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

Wall Street Journal editorial board skewers McCain

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/19/art.mccain.gi.jpg 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. Elizabeth D

    McCain is a lier.. when some shows you who they are ..believe them.. he has shown what kind of campagin is going to run.. and what type of character he has.. with lying ads,, flip flop on issues.. and slogan.. terrible VP pick.. seriously.. This man is not competent... and here is his tax plan that will give more to the rich.. the taxes Obama wants the rich to pay are lower then the rich paid when regan was in office.. which was a very prosperous time...
    McCain Tax Plan.
    Tax Cut of 4.4% for people making above $2.87 Million Dollars a year.
    Tax Cut of 3.4% for people making above $603,403 up to $2.87 Million Dollars a year.
    Tax Cut of 3.1% for people making between $226,982 to $603,403 a year.
    Tax Cut of 3% for people making between $160,973 to $226,981 a year.
    Tax Cut of 2.5% for people making between $111,646 to $160,972 a year.
    Tax Cut of 1.4% for people making between $66,355 to $111,645 a year.

    (The Average American salary falls below here of wich constitutes as the largest percentage of tax payers of over 90% of Americas earnings)

    Tax Cut of 0.7% for people making between $37,596 to $66,354 a year.
    Tax Cut of 0.5% for people making between $18,982 to 37,595 a year.
    Tax Cut of 0.2% for people making less then $18,892 a year.

    Thats great that we are giving everyone a Tax break but who is covering the deficit? Who is paying down our Counties debt. Also who benefits most from these tax cuts? Will any of the American people besides the wealthiest ever see a portion of the $269,364 or will this go to Italy, Germany, France and One single construction firm with purchases of large houses, BMW's, Ferrari's and Audi's and Rolls Royces, and above and beyond the cost of Armani Suits and other italian designers?

    Obama Tax Plan:
    Tax Increase of 11.5% for people making above $2.87 million dollars a year.
    Tax Increase of 8.7% for people making between $603,403 to $2.87 million dollars a year
    No Tax Change for people making between $226,982 to $603,403 a year.
    Tax Cut of 1.9% for people making between $160,973 to $226.981 a year.
    Tax Cut of 2.1% for people making between $111,646 to $160.972 a year.
    Tax Cut of 1.8% for people making between $66,355 to $111,645 a year.

    (The Average American salary falls below here of wich constitutes as the largest percentage of tax payers of over 90% of Americas earnings)

    Tax Cut of 2.4% for people making between $37,596 to $66,354 a year.
    Tax Cut of 3.6% for people making between $18,982 to 37,595 a year.
    Tax Cut of 5.5% for people making upto $18,982 a year.

    September 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. we havent forgotten....

    as if listening to Rev Wright for 20 years is "presidential"

    September 19, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. J.P.

    It's called shaking up the status quo. I believe that is what he did and will continue to do as president. Some people are going to get mad and uncomfortable when real change is made.

    September 19, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  4. Grace Needed

    When are the majority of the public going to realize McCain is not the man he once was! He is easily agitated and erratic in decision making, showing signs of early stages of Alzheimer's in repeating himself frequently in 5 min. speeches unscripted and forgetting who his running mate is and where she is from without an index card to remind him. He showed how incapable he is in important decision making when he chose a person who lacks engagement on national issues, let alone international for Vice President without proper vetting. He has flip-flopped on most every issue he once held dear in 2000 when we supported him. He has sold out, been bought out and is only a shell of a man with a brain that is losing it. Why do you think his wife is right next to him wherever he goes? Please Republican leadership, do your job and have his mental stability checked before this craziness gets out of hand.

    September 19, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  5. Matt

    Go Obama!

    September 19, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. proud army and navy mom

    Did anybody know that g bush's cousin worked at Lehman Bros before they went under:

    From the Huffingpost:
    Will George Herbert Walker IV be laid off? The President's second cousin is the global head of investment management for now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers, at the managing director level.

    So bush was mad because the Fed let Lehman Bros. go under, so he directs mcsenile too talk tough about firing him. Mccain was only doing bush's bidding by saying that he would fire Cox.

    September 19, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. John in Ohio

    Vote Warhawk/Moron 08

    September 19, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. Mark

    Sometimes people just can't handle the truth. McCain is trying to straighten out the problem and poor Nobama doesn't know what to do.

    McCain/Palin '08

    September 19, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. Tony Radell

    Sounds like he IS the quick-tempered guy that people have been talking about.

    September 19, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. Vicky from Milwaukee

    No surprise. There's nothing presidential about McCain or his beauty school drop-out veep candidate.

    September 19, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  11. FREDDY

    I fully believe that McCain is doing what he can. Obama has no clue what is going on and the only reason he is even in this race is because of his race. He can have all the advisors he wants but that won't change the fact that he will do nothing to serve this country only is socialist endevours. I would rather have Palin as president than Obama or even Hillary after she sold out her country.

    September 19, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  12. Dear Johnny come lately

    Lets face the facts

    without crisis or controversy......Republicans dont have a platform

    You must create the storm .....before you can blame the rain.

    Everything about McCain is a crisis or a controversy,

    This whole thing is a sickening, bloody, joke......and the taxpayer is the punchline

    (Got Justice?)

    September 19, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  13. Freedom Loving Patriot (God fearing too!)

    My McBlackberry is an Etch-a-Sketch.

    September 19, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  14. Axl

    McCain told the Wall Street Journal in March, "I'm always for less regulation."

    September 19, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  15. Janet, Senior W/F

    No Kidding! Not our out of touch millionaire husband and his neo con veep!

    September 19, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  16. We're NOT "your friends"!!!

    I love how up until about 2 weeks ago all McBush talked about was how he was anti-regulation. Now what do we hear? We need stricter regulation, and commissions and all this crap. Which McCain would we be getting if your elected?????????????????????\

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 19, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  17. mark

    these tickers are so misleading. This was not the Wall Street Journal's opinion. It was an editorial within the paper. Editorials are supposed to be opinionated this is not big news!

    September 19, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. Jen

    Republicans like to talk the talk, but they don't WALK THE WALK.

    How many times do Americans need *evidence* of this before they finally see the writing on the wall. Republicans are liars and crooks!!

    September 19, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  19. Kyle

    Bush and Company will be leaving us with a pile of economic problems as well as a war that has been costing us literally billions.
    Wall Street is an absolute disaster and we have people willing to vote in the very party that got us where we are today. Will Americans ever wake up?!?
    VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN FOR A NEW DIRECTION.

    September 19, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  20. Diane

    Old man...old ideas. McIDiot should go back to Arizona and give it up!
    He's pathetic!!! And you don't even want to hear my thoughts on Palin!

    VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN 08!!!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  21. Denise

    This nation that has been run into financial ruin by egoistical greedy men is in a mess. I wish Barack Obama would drop out of this race and let the idiots that made this mess deal with it. The bottom line is "they" have made it, but if elected HE will, in the end get blamed for it....plus, he will GO into office with a trillion dollar debt that only Jesus will be able to take care of...The same people on here wanting him to win now, knowing the COLOSSAL mess he will be inheriting, will be the same people who, in three years, will be calling him horrendous names and stating he should be impeached....Why waste such an intelligent man on this corrupt Nation. DROP OUT BARACK AND LET THE IDIOTS THAT VOTED FOR BUSH & CO. DEAL WITH THE DECISION THEY MADE EIGHT YEARS AGO!

    September 19, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  22. American for Obama/Biden

    John McCain the American People give you a dishonable discharge. Please leave.

    An American citizen and I approve this message.

    September 19, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. RLR

    Should he have been more politically correct, of course. Was he wrong with this observation, HELL NO!! The only thing he didn't do was break out the entire list of heads that need to roll. There is not one hair of difference between this debacle and the crash of '29. Let me see...purchasing on margin to reap the benefits of an artificial market, hoping for endless wealth opportunity ...hmmmm...smells like a rat to me, or maybe a horrible game of musical chairs, where we know the music is going to stop, just hopefully not during my spec deal! If we don't learn from history...

    September 19, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  24. Joe citizen abroad in Canada

    So now the Treasury is going to buy out all the bad mortgages held by the banks. Wow. With a record deficit, how can the US government afford to do that? It would be nice to hear the candidates talk about their alternative solutions to this crisis rather than pointing fingers. My fear is that neither candidate is knowledgeable enough about the economy to speak about it with any credibility.

    September 19, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  25. Biff Biffington RETURNS...

    pretty bad stuff for republicans when he wsj burn you..

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