COMMENTS: The Regulator

ABC and CBS both followed the financial fallout on the campaign trail. "John McCain was against the government bailout of AIG before he was reluctantly for it," observed ABC's David Wright. Wright played McCain's pledge from the stump--"We are going to put an end to the reckless conduct, corruption and unbridled greed that have caused a crisis on Wall Street"--before pointing out that for 25 years on Capitol Hill, "McCain has fashioned himself as a champion of smaller government, less regulation." Wyatt Andrews filed a Reality Check for CBS. While McCain admitted that he did not anticipate the collapse of the real estate bubble, Obama "claims that he saw the meltdown from the start and introduced a law to stop the shaky mortgages." Andrews' assessment: "This is true."

As for McCain's bona fides as a financial regulator, he did indeed advocate stricter oversight of FannieMae and FreddieMac in 2005, Andrews agreed--yet until July of this year he also took formal campaign advice from Phil Gramm, lobbyist for the UBS investment bank, who was "one of the godfathers of banking deregulation," as Andrews put it, when he was McCain's Senate colleague.


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