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. Freedom Loving Patriot (God fearing too!)

    The term "SOCIALIZE" is used by conservative extremist that have been brainwaished by ultra-right-wing media. If you see someone use that term, ignore them and make room for the more moderate republicans who are SERIOUS about their country.

    September 19, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  2. Helene

    McPain's goose is cooked.

    September 19, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. joann

    Too bad – whoever is at the top of this mess like Chris Cox should be fired. I want whoever took our money and put it in their pockets to be fired. You only get one shot with our country – one shot. This cox guy is rich – he needs to get out now. they are scammers.

    September 19, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. Shannon, Independent Voter

    mccain has proven time and time again that he does not know what he is talking about, he is woefully incompetent, just like george bush. A mccain administration would be george bush part 3. Very, very scary possibility.

    September 19, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. Rosyysor

    CNN is UnPresidential, UnAmerican, UnInterested in real issues, Uninterested in not slanting the News, Uninterested in reporting to the American people, Unintersted in the betterment of America. Only interested in spinning news things there way.

    September 19, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. Bic from CT

    McCain is right. I believe that the goverment has big time mismanaged all of what is going on to where the tax payer has to bail this out. The thing I have the biggest problem with is we tax payers have to bail out the CEO'S mistakes but yet they get to walk away with million of dollars. They should get jail time not millions of dollars. I think all goverment has a part in this not just the President like everyone wants to blame. Congress should of seen this coming if they were doing there job. The loans given out to people for houses that no way they could afford to pay it back was a huge mistake. McCain called this to happen a long time ago and no one want to hear it. Now everyone is looking at him as the bad guy because he tells it like it is and the fact that he was right all along. If you think Obama is going to take care of the problems in this country you are only fooling yourself. Obama said he can not make up his mine what to do about this problem until he hears what others think we should do. That sounds like a real winner, NOT.

    September 19, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  7. Cheryl Wilson

    Thank you, John McCain, for continuing to show me the bottom of the barrell. You have highlighted to the American people what type of president you would be if given the keys to the White House - very unpresidential. McCain is losing his grip on reality.

    September 19, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    McCain called for the dismissal of the Chairman, Mr. Fox, if he were President. That's a very revealing statement about what a McCain administration would be like. In a word, Draconian. In others, he would run a bully pulpit, very much like Bush has done.

    I say this because it is my understanding that while the post is appointed by the President, the President cannot actually or directly fire the individual filling the post. It would seem that McCain would attempt to do so despite the law.

    September 19, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  9. Jame

    With my previous experience in Adult Day Care I am concern that McCain maybe suffering from "Dementia". With this in mind I watch him carefully in video where it is apparent. A recent example last night on the Larry King Show he was talking to a group of people about FISH around the OIL RIGS. He also was talking about HEMISPHERE, South America ... and babble. I understand he briefly revealed his medical records to a small group of reported.

    Should a Presidential Candidate be evaluated Medically and Mentally?

    Have a great weekend,

    September 19, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. F Michel

    "ACCOUNTABILITY" stupid, should be the new slogan for both parties. What I suggest is to simply, but effectively place some "voter accountability" into the mix of suggestions for the future of America.

    How about sending a bill to all of those geniuses that voted for BUSH,
    Republican, Democrats or other. The bill is to repay the deficit that this ignorant and very imcompetent President has managed or should I say Mis-managed.

    Frank , West TN

    September 19, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. will

    What doesn’t make any sense to me is why is John McCain is run under the same political party as Georgia W. Bush (Republican) for the President of America and a party that has a political belief that REGALATION is bad for the free mark (NAFTA) is trying to make the America People believe that he does not support the belief of the political party (Republican) that is fully supporting him.
    This is for the entire Republican Party out there. Just remember regulation is bad for free trade (NAFTA), right. You all do still believe in that right? No REGALATION (Transparency) because the GOVERMENT is too BIG!

    McCain = no change

    Obama/Biden 2008

    September 19, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. Independent from GA

    Has anyone noticed that amidst of this economy crisis, Bush hasn't stepped up as a CEO to take charge and direct for a solution? It seems that those who voted for Bush previously should be able to see how out of touch GWB really is with his people. I don't understand how these Republicans are not seeing it when it is so clear?

    September 19, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  13. Slash

    First Rove, then the WSJ. Even the guys on "McCain's side" can't stomach his lies and slander.

    Obama '08!

    September 19, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. Typical White Person

    Funny that CNN forgot to mention that Obama agreed with McCain and suggest they go a step further and fire everyone.

    But CNN, being the DNC network, won't point that our or post this comment.

    September 19, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. youth vote

    god help us all

    September 19, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  16. McEmtol

    It does get clearer and clearer every single...americal has got a decision to make and i hope they dont mess it up under blind loyalty and partisanship. Seems 'putting country first" is a slogan for one campaign but being practised by the other

    September 19, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. jen

    On the Daily show jon put up a clip of Palin giving a speech about the economy and she says basically that wallstreet needs to be regulated and in the next sentence she says that government needs to get out of the way-McCain and Palin have no idea what they believe-they definately cannot be trusted especially at this time of financial crisis.

    September 19, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. TyWebb

    The rain in Spain falls mainly on McCain...and Palin "ain't no good".

    September 19, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. Tax Payer

    Fire Christopher Cox and hire Phil Gramm??

    He orders Palin to cover-up Troopergate but wants to fiire Cox?

    Very questionable old man. When will he ever learn.....

    September 19, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. Doug R.

    Again...McKeating Five McCain sided with Bush over 90% of the time. He is part of the problem. He is partly responsible (along with Bush and other Republican's) for the economic crisis we face. Hundreds of billions of dollars to fix. This old man is a liar and doesn't know what he's talking about. He deserves to be humiliated in November.

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

    Well Thank God for real journalists who further prove the point we have been trying to make- he is shooting from the HIP instead of taking time to look into all the facts and lay out a plan that will work- like Obama is doing... he mocks Obama for not coming up with a plan right away- but something as intricate and complicated as this doesnt have an "overnight" solution... when it comes to the US Economy- there is no room for a rush to judgement like McCain did- and now it backfired on him!
    Nevermind the record he has that is tied into all of the Deregulation- what a joke McSame is!

    Obama/Biden 08

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

    obama laid out a 6-point plan. mccain fired someone that doesn't work for him? what's up with that?

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

    Wow...McCain needs to be quiet.

    Obama '08!

    September 19, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. Jimi NY

    The more I see of McCain and Palin I realize how clueless they actually are. I can't believe that people in this country really want to vote for them.


    September 19, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. Jean

    This problem did not happen in one month, it is crazy to expect either candidate to come up with an answer in a campaign speech.
    The method each of them use to critically think and make decissions with proper investigation and bringing together experts from all interested parties.

    Our finance system is too complicated to "shoot from the hip". It is time for speed of response, blaming, and name calling to STOP!

    Maturity and common sence is something we all can do!!!!!!!!

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