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Florida, on Monday, September 15, McCain said that a top priority of his administration would be to "replace the outdated patchwork quilt of regulatory oversight and bring transparency and accountability to Wall Street" but he offered no details.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

    McCains a moron. McCainiac's are moronic morons........

    See it works both ways 🙂

    September 17, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. Lynn:60 yr old Obama supporter

    What position isn't John McCain shifting on?? He is even using Obama's lines...trouble is he doesn't have the policies, the intelligence nor the respect to get any of them done.

    Someone tell McCain that the Committee on Commerce he totes as having oversight over all parts of the economy does NOT over see credit, financial services or housing. That ids the Banking committee which he is not a member of.

    McCain is either losing it or has become such a liar he can't remember what he said or what he has actually done.

    September 17, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. vperry

    I am scared that Obama is a rascist.

    September 17, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. Get-it-right America

    The mistake the rest of the world is making is still having the dollar as benchmark currency. The rest of the world should move away to the Euro zone, most especially if the Americans are stupid enough to put the Economy in the hands of someone who confessed that he had little knowledge of how economy runs. I follow the campaigns closely and its so funny how Americans are still considering Senator John McCain for the highest office in America.

    I will prevail on my government to move substantial amount of our reserve to the Euro zone if McCain wins. and I will volunteer to run a campaign for other countries to do same. I could not comprehend how Americans would vote for a party whose ideology is wrecking Havoc on the rest of the world. Ripple effect of the Lehman Brothers Financial crisis is beign felt around the world.

    Get it right America!!!

    September 17, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. James

    save the drama-

    you clearly recognize your candidate's position history puts him at the root of this problem. why else can we go back for months and find statements from him and his staff and economic advisors that don't think the pain that everyday americans is a cause for concern and immediate action? you are so blinded by your hate for obama that you can only insult him and his supporters.

    September 17, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. McLiars

    I'm shocked, shocked that John McCain is LYING–Not. We know he lies, he lies through his crooked yellow teeth. Cindy looks down all the time when John is talking, because she knows he's lying. Lying like he never lied before because he'll never get this close to being president, ever.

    Show the McSames we have no patience for liars, not after 8 years of Bush and Cheney. I love my country too much to vote for McCain, it's just that simple.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 17, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. George Brewer

    Lies –Lies No how no way should McCain become president–not even a dog catcher....

    September 17, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. John in DC

    "McSame and Caribou Barbie"...hilarious!!! If these people win, can we ever take them seriously?

    September 17, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. Humphrey from Chicago, Ill

    Wait a minute liberals! More regulation, are you kidding me??? If an accident you had nothing to do with happened on the road you take to work, would you ask for more regulation? Before you leave in the morning the government will have you go through testing for alcohol in your system before you enter your car, checking pressure on tires, testing steering bearings, etc. all for a fee. Will that make your day?

    McCain is right,less rules are good. It is about finding the right type of rules that is important and making sure that there is oversight.

    You liberals are a piece of work!

    September 17, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. Douglas

    McCain's plan for regulating the imploding financial markets: Form a 9/11 type committee. Hope that during the two years of meetings the crooks on Wall Street can consolidate enough power to allow him to ignore any recomendations.

    September 17, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. John McFibber

    How ironic it will be that the man who voted against the King Holiday Bill will lose to the first African American president.

    We can do it America.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 17, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. Seriously????

    SaveTheDramaFoObamasMama – you are the reason why grownups shouldnt allow kids on the internet without supervision.....

    September 17, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. John

    What!!!!! Biden told the truth!

    We can't have that kind of honesty in the whitehouse.

    September 17, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. Anti-Liar

    When you have a very wealthy wife running her own businesses, and when you have power lobbyist working for your campaign working day and night to get contributions from the wealthy individuals and big corporations with promises that are not made public while in public they are deceiving and promising the world for the suffering American families and small businesses which, in their secret views, are dispensable and gullible enough to believe all their election-year lies, well......

    September 17, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. TKW- New Mexico

    McCopy cat is at it again. What ever Obama says, I'll wait a few days and say the same thing. I can't wait until November!

    September 17, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. Capablanca

    I think Obama and Biden totally missed the point. Experts advocated the consolidation of federal agencies for years which is the McCain plan now. Obama and Biden just wanted to add more overhead without understanding the problem.

    September 17, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. MM

    "SaveTheDramaFoObamasMama September 17th, 2008 12:22 pm ET

    obama's a fool. obamabots are foolish fools."

    Oh I am taken aback by your great debating skills. What - are you in pre-school?

    September 17, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. McLiar And Failin

    Tell John McLiar and Sarah Failin thanks but no thanks.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 17, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  19. LYNETTE IN CA

    John in Ohio – I love this ..."Caribou Barbie!!!" I'm also in complete agreement with everything else you said!

    OBAMA / BIDEN '08 and Beyond!

    September 17, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. rin

    now biden is the real straight talker.... i am tired of the political bs from mccain/palin

    September 17, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. s

    McCain brings fresh meaning to the word flip-flop!

    September 17, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. Truth hurts

    Mccain have flip flop so, many times to please whatever interest!! Fact check, he is a de-regulator and he said it right out his own mouth!!

    September 17, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. asportsdad

    Sen. Obama and the DNC should remind people that it was Bush-McCain and the Republicans in Congress that attempted to privatize Social Security in order to shore up Wall Street. Had they been successful, your Social Security account would now be down the drain with your 401K. If McCain-Palin win the election, you can expect more of the same.

    September 17, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. midwestrn grl_stl

    why is this a surprise, it shouldnt be, thy gop has been lying throughout this campaing, mccaint has been changing positions like the wind blows., its over. i cant wait for the debates

    September 17, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. lawrence2xl

    the brain of mccain remains a POW to the core republican platform.
    mccain has said nothing new, palin has said nothing intelligent. almost every issue this team has identified was first presented to the American people by Barack Obama.
    it is time for a better president. a president who will not run from crisis to crisis, but a president who has the mental capacity, & youthful vigor to elucidate a broad, comprehensive plan of reasonable action. America needs a president who puts the country first, not with sound bites & flip-flops, but consistently clear thinking & common-sense motivation. Obama/Biden is the team we need now!

    September 17, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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