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. SoCal

    It's not a matter of firing the chairman of the SEC.
    It's time to fire the whole republican administration.

    September 19, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. Cindy


    Need I say more?

    September 19, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. oldsoldierboy

    McCain has to learn that quick decisions to complicated situations is not always the best answer. His initial response to this crisis was not well thought out and has led to open mouth insert foot. He is being out smarted by Obama.

    Obama response was to consult with his financial advisor's and come up with a solution after getting all the facts. That is much more the professional way to handle a complicated crisis like this one.

    September 19, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. Brian

    It is really telling that the foremost conservative newspaper and source of financial news calls you unpresidential! I don't normally hold with anything the WSJ says, but this time they are right on the mark. McCain is lame and Palin is a pathological liar. OBAMA/BIDEN 2008!

    September 19, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. lyman

    Oh Well The Man is entitled to his opinion. oh well I guess it makes headlines and you folks are entitled to your opinion also. how be it is only an opinion and everyone has one if they are alive.....

    September 19, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. Brenda

    I'm reading all these Obama '08 comments and I'm thinking to myself, Obama HAS NO experience running a business, running a state, running the country. Obama HAS NO ECONOMIC experience either. You think he is going to lead us out of this trouble. A man who ONLY votes PRESENT? Obama HAS NO PLAN!

    I'll take my chances with McCain. He's not afraid to have an actual opinion or actually DO something. He doesn't plan every statement to think how it's going to play on the political campaign trail. And Palin has real experience helping to run a business, running a city, then running a state.

    September 19, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. ed

    The republicas will say and do anything it takes to stay in power. Does anybody know what John McCain is for (or against)? It seems to change with every poll taken. It is sad to see him give into the Dark Side of the Radical Core of the Rebublican party

    September 19, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. John in Ohio

    McCain's response: Well, I realize the Wall Street Journal has said some pretty harsh things to me recently. But that's familiar for me, I heard a lot of harsh things when I was a POW for 5 and a half years. I didn't have any Wall Street investment accounts when I was a POW. So I think their attacks are just unfair, just like the attacks of the Viet Cong. When I was a POW. POW. POW.

    Row row fight the POW-A

    September 19, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. Jay

    By the way, did you know Sarh Palin can see Wall Street from her house!

    September 19, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  10. Obama- Next Stop.. White House


    The Ship Is Sinking Fast....
    People are finally catching on to these Sherades from McClown & McPalin.

    Barack Your Vote!!!!

    September 19, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. marilyn jones brantford ontario

    his running mate has been firing people who displease or oppose her for years. she seems to have got away with it so why not give it a try mr mcbush

    September 19, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. Erik

    The cranky old gent not only behaves unpresidentially, he proposes a "new agency" to handle financial crises. MORE governement? This from a Republican?

    September 19, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. Alex


    September 19, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. ginny

    Those comments are DEAD ON about SEC. Where were they? Since Sarbanes Oxley was initiated large publicly traded corporations are bound by those guidelines. Who was monitoring this? Clearly no one.

    Blame McCain? LOL. Right. All the idiots that made millions off the US public are for Obama and working for him.

    September 19, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. Jane

    The guy told you already that he has no clue about economics. You would think some college would've helped.

    September 19, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. Walter, Long Beach

    So when McCain lies about their fellow right-wingers, the WSJ people yelp.

    Maybe he should go back to just lying about Barack Obama. The corporate media lackeys have no problem with that.

    September 19, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. McCain for Pres.

    Wall Street contributed more to Obama than McCain. Are you surprised????

    September 19, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. Mark

    How many like John McCain's new idea to form another government Agency to handle this mess. Hire more government workers as if we do not have enough already. Where is John going to pay for this Agency?

    McCain states that Obama is not ready to lead because he has not come out with a plan yet. Not true folks, he has his ideas and a good leader does not rush to judgement or make stupid ideas like to form a new Agency and spend more money.

    September 19, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. REAL Change

    V Obama September 19th, 2008 10:49 am ET
    We don't need you Evangelists voting for OBAMA we have the momentum now!!
    Go back to your McBush!!!
    Welcome aboard Evangelists, This is a Republican in panic mode acting as if he is a Democrat and will vote for Obama.

    REMINDER:::::: McCain pay's his DAUGHTER, her friends and negative Obama blog staff to pretend to be Democrats and make comments appear as if they come from a Democrat……But of course this one needs to go to Alaska and pick up his check…….
    Your Performance = 0

    September 19, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. Avi

    Have you noticed Palin's voice? She sounds like a "valley girl". Hard to believe, but a decade ago she was just another soccer Mom. And now there's the possibility she'll be leading this great nation.

    September 19, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  21. Chris

    It's call desperation!!

    September 19, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  22. Transparency please

    Chris Cox is a fiscal conservative who believes strongly in deregulation just like the real John McCain - not the spinning, gyrating, take a new position every second pandering John McCain.
    So John would essentially fire himself. That would be the honorable thing to do.
    Bye, John.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 19, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. larry

    Don't worry too much about these two idiots.
    The McShame and McLiar are not going to win. American people are smart.
    On Montel Williams show, the psychic Sllvia Brown predicted that Obama will win. so you see, destiny cannot be altered.
    For those who don't believe astrology,
    Common sense tells us that the McDonald and Mrs.Wendy (or aunt Jemima) are not the right people.
    Fluffy and Grumpy?No thanks

    September 19, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. sa

    Do any of you have jobs?

    Oh, I see, Obama supporters want to be supported, that explains everything.

    September 19, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. HA

    KEATING 5!!!!!! LOOK IT UP PEOPLE!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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