September 17th, 2008
07:29 PM ET
10 years ago

Biden waffles on AIG bailout

Biden shifted his language on the AIG bailout Wednesday.

Biden shifted his language on the AIG bailout Wednesday.

WOOSTER, Ohio (CNN) – A day after saying the federal government should not come to the rescue of insurance giant AIG, Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden shifted his position Wednesday, saying he needs to get more details on the terms of the $85 billion bailout.

"The truth is I don't know what the bailout is yet," Biden said Wednesday afternoon in Maysfield, Ohio. "It looks like they're lending them a little bit of money. I don't know what they've done, I haven't had a brief on it. I haven't spoken to the Secretary of the Treasury."

Biden's answer struck a different tone than his Tuesday reaction. "No, I don't think they should be bailed out by the federal government, I'll tell you what we should do," he said on NBC's Today Show. "We should try to correct the problems that caused this. And what's caused this? The profligate tax cuts to the very, very wealthy that John [McCain] wants to continue. What has caused this is the failure to have regulation...It's this government's policies that have caused [the middle class] to get in great trouble."

Before Biden's Wednesday comments, Barack Obama released a statement saying that any arrangement should protect families that count on the company's insurance.

"It should bolster our economy's ability to create good-paying jobs and help working Americans pay their bills and save their money. It must not bail out the shareholders or management of AIG," said Obama.

A spokesman for the Delaware senator released a statement Wednesday aligning Biden with Obama.

"Joe Biden made it clear that nobody likes bailouts, and we should never have been put in this deep hole as a country," said spokesman David Wade. "Taxpayers shouldn't have to be asked to clean up another mess. But here we are. Senator Obama and Senator Biden agree that whatever happens, the Fed needs to make sure it protects the families that count on insurance, bolsters our ability to create good-paying jobs, and helps working Americans pay their bills and save their money. The answer isn't to bail out the shareholders or management of AIG."

Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (232 Responses)
  1. T

    I think people are attracted to a Palin ticket because they are hurting in the present economy and want their suffering to stop now.
    Unforturnately, her good looks are not going to wash.

    It will depend if America wants to move forward from the Rove economy. McCain, 72, was pretty clear that the Bush has done good job. He has seriously compromised himself as a viable candidate.

    Hopefully, Senator McCain will retire.

    September 17, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. voter

    well to be fair, McCain was aganist the bailout and now for it. lets have fair reporting.

    September 17, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  3. Deb, Allentown,PA

    CNN, I'm not sure this really qualifies as "waffling". It's a pretty misleading, negative headline.

    September 17, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  4. John

    What a fool he is

    Is he supposedly the experienced support Obama needed?

    You have a clueless man in Obama running for President and Biden, who is clueless about the economy and worse yet wrong about every foriegn policy decision in history from partitioning Iraq to his famous 1973 vote against the Alaska Pipeline!

    Go McCain/Palin

    September 17, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  5. Trysh, Los Angeles

    Since when is asking for more information considered waffling?

    September 17, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  6. BS

    Stop Palin / Rove / from destroying Social Security .

    I am a little taken aback that she comapres herself to a pitbull. Is she aware that Pitbulls maul innocent people all the time ??. Her right wing Christian views are almost apocalyptic.

    Hopefully, McCain, 72, will retire now.

    September 17, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  7. mitchell

    what can he do? washington and wallstreet are broken. what can we do? watch it fail. thank you republicans. see you in the food lines.

    September 17, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  8. Scott L

    Whatever have been rendered useless to any campaign.

    Nice pick Obama! Should have picked Hillary and you would already be in the oval office.

    Terrible decision making, and you want this guy to be President?

    McCain/Palin will crush Dems in November...been saying this from day one, nobody is listening to me.

    September 17, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  9. Joe

    Talk about pandering...Biden gets the top prize in pandering this election cycle. Worse than McCain and Obama.

    Does anyone running for office know how to fix the ecomomy and the country's ills? Let's pray the best republicans and best democrats...meaning the best people...get elected this Fall. Let's work together and stop the Beltway games...please!!!

    September 17, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  10. Kel

    Foot in Mouth?? Way to jump on anything the Repubs do and claim it moronic, oh wait maybe it wasn't so bad me so sorry. Idiot.

    September 17, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  11. Griff

    Waffles? Get Fat on Biden... If you have enough Sugar??? You should Vote Democrat...

    September 17, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  12. Dave

    It's OK Joe, you're not expected to understand economics. Next time, just wait until the Obama advisory team tells you what to say.

    September 17, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  13. j.williams, san diego

    we are talking about Joe..what's the surprise ??

    September 17, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  14. Jae

    I don't think that requiring more information on a subject makes you a "waffler". I think that word was invented by hardliner Republicans to disparage anyone who isn't willing to act impulsively and with reckless abandon.

    Bush is pulling some troops out of Iraq now. Does that mean he has "waffled"? No. It means the situation has changed, and based on the best available intel, you change your actions accordingly.

    Shame on CNN for posting such nonsense. Between you and Fox News, where are we supposed to turn for fact in a world of neo-con fiction?

    September 17, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  15. Michael

    Lets be fair CNN, McCain did the same thing!

    September 17, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  16. Lourdes

    BIDEN waffles about this? CNN...please do your name as the number one source for news and go back at how McCain and Palin have waffled on the government interventions. Wanting to know more information isn't waffling; it's responsible. Totally changing your position on deregulation (PLEASE go back and look at McCain speeches that mention deregulation over the last several months); that's BEYOND waffling.

    Come on, let's have some fair reporting.

    CNN – will you post me or keep me in moderation?

    September 17, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  17. EmilyP

    Would you like some waffles too, mr obama, like your friend joe....

    September 17, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  18. sjp

    don't quite see the waffle here, yesterday he said if there would have been more regulation this probably wouldn't have happened. now he wants to read the details of the buy out, to see if they include higher regulation and amount of taxpayer moneys used. sounds like the VP doesn't like it and wants to take a closer look before he really attacks.

    September 17, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  19. Chris

    Biden didn't switch views...he and Obama both opposed the AIG bailout which would have turned out to be the right decision, since the feds bailout did nothing.

    It may have been "a different tone than his Tuesday reaction" but he still never supported the bailout.

    Kind of a misleading headline CNN?

    September 17, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  20. Pennsylvania Voter

    That is not a waffle. The first time he says "I haven't had a brief of the details yet," and then he says "we shouldn't be doing thing"

    Perhaps it's because he READ about the plan that night. CNN, what a horrible reporting job.

    September 17, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  21. VJ

    Its pathetic how little people understand and how irresponsible these reporters are...

    It is NOT a bailout, it is a Loan... Biden is right in what he said...

    September 17, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  22. inuk of the north

    You mean the guy who's been in Washington for only thirty-seven years is waffling?

    Heck, it should be a news story when he's not waffling.

    HRC – 18,000,000 votes

    Biden – 63,000 votes

    Oh yeah, Joe's a big plus for the ticket.

    Can't even sell Biden crap on eBay!

    September 17, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |

    We are in dire need of a Democratic President. DIRE.

    September 17, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  24. CM

    This is waffling? Asking for more information?

    What about McCain not even knowing what the committee he chairs does or his stance on this issue?

    I'll take Biden's 'waffles' over McCain's ignorance any day.

    Scott L. spare us please. You with your ifs. Try living in the now for a change.

    September 17, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  25. Kim, Charlotte NC

    At least he was honest by stating he needed more information, instead of lying to the American people.

    Whatever..................quit trying to spin the issue CNN!

    September 17, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
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