September 19th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Wall Street Journal editorial board skewers McCain

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain said he would fire SEC chairman Cox."](CNN) - John McCain's recent comments on the economy aren't just coming under fire from Barack Obama's campaign: arguably the country's most conservative editorial board said Friday the Arizona senator's recent "populist rifting" was downright "un-presidential."

A Friday Wall Street Journal editorial sharply criticized McCain for his recent condemnation of Christopher Cox, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Committee. The Republican presidential nominee told an Iowa crowd Thursday Cox had "betrayed the public trust" and should be fired.

"Mismanagement and greed became the operating standard while regulators were asleep at the switch. The primary regulator of Wall Street, the Securities and Exchange Commission kept in place trading rules that let speculators and hedge funds turn our markets into a casino," McCain said.

Fact check: Does McCain oppose financial regulation

In the bruising editorial, the Journal said those comments an "assault on Mr. Cox is both false and deeply unfair."

"It's also un-Presidential," the Journal said.

Specifically the editorial says many of McCain's allegations against the SEC were misleading - particularly his claim the SEC allowed "naked short selling" and eliminated the "uptick rule that has protected investors for 70 years.

According to the editorial, the SEC never condoned the practice of "naked" shorting, and has sought to eliminate the practice during Cox's tenure. The Journal also supports the SEC's decision to eliminate the uptick rule, calling it a "Depression-era chestnut" that "protected no one."

"In a crisis, voters want steady, calm leadership, not easy, misleading answers that will do nothing to help. Mr. McCain is sounding like a candidate searching for a political foil rather than a genuine solution," the editorial also said. "He'll never beat Mr. Obama by running as an angry populist like Al Gore, circa 2000."

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (339 Responses)
  1. ruth, sc

    CNN – thanks for "reporting" that McCain doesn't sound Presidential. I suppose Obama does when he tells his supporters to "get in their faces". Where's your "report" on his "Presidential" sounding comment?

    September 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. cj in Ohio

    The Republican Ticket McCain & Palin

    Unstable & Unable

    September 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. Jeff an Independent

    This must be what he means by "We'll break some china" when they arrive in Washington. Indiscriminate idiocy – and bubba buys it.

    September 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. timber

    I thought it quite presidential. The truth hurts sometimes but someone that is presidential material should have the gall to speak up. Good job McCain.

    September 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. Lizfi

    Didn't anyone see or read the Suzie Orman interview with Larry King? She totally agreed with McCain that Cox did not do his job and should be fired. She also agreed that there is something wrong with short selling as it is now and that regulation needs to be in place. John McCain tried to get some action on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago and the deomocratic congress did not act. And by the way, isn't Biden a long standing member of the Senate Finance Committee? What was he doing during this time?
    The mechanisms that we have are not working and McCain has offered some reasonable steps. Let's see if congress does its job.

    September 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. Charity

    Obama bin Ladin is no different...he's got ZERO ideas on how to run an economy!!! He's never even written a bill in his whole life!! Illionios Senior Senators had to write the bills for him and then gave them to him to put on the floor...he wrote NONE OF THEM.

    HE's needs to go back and be a community organizer. Noone wants him around. He can go take his island in Hawaii and condescending attitude towards the American people...calling us STUPID at every turn...and shove across that Bridge to Nowhere...b/c that is exactly where he's headed. NOWHERE!!

    McCain/Palin 08

    September 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. McCain for Pres.

    To all who keep saying the adds are lies, some of the adds are about what Obama said when he was running against Hillary, he has changed his stand now, because the polls went down, so it seems like lies, but they really aren't.

    September 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. Nancie

    Does Palin have a measurable IQ?

    September 19, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    And McCain say's he is for less goverment and at the same time wants to create another goverment institution "the MFI" a mortgage and financial watch dog group. A typicle republican,say one thing do the opposite, I remember when Bush said he wouldn"t do any "nation building", here we are dumping 10 billion a month in Irack. thats billion with a B.,all borrowed money. And McCain wants to increase goverment just a little bit more,and more and more...Obama 08, any direction we go is up.

    September 19, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. Pat

    There is an old saying, give them enough rope and they will hang themselves. Mccain is choking and Palin is hanging on the other end. These two are Cheney and Bush in disguise calling themselves reformers and mavericks!

    September 19, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. WI Cheesehead

    The irony of it all is McCain bragged to being fundamentally a deregulator as well as his fellow GOP/conservatives. With that in mind, the deregulations that have taken place since 1999 have made the US government the biggest player in business. Yes like it or not this is what a bailout means. Taxpayers own Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, let’s not forget Bear Stearns. Like it or not “taxpayer ownership” means nationalization. Oh no I didn’t say that. Yes I did, the truth makes you wonna wake up don’t it and they call DEMs socialist. I guess deregulation can’t keep the government out after all now can it?

    September 19, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. gail in kentucky

    Isn't it funny all the mcCain supporters are not even defending him anymore.... Because they are ashamed!!!!!!!!!! So glad all this is coming out with several weeks left to go... I am beginnig to think that Bill Clinton was right about saying that Obama is going to win BIG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. now is the time for PEOPLE to ACT!





    FOR A JUST, FAIR, HONEST REPS who work for the PEOPLE.

    September 19, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  14. PonderOnIt

    That's called "Shoot from the Hip" Politics.
    Act or speak first-think about it or ask questions later.

    September 19, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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