Wednesday, September 17, 2008

John McCain Vs. John McCain On Regulation

Think Progress's Wonk Room has a great post comparing John McCain pre-financial meltdown versus the new "populist" John McCain we have seen since last Monday.

In the last few days, the U.S. financial system has been thrown into turmoil by the failure of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, the troubles of insurance giant AIG, and the corresponding drop in the stock market.

This evidently sparked a debate regarding government regulation of the financial markets within the McCain campaign, and McCain just can’t decide which way he wants to have it.

  • Here is a look at McCain’s back-and-forth on regulation during the last 24 hours:
    Deregulation: McCain issued a statement Monday morning saying that “we cannot tolerate a system that handicaps our markets and our banks.”
  • Regulation: McCain’s campaign then put out an ad calling for “tougher rules on Wall Street.”
  • Deregulation: This morning, on NBC’s Today Show, McCain said, “Of course, I don’t like excessive and unnecessary government regulation.”
    Regulation: Then, on CBS’s The Early Show, McCain said, “Do I believe in excess government regulation? Yes.”
  • Both: On CNBC’s Squawk Box, McCain said, “We don’t want to burden average citizens with over-regulation and government bureaucracy…And I’m proud to be a Teddy Roosevelt Republican, who said, ‘unfettered capitalism leads to corruption,’ and we’ve got to fix this.”

The video of McCain’s morning show flip-flop is available on Think Progress here.
As the New York Times wrote this morning, while McCain has “struck a populist tone” in advocating regulation, “his record on the issue, and the views of those he has always cited as his most influential advisers, suggest that he has never departed in any major way from his party’s embrace of deregulation.” In fact, in 1995, “Mr. McCain promoted a moratorium on federal regulations of all kinds.”

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