September 17th, 2008
07:29 PM ET
6 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. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    John McCain aka Keating 5 should know about Federal taxpayers bailouts. The Feds bailed Lincoln Savings and Loan to the tune of $3.6 billions dollars due to John McCain aka Keating 5. John McCain walked free and Charles Keating and his son went to prison. Further, the Feds just bailed out Silver Bank and guess who was the CEO, John McCains son. John McCain is deep and should be investigated himself before he opens his mouth about any bailouts.

    September 17, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  2. RyanD.

    Uh...McCain waffled...not Biden.

    September 17, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  3. Katie

    Biden says this was caused by "The profligate tax cuts to the very, very wealthy that John [McCain] wants to continue. "

    No it is all caused by the subprime loans, most of which were made to people with who were not credit-worthy, because banks have been accused of discrimination and sued over it for not loaning money to these people in previous years.

    Clinton deregulated banks in 1994 which loosened restrictions on lending.

    There is lots of blame to go around – for both parties!! Stop being partisan idiots and demand that all Congressmen work together to fix the problems.

    September 17, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  4. John 64 years old Independent

    It's time you cut Joe Biden a break since he as well as the rest of us are suffering from this republican mess. Since the current administration is so bad at the economy and seem to be playing this by the seat of their pants, it's no wonder a Senator can't keep up with their stumbling.

    This is the George Bush/John McCain de-regulation economy, the fat cat free for all where we little guys get the shaft. Now, John McCain and Scary Sarah want more of the same!

    No way, enough of the incompetent, enough of the arrogance, enough of the lies! It's time to vote Democrat across the ticket and throw the corrupt republicans out of Washington DC!

    September 17, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  5. fixthebroken

    Well, he didn't really waffle, right? He said that the government shouldn't bail them out. And now he is saying he hasn't studied the bailout yet. True, though, he should have said that he doesn't approve of the bailout no matter whether he studied it or not - if indeed that is what he believes.

    Minor gaffe, but gaffe nonetheless.

    You see, I can call a spade a spade. Try to do that Republicans.

    September 17, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  6. enough already!

    The democrats, unlike the GOP, decided not to hold their VP candidate up as the second coming. Therefore this is not news. What did Obama say today?

    September 17, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  7. jimmy

    A LITTLE BIT OF AN ASIDE ON THE CAMPAIGNS NOT TO UNDERWHELM SENATOR BIDEN.
    IT IS WELL KNOWN THAT OBAMA HAD BEEN SEEN NOT PUTTING HIS RIGHT HAND OVER HIS HEART WHEN OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM WAS BEING PLAYED AND UNTIL RECENTLY DID NOT WEAR AN AMERICAN FLAG PIN ON HIS LAPEL.
    NOW A PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYER WITH THE DALLAS MAVERICKS IS SEEN FLAGRANTLY DISREPECTFUL OF OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM BY NOT ONLY STANDING AT ATTENTION BUT
    DISDAINFULLY SAYING HE DID NOT GO FOR THAT STUFF ABOUT OUR FLAG BECAUSE HE SAID QUOTE" I'M BLACK " UNQUOTE.

    September 17, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  8. Candia

    Why is wanting to have more information "waffling"?

    September 17, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  9. Ashley

    Why are people still talking about Hillary being the Democratic VP...its not happening. Its over.

    Yes, Hillary would have been a great VP except for one thing...Bill Clinton. Now, I used to love Bill Clinton (until South Carolina) but more imporantly I respect him and what he did as President (not the extra activities mind you) that being said...who wants to be President of the USA and over shadowed by your VP AND HER HUSBAND. And would Bill play the husband role in international affairs.....I think not.

    But back to subject....I am glad that Joe "waffled" at least he admitted that he needed to know more information. That no hesitation thing is pretty scary(i.e. Palin).

    September 17, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  10. Wake-up America

    OK folks, the guy is campaigning out there endlessly. And I'm sure he is not sitting around the blogs and CNN watching every detail of this so called bailout. As I understand it it is a loan not a bailout gift. Supposedly it will be paid back withinterest. Let's face the facts GWB and the Republicans have caused this mess whether you want to believe or not. Even Grenspan has said at this point we have no choice. So again, greed, deceit, lies and corruption from corporations have caused this. And the Repubicans keep saying "Country First". I guess Country should really mean "Corporations". Is that what you really ment Mr. McCain, or should we be asking Palin?

    WAKE-UP AMERICA

    September 17, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. Please Release Us GOP

    America, please stop poking yourself in the eye. McOld and Wasilla Barbie are NOT what American needs now. WE NEED TO GET OUT OF THIS MESS. Do a search regarding the Anti-Palin rally in Alaska and you will find that even people in her own state aren't that into her. We do not need the right wing, Focus on the Family bunch running this country any further into the ground. What the heck ever happened to the separation of church and state?

    September 17, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  12. Georgia Gal

    A little bit of money, Joe???

    It's $85 billion ... I'd hardly call that a little.

    Please Joe ... think before you talk.

    September 17, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  13. Independent in NC

    What caused this economic disaster was a myriad of things that cannot be attributed to one person. Let's be fair. Deregulation was a factor, yes, but so were insane executive salaries (which has been happening for years), job cuts, subprime lending and people who have no idea how to manage their own money and live beyond their means. It's not a few greedy suits who caused this and the rest of us are just sitting here dumbfounded as to what happened.

    What bothers me is how we decide who we are going to bail out. What makes one corporation more deserving of federal aid than another? I'm thinking of the 25,000 people at HP who are about to be jobless in the next 3 years.

    September 17, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  14. BigTallMatt

    Ummm, excuse me CNN, but shouldn't it be a bigger story that MCCAIN HIMSELF flip-flopped on this very issue as well? Once again, the journalistic reputation of CNN is tossed in the gutter for the sake of yellow journalism.

    September 17, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  15. Bud

    Look, both Biden and Mccain were against it... as were most people... because on the surface it looked like a typical bailout. We now find out that if AIG fails, it may send shock waves across the global financial markets and trigger a full-blown global depression.

    For any company to wield this kind of power is wrong! Focus on that.

    September 17, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  16. Leslie

    We are in big trouble thanks to Bush and friends. The next president will have to find a way to fix the failures of the Bush administration. We need the Democratic party in the white house ASAP. The republicans have failed this country for 8 years !! Obama and Biden , we need you now !! Call Bill Clinton, he's an economic genius !!

    September 17, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  17. KATHLEEN

    RIGHT NOW on MSNBC there is a POW that is stating that Bush
    BLOCKED a lawsuit against Iraq by 16 POW's for not following the
    GENEVA convention.

    Can CNN report this?

    And where is Bush and Cheney to explain the bailout of AIG?
    Are they hiding?

    Folks, where is our Commander in Chief? HIDING!

    OBAMA BIDEN

    September 17, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  18. Nowhere Man

    And, so, in Biden's big chance to demonstrate his years of experience in the Senate and his leadership, alas ... he ... just ... can't ... make ... a ... decision. LOLF! A glimpse of what an Obama/Biden WH would be like. What a coupla of tools these guys are!

    September 17, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  19. inga

    Biden was not waffling – This is a stretch, CNN....

    September 17, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  20. rin

    where is the big headline of mccain lying about his record on bailouts!!!! cnn this posting is misleading

    September 17, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  21. Lee in LaGrange, Ga

    Unfortunately, biden is boring and no one cares what he says. He can say whatever he wants and no one will be there to listen.

    McCain/Palin – 2008!

    September 17, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  22. You sure about that?

    I agree with joe

    we should be letting the problems ride themselves out and not bailing anyone out. The 2 banks on monday crumbled because they gave loans and mortgages to too many people who wouldn't be able to pay them back and the banking division of AIG did pretty much the same.

    The companies that screwed up should be crumbling and taken over by companies that do things right. That's what the economy needs and yet no one has yet to say that.

    Also I like how biden blames bush (for the tax cuts) and than also blames clinton (for deregulation)

    whose fault is it mr. biden? the dems or republicans?

    September 17, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  23. Barney

    Today alone TWO Multi-millionaires endorsed McCain – oooooooh

    If you have a few thousand, don't think for one minute that voting for a man that is endorsed by multi-millionaires is going to make you wealthy.

    You could probably have been better off if a spoiled little rich kid hadn't controlled this country and the world for the last 7 years.

    Let's take our country back for the people that make LESS than 5 million a year !!

    Obama/Biden '08

    Constitutional Scholar, THINKING MAN, who is admired by the top people in OTHER Countries too. Obama wants to help the people that need help. McCain and Palin are secrecy and lies constantly.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 17, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  24. Carol

    SO it looks like we have some form of agreement here. The candidates DON'T like or WANT to bail out AIG – BUT – it is whats really best for all Americans. We have a disaster situation here. Recognize this. This is NO TIME to be bull headed, we have to pull together and do the right thing for the NATION. Like it or not. There was no waffeling here. This situation is NEITHER Dem or REOUB – its AMERICAN. RECOGNIZE it. Move on. We really NEED TO THINK – TERM LIMITS for CONGRESS and SENATE. NOW. They are the MAIN reason the GOVERNMENT is in the mess its in. Neither repub nor dems are willing to work together, so "we the people have the POWER to weed out the loosers that arn't doing the JOB we elected them to do. GET IT. This is why we have term limits on the Prez ! It;s not about the PARTY – its the individual. its here and now.

    September 17, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  25. FLAG PINS

    FLAG PINS.AT THE RNC

    I WILL NEVER WEAR ANOTHER ONE, IT IS APPARANTLY BEING USED TO GIVE SIGNALS THAT YOU ARE SOME FANTICAL CULT GROUP AND NOW ONLY INDICATES THAT YOU ARE THE ENEMY. YOU WRAP ALL THAT HATRED UNDER THE DISQUISE OF PATRIOTISM. SO THE NEXT TIME OBAMA IS NOT WEARING ONE, YOU WILL KNOW WHY.

    September 17, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
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