Stephanopoulos Wonders: Did McCain Blow Up Bailout for Credit?
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain suspended his campaign to help craft a government bailout of the financial sector not for the good of the country, but so he could take credit â at least according to his opponents in the presidential race and some in the media.
ABCâs George Stephanopoulos raised a âbig questionâ about McCainâs motives on the âWorld News with Charles Gibsonâ Sept. 25 after a reported agreement on the bailout deal collapsed. The Clinton-aide-turned-journalist suggested McCain sabotaged the deal so he could get credit for creating a new one.
âSome Democrats suspect that he tried, that heâs coming in, working with the House Republicans to blow this up so he can put it back together and get some credit,â Stephanopoulos said. âItâs not clear that heâs signed on entirely to the House Republican plans.â
Stephanopoulosâ suggestion was similar to accusations made by Sen. Barack Obama, McCainâs Democratic opponent in the presidential race.
The Obama camp has called McCainâs decision to suspend his campaign and return to the capital to help work on a bailout plan a âpolitical stunt.â In a Sept. 25 statement, reported by Politico, Obamaâs team said McCainâs move was âaimed more at shoring up the Senatorâs political fortunes than the nationâs economy.â
In an appearance on NBCâs âNightly Newsâ Sept. 25, Obama again suggested McCain was politicizing the bailout talks for advantage in the presidential campaign. âSometimes if you inject presidential politics into some delicate negotiations itâs not necessarily constructive and itâs amazing how much people can get done when folks arenât worried about taking the credit, or passing the blame.â
The media have repeatedly sided with Obama on economic issues during the campaign. They have hounded the Republican vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, on earmarks while virtually ignoring the pork barrel requests made by Obama and his running-mate, Sen. Joe Biden.
Journalists have also tended to blame the financial mess on Republicans and their support for free market principles. But theyâve remained generally quiet on Democratsâ role in creating, supporting and running Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the beleaguered government-sponsored enterprises at the heart of the crisis.