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. Mrs. Texas Teacher

    Obviously, Obama did what a president would do. He talked with his democrats in the congress and let them know his stand on the issues. Then he continued to do what he needed to do, and left the congress to do their job! I am sure he was in touch! That is what a President does!

    While McCain pretended to run back to help in order to delay the debates. I believe he truly feels at this time that the less he says or faces Obama the better off he and Palin will be. I am sure he would like to keep a permament clamp on Palin's lipsticked mouth, glaringly shows his lack of decision making qualifications that just about anything he has said or done so far! It seems that McCain feels that only he and his party, the ones who got us into this mess, are qualified to get us out. That is obscene!

    I got a chance to see the debates today online and I really suspect that the true reason McCain was not looking at Obama during the debates was that he was using the same ear plug
    that Bush used during his debates with Kerry. He was not being rude or disrespectful, I would say he was being coached!!! Am I the only person who thought of this?

    I've been without power until last night from Hurricane Ike. My area was really hard hit, but I was one of the lucky ones. Lots of trees and limbs to clean up, no power, and too much money spent on mandatory evacuation; but thankfully not as hard hit as the poor people in Galveston! My prayers to out to all hard hit by Ike.

    September 28, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. aliou FL John Mckeating five

    Obama 08 !!!!! McCain is clueless

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

    According to Politico, McCain spent the evening 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 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. sheep

    the Obamanation will lead with the Messiah!!!!!!!! Amen

    September 28, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. PE

    Dodd is correct; McCain delayed this process; Obama only went to Washington because Bush summoned both McCain and Obama. Obama had been communicating for Congress for 2 wks....

    McCain is a pitful old man, who put his country always.


    September 28, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Cindy

    Neither candidate's campaign should promote themselves as helpful. The people who were hammering out the details are the ones who did it. As Obama said earlier, the presidential candidates would get in the way, as what apparently happened when McCain announced the suspension of his campaign, and grandstanding about his important phonecalls. He mucked it up more than helped.

    Posturing over this now will only make them both look superficial.

    September 28, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |

    Harvard graduate vs a septuagenarian with an IQ just north of his shoe size?

    September 28, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. dollorbil

    Were they any help? I doubt it. The congress is still hashing it out. How could they be any help when they aren't even there.

    September 28, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. Jean 2

    McCain, I understand, was practicing for the debates in Washington or Arlington with podioms in his hotel room.

    It looked very dramatic HOW HE SUSPENDED HIS CAMPAIGN AND FLEW INTO WASHINGTON. I have a brother that responds the same way when there is a family crisis. In times like these America deserves serious actions not impressions and drama.

    The sadest part for us as American Citizens some of the reporters, some of the pundits, some of the commentators as well as McCain supporters played it around the clock.

    September 28, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. JB

    And, all you Obama fans, look up ACORN. Obama's plan gave an insane amount of money to ACORN.

    He is corrupt. All you youngins hear him say he is not, and just blindly believe him! Look up Rezko. Look up votes of present in ILL. Look up his earmarks.

    I'll make it easy on you and talk your language. Look it up on wikipedia!

    September 28, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. Peter

    This really is getting very intriguing. The old man pulls a stunt and there are people who actually believe him!!!!!!!!!

    September 28, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. Julie

    That smirking smile McCain had on his face, while all others were somber said it all to me.

    He was counting his chips, thinking how many votes he might win by his self-proclaimed messiah White House intervention.

    Jesus, however, through the betters out of the tabernacle. And in the end, McCain's colleagues threw the betting McCain out of any active negotiation.

    I'd say he loss this round.

    September 28, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. Olivia post addresses McCain.
    I have not heard from the senate just how good a role Obama played, apart from the fact that his presence was requested by the president after he'd decided not to go to the hill.

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

    OK, have y'all heard of a red herring falacy? That's when someone attacks someone's argument by arguing about something else. McCain/Palin supporters argue against the Palin/Pakistan fiasco by attacking Obama/Biden, but they don't address the inconsistencies of the argument itself...and that's because they can't. It's irrifutable that Palin is out of her depth when it comes to matters of state – domestic or international. McCain/Palin supporters decry a media that attacks every word that Palin utters. The reason why is because the McCain campaign is muzzling their Veep pick because they know she'll say things that highlight that she's unqualified. So the media is hovering like a hungry dog over a steak, because they can't have unfettered access to Palin, they're going to take everything she says and blow it out of proportion. As a Republican who is at wits end, I've finally decided that the McCain I knew and respected is gone for good, replaced by this GOP puppet and a Veep candidate who should never have been elevated. They might as well just hand the mantle over to Obama now...

    September 28, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  15. Billy

    Neither candidates presence was needed or helpful.

    The difference was Obama knew this and stayed away until called by the President.

    McCain immediately rammed his way into the proceedings, looking for political points.

    Which candidate was "country first"?

    September 28, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. backwards

    The democrats are always on the attack mode.

    What are they trying to cover up?

    Remember this is a democratic style bailout plan that does NOT sit well with conservative free-market republicans.

    Obama did not help... but McCain SURE DID help.

    September 28, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. BJGT

    McCain suspended his campaign and rushed back to Washington because it was a desperate attempt to score some points – to try and reverse a meltdown that started for him when the economy became front page news.It was just a stunt, nothing else. What a megalomaniac – as if he could influence any of them esp the House Republicans. LIes, lies and more lies. That is what happens when the guilty get cornered.

    September 28, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. 107 yr old boxer

    John McCain is making the same fatal mistake that the other previous contenders made when sparring with Obama. They brand this fighter as " inexperience" and it is not working. The McCain Camp is only jabbing with the " inexperience " theme. They continue to estimate this crafty young fighter who has dodge many blows from both sides of the political ring. That last match with the Clintons was won halfway through the bout. The McCain camp thinks they are fighting a lightweight match because Obama is young. Obama is a heavyweight. They are hitting below the belt with scare tactics to divert people from the real issues and this could backfire. In the debate McCain constantly said to Obama..."What you fail to understand.......". What McCain fails to understand is that if he don't truly start to recognize Obama's skills in politics, he could find himself faced down in the ring in November.

    September 28, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. Jorge

    Note to Mike.

    The houses of Congress are not acting as committees of the whole in this matter. A relatively small number, from the Banking Committees I believe, are drafting the bill. Obama and McCain, as well as most of the House and Senate, are not on those committees. When the matter comes up for a vote, it will be appropriate for them to be there.

    September 28, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. SwingVote2008

    Attention Everybody and Emily Sherman.. The Writer...McCain did not stop his Campaign and please stop feeding people that bull... He said it to make a political jump.. he new about the plan and took him 3 days to react.. so stop that bull.. if he stoped the campaign then i stopped breathing yesterday...

    September 28, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. Charlotte

    McCain put forth core principles and people said he had no business being in Washington since he was not on the committee? Is Obama on the committee? He doesn't hold meetings on committees he chairs why would he have input in this committee? Senators and Congressmen discuss and debate their positions and submit them to the committees for consideration. They wheel and deal among themselves in order to get earmarks attached to bills. This is serious business, Obamas' position on everything seems to go in reverse. We should never get to such and such a point is his answer to everything? There comes a time when the why is irrevelant and the how do we fix it is the most important. His not voting for the war has nothing to do with how we fix it. His plan to shuffle the troops from Iraq to Afghanistan will do nothing to stop the cost of war. We have the worst deficit ever and he is still proposing tax cuts? Can people not see through this hyperbole? Neither candidate will achieve their campaign promises. Sarah Palin isn't part of Washington and her lack of expertise on Foriegn Affairs falls to the number one guy, McCain. In the debates I heard Obama defer to the number two guy, Biden on Foriegn Affairs. The Democratic ticket needs to be reversed with Biden on top. Hillary should have been the number one with Obama number two. The Dems. would have had a landslide victory. I stll may write her on my ballot in November. I do believe Sarah will add a common voice to the politics of Washington. We need someone to speak for main street, and can related to the cost of a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread and a dozen eggs. It will be up to the President to deal with world leaders, the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and all the other Secretaries are there to advise are they not? I want someone who can order a Phillycheese steak for themselves.

    September 28, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. Rosa, b'ham al

    IF McCain knew how to use the internet or a Blackberry or other modern technology he would have been able to get things done without having to be there making a circus of the whole thing.

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

    Unlike John, Barack did not go in trying to be the terminator. Barack is still a member of the Senate and he knows the roles of Senate members. He was right in trying not derail the process.

    Another reason that he will be the next

    September 28, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. disgruntled voter

    Why don't you ask how "unhelpful" Nancy Pelosi and her minions were in that they were totally focused on discrediting McCain during the process? It's obvious to me that since the last two years of democratic domination in Congress, our country has declined significantly and all the Dems want to do is blame the Republicans. I am a Democrat myself but I refuse to support the party until the corrupt are gone. We need our Government working together during these hard times and all I ever see is Nancy Pelosi in front of a camera blaming John McCain and George Bush. Talk about a pot calling the kettle black!

    September 28, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |







    September 28, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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