September 19th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
13 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. Independent but Leaning

    Goes to show that McCain walks his own path- he's not in the pocket of anybody- including the conservative Wall Street Journal. This should be comforting to those who wonder if President McCain will pander to the right. The answer is, as it has been throughout his life, NO. He doesn't work for the Republican party; he works for the people of the USA.

    We should all be thankful to have an honorable, experienced candidate like Senator McCain to vote for.

    September 19, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. Debby

    The Wall Street Journal has been in the tank for Obama since day one. They have always been critical of anything McCain has to say even if its the truth.

    September 19, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. John in Ohio

    "Fact check: Does McCain oppose financial regulation

    What about Obama's FACTCHECK CNN . you won't do it I know may be he doens't even have history to get the facts checked.. then do it on BIDEN"

    Biden voted against deregulation and Obama has also always opposed it. Specifically, Biden voted against the Gramm deregulation Act in 1999 that McCain supported and that got us into this mess.

    Decades of experience in making the wrong calls and the bad decisions is no experience at all.

    September 19, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. TexicoFrom Mexico

    This guy is a joke! yeah yeah war hero and pow , give him respect for that but the thing is, this guy has neither the temperment nor the intelligence we need right now. He has been wrong on every issue, his campaign has stolen every idea that Obama gosh people cant you see this? As I have said, give Obama a chance! Don't like him in 4 years vote him out! But we as a country need to try a different change and McCain no matter what he says is just more of the same!

    Veterans for Obama

    September 19, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. JB

    Some advice for you McInSane:

    Now is not a good time too mess with the Wall Street Journal and the SEC.

    September 19, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Jon

    Is anyone going to vote for McCain in November?

    September 19, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. Rob

    John McCain is so out of touch with Americans and he thinks the economy is strong – what drugs does his doctor have him taking. He obviously hasn't seen my life savings or peoples houses disappear. In fact he has so many houses he wouldn't know if one disappeared or not. And the blatant lies he and Sarah Palin keep saying – disgusting. I used to respect him but not now. And Sarah Palin, who in their right mind would pick such an inexperienced person. If she can't even talk to the American press or give a press conference how could she possibly handle someone like Putin. She would probably call him her next door neighbour since she can see Russia from Alaska. Just imagine, if John McCain won the election and due to illness could not govern would you really want Sarah Palin as your president. I don't even want to think about it.

    September 19, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Concerned Voter

    Can someone PLEASE fire McCain and his hype-girl!


    ELECT OBAMA/BIDEN 2008!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. Richie

    You come on you guys (whine whine). She can see RUSSIA from her HOUSE.

    September 19, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Kevin, NC

    Who appointed Cox to the SEC? The current Republican Administration! Who is brags about de-regulation? McCain/Palin!!!
    Who should be fired? All of those republicans on the local level to Federal Level and McCain/Palin shouldnt be given a chance to make things worse, because trust me, things can get worse. You do realize a Government can go bankrupt and if it does that Uhh guess what? We are all in trouble!!!

    September 19, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. Mark in Phoenix

    What the Republican Party in general and McCain in particular are trying to avoid is the fact that it is their mantra of deregulation and privatization that is to blame.
    How many industries and economic sectors need to be bailed out ( airlines, S&L's, and now housing and banking) before they admit that unfettered markets don't work .
    Then when there is no more money to be made they then dump it all on the taxpayers and then promise a tax cut to make it all better, as if.

    September 19, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  12. Glenn; Bakersville, NC.

    Man you know you got it coming when argueably the most conservative paper in NY goes at you. Sen. Obama doesn't have to do too much to Sen. McCain, as he's doing most of it to himself! Just wait for the debates for them & the VP's,... That's when the real fun starts!

    September 19, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. Truely American

    Vote for Obama= Vote for total Financial Disaster and Recession.


    September 19, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Jane - Indiana

    In reply to the following comment:

    Hillary Supporters for McCain September 19th, 2008 10:53 am ET

    McCain warned of the upcoming turmoil from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back in 2005. He co-sponsored a bill to do something about this, but it was blocked by the dems

    Don't think it could have been blocked by the Dems in 2005 – they didn't take control until 2006.

    September 19, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. kennywest

    I'm suprised McCain couldn't tie in his experiences as a POW with the troubled economy.

    September 19, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. Judith Hennen

    These comments are just pathetic pandering coming from a guy who holds Phil Gramm in his inner circle. The guy who worked relentlessly to lobby for the kind of anti-regulatory policy that paved the way for this crisis. McCain surely does not get it, or, he does get it and it is too bad that many American's do not know they should be insulted by this "in your face" grab for votes.

    September 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. Rodger

    Cox only followed the rules and regulations McCain voted for! Don't shot the messenger...blame the people who created the message.
    Poor John McCain...he's so out of touch, every day he has to reverse the message he gave the day before. All the while Obama is with his economic advisors trying to come up with a way to clean up the mess Bush and McCain made.

    September 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    If McCain wants to yap about betraying the public trust, then he'd better go after Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, Rice, Rove and the rest of the rotten Bush administration. SNEAKING LIARS one and all.

    It still amazes that McCain never takes responsibility for supporting this rotten administration of 8 years. He's has guilty as they are and as responsible for the economic mess since he's been in Washington more than 20 years.

    But then, McCain doesn't have a clue... looks at the barbie doll he picked for VP!

    September 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. PA Independent

    When the WSJ is skewering the republican nominee, you know he's in trouble. They are 100% correct in this case, McCain's call for Cox's head was completely out of line and I'm glad his own called him on it. Now if McCain would only ditch Gramm for real!

    September 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  20. MW / Calif.

    Like I've said before, McCain is reactive. Obama is proactive. Obama offers solutions while McCain offers excuses.

    September 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. zorro

    McCain make a false statement? My God, how shocking that a corrupt lying sack of crap would do such a thing.

    September 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  22. darko

    ...and then Obama followed with "FIRE HIM AND THE ENTIRE ADMINISTRATION! "

    Totally presidential there,right?

    September 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  23. Anonymous

    McCain would form a Branch of Government to pair down Government

    September 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  24. Kelby from Houston, TX

    And I thought that the purchase of WSJ by Murdoch would surely cause them to become a mouth piece for right wing conservitives and neo cons. And here they are skewering McCain.

    McCain doesn't know much about the economy anyway

    September 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. Mark

    If everyone likes you it must mean your doing something wrong to "CHANGE" the system.

    Go McCain!!! Keep stirring up BOTH sides and get actual RESULTS!!!

    September 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
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