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. Wisconsin for Obama

    I have such a problem with John McCain and his accusations about the fall out, when he has for years voted for deregulation. He should quit the flip-fliping.

    September 19, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. This is funny

    Even his own people are calling him out on being so phony.What a mistake, have a confused president and a clueless gimmick for a vp.
    This is just like a bad movie. Will Americans think critically? Oh no!!!!!!
    McCain is an empty suit even with his written statement. Empty vessels make the most noise!!!!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. Freedom Loving Patriot (God fearing too!)

    McCain's econimic adviso = Phil Gramm

    Man who's policies caused this crisis = Phil Gramm

    You do the math.

    September 19, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Buddy

    McCain will say anything to get applause from his dwindling crowds. This is a good example of McSame and his questionable "temperment".

    September 19, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Christy

    Angry populist or happy flake like his running mate, he'll never beat Mr. Obama

    September 19, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. Ryan

    McCain will do and say anything to attract a vote.

    September 19, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. voter

    I agree. McCain speech this morning contains no plan. His economic advisor did say that an economic plan is not neccessary. McCain discusses how he used to be in the commerce comittee. He needs to take repsonsibility for creating this mess because he along with his economic adivsor Gramm de-regulated wall street. Now he is going to reform and regulate the markets. Please who are you kidding. If he hasn't supported regulation in the past, you think he will as president. If so, I have a brdige to sell you in Alaska.

    September 19, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. V Obama

    We don't need you Evangelists voting for OBAMA we have the momentum now!!

    Go back to your McBush!!!

    September 19, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Mary

    Goes to show how this man is out of touch!!!

    September 19, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. PoliticoPundit

    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

    September 19, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Yasriel

    There goes the verdict....from even his own people.
    I had say, McCain please call it quit. YOU'RE FIRED.

    September 19, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. Never let them see you sweat....

    WELL SAID. NOW THE CONSERVATIVES ARE STARTING TO SEE THROUGH THE LIES.
    NO CLEAR PLAN HERE JUST MORE OF THE SAME!

    September 19, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. CitizenS

    I agree with the conclusions of WSJ. The only problem is the average American does not read their editorials so they are not knowledgeable about anything but what comes out of McCain's mouth. So sad that our country will go straight down the tubes under the McCain presidency. But, all you can say then is they asked for it and they got it! To save our country vote Obama/Biden 08

    September 19, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  14. Bud

    Why would McCain make such stupid statements? If he'd just stick to his talking points, he'd be acceptable to many, but there he goes talking about areas where he knows nothing. It's a familiar habit of our current President.

    September 19, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  15. Ryan, Florida

    The ship really is sinking.

    September 19, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. America the Stupid

    The Rats are jumping off the ship......McOld is going to be the only one in the room.....

    September 19, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. Sacto Joe

    Senator McCain is not coming out of the financial crisis looking good. Senator Obama, on the other hand, is coming across as Presidential.

    And the truth about the female Dick Cheney aka Sarah Palin is finally sinking in with the American people – and sinking the Republican hopes in the process.

    GO BAMA!

    September 19, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. Sean Chong

    It really reaffirms that Mccain has not experience with the economy. Not that Obama is any better, but at least, he has good advisors besides him who will stick to him throughout his presidency. Mccain? Really, the same old Bush team, of relying only on oil and possibly "blackberry" to revive US economy. As a younger generation, I even call blackberry a little dated... we need something newer and more innovative. Has Mccain heard of iphone?

    September 19, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  19. Reality Check richmond virginia

    I thought the throwing under the bus of Chris Cox was odd. It sounded like McCain picked his name out of a scapegoat hat.

    This issue is bigger than one person and can be boiled down to a broad ideology.

    September 19, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. Candi

    Okay McCain you have put your foot in your mouth now. Palin get the Bears, wolves and gun to solve this one. Repubs please stop making us look back. Give McCain and Palin something they can use to talk with the people except lies.

    September 19, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. miyaki

    CNN you are very biased, how many times have you posted other editorial about the WSJ skewering Obama. I read the WSJ every morning , and I check the Ticker several times a day, and I have never seen a post by the WSJ skewering Obama posted before.

    September 19, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. Ryan

    McCain has offically lost it. I'll be voting for OBAMA, the SANE choice.

    September 19, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  23. Ryan, Florida

    The SS McCain-Palin is how do you say....on the rocks.

    September 19, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  24. kevin

    Let's hope they are right about the last point.

    September 19, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  25. rene

    i agree totally anf completely, mccain cannot match witts with obama, he's not authetic at, he's trying to own half of obama's sayings, like change and enough is enough, i agree, enough is enough of the mcsame

    September 19, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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