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. Cindy

    Hey Palin so now both you and your hubby are refusing to cooperate with investigators- So what exactly are you hiding? And if yuo have nothing to hide, then why not just cooperate???

    September 19, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. Bio

    I love the CNN blog, It is for us liberal we have sent the conservatives package outside this forum. Good job guys.

    September 19, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. McCain for Pres.

    The Wall Street Journal contributed more to Obama than McCain. Connect the dots.

    September 19, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. DB - Colorado

    McCain proves again that he is completely out of touch with reality. He is wrong again.

    September 19, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Bill - Ann Arbor, MI

    Ouch! That hadda sting. Well it shows the results of a shoot from the hip kind of guy McCain is. Unstable is NOT what we need in the White House! Think first, react second. Can't really blame poor McCain too much considering he's still foaming at the mouth from the numerous rabid attacks on Obama he simply forgot to turn off that killer instinct when he spoke. Bad boy! No buscuit! hehe
    Bill – Ann Arbor, MI

    (One of these days CNN will actually post one of my comments. So far 0 for 25 and counting)

    September 19, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Bulldog

    Mr. McCain-

    I pumped gas in my car 3 times in the last month? Can I be your energy secretary?

    September 19, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. SOCIALIZE PROPERTY AND PROFIT

    IF YOU WANT TO SOCIALIZE CORPORATE DEBTS!

    if you want my tax dollars, i want full control of your business practice and profit!

    govt may make money from AIG deal, but

    i won't see a penny of it

    as the same thieves who run wall street

    also run washington!

    September 19, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. Nation of Whinners-Ventura ca

    OK- So when the WSJ people get that mcSAME isn't the answer- it's time America for real CHANGE and LEADERSHIP!
    Obama-Biden 08!

    September 19, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. Independent

    Well Miyaki it is not news that WSJ "skewers" Obama...Now, if a liberal rag does that like what happen during FISA it is news (as it was then). But a mainly conservative journal strongly chastizing a republican candidate...now that is NEWS.

    September 19, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. ffryer

    Never mind silly McCain – why aren't you people storming the Government offices – really, another bailout for Wall Street; to allow them to erase their bad debts and let them start all over again with a clean slate and the taxpayers are going to guarantee their bad debts is absolutely incredulous; If you erased the debt from your credit card -you will have the credit card maxed out again within a few short months.

    When is this theft, before the new government takes place, going to end. All they are doing is ensuring that everyone of Bush's buddies gets their Platinum Parachute before November 4, 2008 and if they don't all go bankrupt November 5, 2008 so what, they got their dollars.

    WOW

    September 19, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. Tony

    Christopher Cox is a hack and should be fired immediately. He's turning this country into a Socialist economy right before our eyes. How dare he give unfair protection to the financial stocks! They should fail for their terrible business practices like a capitalist economy dictates

    September 19, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. beevee

    The babblings of old McCain on fixing economic crisis by creating another agency reaffirms that he has no grasp on economy or a real solution to fix it. Who is he getting his advice from? He may be old and has spent many years as a senator but his depth of thinking on economic issues is extremely shallow.

    September 19, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. Freedom Loving Patriot (God fearing too!)

    I would have voted for McCain in 2000 but this guy?

    I don't know WHO the heck HE is!

    September 19, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. Amy

    The rats can't jump off the ship fast enough!

    September 19, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Well let's see...
    What did the SEC do?
    What are they chartered to be responsible for doing?
    Did they do the things they were supposed to do?

    Did the Chairman of the SEC–properly administer and direct the SEC in accordance with the detail and scope of his responsibilities?

    I gotta tell you–I can't answer these questions. But before bashing McCain–remember he's got hundreds of economist (and the Economist Magazine in toto) supporting many of his ideas–and contributing facts to his campaign team.

    Since McCain is not know for being a lier–I'd say there's a significant element of truth to his statements about the SOON to be FORMER SEC Chairman.

    September 19, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. Mike, Syracuse NY

    The SEC had oversight for this mess. The SEC failed miserably. If a company did the same thing, the CEO would be fired. Why not Cox?

    September 19, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  17. Anonymous

    How can a man who dossen't know how manny house's he owns talk about missmanagment and greed

    September 19, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  18. Go Sarah!

    ALL THE PUNDITS SAID THAT WHOEVER CAME OUT WITH FIRST STRONG RESPONSE TO THIS ECONOMIC CRISIS WOULD WIN THE ELECTION.

    JOHN McCAIN JUST WON THE ELECTION.

    September 19, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    I didn’t think trickle down economics worked, but this recent rash of bailouts proves that it really does. Mega-rich CEOs screw the pooch; bail out with a golden parachute, and then the bill trickles down to the taxpayer. Welfare for the rich…wait until the credit card companies implode…that is Uncle Sam tapping his foot in the next stall.

    September 19, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. Larry

    I say fire John McCain and Sarah Who?

    September 19, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  21. McWho?

    Yikes! What's next? Will Hannity call McCain/Palin liars?

    September 19, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. Freedom Loving Patriot (God fearing too!)

    ROUND AND ROUND HE GOES

    Who McCain is, NOBODY knows!

    September 19, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. Robert Crowley

    How much more of this stupid ranting by McPalin will it take for the right to realize that it would be very dangerous to vote for these two. Be afraid, be very afraid if they are elected he will not make it anywhere near 4 years and she will become President. She will be Presiden in name and for the formal prentations but the far right wing neo-cons will be running the country.

    If one things we are in two many wars already you have not seen anything like what will happen under Palin.

    September 19, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  24. NATIONALIZE PROPERTY AND PROFIT

    BEFORE YOU SOCIALIZE CORPORATE DEBTS!

    if you want tax dollars, TAXPAYERS SHOULD HAVE full control over your business practice and profit!

    govt may make money from AIG deal, but

    i won't see a penny of it

    as the same thieves who run wall street

    also run washington!

    THROW THE THIEVES OUT OF POWER INTO PRISON,

    AND WE'LL TALK!

    September 19, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. DAVE

    AMERICA WAKE UP ! The republicans have stolen our national treasury. They have tried it before.. this is not new. DUMP THEM NOW no mcCain and NO PIT BULLS for vice President.. ummm what does a Vice President do anyway ???? Palin doesnt know!!!

    September 19, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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