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. beth

    I was at that rally in Cedar Rapids. They weren't listening to what he said anyway. It was like a friggin' chucky cheese's with kids and Palin adoring moms everywhere. If stay at home mom's decide this election, McCain wins. God help us.

    September 19, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |

    Well another lie. Misleading campaign ads further acknowleges Mccain desparate desire to winn the election. People are finally starting to see the lies come out of McCain/Palin. He dosen't know geography, economy, education problems, employment issues and continues to allow Palin to make a fool out of herself by being so clueless!!!!!!! Being strong on terrioism and starting senceless WARS will not make him a good president!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  3. therealist

    The WALL STREET JOURNAL is arguably the country's most conservative editorial board??

    Well then..., that clearly makes you guys the far left-wing radical liberals you've shown yourselves to be over the last 15 yrs..., no arguments about it.

    September 19, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  4. Pete

    Wow, Senator know you have no friends at all now (except at Fox). When a traditionally right-wing periodical criticizes you, you're threatening your own fiscal conservative base.

    Quick tip – You can't please everyone, so choose a message and stick to it.

    By the way, I hope the Obama campaign and the rest of the MSM jumps on this one and shows you for what you really are – a lying panderer to everyone who is just trying to get a position of power.

    Obama / Biden '08

    September 19, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  5. Cathy

    "In a crisis, voters want steady, calm leadership..."

    MCCAIN IS NONE OF THE SORTS!!!! Obama has the judgment, temperament, experience and leadership this country so desperately needs and wants.

    September 19, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. babs-toronto

    sure use the Palin doctrine and fire anyone who doesn't agree!

    September 19, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. Jill

    I gave up on John McCain as soon as he chose Palin for his V.P. I knew then, he was off the mark. It's too bad. The ticket, I think, is finished.

    September 19, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. John

    "YOU WILL KNOW THEIR NAMES!" – Those names are John McCain and
    George Bush.

    September 19, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. Lucie

    We need a clear headed Leader like Obama who knows how to deal with the economy.Not like McCain who does not get it on the real issues.... what do you expect from a guy who does not even know how many houses he has got.
    Obama/biden 08

    September 19, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. sallie

    When folks take the party rhetoric and the personality popularity out of all this bickering and fighting, the country finally wakes up to the reality that Mccain is completely out of touch with this economy....and with this century.

    September 19, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. Tom

    What we should fire is the Republicans from running this country. That's what we should fire. Changing the faces won't do, it's their philosophy that's wrong. The WSJ is right on one thing. McCain's impulsive leadership is dangerous for the country!

    September 19, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Wow! Pander Bear and Peggy Hill are having a tough week! When Rupert Murdoch comes down on you, you've pretty much alienated both the left and the right. Suggesting transparency in government by attempting to steal an idea that Obama already implimented with a Republican colleague just makes you look ignorant! And trying to dodge an investigation that was going on before you were selected without being vetted....Can't blame anyone for that but yourself and your disfunctional family...Sheesh!

    September 19, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. Republican tired of republicans

    Miyaki, The reason it is news is becouse the WSJ ia conservative paper. it is supposed to trash Obama not it's own guy. If the NY Times trashed Obama I am sure it would get on the Ticker.

    September 19, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. Jeff Brown

    Grandpa Munster has no idea what he is talking about!

    September 19, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  15. me

    Let me get this right... Wall streets puppets are upset at a Republican who criticizes wall street...

    Okay, got it.

    September 19, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. Zac

    Well if the WSJ says something, it MUST be true! Thank you liberal media for telling me how to vote! I'm just a stupid redneck and I am so glad you are picking my president for me!

    end sarcasm

    September 19, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. Liberty

    I see the De,mocrats are up to their same old dirty tricks. Why do you think the people think their government is logjammed with partisan politics. Teh Democrats are trying to force Palin and her husband to testify so then they can be charged with some dicrepancy under oath just like the scooter libby case. Accuse someone of doing something that isn't a crime then make them testify then find a discrepancy and charge them with this instead of the original nonlawbreaking event. Vote out the Democratic congress for dirty tricks such as this!. We the people need to take back our government and tell them to get on with their jobs instead of using the court system to further their political ambitions. Vote out all Democrats Nov 08!

    September 19, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. Maggie VT

    I am a loss for words. I cannot believe this is the same person of 2000. Actually, I guess I do. He is now showing his true colors. God Bless this country!!!

    September 19, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. TheOtherSide

    America you're better than this.

    September 19, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  20. Tom in CA

    …from a storyteller…

    While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old rancher, who's hand was caught in the gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Palin and her bid.

    The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Palin is a 'Post Turtle'."

    Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a 'Post Turtle' was.

    The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a 'Post Turtle'."

    The old rancher saw the puzzled look on the doctor's face so he continued to explain. "You know she didn't get up there by herself, she don't belong up there, she don't know what to do while she's up there, and you just wonder what kind of dummy put her up there to begin with."

    September 19, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. Brandon - Gahanna, Ohio

    McSame & Daily Scandal Palin's true colors are in the spot light...FINALLY.

    September 19, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  22. Billy

    McCain also called for the chairman of the FEC (Federal Elections Commission to resign).

    Um, is he confused and meant SEC (the guy he would fire except for that checks and balances thing in the Constitution).

    McCain is scrambling and flailing about. His economic policy is: Ready, Fire, Aim!

    September 19, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Brenda

    Okay so the WSJ wants someone who won't usher in some transparancy and communicate the issues and support the American people? Sounds to me like the the WSJ doesn't want someone to come in and "turn on the lights". They are supporting the same old same old; the ugly hidden truths that actually mislead the American people. I think there is a lot correct in what McCain is saying. Some of us don't want to be falsely soothed, we want truth, we want to hear what's wrong, we want to turn the lights on, THEN we want to start working on some solutions.

    September 19, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. Never obama

    I truly hope that by Nov.4th Americans will be able to see through ALL the LIBERAL LIES.
    America, if you allow obama and HIS HANDLERS to get their lying feet through the door, this country WILL NEVER be the same.
    Give them a city and they ruin it. Give them a country and they'll destroy it.


    September 19, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. cara

    McCain does not understand the economy. You would think this was a presidential qualification. No more idiots as president.

    September 19, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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