John McCain — the Paul Revere of the Fannie/Freddie Disaster

A Townhall reader suggested the title of this post when commenting on my column today about John McCain finally going on offense on the issue of the economy. In it I discuss the ammunition McCain has to work with since several years ago he warned of exactly what eventually ended up happening. Not only is the McCain campaign doing what they can to get the facts about there about where McCain and Obama were on the issue several years ago in McCain’s recent speeches, but they are getting some ads out there on the topic as well. Here is the latest titled “Jim Johnson.”

The media would have already made the name Jim Johnson as famous as Ken Lay’s had his connection been to John McCain rather than Barack Obama. They are not going to inform the voters. McCain will have to and I am glad to see he is attempting to do just that.

Update: Not all the media is giving Obama a pass. From the Washington Post:

TO LISTEN to Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. John McCain is a Johnny-come-lately to the cause of regulating financial markets. “He has consistently opposed the sorts of common-sense regulations that might have lessened the current crisis,” Mr. Obama said in New Mexico yesterday. “When I was warning about the danger ahead on Wall Street months ago because of the lack of oversight, Senator McCain was telling the Wall Street Journal — and I quote — ‘I’m always for less regulation.’ ”

But the full quotation from Mr. McCain’s March interview with the Journal’s editorial board belies Mr. Obama’s one-sided rendition. The Republican candidate went on to say, “But I am aware of the view that there is a need for government oversight. I think we found this in the subprime lending crisis — that there are people that game the system and if not outright broke the law, they certainly engaged in unethical conduct which made this problem worse. So I do believe that there is role for oversight.”

In 2006, he pushed for stronger regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — while Mr. Obama was notably silent. “If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole,” Mr. McCain warned at the time.

One element of the Obama campaign’s brief against Mr. McCain is that he supported repeal of the law separating commercial banks from investment banks. “He’s spent decades in Washington supporting financial institutions instead of their customers,” Mr. Obama said yesterday. “Phil Gramm, one of the architects of the deregulation in Washington that led directly to this mess on Wall Street, is also the architect of John McCain’s economic plan.” Would it be churlish to point out that another author of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley law is former congressman Jim Leach, a founder of Republicans for Obama? Or that Obama advisers Lawrence H. Summers and Robert E. Rubin supported the repeal — which was signed by President Bill Clinton?

Crossposted at Wizbang.

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