People like Barney Franks were saying we need this done now (like some used car salesman trying to sell a lemon to some “schmuck” before he walks off the lot), and many democrats and few republicans were ready to unconditionally back George W Bush’s administration plan as long as they could load it with their goodies. It is reported that McCain stayed in Washington and talked with republicans about their concerns and democrats about their concerns before democrats in the house and senate manipulated attacks against John McCain’s presence to find solutions for the economy as a way to try to turn people against McCain’s campaign.

That’s the difference between John McCain and Barrack Obama. John McCain’s work history has been robustly full of talking WITH other people to try and find solutions and compromise for pressing issues. Obama’s work history has been filled with talking TO other people to tell them how great he is to further advance his social stature.

Vote for someone who has humility and upholds his duty by putting in work to try to find real compromise and the best solutions across party lines.

Posted by CJ | Report as abusive

How dishonest!

“Senator Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship into the process,” Mr. McCain said, before adding in almost the same breath: “Now is not the time to fix the blame. It’s time to fix the problem.”

Come ON!

Does he think that we don’t remember last week?

Rick Davis and his millions in lobbying for Freddie and Fannie?
Just so o taht they have McCain’s ear?

DIshonorable man.

Posted by M. Tobias | Report as abusive

Wait a minute… In the ad the voice says “Democrats blocked the reforms” with a graphic dated 9/14/08. Then “Loans soared” with a graphic dated 9/30/99.

A bit of revisionist history????

Posted by m913 | Report as abusive

Let the Finger Pointing Begin.

Posted by Nick P. | Report as abusive

McCain is a shameless elderly rascal. This false ad proves it. McCain’s advisors (Rick Davis) are Fannie and Freddy lobbyists, Davis was recieving $15,000 a month from them up to the federal takeover last month. For 26 years McCain fought to deregulate, deregulate, deregulate, along with his fellow Republicans and Bush. Now we are to believe that blame lies with the Democrats, since they weren’t able to stop the Republican controlled congress (the Newt Gingrich revolution) or repair the damage in the 2 short years they’ve been back (under Bush still). Shameless lies from a desperate old man watching his “birth right”, his legacy slip away from him. I don’t give a hoot for McCain’s legacy and do not want him as president. He is a reckless gambler as his choice of babbling incoherent Palin proves. God help us if they manage to get elected.

Posted by Steve Kauffman | Report as abusive

Well folks…. script running as wanted in DC..same ole Iraq War, Patriot Act, Plan D..etc etc.. media, the nitwit networks whom mostly not brightest bulb on string… now pushing a scare campaign on public AKA Iraq WMD’s etc by the “experts”. So congress will come OK after sufficient time at the “wake for Wall St”. Not much will change on the money machine. new paint job, maybe new tires but same ole road will once again be traveled. Public whom really does not have a clue of what is really going on will soon forget, and send back the same that messed it up in first place.
NOW the crisis target has shifted from “evil Wall St” to “poor banks so broke they must charge high rates for loans and you credit card now “restricted to 20K or so, down from %50K (at 25%) . Amusing how Credit Card banks “need help” but did not need adult supervision when in front of congress about robbing the people.
So let’s all cool down, congress will do as it wanted to do last week before the commoners got upset.. so had to shift the “crisis” to the banks are broke etc. No one has asked how suddenly the banks went broke and NO media has mentioned the $670 BIL that flowed from fed to banks this week. NO one has said if the fannie-etc bailout part of this one. or what will happen in 2009-10 when even a greater number of ARMs “adjust” then recently.
So just sit back and watch new TV season..and let the script play out and pretend congress and WS really care..or much will change… Next year we will hear as we did on Iraq-Patriot Act-Plan D et al, from congress. “We passed that bailout so fast did not have time to read it all and now if I could would not have voted for it”. So we have a history on what kind of snake oil can be sold to the commoners..and it seems we are about to buy some more.. yep out congress is really studying what is best for the citizens.. just not saying which economic group of “citizens” but you can bet the initials are “Upper 4-5%” Congress seems to know and we confirm it, be sure to maintain the 80% reelection rate going.. that will show congress what we really think…

Posted by chuck | Report as abusive

Republicans love pointing the finger at Democrats, but if you look at history, Republicans are the ones to blame going back to Reagan and his deregulation tactics which in turn led to the Savings and Loan Crisis. (Wiki Reagan administration scandals Wow, history repeats itself since the Last congress(held by Republicans) was responsible for deregulating just about everything from energy, telecoms, financial institutions, and airline companies. Since then, prices across the board were raised after the lobbyists argued that by deregulating everything, the supposed free market would bring price wars, lowering prices for Americans. Another broken promise from Republicans. Democrats have had 2 presidents in office since 1969, who do you think really is responsible for all the screwups in DC. Actions speak louder than any words said as lies. Look at how the Republicans have acted, Watergate, Iran-contra, FDA and EPA scandals during Reagan, HUD scandal during Reagan, Bush and his Wars for Oil in the gulf, and look, JR’s Deregulating has led to another financial crisis. Impeach Republicans and their lies, scandals, and criminal activities

Posted by C.D.Walker | Report as abusive

I find it interesting that people blame McCain when the democrats control congress and could pass the bailout vote and other forms of regulation without the republicans (remember 95 democrats also voted against the plan). What happended during the 2004 hearings requested by McCain asking for more stringer monitoring of Fannie/Freddie? It is further interesting that no one is blaming wall street (rather just republicans or democrats)for the credit swaps being traded when Buffet told everyone 5 years ago it was a time bomb. He knew the lack of liquidity was unjustifiable. History has proven, whether it was Long Term Capital Mgmt, Soloman Bros, Nick Leeson/Barings Bank, etc…The story is the same – greed takes over and traders feel invincible, wall street calls them genuises and people lose all touch with reality/sound economics. Why are banks surprised that homeowners with no cash reserves to make a down payment who used stated incomes can’t continue making their interest only house payment. Everyone finds it easy to blame party members (dem or rep) yet they act as if deregulation entitled bankers to forego all conventional theories of risk management and not be accountable. Small business owners have not been afforded the same latitude. Lastly, if you truly believe no finger pointing by democrats is occurring (ie Pelosi yesterday or announcement by democrats on sat solution on bailout reached before consulting the house of rep)you are grossly disillusioned. I think it was a big mistake for bernake and Bush to panic the market to reach an answer a week ago. They should have assured the market the right solution would be reached and a bipartisan agreement would be achieved. If we agree that we can’t put a time limit on war, why can we suddenly put a one week time limit on solving the biggest financial crisis facing the US in over 80 years. The relaxation of mark to market and increase of the FDIC insurance are steps in the right direction that will rebuild our economy. I think it is pertinent that we remember that main street consists mainly of small bus owners as they create jobs, deploy capital and inject intellectual capital and these are the things that have made us successful. Putting people in homes they can’t afford and should never have purchased in the beginning will not create jobs and stimulate trade.

Posted by Shay S. | Report as abusive

Disregard from the debate those comments spouting stupidity about Obama. Mere redneck minority cowards hiding in anonymity, children of Satan

Posted by Idiot redneck republicans | Report as abusive

It seems that the government has officially moved into the business of buying trash with the nations money.

Right now, the market is sending a clear signal that we as a nation are carrying too much debt, and that the institutions that continuously loaned to people who couldn’t afford to pay back, made a mistake.

If the market is telling financial institutions that they should not be lending money to bank x or individual y, then they shouldn’t. Its that simple.

The market is telling the financial institutions, this debt is garbage, and its not worth anything. So you don’t get anything for it.” The market is saying “you messed up, don’t do it again. Don’t tell good people that they can afford houses that they cant, don’t underwrite fraudulent mortgages, and dont lend more to good people that you know can’t afford more debt.”

The governemt is saying “hey we’ll pay you for this garbage with taxpayer money, its all good. Keep telling good people that they can afford houses that they cant, keep underwriting fraudulent mortgages, and lending more to good people that you know can’t afford more debt. Well just pay for it with peoples taxes.”

Every financial institution from here on out will have a clear incentive to underwrite trash, and sell it to the American public, at a profit in excess of any return which they might otherwise make through legitimate means.

Market pricing is the information that allows people to make valid rational decisions based on the true value of whatever is being bought or sold. The government is about to shut down the very market mechanism that is necessary to to see the economy back on track and push
financial institutions back into producing services which have true value to the public.

Posted by Liberty | Report as abusive

@ CJ

True, McBush addressed the concern about Freddie/Fannie, but that’s only just a portion and not the whole pie. You don’t just regulate 2 companies and not the others. It wasn’t just those 2 companies that were envolved. So even if he addressed those 2 companies, the damage still had already been done, you forget, they been doing this since the late 90’s until now. Addressing 1 company wasn’t going to save the whole system, hell they are falling apart in Europe, and running into the same problem. Republicans have been in rule a whole lot longer and didn’t believe in regualtion. I’ll admit you don’t want to regulate to the degree you don’t allow companies to operate effectively, but what people have to realize is that when you forget about the ingredient of “GREED” you need to keep that in mind and people get carried away and cause a whole lot of problems. No, not everything is Republicans fault, the truth, were all to blame as a nation, those in Washington, consumers, investors, etc. So as a nation, we need to try to fix this problem.

Posted by Trasa | Report as abusive

@Shady S.

I think the problem you have is, you know something needs to be done soon, but the problem is, you don’t know how long you have. If you wait a week or 2, will it be to late? Maybe/maybe not, and everytime you hear experts, they can only tell you what will happen if the problem progresses. We know it’s a large problem, but to what degree, so we can build back up, no one knows. Are you going to wait until it hits bottom? Well, how hard will the country land. Once again, no one knows, so you do what’s logic, if you address it now, then it will subside to some degree. The problem is you take a big chance on something that no one knows as to what time frame. If we could see the future, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

Posted by Trasa | Report as abusive

m913- That is AMAZING… I am so glad you pointed that out. I’m sure most people missed that seeing how quickly that graphic flashed by in the ad. Sooooo funny.

Posted by Nichole | Report as abusive

The ad cE
does NOT imply it was Clinton’s fault. The clip Clinton is used to buttress the ad’s point, that it was the fault of the democrats in the house and senate.

Posted by tim | Report as abusive

God save us from that cranky old rascal McCain. He takes wild needless risks. His judgement is bad just look at his choice of gibberish speaking Palin whose is way out of her depth. We need the calm intelligence of Obama at the helm. McCain is thrashing about in panic as his legacy slips away with Obama taking a 7 point lead in the most recent AP poll.

Posted by Steve Kauffman | Report as abusive

It’s a quite difficult decision for any politician choosing between more bailout packages or letting the free market economic principles take care of the failed businesses, whether it is the financial institutions or automakers. The main focus should be defending the interests of middle-class Americans and creating a stable economic system that will guarantee long-term stability and sustainability. But here we also can face more challenges, since right now the Washington politicians are talking about the second large bailout package. If we bailout financial institutions and other industries again, when are they going to ask for the third bailout package? Or fourth? Maybe this is a time to let free market economy work rather than keep bailing out large, failed corporations? After all, it is the small and medium size businesses that create vast majority of middle-class jobs in America, not the large corporations. Maybe the government is better off to replace banks in lending practices and directly give loan packages with low interest rates to small and medium size businesses? That might work better and have a direct, immediate impact on economy and the middle-class America…

Posted by David Dzidzikashvili | Report as abusive