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. Daki

    McCain is just a lier,anyone who votes for him is either retarded or uninformed.

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

    It is sad to see how desperately Sen. McCain try everything and I mean EVERYTHING to get elected!!!!!! Before this presidential election I had a great admiration and respect for him, but now?! what can I say?!!! It is sad that in history he will be remembered as a desperate candidate and defenately not an honarable one.

    September 19, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. Lisa

    John McCain does not care, has not cared who he throws under the bus. It is just the way he runs his campaign and that is the way he will run the white house, it will always be someone elses fault and he will always be trying to fire someone or go to war with them.

    September 19, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. Marilyn

    McCain is right on this one. The SEC chairman is the one who was supposed to be in charge of the oversight of Wall Street while this nonsense was going on. That he should resign, or be fired, is a no-brainer.

    September 19, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. Shirley

    Why can't every one in the audience give Palin and McCain a pointed finger and fist.

    September 19, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. nader

    WHAT ELSE YOU CAN EXPECT FROM ANGRY OLD GRAND PA??MAKE ESCAPEGOAT TO SOMEBODY!!!

    September 19, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. Tony

    WAKE UP AMERICA!

    MCCAIN AND PALIN WOULD BE DISASTROUS FOR AMERICA!

    September 19, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. Bruce

    Mccain has pandered to the right and attcked the right. He's pandered to the center while voting against them. He brought a running mate on board to appeal to the white hockey-mom, hunting, oil-loving, female, pro-life, vindictive, creatisonist wing of the electorate. his judgement is being questioned by the so-called Eastern elite journalists, the straight-talk Republicans (Hagel), and now the Journal. Just who he represents is becoming increasingly unclear.

    September 19, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Thomas

    You won't find more of a Washington insider than John McCain. The vast majority of Americans are so easily fooled and even more easily led.
    OBAMA/BIDEN....the Sane choice!

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. Walter, Long Beach

    OK, Ok! So a lot of what McCain says doesn't make sense. But we are overlooking the big question.

    How many more "gaffes" and incoherent speeches is it going to take before the media starts to notice what is becoming painfully obvious?

    McCain is not just an oblivious and unskilled politician with indefensible policy positions.

    He is suffering from significant cognitive deficits. He is just not mentally sharp at all.

    Why isn't anybody worried about this?

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Chris

    "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,"

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    Obama '08

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. TKW- New Mexico

    Can John McCain please sit down somewhere? He is making himself seem more and more unstable by the day. I wish someone would advise him that he's making a fool out of himself and dems are laughing all the way to election day.

    Obama 08!

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Bill

    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.

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. d

    Just another example of McCain being out of touch..As president he would NOT have the authority to fire the chairman of the SEC.

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. California Democrat

    McSane is such an idiot!

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. Matt: honestly

    McCain admits he knows nothing about the economy. Why is he trying to pretend like he does now??

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. Voter

    McCain's claim that he "doesn't know much about economics" alone should eliminate him as choice for President. And his claim is so obviously an understatement of his lack of ability that it's downright scary.

    We are looking at nothing less than the total collapse of our financial system at the hands of Republicans. We have everything except people flinging themselves out of 30th storey windows. The controls that are available now are there because of Franklin Roosevelt, who would be horrified at the mismanagement and excess of Bush and his friends.

    I never liked Obama as a person, but if you and I don't vote for him, we are very simply crazy and stupid.

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. Tommy

    Attacks only! No solutions! No responsibility for being a part of the problem! McCain the maverick is really McCain the completely clueless! Find 7 or 8 retirement homes to buy and live the rest of your life in caretaker comfort, John. That would be the biggest favor and patriotic act you could bestow on the american people.

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. Christine

    ".....voters want steady, calm leadership, not easy, misleading answers that will do nothing to help." Truer words were never spoken! I have always felt that Obama will lead this country with steady and calm actions. With all due respect to McCain, ANYONE who was held prisoner of war for years MUST have some psychological problems...and I for one do not want a leader with those 'issues'.

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  20. Jan

    But McCain IS an angry populist, what do you expect?

    Obama/Biden all the way

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. Kim

    Whatever is all I have to say. You wall street people are making us tax payers bail you out! McCain/Palin 2008 has my vote, and I am an independent!

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. Nebraska

    Obama still has no answer on the issue at hand.

    All he can do is bash Bush and McCain.

    Lord help us if there are enough idiots in this country to vote Obama into office.

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. FlipFlopper

    Better be carefull. Might lose that base.

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. Hillary Supporters for McCain

    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.

    I guess. Don't trust Wal-Street. They want another "green" politician in the White House so they can do whatever they want. Why do you think they are investing so heavily in Obama.

    Another case in point: In the last 9 years, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have donated more money to Chris Dodd and Barrack Obama than anyone else. Barrack Obama is the runner up only because he has been in the limelight for 3 years.

    Time to clean house... Vote McCain/Palin 08

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. Independent-Gurnee, IL

    In the meantime our government is attempting to saddle us (U.S. taxpayer) with more debt. The U.S. government is not permitted to do this. It is ILLEGAL, ie against the U.S. constitution.

    CNN are you going to continue blocking the truth! I have yet to see one major news organization reconginize that the U.S. taxpayer is being forced to foot the bill UNCONSTITUTIONALLY! This is a TAX people! WAKE UP!

    September 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
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