September 28th, 2008
01:10 PM ET
6 years ago

How helpful were McCain and Obama in bailout negotiations?

Congress and lawmakers have been working around the clock to reach a deal for the financial rescue plan.
Congress and lawmakers have been working around the clock to reach a deal for the financial rescue plan.

WASHINGTON (CNN)—Now that Congress and lawmakers have reached a tentative agreement on the financial rescue plan, some Senators are beginning to weigh in on how helpful or unhelpful it was to have their collegues John McCain and Barack Obama back in Washington D.C.

"I actually think Senator McCain and Senator Obama were one of the catalysts of this effort," Republican Senator Judd Gregg told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "Having them here in Washington highlighted dramatically for the American people just how dangerous this situation was to folks on main street."

Not everyone is in agreement with Gregg. Also appearing on CNN, Senator Chris Dodd echoed a line from many of his Democratic colleagues, saying their presence had the adverse effect.

"Will all due respect," Dodd said. "That delayed and slowed down this process. I think we would have gotten closer to an agreement," had they not come "parachuting in."

He added, "Respectfully, John McCain did not help. In my view, that was a political stunt."

Senator John McCain, who suspended his presidential campaign last week to focus on the financial crisis, said Sunday he was not looking for credit, that Congress and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson are the ones who deserve all of the credit for the bailout negotiations.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Chris Dodd • John McCain
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Barney

    Hmmm – McCain couldn't do anything in DC all of those years, and now he can?

    September 28, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    I don't neither McCain or Obama were necessarily helpful. I think that Obama was staying abreast of the developments of this case for well over 2 weeks, while McCain suddenly got on top of it and proceeded to mess things up! McCain was showboating, while Obama was showing true leadership.

    September 28, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. mitch

    mccain has done nothing but run around looking for photo ops.

    September 28, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. Dan J

    Obama did nothing, plain and simple. Country didn't come first, his campaign and personal interests did. This cannot be argued. Obama cannot be trusted.

    September 28, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. Jim

    Stop perpetuating the myth that McCain 'suspended' his campaign, or that he had anything to do with the negotiations. He did nothing of the sort. All campaign offices were still up and running, daily meetings were still being held, advertising was still running in all markets, McCain spent several hours Thursday evening practicing for the debate, he met with fundraisers and on and on. When he did get to the White House, he sat like a lump for 40 minutes while Obama asked dozens of questions of Secretary Paulson.

    September 28, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    Obama wouldn't have even gone to Washington if the President hadn't asked and if McCain hadn't pulled this stunt. They didn't need Obama. MAYBE they needed McCain because the House Republicans who, for whatever reason were MIA at the negotiations were in full-scale revolt and that would have been bad. BUT he could have done what he needed to do from afar. Phone calls? Emails? I know...that's high technology but it's how most of us communicate these days.

    September 28, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. Don from California

    I'm just glad that congress finally explained to the public that it was their RETIREMENT and JOBS that were at stake here. Not just some financial houses on Wallstreet. Both parties have dumbed down every political debate to whether taxes are too low or too high that the public doesn't understand this issue. That is why the House republicans were pushing back. They have to listen to the people more than the senate does.

    September 28, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. Soe Naing

    Obama requested and received 900 MILLIONS in ear marks in 3 years. We have 100 senators. Let's say everyone of the requestd/received the same amount in 3 years for their pet projects and for their wives' employers. That would amount to 99 BILLIONS in 3 years...

    With that type of abuse... Wall Street should have asked for double the 700 billions amount.

    Obama... you are just talking. Do some walking also...

    September 28, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. mario fl

    Helpful for McCain because he doesn't know how to use a 'blackberry'.ahahahahhahha

    September 28, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. susie

    CNN needs to check in to (Community Reinvestment Act) this act informs the public how the bank had to gives loans to people who should not have received them.

    September 28, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. Tracy

    I will begin to believe in the words coming out of John McCain's mouth when we live in a country where the phrase "homeless veterans" is an appalling condition in some other area of the world - like malaria.

    September 28, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. S. Boatman

    Mccain Did Nothing To Help! Period! He Used This Entire Situation For Political Purposes To Try And Help His Dying Campaign!

    September 28, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. KO

    McCain added no value to the bailout–if anything, he delayed action and made the work that much harder. He probably now wants to campaign against it. McCain is all about politics...so much for "putting my country first".

    September 28, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. mitch

    barack is focused on a thousand things at a time, while john has become so erratic,he's hardly recognizable.

    September 28, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. Rob indetroit

    Everyone knows ,MCbush was pulling a stunt, and it backfired.

    September 28, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. McCain still suffers from PTSD

    McGimmick was VERY helpful to the Democratic party in the bailout deal.

    He not only showed the America people he's willing to lie right to their face but also use every gamble, stunt and gimmick to get attention but shows us how much he's still suffering from PTSD and can't make good judgment on his VP selection or his decision to stay out the way in the bail out deal.

    McCain is a roll of the dice Americans are now seeing they are NOT willing to make. Bush already set the stage for us to see what happens when we have someone with poor judgment in charge, McCain just reinforced that understanding, so I say YES, McCain DID help Americans decide who is better fit for the Office of the Presidency of the United States.

    September 28, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. confused by preparations

    Scary that he needs to prepare to debate an inexperienced newbie who has never been on a national stage.

    Sarah needs to let loose and voice her opinions- like Hillary, her opinions are WAY better than those of the male professional politicians.

    Sarah is REAL. She connects with the people.

    Biden makes a HUGE salary and has managed to have NO savings and nothing for his retirement. That means HE has nothing to lose when the economy tanks.

    I make peanuts but have invested and saved... so I DO have my retirement savings to lose.

    September 28, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Barney

    Keating 5 started this – McCain's name all over it – protect wealthy. De-regulation rules in his camp now and always has.

    September 28, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. confused by preparations

    Scary that Biden needs to prepare to debate an inexperienced newbie who has never been on a national stage.

    Sarah needs to let loose and voice her opinions- like Hillary, her opinions are WAY better than those of the male professional politicians.

    Sarah is REAL. She connects with the people.

    Biden makes a HUGE salary and has managed to have NO savings and nothing for his retirement. That means HE has nothing to lose when the economy tanks.

    I make peanuts but have invested and saved... so I DO have my retirement savings to lose.

    September 28, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Annie

    McCain and Obama aren't on the committees working up this proposal. They need to stay out of it until an actual proposal makes it to the Senate, where they will have the opportunity to vote.

    Off subject: I saw a post on the Ticker the other day that I feel compelled to share. Not verbatim, but a suggestion that FactCheck was in the tank for Obama because all his comments are the truth and all McCain's comments are lies. Had to bring it up because it scares me that we've gotten that stupid.

    September 28, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. It is Obama-Biden in 2008 and 2012

    Sen. Obama - America's 44th president - is extremely helpful where this financial rescue plan is concern, because he spearheaded some core principles to guide the financial rescue package.

    First, there must be oversight. We should not hand over a blank check to the discretion of one man. We support an independent, bipartisan board to ensure accountability and complete transparency.

    Second, we need to protect taxpayers. There should be a path for taxpayers to recover their money, and to turn a profit if Wall Street prospers.

    Third, no Wall Street executive should profit from taxpayer dollars. This plan cannot be a welfare program for CEOs whose greed and irresponsibility has contributed to this crisis.

    Fourth, we must help families who are struggling to stay in their homes. We cannot bail out Wall Street without helping millions of families facing foreclosure on Main Street.

    Fifth, we both agree that this financial rescue package should move on its own without any earmarks or other measures. We have different views about the need for other action, but this must be a clean bill.

    September 28, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. Reg from Florida

    Sitting back and slowing the process down for political gain are not signs of good leadership. The bottom line, McCain is only interested in winning this election at any cost. As evident with the pick of Sarah Palin for VP. The words of " Country First" are being trampled by the GOP campaign, the voters must deliver the American People from this debacle.

    September 28, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Don

    Senator Obama got it right. This is not a place for politics, presidential or otherwise.

    Senator McCain put on his "Mighty Mouse" cape and ended up not only not "saving the day", but very nearly wrecking the whole thing. It's interesting how he had time to fly to Mississippi, hang out in his office, go out to dinner with Senator Lieberman, etc.

    Based on the article in today's NYT about his gambling junkets, I wonder if he worked in some time to go shoot some craps somewhere? As long as he's using his own money or his wife's pile of money, I don't really care. When he starts gambling with the taxpayer's money, I take exception to that..

    September 28, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  24. Jorge

    It's sad to watch the deterioration of John McCain, much as it was to watch that of Wilbur Mills back in the 70s.

    McCain's repeated reference to his own experience vs. Obama's alleged lack of experience has thrown open the door for Obama, or, more likely, his surrogates, to focus on McCain's age and health.

    By repeatedly saying that Senator Obama didn't seem to understand one issue or another gives the Obama camp all the justification it needs to attack McCain's mental status and his failure to grasp issues and concepts.

    September 28, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  25. Neil

    John is not 100% disabled, yet he get a 100% disability check. He will also get Social Security, Senate Retirement, 20 year Military retirement check. And if he becomes president, he'll get another retirement check.

    He recieved the 100% disability check from the Govt, but then lied and said he was able to stay in the military to get his 20 year pension. This from a man who voted against veterans 15 times on 15 bills. He also said he didn't want to give the soldiers too much, because they wouldn't want to re-enlist.

    September 28, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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