September 17th, 2008
07:29 PM ET
14 years ago

Biden waffles on AIG bailout

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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)

    We are about to lose our WHOLE LIfe's savings and CNN is reporting
    on Biden soundbite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 18, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  2. Tom

    It's clear to me the Bush/Cheney administration (Treasury Department) has decided to bail out the companies who have agreed to pay them off after they have left office with lucrative jobs or advisory consultant jobs or perhaps speaking engagements. Without a doubt it's 'quid pro quo' deal. It's just another imprisionable offense for #43 and crew just like the war in Iraq rationale.

    September 18, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  3. Mike

    I wish the US would go back to being a Capitalist system. This recession is only going to get worse since either party that is elected is just going to implement more Socialist policies. Too bad Ron Paul didn't win the Republican nod, at least then America would have stood a chance at not being overtaken by China as the world superpower.

    September 18, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  4. princedlw7

    It sounds to me like he might actually want to study the details before he commits to a hard position. Conservatives call that being wishy-washy or a flip-flopper. Anyone else calls that being proactive to changes in circumstances. If anyone is interested, the ability to execute, evaluate, replan and re-execute is an absolute necessity in the real world or in the business world. The only place where that kind of fundamentalist type pig-headedness works is in republican presidential politics.

    We are going down the tubes financially. WAKE UP!! We need leadership that won't simply go down with the ship because they were too proud (or stupid) to change.

    September 18, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  5. bennie texas

    mccain dont wear a flag pin, that ok, but if obama dont wear one he is not amer. some ont please answer this for me texas for obama 08 the woman on tvday said she wont vote for ob, the reason is because he is black why they they wont say that.i

    September 18, 2008 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  6. Dr Jeckyll Island

    They are not Federal and there are no Reserves

    September 18, 2008 06:41 am at 6:41 am |

    Ron Paul is a Republican! An idiot that wants to take our entitlements
    away!!!!!! He just speaks in a mousy tone, but the message on the
    economy is the same. NO BIG Government means, YOU, the people
    are on your own. And we ship your jobs overseas. Ron Paul is a
    soft spoken idiot!!!

    September 18, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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