Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Sen. John McCain's enablers over at The Arizona Republic gave him an opportunity to explain his revisionist history lies to the editors of the newspaper about his support for the TARP bailout and the reason for suspending his campaign in September 2008, rather than editoralize about his brazen lies. AZ/DC Blog – A closer look at McCain's remarks on financial bailout:
There’s a lot of buzz in Washington, D.C., over The Arizona Republic’s story on Monday reporting what U.S. Sen. John McCain said during a meeting with the newspaper’s editorial board. Just for the record, here is a transcription of McCain’s taped comments in response to a question about the bailout of the country’s financial system. Below the transcript are further comments from McCain in a brief telephone interview Wednesday morning; he sought to clarify what he had said at the meeting.
At the editorial board meeting:
Question: “Senator, was TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) a mistake, and in retrospect, would there have been a better way to deal with the financial conditions at the time?”
McCain: “Thanks for asking the question. The President of the United States called me up on the phone, I was on the campaign trail, and said, 'Country and the world is on the verge of financial collapse. I need you to come back and help.’ And, I don't know of any American, that when the president calls you and tells you something like that, that you don't respond. And I came back and I tried to sit down and work with Republicans and say, ‘What can we do?’
"The financial bailout in itself, I think, was an idea that we had to employ if we were going to stop the financial collapse. But I was assured by (Federal Reserve Chairman Ben) Bernanke and (then-Treasury Secretary Henry) Paulson that the effort would be devoted to the cause of the fiscal crisis, which was the housing meltdown. That would be, the object would be, to stabilize home values. Obviously, that didn't happen. They decided to stabilize the Wall Street institutions, bail out AIG, bail out Chrysler, bail out General Motors, and do things that — and GMAC, and Fanny and Freddie, of course, are still hemorrhaging money in incredible fashion.
"In my view, what they figured was that if they stabilized Wall Street, then Main Street — I guess it was trickle-down economics — that therefore Main Street would be fine. Well, we know what happened. Wall Street was fine and used our money, and now they're making bonuses and obscene profits, etc. Meanwhile, the commercial banks: Estimates are that 300 of them will go — they are the lenders, they are the ones that make home loans — that 300 of them are going to go under this year. Meanwhile, the commercial real estate shoe has not dropped.
"So, I believe we had to take action. I believe the wrong action was taken. And people sometimes confuse that with the stimulus package. We had an alternative stimulus package, Republicans. I proposed it. $400 billion. That’s not chicken feed anywhere. But it had to do with small businesses, tax credits, with aid to small businesses in America, and to stabilize the home ownership situation. So I think something had to be done because the world’s financial system was on the verge of collapse. Any economist, liberal or conservative, would agree with that. The action they took, I don’t agree with.”
Interview on Wednesday:
The senator said his comments at the editorial board meeting gave the wrong impression that President Bush had asked him to return to Washington during the 2008 campaign to help address the financial crisis.
“It appears I gave that impression. I apologize for doing so,” he said.
“All I can say is, I have consistently said I came back because the president told me we were in a fiscal meltdown. It was my own decision. I apologize for my mischaracterization of it at the ed board. It was just a mistake.”
In addition, McCain said a blog has been posted to his "McCain 2010" Web site that supports his statements about being misled about the financial bailout. The post is entitled, "Senator John McCain & TARP: The Whole Story."
Nice try Republic. And no, it is not "The Whole Story." I'm not sure what is worse: McCain's series of lies, or the Arizona Republic trying to cover for his lies. Maybe you should do a little fact checking first. Jed Lewison, a real reporter, fact checks John McCain in this post John McCain 2010 v. John McCain 2008:
There are three kinds of liars: liars, damned liars, and then there's John McCain.
Here's what he says now:
MR. GREGORY: One question about the bailout, the TARP.
SEN. McCAIN: Oh, yeah.
MR. GREGORY: You voted for it, but you've said that you were misled by former Treasury Secretary Paulson. How so?
SEN. McCAIN: We were all misled. We were all misled. I mean, he said that they were going after the toxic assets. The toxic asset–his word–was the housing market. He testified to that. I mean, we were all misled. So what did he do then? They started pumping money into the financial institutions. … They turned around and switched from trying to address the housing market to bailing out the financial institutions on Wall Street.
And here's what he said on October 7, 2008 in the second presidential debate:
SEN. McCAIN: This rescue package means that we will stabilize markets, we will shore up these institutions. But it's not enough. That's why we're going to have to go out into the housing market and we're going to have to buy up these bad loans and we're going to have to stabilize home values
To recap: McCain 2010 says he was misled on the bailout because he was told that it was for the housing market, not financial institutions. McCain 2008 said the bailout was to "shore up" financial institutions, not the housing market, which he said would need support through separate measures.
Bottom-line: McCain 2008 knew exactly what the bailout was for and how it would be used. But now that it turns out to be unpopular, he's claiming that somebody lied to him about what it would be used for. Turns out, the opposite is true. The exact opposite.
McCain is running radio ads in Tucson with the tag line "John McCain tells the truth… character matters." John McCain is a congenital liar, he can no longer distinguish fact from fiction. Maybe that's too harsh. Maybe this is the onset of senile dementia. Who the hell knows? And yes "character matters." John McCain demonstrated his lack of character and judgment in 2008, and he is progressively getting worse. People are laughing at your radio ads, Johnny. That should tell you something.