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. karen-phoenix

    McCain andhis cronnies are at fault for most of this mess! All the way back to his mess with the Keating 5 when he should have gone to jail!!! He has been head of the commerce commission and deregulated all the rules that were put in place after the crash of 1929 so his cronnies could get rich, rich, and richer and now look what has happened. McCain is the one who should be fired!!!!

    September 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. Democrat

    Oh've done it again!

    September 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Even Steven

    News Flash:

    Members of the SEC board, including the Chairperson, CANNOT be fired. I repeat, they CANNOT be fired because they are an independent body. The president CAN appoint members, but they (and read carefully) CANNOT be fired. John McCain doesn't know what the heck he's talking about.

    September 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Mai

    Well done McCain again – you are a loser and a lier, and quite incapable of saying and doing anything right.

    September 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. kevin

    Bill says:

    The WSJ is pandering to its readership, just like the rest of the media does. Facts are irrelevant. The only difference is that the readership of the WSJ is seen to be the naked short sellers and other financial cowboys who have driven this crisis.

    Sure, Bill. Sure they are. You'll find the typical reader of the WSJ chained to a tree, chanting kumbaya and eating granola. How's the weather in your own little world today?

    September 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. Paul

    This is the best you liberals can come up with. Your boy Obama is found out to be the true Washigton Insider and fraud and yet you want to talk about one dummy?

    September 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. Irma in North Carolina

    Oh John Boy you screwed up again. Nothing unusual for you. Guess the american people are getting on to you.Ya John and sarah this was a task from god, and the task god perforned not wanting her at the rally. Gods biggest task will be letting John and Sarah loose this election. Hey you two what goes around comes around. There is lotza more to come for you too.

    September 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. Obama/Biden 08

    It's the liberal media going at McCain again!
    Shut up, you commies at the Wall Street Journal!

    *rolls eyes* Please tell me that nobody thinks that I was being serious...

    September 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. Nick

    If McSame were serious about Wall Street greed, he would be calling on these fat-cat CEO's to fork over some of their absurd earnings to fund this fix! But no, they get to keep their money and the American tax payer will pay to fix this problem. UNREAL! The free market is broken!

    September 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  10. Just the FACTS

    If we do not learn from history, we are DOOMED to repeat it!

    Does anybody remember the Lincoln Savings and Loan scandal from the 80's (SAME thing happening now) and the Keating Five??? I bet McCain does – he was one of the five. Most people learn from their mistakes, but he just keeps repeating them......over and over and over again.

    Wake UP Americans so you don't repeat the same mistake by voting this crook into office!!

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

    The bottom line is that greed caused this crisis, and we all allowed it to happen. The idea of making money by shaking back and forth has plagued us for far to long. Fire everyone on Wall St. and make them get real jobs. Let's see how they like the unemployment line. – Even better, let's find something that looks like the Bastille and line them all up in front of it.

    September 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. Paula

    I have watched McCain in Senate years back then compared that with his speeches now. It is painfully obvious that he is suffering from some old age related problems. This is sad but true and he is being propped up by the Republicans. His choice in Sarah Palin further confirms this for me. She is one of the least qualified and uneducated candidates I have ever seen.
    I am putting "Country First" and voting for Obama.

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

    C'mon CNN..try to be just a little less biased about how you moderate the ticker.

    Seriously, you've got Obamatards outposting McCain backers at least 20-1. Kinda odd with a statistical tie in the polls.

    It's either that or Obama has his crew spamming the ticker day and night until they get closed for comments, so normal people can't post meaningful thoguhts.

    September 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. cile

    John McCain scares me and seems out of touch with reality. Have you noticed that Cindy McCain is always with him? I think she is there to try to keep him from making a fool of himself or going ballistic or both. He is really out there spinning in his own little world.

    September 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Gidget Goes To Washington

    Let it go Grandpa. You served our Country well and we all are grateful.Thank you!

    It is now time to go home,kick your feet up and take a nap.

    Good night Grandpa...sleep tight.

    Obama 08

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

    McCain actually said that if he were President HE would fire the SEC chairman. The president does not have the authority to fire the SEC chairman-just another detail McCain does not seem to know

    September 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  17. La Raza

    McCain has lost his bearings and his bowels.

    September 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  18. Jason H.

    People are suffering. Yet we have voters who are willing to elect the same Party who got them where they are today. It's time for a new direction....OBAMA!

    September 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  19. MJ

    First they stole our constitution. Then they stole our money. Why anyone would vote Republican this year is beyond me.

    September 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  20. Sue

    Fire Chris Cox and hire Phil Gramm???? Enlist totally unqualified Sarah Palin to be VP??? My God Americans, McCain would be a disaster for this country. I never voted for a Democrat for president (I'm 59 years old), but this year will be the first. I'm a Republican for Obama, a Veteran for Obama, and an American for Obama!

    September 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  21. JohnQ

    I am trying hard to believe you Mcain... but its difficult.
    The way the campain has been run with lies has made it difficult to separate what is true from what is false.

    You will need to regain our trust....

    September 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. Dodger873

    Am I one of the only people that are wondering if McCain is in early stages of Alzheimers?

    September 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. Mike in VA

    Is this CNN or the Daily Kos? From reading the posts here, it's apparent that either 99% of CNN viewers are extremist liberals who can't get past their hate of all things Republican to even contemplate taking an objective view of this election, or CNN is filtering the comments so only liberals get to express their views. Either way, it's clear that CNN is playing to the extreme left in its reporting and coverage of the election. And it's the liberals who want to bring back the failed "Fairness Doctrine?" Apparently they don't think the leftist views of of CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and MSNBC are sufficient counter balance to FOX.

    September 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. Tom in Delaware

    Well let's see what Barack's going to do.

    First he'll wait til everbody else has spoken, then he'll critize what they say.

    Then he'll offer (get this) an Economic Stimulus Package (how original) which means he's going to try and buy my vote with my own money, that I'll be earning in 4 or 5 years from now.

    Go back to Kenya.

    The American People reject you.

    McCain/Palin '08

    September 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. MikeH

    Christopher Cox has made it clear awhile ago he is stepping down at the end of the Bush misadministration.

    McCain cannot constitutionally fire Cox anyway. It's all McCain senility b.s.

    McCain really really pooched the screw with his initial comment about the economy being fundamentally sound, and he has been pooching ever since trying to dig his way out (but only digging deeper).

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