April 9th, 2008
07:00 PM ET
7 years ago

McCain calls out corporate greed

(CNN) - Under fire from Democrats for being out of touch with the country’s economic woes, John McCain visited a one hundred and forty billion dollar investment company and talked about Americans’ anger towards greedy CEOs.

“There's a backlash in America today against corporate greed,” McCain told Connecticut businessmen.

“They're angry when they see that the CEO of Bear Sterns decides to jump in the market and make a little extra money off the shares that he has accumulated over the years, instead of just taking the how-many-millions that he was going to get anyway,” he said.

The only policy proposal McCain suggested was a vague idea to make a corporation’s Chairman and CEO separate. McCain advisers promise more when he unveils his economic plan on tax day, next Tuesday.

Before the town hall, a McCain adviser previewed it as a “Sister Souljah moment” for the Republican candidate, a phrase that originated with Bill Clinton, now meant to suggest a politician is telling a natural constituency something they don’t want to hear.

But if comparing McCain’s comments to a moment in political history, it may be best to borrow a phrase from George H W Bush: “Message, I care.”

Since McCain delivered a tough love speech two weeks ago on the housing crisis, he has been chastised by both Democratic presidential candidates for calling for a limited government role in helping who he called irresponsible lenders and borrowers.

Though McCain insists he simply has a different philosophy from Democrats, who support millions in government dollars for a bailout, he has been making a concerted effort to blunt the Democrats charge that he is indifferent to the plight of hurting Americans.

Last week he told CNN he does see a role for government.

“What we really need to do fundamentally make sure that we take every action to have the lender and borrower sit down together so that millions of Americans who face terrible challenges will be able to afford to keep their home,” McCain said in an interview.

Now he is trying even harder to tap into and show solidarity with outraged voters.

“We need to make sure that the 100 million Americans who are stockholders in this country today are making sure that they get a return on their investment,” McCain told his Westport, Connecticut audience, “And that return should be before that of a CEO or other office holders, because after all, corporations in America were designed to benefit not only individuals, but to benefit every citizen of this country.”

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Stacey, MO

    Poor Hillary supporters, all they do is whine and talk about Obama. Well, if they want to continue drinking the Klinton Kool-Aid, let them. Responsible voters will vote for Barack.

    Obama 08

    April 9, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  2. California Voter

    A dream ticket for the Republicans . . .?? Interesting.

    April 9, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  3. Tim

    Yeah, John Millionaire-Wife McCain is calling out corporate greed? What a hypocrite.

    April 9, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  4. richard

    CNN, WHy are you not reporting on Obama campaign wanting more white people standing in the back of Michelle Obama campaign speech?

    April 9, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  5. tell the truth

    McCain is with them. Vote for change.

    Go Obama

    April 9, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  6. JonRoss

    In addition to this McCain could probably get some traction by highlighting the incredible wealth that the Clintons have accumulated over the last 7 years. The source of the wealth and where some of it has gone.

    April 9, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  7. DA

    Well folks, look like we got a "FLIP FLOPPER" here!!

    April 9, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  8. gene

    Did not get in to just a few minutes ago and it was to late to get in on some of the other stories. Obama supporters are ranting and raving and howling just because Laney did an op-ed for the Wall street Journal. Just because he questions Obama's explanation about the Rev. Wright anti white and and America comments and Obama's lack of judgement by staying in the church and allowing his wife and children to be exposed this type of Hate. He could have asked Obama why one of his senior advisors is still on his staff, when he too, talked to a foriegn head of state about and issue. The Obama supporters and surrogates have not run off enough of us Clinton supporters yet, so they keep on trying. I am moving closer and closer to voting for McCain in fall. That is if Obama is the nominee.

    April 9, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  9. We Are Family

    To Clinton supporters:

    Don't hate, celebrate. Obama will be our next president.

    We welcome any and all supporters, there's room for everybody.

    Obama 08

    April 9, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  10. Realistic

    Corporate greed? That is purely a Republican invention. No way the Democrats would ever support greedy corporate interests or serve on the board of directors of such greedy corporations that suck the life-blood out of America by purchasing cheap products from sweatshops abroad and spend so much time and energy busting unions like Wal-M ....... oh, wait.

    April 9, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  11. Think People

    I'm an Obama supporter, but Hillary did have a good observation yesterday. Why should the Iraqi leaders decide when Americans can come home. They may be trying to kill us, too. If left up to the Iraqis we will never come home.

    That decision should be left up to Americans.

    As far as the generals. It's silly to ask them about diplomacy, they are there to fight, and fight only. We need and adult in the White House.

    Obama 08

    April 9, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  12. J. Williams

    John McCain is telling me about HIS outrage with CORPORATE GREED?


    April 9, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  13. Midge, MA

    Hillary is a liar and a cryer. She lies and she cries...she lies and she cries...she lies and she cries.....

    or runs from sniper fire.

    April 9, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  14. Dale, AK

    He's still a one-noter, and we all know he couldn't care less about the economy. Not with his wife's money.

    McCain: Let them cake, or in his MRE's (Military Meals Ready to Eat).

    April 9, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  15. Jules, KY

    Don't believe it, he just wants to become president so he can start another war in Iran. Let's see Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Iran. Yep, that should make gas $8.00 a gallon.

    Obama 08

    April 9, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  16. Ed

    McCain out of touch? How about HRC who earned $109 Million or BHO who never had anything other than a silver spoon in his mouth?

    April 9, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. Fred, WA

    Won't work John, we know you are a one noter. Good try though, leave the economy to someone else. By the way, got any more wars you want us to fight?

    Obama 08

    April 9, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  18. Jay

    John "100 year war" McCain is just doing this to score political points...

    April 9, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  19. JC

    If the government will bail out these failing financial institutions, they don't have to sit down with the borrowers and settle on any new loan agreements to keep foreclosures at bay. They have made enough money on the mortgages. Why should they renegotiate for an easier agreement?

    The price you have to pay for being independent is responsibility. Our government should let these companies take responsibility for their financial decisions.

    What I like McCain the most is his push for taking responsibility. He emphasized personal or corporate responsibility in HealthCare Reform and again in Housing crisis.

    April 9, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  20. gary

    Well, I've worked for a "corporation" for about 15 years.... While the CEO's and Board Persons get most of the money, the employees only get a fraction of it, and we're the ones making the money in most cases.....

    April 9, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  21. blkjazz

    I can't stop laughing long enough to write what I want to say.

    April 9, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  22. Funny

    He is soooo funny. This coming from a 20 year congressman.

    April 9, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  23. HarlockJC

    You have my vote McCain....That is at lease one for vote for the good guys

    April 9, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  24. Kim

    This article illustrates one of McCain's problems, the economy. McCain knows there is a prolem but has no idea of how to address it. And then of course there is that other pesky problem. The never ending wastefull war in Iraq!

    April 9, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  25. Kim

    This article illustrates one of McCain's problems, the economy. McCain knows there is a prolem but has no idea of how to address it. And then of course there is that other pesky problem. The never ending wastefull war in Iraq!

    April 9, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
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