Monday, September 29, 2008

'FOX News Sunday' Transcript (9-28-08)

Campaign surrogate Senators John Kerry and Lindsay Graham were interviewed by Chris Wallace. Read the complete transcript.

WALLACE: Let's start with a tentative agreement on a financial rescue plan.

Senator Graham, what's better about this proposal than the deal that was rejected at the White House on Thursday?

GRAHAM: The House is on board. The best thing that could happen for all of us up here politically is to hold hands across the aisle and bicamerally.

If you can get House Republicans saying, "This is a good product for the country," then confidence will be built around the product. And having everybody inside the deal politically is much better.

I would not want my Democratic colleagues, quite frankly, to have to walk off a cliff in the House and have no Republicans on board. So I think it's a better deal for the taxpayer. There's an insurance component that didn't exist before. It's a phased-in product.

But the main thing is that the House is involved now. Then every corner of American political life is embracing this deal, which will help us as a nation.

WALLACE: Senator Kerry, let's talk about a little bit of the details. As Senator Graham mentioned, instead of buying all the securities, now the government will just insure some of them.

And there's also a provision that if the government doesn't get its money back within five years, a fee is imposed on financial security companies. Isn't that a better deal for taxpayers?

KERRY: Well, it's very important -- well, these -- the four principal components of this deal, Chris, represent the exact four principles that Senator Obama laid out two weeks ago. They represent the exact principles that we put forward and almost agreed on last Thursday before politics entered into this.

Now, I agree with Lindsey. Let's go beyond that now. It is important to have everybody there. But those principles are number one. We wanted to protect the taxpayers.

We were not going to turn billions of dollars over to any institution connected with Wall Street, given the experience of what had happened without protecting taxpayers. We have done that in this.

Secondly, we were going to limit executive compensation. We weren't going to turn money over and have millions of dollars paid out to executives. That's been done.

Thirdly, there's a very important concept here about helping homeowners. There had been no talk about the homeowners. We want to keep people in their homes. This specifically helps to keep them there.

And finally, oversight. The administration came and said, "Just give us $800 billion." And we said, "No, not given this experience," so we're going to give first the 250. There'll then be a letter from the president requesting another 100, and then there's another 350, depending on how it goes.

So I think we have accountability. We have the principles that Senator Obama offered leadership on.