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. PoliticoPundit

    $85 B is little bit of money for Biden, who has his earnings showed on Obama's website as $254,000 year .. I would like to see the that "REAL" tac return.

    He is a Senetor and his wife is Dr. and he makes only $250,000??? another Rangel hiding income.

    September 17, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  2. REELAMERICAN

    HEY JOHN 64..............JOE BIDDEN HAS MORE MONEY THAN YOU DO .;.......AND RIDING THE AMTRACK IS HIS SELFISH ATTITUDE..........THAT ISNT A CHEAP RIDE ......HEY MAYBE AS A SENATOR HE RIDES FREE.............DID YOU KNOW OBAMA /JOE SCHMOE HAVE 99 BASES IN COLORADO TO TRY AND WIN THE STATE WITH EACH BASE MANNED TO THE GILLS AND WE ARE PAYING FOR THAT WASTE OF MONEY TOO AND HEY MAYBE WE SHOULD LEAVE THAT DEM BARNEY FRANK OVER THE BANKS FOR ANOTHE LIFETIME................MAYBE THE DEMS COULD FINISH US OFF MORE QUICKLY BUT NOT MORE PAINLESSLY.............ALL THESE OLD WHITE MALE DEMS IN POWER .............OF OUR FINANCIAL FUTURE INCLUDING THE ONES THAT JUST CRASHED AND BURNED...........I DONT WANT THIS FOR MY FUTURE.........PUT THEM [DEMS] IN CHARGE OF THESE INSTITUTIONS IN PRISON NOW...........FORGET IMPEACHING BUSH ........WASTE OF OUR TIME AND MONEY ..........HES OUT THANK GOD..........OH DEMS DONT DO GOD OR GUNS ............THEY JUST RAPE AND PKLUNDER US POOR FOLKS.............THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME THIS HAS HAPPENED............STOCK MARKET FELL BELOW 1000 JUST A FEW YEARS AGO .............YET THEY RAPE US AGAIN...........IT WILL FALL TOO 700 OR 800 AGAIN .............WATCH..............AND SEE............

    September 17, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  3. DB

    Jimmy:
    why go to the trouble to try to dig up old discredited smears to justify your vote for Mccain? It's a lot quicker to just admit you are an ignorant rascist...

    September 17, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  4. Randy of Cleveland

    For you people who are delusional and say McCain 08/ Clinton12 that makes completely no sense. First of if McCain wins it won't be Clinton in 2012 it will be Palin. By 2012 if McCain gets elected(God let's hope not for our sake) Palin will then have more experience than Clinton, she now would have been VICE PRESIDENT. Not just the WIFE of a President!!!! Also have you head in the clouds people heard of the point of no return??? Things are bad now and if they get worse I don't care who wins the election of 2012 they won't be able to turn things around. So lets get this straight, your ok with the country OUR country declining even more just so you can get your way in 2012. WOW that's the most selfish thing I've ever heard.
    Cnn please post this

    September 17, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  5. obama

    There is no problem with what Biden said. He needs mor einformation to comment
    What is wrong with that????????

    September 17, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  6. Ted

    @ Scott L: No one is listening to you because you're wrong.

    September 17, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  7. Ken

    First, I think that Biden is totally the wrong choice for VP, as well as Obama not the best choice either for President. With that said, Biden is in no position to even know what is going on with the market, and with his net worth being what it is, I don't think it will even effect him.

    Second, Part of the cause, besides what we already know that the CEO was greedy, that there are a lot of Americans are living beyond their means. Buying a house when they really cannot afford one. Living on credit instead of living on what they earn.

    Plus this Democrat congress NOT providing the over sight of the banking industry, and protecting the American people that they have sworn to protect.

    September 17, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  8. victor,nj

    The VP debate between Biden and Palin would clinch the election for Obama. I just saw a clip on Larry King on a townhall meeting in which Palin was asked what foreign experience she has on foreign policy and she was clueless. McCain is a fool for picking her.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 17, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  9. Joe R., NC

    You idiots. Biden didn't waffle; he gave an honest answer reflecting his need for more information on the bailout.

    Try getting a straight answer from Palin. Anyone watch the town meeting? How many times did McCain have to step in and try to expand on her one-liner answers?

    She's an empty tube o' lipstick.

    September 17, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  10. Mark

    WOW,,, CNN can say something bad about a Democratic candidate.

    It is about time,,,

    September 17, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  11. Chris

    These guys should never open their mouths before getting all the facts ....

    September 17, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  12. d

    looking for clarification of the facts is NOT waffling..

    September 17, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  13. JB in Virginia

    Is "waiting to get more information" waffling? I think that would constitute getting all the information before making a firm decision. And besides, there is certainly nothing wrong with changing your opinion on something, unless of course it is strictly for political gain (cough, John McCain). Google "McCains Youtube problem"

    September 17, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  14. Elizabeth in Seattle

    Biden did not waffle – it is called honesty. He had not gotten all of the information on AIG yet and probably would rather answer with knowledge then fudge and then be accused of foot in mouth disease again. Good for Senator Biden to want to be informed just like his running mate – Both Senators Obama and Biden would rather be informed and thoughtful before opening their mouths about something that they have not gotten the whole story on. I say that says alot about the two men we are going to elect to be our next President and Vice President because the last president and VP and current Republican presidential and vice presidential candidates all speak before they have full knowledge. Give me a break – Biden was right.

    September 17, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  15. smokesignals

    I agree with Trish and Deb!
    The fact that he wanted more information does not mean he is "waffling"! Come on CNN. Get to the facts and the truth for a change.
    This kind of reporting makes me angry!
    There is noone else to blame other than the Republicans and everyone knows it. There will be MANY problems and economic woes to try and fix, whether with government bailouts, help or changes in policy. Biden just called it like it is. The Dems will have to figure out a way out of this mess.

    September 17, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  16. Sammy

    Yes he did backtrack. But he did hedge in saying he needed to know more, which is fair. To me that means, as a campaign line, he will listen to the rationale behind the move and make a judgment accordingly. The big thing will be whether or not he will say that he was wrong and the Fed made the right choice.

    Really think about it. This kind of bailout isnt giving money. Its a loan and thats the American way. And in this case AIG is paying a high interest rate and the taxpayers will get a good return on it. So really, we lose nothing and get paid interest.

    September 17, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  17. OBAMA GET'S IT!

    CNN it's no difference than McCain & Palin both were all over the tv yesterday saying no more bailouts! The people, the people don't take from the people. Palin says "Im so glad they did not bail them out" today she saying that was the right thing to do TODAY ON FOX!

    OBAMA AND BIDEN ALL THE WAY!

    September 17, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  18. JN

    Wow you mccain/palin supporters are MEAN! Do not talk about how mean and nasty the obama supporters are..I have read some nasty stuff on here..You repubs are such hipocrits! You say the obama supporters are rude and ignorant but take a look at what you nasty people write!!!!

    I would rather have Joe say he didn't know than have palin/mccain lie about it like they have done thru this whole campaign! That isn't a lie..that's the truth!!!

    September 17, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  19. Foreign Observer

    How refreshing! Biden actually admits he didn't know enough details! McCain's strategy is "I never said that, and if I said it, I meant it to mean something entirely different, which includes both its opposite and the opposite of that, and did I mention I was a POW, you little jerk?"

    September 17, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  20. fixthebroken

    jimmy, what's your point? I don't even understand what you are talking about.

    September 17, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  21. linda from South Dakota

    The Constitution acorrding to McCain.
    We the rich few, who own more than six houses.
    shall strive to bring this country too its knees.
    By ignoring anyone who earns less than $500,000 p/a.
    Cripple the econnomy and force big buisness to to beg us for bail out plans that involve then turning over at least 80% of their stock and pay for it with money from the poor taxpayers.

    September 17, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  22. Comment

    Hey everyone abc news has an article discussing McCain shifting on AIG, you need to go there to get the other side of the coin.

    September 17, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  23. TKW-New Mexico

    This is a headline? He said he didn't have enough info and that's a bad thing?

    September 17, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  24. MEP

    John McCain also waffled. Watch your own coverage!

    September 17, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  25. Ray Fisher

    Some kind of an insurance company if they need insurance themselves!!! They simply got greedy like all business and overextended themselves. I don't think any insurance company requiring a bailout should be trusted!!!

    September 17, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
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