Sunday, September 28, 2008

John McCain on ABC's 'This Week': Transcript (9-28-08)

Read the complete transcript of McCain's interview with George Stephanopoulos.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It looks like Senator Obama is also going to support the deal. He put out a statement this morning, but he said it’s also time now for Washington to show that it gets the urgency of the crisis on Main Street, as well, says Congress has to pass a stimulus plan for the middle class, which extends unemployment benefits, adds infrastructure funding, and sends money to the states to shore up their budgets.

Are you for that, as well?

MCCAIN: I am for keeping taxes low. I am for whatever steps we think we need to be taking right now.

But, first of all, let’s get this off the table. Let’s get this deal done, signed by the president, and get moving, because the real effect of this is going to restore some confidence, and get some credit out there, and get the economic system moving again, which is basically in gridlock today.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You said keep taxes low...


STEPHANOPOULOS: ... so not necessarily for another stimulus package?

MCCAIN: I’ll have to look at it. But, look, I’ll be glad to look at anything to help our economy. We did a stimulus package a few months ago, as you well know. It had very little beneficial effect.

I would like to see incentives for businesses to grown and locate. That’s lower taxes. That’s ways of making credit and funds available for them. Of course we have to rebuild our infrastructure.

I’d like to save -- see along with that stimulus package, if it comes up, a commitment that there would be no earmarks. That was one of my criteria also, no earmarks. Stop all the pork-barrel spending.

There were just 2,000 earmarks in the continuing resolution that we just passed.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, that was a...

MCCAIN: The outrageous pork-barrel spending, earmark spending...

STEPHANOPOULOS: That was the vote yesterday to fund the government...

MCCAIN: ... earmark spending goes on.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... through -- through next year, also funded defense through next year. It included loans for the auto companies to help them get through...


MCCAIN: That’s the way they always do. You put in the -- you put in the good deals, and then you put in the pork, as well.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why didn’t you come in to vote on that?

MCCAIN: I was working on all of the other stuff that I was working on, and contacting people, and working away. But the point is -- the point is, it’s the classic package, where they give you the things you know that you really need in it, and then they load up and lard up the pork. That’s why...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you would have voted against it had you come in?

MCCAIN: I certainly would have done everything in my power to remove those earmarks. But I may have voted for it if -- I probably would have ended up voting for it, but I decry a system where individual members are -- are faced with taking all this unacceptable, outrageous stuff that has contributed to the largest growth in spending since the Great Society.

We’ve grown government by 40 percent and, by the way, the tripling and quadrupling of pork-barrel projects and earmarks in the -- I can’t tell you how many billions of dollars.

And so we would be faced with a Hobson’s choice there, and it shouldn’t be like that.


MCCAIN: People should be able to vote on separate issues.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You also mentioned this immediate credit crisis we’re facing in the banks. That’s why you feel we have to pass this financial bailout right now.

MCCAIN: With the taxpayers and middle-income Americans of America.

Barack Obama on Face The Nation: Transcript (9-28-08)

Read the complete transcript.

OBAMA: Well, look, first of all, I think we have to understand that this was an urgent situation and is an urgent situation. And by the end of the week, I think everybody recognized that something needed to be done.

What I’m pleased about is that it appears at least-- and I haven’t reviewed the actual language-- is that some core principles that I’ve set forth at the beginning of this crisis were incorporated. The issue of making sure that we had strong oversight, the insistence that taxpayers share in the gains if there are any when the market recovers, the insistence that homeowners get additional relief so that there’s some reciprocity. If in fact we’re bailing out or helping banks, they in turn have to help rework mortgages for people who are potentially facing foreclosure.

And the final thing, the issue of executive compensation, making sure that taxpayer money is not going to pad bonuses or golden parachutes.

It appears that those principles have all been incorporated into the core agreement. And I’m going to be reviewing the language over the next day to make sure that those provisions actually stick.

Ultimately, I believe that we have to get something done. And so if I feel that those are meaningful provisions that provide some constraints on how the treasury operates and this is not going to be welfare for Wall Street, then my inclination is to support it, because I think Main Street is now at stake.

This could affect every sector of the economy. If the credit crisis continues or worsens, then suddenly small business people can’t make their payroll. You have large businesses who can’t sell corporate debt, which could bring the entire economy to a grinding halt.

The last point I want to make on this is we have to remember how we got here. Not so much to allocate blame, as to understand the choices that are going to face the next president. Unless we update our 20th century regulatory framework for a 21st century global financial system, then we’re going to continue to be vulnerable to this kind of situation, and I think the next president has to come in with a very strong package of reforms.

OBAMA: We’re going to have to fight off the lobbyists and the special interests. And, finally, we’ve got to understand that, contrary to what John McCain suggested at the beginning of this crisis, the fundamentals of the economy are not strong.

And some of the root causes of this crisis have to do with the day-to-day struggles that ordinary people are going through, with flat wages and incomes but constantly increasing costs.

That puts pressure on them to take out more debt, to use home equity loans, to try to refinance. It created an environment in which this kind of crisis potentially could occur.

SCHIEFFER: So, as it stands now, from what you understand about it, you will support this?

OBAMA: As it stands now, if the four principles that I laid out 10 or 12 days ago are, in fact, contained in a meaningful way -- the tax payer protection, the investor participation of taxpayers, the corporate, or the CEO compensation issues, as well as the homeowner assistance -- if those are contained, my inclination would be to vote for it, understanding I’m not happy about it.

We should have never gotten into this place in the first place. And I think this is a final verdict on eight years of failed economic policy.

Bill Clinton on Meet the Press: Transcript (9-28-08)

Also on the program were opposing presidential campaign heads, David Axelrod and Schmidt. Also, a debate between the Colorado Senate candidates (obviously only includes the two major parties). Read the complete transcript.

MR. BROKAW: But has he been making specific suggestions about what needs to be in this bill? When he came back on Friday, the House Republicans said to him, "This won't fly because we want an insurance program, not just a buyout."

MR. SCHMIDT: Does appear that there will be insurance as part of the final package. But importantly, Senator McCain laid out a number of principles, saying, for example, that CEOs cannot benefit from taxpayer dollars, the CEOs of these firms who have ripped off the American people. That there be oversight, that there be accountability. Those principles appear to be contained in legislation. But what Senator McCain was able to do, the reason he suspended his campaign, the reason he came back to Washington was to help get all of the parties to the table. There had been announcements by Senate leaders saying that a deal had been reached earlier in the week. There were no votes for that deal. Senator McCain knew time was short and he came back, he listened and he helped put together the framework of getting everybody to the table, which was necessary to produce a package to avoid a financial catastrophe for this country.

MR. BROKAW: Mr. Axelrod, I think it's fair to say you have a skeptical expression on your face. Your candidate left Mississippi, however, and resumed campaigning. He didn't come back to Washington. Has his role in this been primarily as a man who's been getting information from Democrats on the hill?

MR. AXELROD: Well, I'll tell you what his role has been from the beginning. He's been in touch with Secretary Paulson, Chairman Bernanke, the leaders of Congress, and he is the one who has been urging these principles that Steve has now embraced today. The fact is, when the--when this crisis emerged, Senator McCain's first reaction was to say the economy is fundamentally strong. The next day he suggested a commission to study this and by eight days later he said it was such a crisis that he was going to suspend his campaign. He showed up a day later in Washington. It isn't clear what his role was, so it's a little bit of fiction to now claim credit for it. That's not the important thing, though. The important thing is that the principles that Senator Obama outlined originally are now embraced and taxpayers will be protected.

[...]MR. BROKAW: But the picture economically is darker with every passing day, and here's what Robert Bixby, who is with the Concord Coalition, had to say about your two candidates. "I don't think either candidate is treating the deficit, or the debt, seriously. I don't see any proposals from either one that would make the situation any better." This is a nonpartisan observer who is looking at it. Senator Obama the other night was asked to name one program that he would cut given the economic realities. We're going to be at war in two countries, he wants to reform healthcare, have alternative energy and early childhood. He didn't name one program, Mr. Axelrod.

MR. AXELROD: That's not true, Tom. He talked about the Medicare Advantage program, which is a big giveaway to the insurance companies within the Medicare program. That's $15 billion a year right there. Another big item that we have to deal with is the $10 billion a month we're spending in Iraq while Iraq has a $79 billion surplus. Senator McCain would like to continue there indefinitely. The American people want to come home from Iraq, to send some troops from Afghanistan, and to begin investing that money here at home. So there are many things that we can do. Obviously, we're going to have to look at the budget, and Senator Obama said he's going to go through it line by line, and he's going to get rid of things that don't work. We have, for example, a one--a reading program that was installed by the Bush administration that turned out to be a big boondoggle. It's not helping any kids learn. We ought to say that doesn't work, let's get rid of it. And that's the approach he's going to take. If we're going to do the things we need to do, the things you mentioned, the things that are going to strengthen the middle class in our economy, we're going to have to be very, very flinty-eyed about what we can keep and what we don't.

Tina Fey Plays Sarah Palin, Again: Video (9-27-08)

This skit includes Amy Poehler playing Katie Couric. They reenact the infamous interview done this past week. Partial transcript below.

FEY AS PALIN: "Like every American I'm speaking with, we're ill about this. We're saying, 'Hey, why bail out Fanny and Freddie and not me?' But ultimately what the bailout does is, help those that are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy to's gotta be all about job creation, too. Also, too, shoring up our economy and putting Fannie and Freddy back on the right track and so healthcare reform and reducing taxes and reigning in spending...'cause Barack Obama, y'know...has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americans, also, having a dollar value meal at restaurants. That's gonna help. But one in five jobs being created today under the umbrella of job creation. That, you know...Also..."

[...]POEHLER AS COURIC: "On foreign policy, I want to give you one more chance to explain your claim that you have foreign policy experience based on Alaska's proximity to Russia. What did you mean by that?"

FEY AS PALIN: "Well, Alaska and Russia are only separated by a narrow maritime border. (using her hands to illustrate) You got Alaska here, this right here is water, and this is Russia. So, we keep an eye on them."

POEHLER AS COURIC: "And how do you do that exactly?"

FEY AS PALIN: "Every morning, when Alaskans wake up, one of the first things they do, is look outside to see if there are any Russians hanging around. And if there are, you gotta go up to them and ask, 'What are you doing here?' and if they can't give you a good reason, it's our responsibility to say, you know, 'Shoo! Get back over there!'

- Related Post:
Tina Fey as Palin on SNL: Transcript, Video [Posted: 9-14-08]