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Florida, on Monday, September 15, McCain said that a top priority of his administration would be to "replace the outdated patchwork quilt of regulatory oversight and bring transparency and accountability to Wall Street" but he offered no details.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. Tony

    READ THE LAST LINE OF THIS PEOPLE!!!!!!

    "BIDEN'S STATEMENT IS ACCURATE"

    September 17, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    SO IN OTHER WORDS, MCSAME IS CONTINUING TO LIE ABOUT HIS RECORD AND FAKE BEING AN AGENT OF CHANGE WHEN HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE ECONOMY>

    CAPICE???

    September 17, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. anon

    What about Biden's ties to the banking industry and his sons' ties to big banks?

    September 17, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. blaising

    Of course his position is changing...he's a LIAR!!

    September 17, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Just like a coin

    I guess if you toss up another issue he will flip again!!

    September 17, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. Independent

    Well then...

    September 17, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Carol for McCain all the way

    This IS NOT ABOPUT Democrates or REPUBLICANS, it's about WHO HAS THE EXPERIENCE TO RUN OUR COUNTRY. WHO IS A PROUD AMERICAN that will STAND UP for AMERICANS and AMERICA.

    September 17, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. Will from NYC

    McCain is lying.... his record does not support his flip flop on this.

    September 17, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. Chad in Cincinnati

    You mean McCain is flopping in the wind... He's been for deregulation all his life and this smacks of pandering and political expediency. Double speak like this is one reason we're in the mess we currently occupy, but one thing is clear on our economic troubles: Bush=McCain... The Same

    September 17, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. Jean 2

    Why isn't the media asking the hard questions of McCain.

    On GMA this morning his answer was "If Obama had agreed to hold town hall meetings the tone would be different".

    Is he punishing Obama??

    September 17, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. Washington Firefighter

    I believe that would be called flipflopping on McCain's side....I believe thats one of the things he's accusing Obama of. He said he prided himself as a de-regulator...now he says he has always supported regulation.

    I don't trust him in the least bit

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 17, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. Anonymous

    I wonder how the conservative base feels about McCain's new love of government regulation of private business, not to mention his vows to be a maverick once again, bucking his party whenever he can.

    September 17, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. soy

    Over and over again McCain is caught lying or switching position to what is popular at the time. This says nothing about his so called integrity on which he runs on in addition to his judgment. Obama-Biden has hit the mark on all the major issues facing this nation at this time and McCain has consistently been on the wrong side of the issues. Its time for this nation to wake up and rise and put Obama-Biden in the White house so we can start solving issues critical to this nation

    September 17, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. Peter

    The so called straight talk express is zig-zagging all over the road.

    September 17, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    McCain and Palin , a bridge to disaster.

    September 17, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. Timothy

    So... umm, does this make McCain a flip-flopper? Or does that adjective only apply to Democratic candidates. I just want to be sure, so I don't make a political faux pas.

    September 17, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. THANKS, MCCAIN AND CREW FOR PUTTING THE U.S. IN THE INSURANCE BUSINESS!

    The Reason for America’s Financial Crisis:

    The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 deregulated the financial system by opening up competition among banks, securities and insurance companies and allowed commercial and investment banks to merge.
    John McCain voted for this bill along with the entire Republican Senate. The Senate Democrates objected against it. Phil Gramm indroduced this bill was John McCain’s top economic advisor before he was forced to resign but still gives McCain economic advice to this day.

    John McCain has a direct responsibility in the financial crisis we are in today. McCain has supported the very philosophy and mentality that has caused the economy we are facing today. Is that what you want? Another 4 years of this? If you do then vote for McCain.

    NOTE: GRAMM WOULD BE THE SAME MAN THAT CALLED AMERICANS “WHINERS” AND WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR AUTHORING MCCRYPT‘S ECONOMIC POLICY!!!

    BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID.

    September 17, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  18. MLD

    Obamabots should read up on their candidate. He supports teaching sex ed in kindergarter (look up his bill, it says K-12 for teaching about STD's). He supports infanticide (look up the bill, it supports killing a baby that survives an abortion). He supports obligating by law the annual transfer of almost 1% of our GDP ($90 B) to the United Nations (look it up, it's in the Congressional record).

    Obama is not just a lighweight, he is a moron. Unfortunately, he has 100% backing by the morons of America.

    September 17, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. charles

    his position is not changing he is flip flopping depending on the direction of the wind.
    Verdict: clueless

    September 17, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. Jeff

    I dont like McCain but find it ironic that he can critisize McCain's record when he has made a point of not having one. Obama has done nothing except write a few very self serving books and leave of string of "present" votes.

    September 17, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. Accountant Guy

    Wow, McBush caught in a lie!! The Republicans are pathetic. THANKS, BUT NO THANKS ON MCBUSH AND BRIDGE TO NO WHERE PALIN!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 17, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. This soccer mom can whip your hockey mom any day!!!

    OF COURSE HE OFFERS NO DETAILS...HE HAS NO DETAILS TO ANYTHING HE PROPOSES FOR THIS COUNTRY. BIDEN PROVEN RIGHT!!! MCCAIN IS COMING APART AT THE SEAMS!!!!!!

    September 17, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. Don

    Get outa town McSlime. Next the utility companies who are more than happy to let the elderly freeze to death in the winter need regulated.

    September 17, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. NAOMI

    what is taking people in the USA so long to get aboard? I think we have alot mis guided people here. McCain lies all the time and its like the more he lies the more he goes higher in the polls. What does it take to see McCain/Palin would make things worst for our country? I am really shocked that so many people crave to stay in war, and economy bottom out, just to pick old man McCain and the other liar Palin.

    September 17, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. seth

    of course he is changing his tune. "whatever it takes"

    September 17, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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