September 17th, 2008
07:50 AM ET
12 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Florida, on Monday, September 15, McCain said that a top priority of his administration would be to "replace the outdated patchwork quilt of regulatory oversight and bring transparency and accountability to Wall Street" but he offered no details.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. Freedom Lovin Patriot

    18 MILLION PEOPLE VOTED FOR OBAMA to lead the country.

    NOT based on his experience but based on his VISION

    Sarah won't even meet with reporters on her plane...forget about even having a vision!( other than seeing Russia from her house)

    CREDIT CARD COMPANIES ARE NEXT!!!

    It is the logical progression of credit failures.

    All because Republican leadership failed to protect taxpayers from greed.

    You'll see. Before the end of this year, maybe 1st quarter of next year.

    How does it effect you?…

    Your credit cards will be cancelled.
    OR
    Your credit line will be cut.
    AND
    You'll be forced to pay outstanding balance on your card.

    September 17, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. FreeNLovIt

    Hillary summed it up in these statements:

    Anyone who believes the Republicans can fix the mess they created; also believes the iceberg could've saved the Titanic." — Hillary Clinton

    September 17, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. Lance

    Too bad the American people don't use factcheck enough to see how much BOTH sides lie.

    September 17, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Freedom Lovin Patriot

    "CHANGE OF MIND IS THE ONLY CHANGE MCCAIN WILL BRING"

    He'll flip-flop and not stop.

    September 17, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. FreeNLovIt

    We desperately need to clean the White House. An elephant is an elephant and when he gets into the White House, he'll like the same food, he'll sit in the same chair and drink the same cocktails of his predecessors.

    Let's give the Donkey a push into the White House to kick out any attachments to old ideas...

    September 17, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. David Peter

    In other words, McCain just flipflopped again.

    September 17, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. Get Real

    See – McCain – You are not change we can believe in... what will stop you from changing it back once you are elected. You McCain are playing politics with the lives of the American People

    September 17, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. WhoIsPalin?

    Verdict:Biden's statement historically accurate, but McCain's position changing. Position Changing!?!? That's McCain for you the Ultimate King of FLIP FLOPS and SLEAZY CAMPAIGN STRATEGIES!!

    September 17, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. helen

    when will CNN fact check all of mccain's and palin's ridiculous lies??

    September 17, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  10. SoCal

    "McCain's position changing"?
    Right, whatever it takes to get elected, huh?
    Once he's president his position will change once again.

    Once again, he may be very clever to survive 26 years in Washington, but that's not the kind of judgement we need.

    September 17, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. James

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

    McCain's position is changing?

    Wouldn't that be referred to, in political terms, as "flip-flopping?"

    September 17, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. Tired of W, OH

    There's a lot more truth in Biden's statement than there is coming out of the McCain camp. Recently changing your position (a.k.a. flip-flopping) after the damage is already done is not being a reformer.

    McCain flips his positions to get elected, but if he's elected (God forbid) he'll flop right back to his true beliefs.

    September 17, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. Obama-Junkie, IL

    The current financial market crisis feels eerily like the 1987 S&L Government bailout in which McCain was apart of. This ledad America right into the recession which saw a Democrat elected for president.

    NEVER FORGET THE KEATING 5!

    September 17, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. JonJon

    POOR SAME MCSHAME, HE JUST DOESN'T GET IT.

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    September 17, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. Anonymous

    You can't teach an old dog a new trick.

    Apologies to old dogs everywhere.

    September 17, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  16. Anonymous

    McCain will do or say anything to get elected. In our president we need leadership, awareness, education, thoughtfullness, empathy, charisma, and guts. We don't need sheep. Vote Obama.

    September 17, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. CNNtrueColorShowing

    It's called Flip-Flop! CNN, grow one... a spade is a spade, not a big spoon. Sheesh!

    September 17, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. Ex GOPer

    See this is the problem. Biden is historically accurate. Meaning Biden's statement is true. The only change McCain has offered on regulation is his reactionairy stance and words this year AFTER the home loan crisis and the most recent WallStreet woes. Funny how CNN seems to slime the truth instead of just saying the facts.

    September 17, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. TRBoston

    "McCain's position changing" is generous. Sounds more like a flip flop, one in a series, proving McCain's unambiguous willingness to shift wheresoever the political winds blow.

    September 17, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. Broad street buddy

    McCain's words may have changed but his actions HAVE NOT!!!

    September 17, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. John in Ohio

    Once again, Obama-Biden tells the truth, McCain-Palin lies and distorts.

    McCain and Caribou Barbie have nothing to offer, no new positions or approaches, no solutions to the problems we face, no plans for fixing the country, so they steal Obama's ideas and attack Obama and Biden. Attack attack attack it's all they have, and they have to resort to lies in those attacks. Obama can actually go 2 minutes without mentioning McCain, and when Obama-Biden do attack, it's in reaction to the most recent ridiculous McCain lies.

    The choice should be clear for everybody. Vote for the grownup.

    September 17, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. Morals and Values for sale!

    Fact, McCain is CHANGING his position based on the issue. However, it won't matter. Middle America seems to be falling for this act. It's either their too stupid to see it, or they don't wanna see it. Even as they see their pay check vanish dollar by dollar.

    September 17, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. Mike

    In short . McBush is the problem. Not the solution.

    September 17, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. CB

    ZERO REGULATIONS = CHAOS!

    September 17, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  25. Kenny from NC

    You know, it's a funny thing. I could have sworn John McCain said that no one could name a single issue that he's flipped-flopped on....

    September 17, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
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