September 28th, 2008
01:10 PM ET
10 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.

Full story

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

    McCain brought drama and fear to Washington and to his supporters. This has worked for the GOP in recent elections.

    Obama brings us hope for a different government delivery system.

    September 28, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. Jetty

    Obama did an excellent job by avoiding to inject presidential politics into it and allow bypartisan negotiation to work out the best deal for the American people.

    On top of that, he made his concern and recommendations known to the negotiating team.

    Bravo Obama, the White House waits for you.

    An american Lover

    September 28, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. Nothing to lose

    Biden has earned a high wage- as has his wife- for decades.

    Yet he brags that he has no savings and nothing put aside for retirement.

    This scares me.

    I make a low wage and have managed to save enough and invest enough to have something to lose in this economic meltdown.

    Biden and Obama have NOTHING to lose.

    September 28, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. Bottom line: Obuma has NO resume, even for change!!

    Of course Dodd, Reid, and Co will say McCain did not help the process. He certainly called more attention to the issue, and was willing to go there and shake things up if needed. Obuma was content to keep rehearsing, and call between breaks. Now, did you hear Obuma saying it was "his" plan?? Yea sure, just like you didn't agree to meet without preconditions, even when a soundbite of the debate said YOU WOULD!!! Worthless.......

    September 28, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Robert Wooller, West Yorkshire England

    It is absolutely outrageous that Main St is having to bail out Wall St. Those bankers who couldn't stop at being greedy and now poor Americans are having to foot the bill – and all this under George W 'I don't believe in the State' Bush. This bail out is just the Welfare State bailing out big Western Capitalism.

    September 28, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. white guy in the suburbs

    I'm sure each was helpful in their own way. However, today's Gallup poll with Obama up 8 points, which appears to be getting little media coverage, suggests that the way McCain got involved has not impressed voters. We need a steady hand not an erratic impulsive stunt. I like both these guys and think Palin, after all this prepping, will do just fine in the debate. But people are still trending to Obama even my fellow older voters. The way each responded to this bailout says it all. I feel bad for whomever inherits this mess Bush left. I guess thats all of us!

    September 28, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. S. Boatman

    Look! . . . In The Sky! . . . Its A Bird! . . . Its A Plane! . . . Its Captain Maverick! He Is Here To Use His Maverick Abilities To Solve The Crisis! He Will Save Us All With A Single Blow Of His Maverickness!

    September 28, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. Marilyn

    I don't think they were helpful. It's not like the bi-partisan committees along with Paulson wasn't working to solve the problem.
    McCain should have kept doing what he was doing and bush should not had ejected mccain wishes into this, by calling in Obama.

    All of this was a political ploy by the mccain camp and if the American people are not wise. The country will continue to be in chaos and ultimately self destruct.

    September 28, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. Obama's campaign is back off track

    I am so proud of Sen Mccain. He chose getting the job done first before campaigning. He won't even take the credit. This is the kind of leader. He deserves all the credit and If the Obama campaign want to back track or twist this into Obama gets credit well that goes to show you that Obama is a rockstar and self indulges in himself. The notion to hate on Mccain to suspend his campaign to get his job done but then trying to steel the credit after seeing that it actually made a difference makes Obama look very weak and a Johnny come lately.. Obam always talks the talk but once

    September 28, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. Carl Justus

    McCain is a clone of Bush, he thinks what he says is the gospel and everyone should stop what they are thinking and do as he says.
    If you do not agree with him, then you are on the side fo terrorists or do not understand the situation. Both need to go to school to learn how little they know and see some things of this world to show them just how dumb they really are.

    September 28, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. Mike

    Obama & McCain are current holders of seats in the United States Senate and are being paid as Senators representing their constituents. I am aghast at the comments of other Senators (Dodd, Reid, etc.) saying that they should stay out of Crogressional business that has such a profound impact on the financial markets and economic welfare of our citizens. Those playing "politics" were the one's denouncing Obmama & McCain for trying to fulfill their role in Congress. We are not paying them to run for President, we ARE paying them to work in Congress on our behalf! If the whinning does not stop between our leaders in Washington, we need to find a way to vote them all out of office and start with a clean slate!

    September 28, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. The Geico Caveman

    Caveman speaks while dribbling a basketball:

    Americans spent millions of dollars at the movies watching the latest flick by Will Smith. They snorted down popcorn and nachos with their chubby kids. They had a good time cheering for this living legend.

    American companies spent multi-millions just to get Tiger Woods to endorse some of their " made in China " products. These companies cheered when Tiger won his last PGA tounament. People will stand in the soaking rain just to see this icon play golf.

    American spent even more millions just to see their favorite basketball player. Kobe, LeBron, Kevin Garnet and even Tim Duncan burning up the hardwood with spectacular monster jams. Fans giving high fives. People nearly jumping out of their skin cheering for these rich ball players.

    Some of these "cheering" American want to bench Barack Obama. Some say " ...he's not ready". What? He's good enough to be a pro golf player.....a big budget movie star....he's good enough to play ball only. Oh I see..he not " experienced enough" to be President of the United States of America. C'mon ..what's the real reason? He's black..ok...I said it for you.

    You see...this kind of thinking will only set YOU back in the stone ages.
    And YOU wanna call me the neanderthal.

    Caveman start shooting jumpers.

    September 28, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. bk

    McCain did help. The Republican house was not going to vote for it. Harry Reid said if McCain didn't come back and vote for it the dems wouldn't vote for it. Then when McCain did suspend his campaign and come back Reid said we don't need you. The dems then ran out to the media and said we have a deal, when they didn't. The Reps. in the house were never going to vote for it. They wanted to change the bill to not add ACORN for one thing. That is a radical group started back in the sixties and Obama was a member. They get Dems signed up to vote and are under investigation for voter fraud, some of the members are already in jail. They are part of the reason the mortgage mess. CNN should be reporting things like this instead of taking people's words out of context and making a big deal out of it to make Obama look good.

    The congress was warned about Freddie and Fannie by Bush several times, and I can't stand Bush, but this is the truth. They have Franks on tape saying he didn't think anything was wrong with Freddie and Fannie. McCain is on tape warning of Fannie and Freddie. The Dems wanted to give lower income housing to people that couldn't afford it. They gave it to them and they couldn't pay for it and now we are in this mess. They have no one to blame, but the dems in congress. Franks and Dodd should never have been allowed to even negotiate on the bail out. They should both be under investigation for fraud.

    September 28, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. Purse out of a Moose's ear

    Thank God erratic McCain is acting like the old-skool moron that he is. "I commeth to the rescue!!!!" Good job dork, way to sit next to Bush and do absolutely NOTHING. America sees right through you, you ghost of a man.

    September 28, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. pol

    American people now have a choice: one candidate is not ready YET, and another is not ready ALREADY. I am choosing YET. Old guy with his two dolls is the biggest treat for the USA since great depressin.

    September 28, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. S. Boatman

    Mccain Tries Anything To Look Presidential! He Has Done Nothing To Help! After Loosing The Debate On His Own Turf I Expect More Gimmicks Soon!

    September 28, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. Mikey

    Obama put out statement of suggested components to a final agreement and then trusted his colleagues to iron out a deal. He went to the White House at the request of the President and actively participated in the meeting. Obama did not grandstand by trying to prove something about his leadership, but left that to the people who are charged with leadership, the President and the majority and minority leadership within Congress.

    McCain, in order to score political points, made unhelpful provocative comments and interjected himself into the negotiations. Then when he attended the White House meeting, he sat silent – a reflection of his actual knowledge and therefore value in the process. The fact is that progress was made when he was not involved in the process; progress was stimied and even reversed when he injected himself into the process, and after he got out of DC, lawmaker again made progress and were able to reach a deal.

    This whole affair was very revealing about the both the leadership abilities and temperament of the two candidates. It also is reflective of both McCain's personal recklessness and the desperation of his campaign.

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

    McCain just went back to try and get some media focus on him and maybe the focus off Palin
    I am sure the fat cats on Wall street will get their share as usual
    McCain was a complete jerk in the debates not even man enough to look his opponent in the eye
    Then he praises his VP pick lol
    this woman is NOT prepared to be VP let alone a heart beat away from the presidency
    McCain has definitely lost sound judgement picking someone
    so unprepared to share his ticket
    IT TOTALLY disqualifies his remarks that Obama is not ready to be president!!!
    I would trust Senator Obama as president long before I would ever trust Mclosingit and his VP

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

    "What Senator McCain was able to do was to get all sides to the table which resulted in a vastly better bill," Schmidt told a group of reporters Sunday.

    That's funny. I thought the parties were already at the table before McCain blew into town and stirred everything up.

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

    Barack did the right thing. He let Bush and the Rethugs take the lead on this mess. He is being very presidential, and I'm proud of him.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 28, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. Kristian

    According to Politico, McCain spent the night in a fancy Washington restaurant with Joe Lieberman and their wives, while Congress was getting a deal together. McCain went to Washington alright.

    September 28, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. PHonesty

    Neither candidate were very helpful. By the way, talk is that Senator McCain, after having won the Republican presidential candidacy, had a change of mind about whether he REALLY wanted to step into the presidency and inherit a MESS. After talking it over with his wife, decided to spend his last years of his life with his family and relax & enjoy life. Against his advisers advice on selecting a candidate for vice president, he instead chose someone less qualified, less well-known, and with a lot of package coming into the picture, in the hopes that this would dissuade some of his supporters therefore decreasing his chance of success. He was at a point where he couldn't announce that he changed his mind, if he were to say that, what would WE do? Would we be left without a Republican or start all over again? I favored McCain over Romney but having considered the above I definitely would NOT force someone who REALLY doesn't want to walk into this MESS to do so. And I know that at this point he can't exactly tell us this. Please don't force him into a situation he really has had a change of heart in, let the poor guy enjoy the last few years of his life with his family.

    September 28, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  23. Olivia

    Extremely helpful, based on what the republicans have publicly stated.
    Irregardless of the reluctance shown by Pelosi, Reid and Dodd for him to be there, his visit added urgency and much needed corrections and inclusions to protect taxpayers.

    September 28, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  24. bob

    No, stop fooling me!!

    September 28, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. susie

    McCain said in co-sponsoring the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, "If Congress does not act," McCain said in 2005, "American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole." What did the Democrats do, nothing.

    September 28, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
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