[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/26/art.sarahmac0326.gi.jpg caption="Speaking at the Heritage Foundation Thursday, Sen. McCain acknowledged the political star power of his former running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain has no illusions about the 2008 White House race.
"God bless them," McCain said Thursday at the Heritage Foundation when reminded of the tens of millions of people who voted for him last year.
"Over 50 million people voted for me and Sarah Palin – mostly for Sarah Palin," McCain said to an eruption of laughter. But "there was a sizable majority of the other party returned to Congress. And, elections have consequences. Elections have consequences. And these consequences we are seeing now in full display."
McCain described himself as "very nervous" about the Obama administration's proposal for FDIC-like resolution authority over non-bank financial institutions like AIG in order to prevent another near calamity in the global financial system.
"I understand that we need some of these institutions to be taken over before they are total failures but I am very nervous about that . . . about the expansion of government oversight," McCain said. "But we have to do a better job of regulation and transparency. The status quo is not acceptable either."
McCain's speech Thursday at the conservative think tank focused on the country's economic crisis and dire long-term fiscal outlook. Before he spoke, the former presidential candidate was greeted by a standing ovation in an auditorium filled with people primarily in their 20's and 30's.