Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Obama campaign responds to first McCain press conference in 40 days

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“Contrary to the lies told by the McCain campaign, it was John McCain who followed Senator Obama’s lead in laying out principles that call for strict oversight and accountability, protecting taxpayers, and cracking down on CEO pay. We only wish he had adopted those same principles over the last 26 years rather than cheerleading for the deregulation agenda that helped produce today’s crisis and repeatedly opposing limitations on the obscene compensation given to failed CEOs,” said Obama-Biden spokesman Hari Sevugan.

On CEO Pay, John McCain Repeated What Barack Obama Said Last Year:

APRIL 2007: Obama Sponsored The Shareholder Vote On Executive Compensation Act. Obama was the chief sponsor of a bill to amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to require a proxy, consent, or authorization for a shareholder meeting occurring on or after January 1, 2009, to permit a separate shareholder vote to approve executive compensation, but the vote would not be binding on the board of directors. [110th, S. 1181, Referred to Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, 4/20/07]

JUNE 2008: McCain Said That Under His Reforms, All Aspects Of A CEO’s Pay Must Be Approved By Shareholders. McCain: “In times of hardship and distress, we should be more vigilant than ever in holding corporate abuses to account, as in the case of the housing market. Americans are right to be offended when the extravagant salaries and severance deals of CEO's -- in some cases, the very same CEO's who helped to bring on these market troubles -- bear no relation to the success of the company or the wishes of shareholders. Something is seriously wrong when the American people are left to bear the consequences of reckless corporate conduct, while the offenders themselves are packed off with another forty - or fifty million for the road. If I am elected president, I intend to see that wrongdoing of this kind is called to account by federal prosecutors. And under my reforms, all aspects of a CEO's pay, including any severance arrangements, must be approved by shareholders.” [McCain Speech at NFIB, 6/10/08]

On Bailout Oversight, John McCain Repeats What Barack Obama Said On Friday:

On Friday, Obama Said The Plan Must Be Temporary And Coupled With Tough New Oversight And Regulations. Obama said, “Third, this plan must be temporary and coupled with tough new oversight and regulations of our financial institutions, and there must be a clear process to wind down this plan and restore private sector assets into private sector hands after restoring stability to the system. Taxpayers must share in any upside benefit that such stability brings.” [Obama Remarks, 9/19/08]

On Monday, John McCain Said "We Need A High Level Oversight Board To Impose Accountability." MCCAIN: "I believe we need a high level oversight board to impose accountability and establish concrete criteria for who gets help and who does not. They must ensure that throughout this crisis, the government is a careful steward of the taxpayer’s dollars. The oversight board should be bipartisan and have qualified citizens who have no agenda but the protection of taxpayers and the financial markets. People like: Warren Buffet, who supports my opponent, Governor Romney, who supports me, or Mayor Bloomberg, an independent." (John McCain, Remarks, 9/22/08)

On Sharing The Upside, John McCain Repeats What Barack Obama Said On Friday:

On Friday, Obama Said The Plan >From The Fed And Treasury Must Not Reward Particular Companies Or The Irresponsible Decisions Of Borrowers Or Lenders. Obama said, “The second principle I would like to see in the emerging plan from the Treasury and the Fed is that our approach should be one of mutual responsibility and reciprocity. It must not be designed to reward particular companies or the irresponsible decisions of borrowers or lenders. It must not be designed to enhance the personal gain of CEOs and management. The recklessness of some of these executives has helped cause this mess, even as they walk away with multimillion dollar golden parachutes while taxpayers are left holding the bag. As taxpayers are asked to take extraordinary steps to protect our financial system, it is only appropriate that those who benefit be expected to contribute to the protection of American homeowners and the American economy. Just as support is not designed to payoff egregious executive compensation, it should not reward those who are ruthlessly foreclosing on American families.” [Obama Remarks, 9/19/08]

On Sunday, John McCain Said "But When The Time Comes And The Economy Recovers, Then Any--Anything That's Gained Back Is Going To Go Back To The Taxpayers First." MCCAIN: "We're going to take over these bad loans. We're going to take over these bad--these bonds. And we're going to keep you alive and we're going to have the taxpayer help you out. But when the time comes and the economy recovers, then any--anything that's gained back is going to go back to the taxpayers first. I'm not saying this isn't going to be messy and I'm not saying it isn't going to be expensive, but we have to stop the bleeding." (CBS' "60 Minutes," 9/21/08)

On Protecting Homeowners, John McCain Repeats What Obama Said On Thursday:

On Thursday, Obama Called For The Passage Of The Homeowner And Financial Support Act, Which He Has Supported Since Last Spring. “Tomorrow I will be convening a meeting with my top economic advisors to discuss a plan based on the ideas I’ve been talking about with former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker and other advisors of mine. Then I’ll call for the passage of a Homeowner and Financial Support Act that would establish a more stable and permanent solution than the daily improvisations that have characterized policy-making over the last year. Specifically, it would accomplish three primary goals. First, it will provide capital to the financial system. Second, it will provide liquidity to enable our financial markets to function. And third, it will do what I’ve been calling for since I supported legislation on it early last spring, which is to get serious about helping struggling families to re-structure their mortgages on more affordable terms so they can stay in their homes. We’ve made a good start but we need to do much, much more. We cannot forget that there are many homeowners who are in crisis through no fault of their own, and a solution that does not have them at its core is no solution at all.” [Obama Remarks, 9/18/08]

On Monday, John McCain Said "We Must Keep People In Their Home." MCCAIN: "We must help keep people in their home. We must protect American’s savings. And we must keep students with loans in school." (John McCain, Remarks, 9/22/08)

On Protecting Main Street, John McCain Repeats What Barack Obama Said On Friday

On Friday, Obama Called On McCain, Bush, Republicans And Democrats To Support An Emergency Economic Plan For Working Families To Help Main Street. Obama said, “First, we cannot only have a plan for Wall Street. We must also help Main Street as well. I’m glad that our government is moving so quickly in addressing the crisis that threatens some of our biggest banks and corporations. But a similar crisis has threatened families, workers and homeowners for months and months and Washington has done far too little to help. For too long, this Administration has been willing to hit the fast-forward button in helping distressed Wall Street firms while pressing pause when it comes to saving jobs or keeping people in their homes. We already know that the credit crisis that has emerged from our largest financial institutions is becoming a credit crunch for small business owners, homeowners, and students seeking loans in big cities and small towns. Now that American taxpayers are being called on to share in this new burden, we must take equally swift and serious action to help lift the burdens they face every day. In the same bipartisan spirit that is being shown with regard to the crisis on Wall Street, I ask Senator McCain, President Bush, Republicans and Democrats to join me in supporting an emergency economic plan for working families – a plan that would help folks cope with rising gas and food prices, spark job creation through repair of our schools and roads, help states and cities avoid painful budget cuts and tax increases, help homeowners stay in their homes, and provide retooling assistance for America’s auto industry. John McCain and I can continue to argue about our different economic agendas for next year, but we should come together now to work on what this country urgently needs this year.” [Obama Remarks, 9/19/08]

On Monday, John McCain Said Congress Must "Put Our Country First And Focus On What Is Best For Main Street." MCCIAN: "As Congress examines this package, I would encourage all members to set aside the pressures of Washington and Wall Street. As we determine what to do, we need to put our country first and focus on what is best for Main Street." (John McCain, Remarks, 9/22/08)


George Will: McCain, Under The Pressure Of The Financial Crisis,” “Is Behaving Like A Flustered Rookie Playing In A League Too High.“ Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama. Channeling his inner Queen of Hearts, John McCain furiously, and apparently without even looking around at facts, said Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, should be decapitated. … Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either. It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?” [George Will, Washington Post, 9/23/08]

George Will: “Who In This Crisis Looked More Presidential, Calm And Unflustered. It Wasn’t John McCain.” George Will said on ABC This Week, “I suppose the McCain campaigns hope is that when there’s a big crisis, people will go for age and experience. The question is, who in this crisis looked more presidential, calm and unflustered. It wasn’t John McCain who, as usual, substituting vehemence for coherence, said, “Let’s fire somebody.” And he picked one of the most experienced and conservative people in the administration, Chris Cox, and for no apparent reason, or at least none that he vouched safe, he said, “Fire Chris Cox at the SEC.” It was unpresidential behavior by a presidential aspirant.” [ABC This Week, 9/21/08]

Al Hunt: “Obama, Not McCain, Shows Steady Hand in Crisis.” “For the first time since 1932 a presidential election is taking place in the midst of a genuine financial crisis. The reaction of the candidates was revealing. John McCain, railing against the ‘greed and corruption’ of Wall Street, won the first round of the sound-bite war. He came out with a television commercial on the ``crisis'' early on Monday of last week, and over the next three days gave more than a dozen broadcast interviews. He and running mate Sarah Palin would reform Wall Street and regulate the nefarious fat cats that caused this fiasco. It was a great start. It then went downhill as he stumbled over his record of championing deregulation, claimed the economy was fundamentally strong, and flip-flopped over the government takeover of American International Group Inc. … McCain displayed a sudden interest in the SEC last week when he demanded that Chairman Chris Cox be fired. When his campaign was asked if the senator had ever criticized the current commission's performance before, they failed to respond. … McCain has been beset by deeper difficulties: an inchoate and inconsistent message that seems to reflect political exigencies more than principled convictions. On the financial crisis, last week belonged to Obama.” [Al Hunt, Bloomberg, 9/21/08]

Jonathan Alter: McCain Seemed “Unpresidential” This Week And His Approach To The Financial Crisis Was “Erratic And Off-Key.” “McCain's whole campaign is based on the idea that Barack Obama is risky, untested and can't be trusted to protect the nation in a crisis. But this week it was McCain who seemed unpresidential, as his Zigzag Express swerved back and forth across the median strip. His approach to the greatest financial crisis since 1933 was erratic and off-key. Would his presidency be any different? McCain's first reaction to the climactic events of Sunday, Sept. 14, when Lehman Brothers fell, Merrill Lynch was sold and AIG began to totter, was to repeat his longstanding sound bite that ‘the fundamentals of the economy are strong.’ When Obama predictably leapt on this clueless comment with a TV ad, McCain quickly backtracked by saying that he was merely talking about the strength of ‘the American worker’ and anyone who disagreed obviously had a problem understanding the importance of working people. He told the morning shows that he was a Republican in the mold of Teddy Roosevelt, though his true views on free-market economics are more in tune with Herbert Hoover.” [Alter, Newsweek, 9/19/08]

Wall Street Journal: In A Crisis, “Votes Want Steady, Calm Leadership, Not Easy Misleading Answers That Will Do Nothing To Help. Mr. McCain Is Sounding Like A Candidate Searching For A Political Foil Rather Than A Genuine Solution.” “John McCain has made it clear this week he doesn't understand what's happening on Wall Street any better than Barack Obama does. But on Thursday, he took his populist riffing up a notch and found his scapegoat for financial panic -- Christopher Cox, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. … In a crisis, voters want steady, calm leadership, not easy, misleading answers that will do nothing to help. Mr. McCain is sounding like a candidate searching for a political foil rather than a genuine solution. He'll never beat Mr. Obama by running as an angry populist like Al Gore, circa 2000.” [Editorial, Wall Street Journal, 9/19/08]