September 17th, 2008
07:50 AM ET
6 years ago

Fact Check: Biden on McCain's regulatory history

Sen. John McCain.
Sen. John McCain.

The Statement:
An Obama-Biden administration would "increase regulatory oversight of the very people John (McCain) has refused to regulate," Democratic vice-presidential candidate Biden said Tuesday, September 16, on CNN's "American Morning."

Get the facts after the jump!

The Facts
Until recently, McCain consistently described himself as an opponent of most government regulation. In 1995 McCain proposed an across-the-board moratorium on all federal regulations, but that failed in Congress.

In March 2008 he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, "I'm always for less regulation. But I am aware of the view that there is a need for government oversight. I think we found this in the subprime lending crisis - that there are people that game the system and if not outright broke the law, they certainly engaged in unethical conduct which made this problem worse. So I do believe that there is role for oversight.

"As far as a need for additional regulations are concerned, I think that depends on the legislative agenda and what the Congress does to some degree, but I am fundamentally a deregulator."

As his campaign has developed and situation on Wall Street has worsened, McCain gradually has added increasing regulation of the financial sector to his reform themes but has provided few specifics. Speaking in Jacksonville, Florida, on Monday, September 15, McCain said that a top priority of his administration would be to "replace the outdated patchwork quilt of regulatory oversight and bring transparency and accountability to Wall Street" but he offered no details.

In his own appearance on "American Morning" Tuesday, September 16, McCain said that some regulatory agencies had been "asleep at the wheel for the last couple of years or a few years," and "those agencies have to be consolidated, and they have to be given more strength where necessary." He did not identify any agencies by name or offer any specifics.

Verdict: Biden's statement historically accurate, but McCain's position changing.


Filed under: Fact Check • Joe Biden • John McCain
soundoff (255 Responses)
  1. ed

    Another Flip Flop by McCain, they just keep coming

    September 17, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. john

    Obama raises millions at a Hollywood fundraiser, while McCain mocks him for attending such an event during tough economic times, this after himself had closed door fundraise in Florida from his cronies........you can tell in his face that his is a born lier and hypocrite all he know is bomb. bomb. bomb. wakeup AMERICA read the truth about this man.

    September 17, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  3. IK

    AMERICANS THE CHOICE IS CLEAR IN THIS ELECTION – POLITICIANS ARE LYING ABOUT THEIR RECORDS--TO BE FAIR TO ALL CONCERNED, OBAMA- BIDEN HAVE RUN A MORE HONEST AND ISSUE BASED CAMPAIGN THAN THE McCAIN-PALIN CAMPAIGN

    PALIN LIES ABOUT HER RECORD, McCAIN LIES ABOUT HIS.//I ASK WHERE IS HONOR???

    THE DEMOCRATS MUST OCCUPY THE WHITE HOUSE COME 2009!!!

    September 17, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. Just a Mom

    Remember the Keating Five Scandal when Sen. McCain was on the side of lobbyists and Charles Keating to de-regulate the Savings and Loans?

    September 17, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. Bruce

    So McCain changes his position too much? He flip flops too much? So that must be why he backed out of a rally because Senator Biden was going to attend..... Oh wait.... that was Hillary Clinton who backed out because Governor Palin was going to attend. My bad.

    But of course Obama would make an excellent leader. After all, he has led his campaign party for 16 months! Thats excellent leadership. And it shows true patriotism and dedication to this country. Or maybe i'm thinking of the former 2-star General, John McCain, who endured 5 years as a POW, and returned with honor. I believe a former 2-star General, who wasn't allowed to promote simply because of injuries sustained during the POW stint, and a Governor of the state of Alaska who has a history of fighting corruption will make a much better choice then that of a 40 something man who has 2 years of Senatorial experience, and absolutely zero experience as a leader, and his running mate who was simply picked because everyone knows Obama is too young to run this country alone.

    I pray every day that Obama is not elected as President.

    September 17, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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