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Florida, on Monday, September 15, McCain said that a top priority of his administration would be to "replace the outdated patchwork quilt of regulatory oversight and bring transparency and accountability to Wall Street" but he offered no details.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

    McCain wafts more than a car with four flat tires. This man simply doesn't now if he's coming or going.

    ONE NATION

    September 17, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Helene

    MCain and Pit bull : you are FIRED.

    September 17, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. zoro

    Pretty sickening to watch McCain do anything it takes to get elected.
    More sickening to think maybe enough of the American public will
    fall for it.

    September 17, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Barbara - Augusta

    The proof is in the pudding...people wake up!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 17, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. Lamont Cranston

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

    translation: Spot on, and now McCain is flip flopping .
    Lets try for some objectivity here, folks – "historically accurate" is a needless weasel word. call it "accurate" and be done with it.

    September 17, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. I Just Said Thanks, but No Thanks to Another 4 Years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    McDeregulation: mccain is part of the problem; Obama/Biden is the solution to eight years of bushco corporate socialism.

    September 17, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. Roger

    The choice in this election is so obvious that I can't believe it is in dispute. How anyone in their right mind can even think of giving the power of government to the Republicans for 4 more years after the past 8 is just mind boggling!

    Obama/Biden = Truth

    McCain/Palin = Lies and distortion.

    The choice is clear!!!

    September 17, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. MaryK

    Would McCain's position be changing if we weren't in the mess we're in, of course not. McCain walks the walk of an honorable guy, EXCEPT when he's running for office, which says something about his true honor. It's unfortunate.

    September 17, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. LM Jennings

    I believe that John McCain is true to his beliefs and he truly believes that government should be deregulated! His bill was defeated, his beliefs were not! Atlanta Believer

    September 17, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. georgia independent

    McCain has a bridge to sell in Alaska too...

    September 17, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  11. t

    "I'm always for less regulation. But I am aware of the view that there is a need for government oversight.

    September 17, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Lisa P

    I'll believe McCain's position is changing when I start hearing some specifics to back it up. Right now he just seems to be grasping at straws and putting out a lot of hot air. He's running against his own record.

    September 17, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. tigerakabj

    Come on people. What is McCain going to do, tell the truth? If he did this race would be over.

    He offers nothing. So he has to copy Obama, lie (and say he came up with it first), and go negative to try and win. That is all he can do.

    I just hope Obama thoroughly exposes and buries McCain those debates. Harvard Law president v. 894/899 student (barely).

    Obama/Biden 2008/2012.

    September 17, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. proud army and navy mom

    This is no surprise that mcsenile and his pitbull is lying. But I am pleased to see CNN make an effort to report the facts.

    Thanks, CNN keep up the good work. Some advice: If pitbull Palin won't give you an interview, stop covering her events!

    September 17, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. SW Washington St.

    I saw John Mccain on tv this morning. He is a liar. Maybe he thinks if he lies that it will be true. Some christian values... I hope other Christians are opening there eyes to this. Its a sin ya know......

    September 17, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. Cathy

    Again....McCain/Palin pandering to his party and will lie at all cost to get votes. When will America see that McCain is nothing of a reformer...except reforming his own view just to get elected. McCain is a fraud and Palin will soon be exposed for all that she is NOT!!!

    September 17, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. SaveTheDramaFoObamasMama

    obama's a fool. obamabots are foolish fools.

    September 17, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. sky

    Really, a person could, in a very unbiased fashion go and take a look at the real history of McCain and determine he is not necessarily the best choice to lead a country. I would like to think that our common goal would be to select the best and the brightest. Do you want someone who got into the academy because of a relative. How about someone who spent his time partying and flunking out and facing reprimand after reprimand but was not kicked out because of his relative. How about someone who wet starts a plane after being told over and over again not to...because it was too dangerous....but does so anyway.....creating a fire that destroys part of a ship, other planes and other lives....how about someone who wrecks planes repeatedly. They finally had to transfer him off the ship and that is where he was captured......the people he was captured with referred to him in less than glowing terms. Please people.....please...this time....this time...couldnt we please pick someone with some smarts that we can be proud of.

    September 17, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  19. Ex-PUMA for Obama

    Most of what Obama and Biden says are mostly true.

    McNasty's and Mclipstick's stories are FLAT OUT LIES!

    Two Mavericks...............TWO LIARS......and everyone knows it.

    September 17, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. Tricky

    "I'm always for less regulation. But I am aware of the view that there is a need for government oversight.
    How is government oversight more regulation? He is telling us we need to watch all of the f"riends of Bill" who are running Fannine and Freddie.

    September 17, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. Barbara W.

    Biden was accurate. You qualify his statement needless by adding "historically." You mean until yesterday, or very recently and that is what you, yes you media folks at CNN, USED TO CALL Flip-Flopping.

    Not that McCain is FLIP-FLOPPING, you revert to other terms, such as "historical," and his "position is changing."

    Obama/Biden have the experience, knowledge, wisdom and correct positions in order to help the country. God help us if McCain is elected.

    September 17, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. change for texas

    Keep up the good work Joe!

    September 17, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. darko

    Being an opponent of "FAILED GOVT REGULATIONS" is a good thing people. Take 2 seconds to get past the media catch phrase.

    FACT CHECK: It was the democrats who consistantly blocked GOP legislation to overhaul the credit regulations and oversite. Barack has many advisors who are millionairs via freddie an fannie.

    The credit crisis has nothing to do with the current administrations economic policies. Recent job losses, financial crisis and foreclosures can be laid at the feet of Obama's party. They're were invested and made millions...follow the money.

    September 17, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  24. Mike in Columbus

    Just say whatever sounds good at the moment Johnny...

    And someone please right down what Palin should be saying too, she'll need her script!

    September 17, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. Grace Needed

    Another day, another lie from McCain/Palin. How long will people keep believing in them? They really don't want to see the truth, or this race would be over by now. I am trying to understand, since we supported McCain in 2000, but he is no longer that man. He has flip-flopped on most everything he stood for then and is just a shell of his former self. Then, running this campaign, he has shown how low he will go with lies, smear tactics and poor decisions – like selecting Palin as V.P. on a whim. He took a real gamble to try to win at all cost and you call that "COUNTRY FIRST". He accused Senator Obama of "accepting defeat in Iraq to win this election", he has been accepting of lobbyists and special interests and Rovian smear tactics that he once appalled to win this election versus be honorable. To be honorable, you must be honest and he hasn't been. He has dishonored himself, his family, his party and this country!

    September 17, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
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