McCain blasts Obama, Democrats for Fannie Mae meltdown

posted at 2:00 pm on October 6, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

We asked John McCain to take off the gloves — and he listened.  In remarks McCain will deliver today, he blasts Democrats, including Barack Obama, for their market manipulations and defense of Fannie Mae against regulator warnings.  He accuses all of them of encouraging corruption (emphases mine):

Our current economic crisis is a good case in point. What was his actual record in the years before the great economic crisis of our lifetimes?

This crisis started in our housing market in the form of subprime loans that were pushed on people who could not afford them. Bad mortgages were being backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and it was only a matter of time before a contagion of unsustainable debt began to spread. This corruption was encouraged by Democrats in Congress, and abetted by Senator Obama.

Senator Obama has accused me of opposing regulation to avert this crisis. I guess he believes if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough it will be believed. But the truth is I was the one who called at the time for tighter restrictions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that could have helped prevent this crisis from happening in the first place.

Senator Obama was silent on the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and his Democratic allies in Congress opposed every effort to rein them in. As recently as September of last year he said that subprime loans had been, quote, “a good idea.” Well, Senator Obama, that “good idea” has now plunged this country into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

To hear him talk now, you’d think he’d always opposed the dangerous practices at these institutions. But there is absolutely nothing in his record to suggest he did. He was surely familiar with the people who were creating this problem. The executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have advised him, and he has taken their money for his campaign. He has received more money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than any other senator in history, with the exception of the chairman of the committee overseeing them.

Did he ever talk to the executives at Fannie and Freddie about these reckless loans? Did he ever discuss with them the stronger oversight I proposed? If Senator Obama is such a champion of financial regulation, why didn’t he support these regulations that could have prevented this crisis in the first place? He won’t tell you, but you deserve an answer.

This is exactly what McCain must do to correct the record on this fiasco.  Not only has Obama misrepresented this as a crisis of deregulation, but the record shows that Democrats like Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Gregory Meeks, Lacy Gray, and others opposed the regulators we already had when they tried to blow the whistle.  As late as this summer, Democrats kept trying to tell the American voters that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were stable, when in fact they were collapsing.

More, please.  Let’s see quotes from Democrats in ads, along with the bill for their social engineering.  We need this for bigger reasons than a presidential election: we need to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Update: Moe Lane at Red State has more thoughts, as does Jim Geraghty.


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