Monday, February 22, 2010

McCain Backtracks Record Yet Again, Points Fingers

It appears as if John McCain is quickly losing his maverick status as he tries to re-brand himself as the ideal conservative candidate against former Representative J.D. Hayworth. Previously, McCain had changed his opinion regarding "don't ask don't tell," in which he now holds the position that changing the policy at this point in time would be strategically disadvantageous. Now McCain is positioning himself farther away from the stimulus bill that he once was a proponent of. In an interview with The Arizona Republic, McCain stated that he was tricked into supporting the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, putting his campaign on hold at the request of President George W. Bush to participate in a bipartisan committee on the catastrophic economic conditions, but McCain, choosing his words wisely and walking the fence, did not admit that TARP was a mistake, rather that it was the incorrect action to take at the time, which he now knows.

"Something had to be done because the world's financial system was on the verge of collapse," he said. "Any economist, liberal or conservative, would agree with that. The action they took, I don't agree with."

It appears Senator McCain's backtracking is a result of raised concerns from opponent Hayworth, connecting McCain, a supposed fiscal conservative to the Obama administration's spending, which the Tea Party candidate is opposed. As McCain recalls the series of events, President Bush requested McCain to come back and hammer out a deal. "I don't know of any American, when the president of the United States calls you and tells you something like that, who wouldn't respond," McCain said. "And I came back and tried to sit down and work with Republicans and say, 'What can we do?'" Hayworth points out that McCain's suspension of his campaign was "impulsive," "risky," and "dangerous" and that when McCain arrived in Washington, he contributed very little, despite setting up the meeting.

Hayworth is not the only one who had mentioned things differently from McCain's recollection. As Think Progress has pointed out, the authors of the book Game Change, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, wrote that McCain had set up the meeting, not the other way around.
McCain set off back to the Hilton. In the car he called Bush and informed him of his decision, and asked if the president would host a meeting at the White House for him, Obama, and congressional leaders to discuss the bailout bill. Bush feared such a meeting would inject a destabilizing does of politics into a fragile situation. He told McCain that his intercession would undercut Paulson and wasn’t likely to help solve the problem. After hanging up, Bush instructed his aides, [f]ind out what’s going on here. But before they had a chance, McCain was on TV, standing at a lectern at the Hilton, announcing the suspension and calling on Bush to convene a conclave.
It was only after McCain's television appearance did President Bush decide to host the event, but as President Bush correctly predicted, the meeting was unproductive. Fast forward over a year, when McCain is up for reelection and with his actions under scrutiny, you start to have the finger pointing commence. McCain voted against Fed chairman Bernanke's confirmation and now he points to the former president, who has been particularly quiet since the months he has left office. It looks like it might just be that time for McCain to retire to one of his six or seven homes to settle down in.

1 comment:

  1. On a scale of one to ten, I'd call this another McConJob.


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