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article imageOp-Ed: John McCain Nails Barack Obama On Monies Received From Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

By Susan Duclos     Oct 6, 2008 in Politics
John McCain issued remarks today about the downfall which has led to the most urgent financial crisis in America. He spotlights Democrats and Barack Obama's financial gain from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refers to the placing into conservatorship of government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by the US Treasury in September 2008. It was one financial event among many in the ongoing Subprime mortgage crisis that has faced the U.S. in the last months.
The failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac being one of the catalysts which brought about a $7 billion-plus bailout from the government to try to offset a complete financial meltdown.
In one segment of John McCain's speech today, which Red State has obtained segments of the speech prepared for delivery, he said:
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.
Breaking down his comments to provide backup data showing the truthfulness of his remarks, I go to May of 2006, via GovTrack.us, where John McCain called for tighter regulation on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This is an excerpt from the Congressional Record of John McCain's comments.
For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs--and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO's report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO's report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay.
I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. 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.
I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation.
More from McCain's remarks today:
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.
Bill Clinton recently made the same point that McCain made in his remarks today about Democrats opposing efforts to rein them in.
Clinton told Chris Cuomo from ABC News, "Well, maybe everybody does that a little bit. I think the responsibility the Democrats have may rest more in resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress or by me when I was President to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."
McCain video ad titled "Rein" found at YouTube, shows Bill Clinton's words to Cuomo.
McCain on Obama's Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac connection:
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.
John McCain is mistaken there as we see from Open Secrets who provides a chart titled "Top Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Campaign Contributions, 1989-2008," which shows that Barack Obama was not the second highest recipient from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, he was the third largest recipient.
Obama's total was $105,849, behind John Kerry (D-MA) who received $111,000 and Christopher Dodd ( D CT) who received $133,900.
McCain then makes another point in his speech today :
My opponent’s touchiness every time he is questioned about his record should make us only more concerned. For a guy who’s already authored two memoirs, he’s not exactly an open book. It’s as if somehow the usual rules don’t apply, and where other candidates have to explain themselves and their records, Senator Obama seems to think he is above all that. Whatever the question, whatever the issue, there’s always a back story with Senator Obama. All people want to know is: What has this man ever actually accomplished in government? What does he plan for America? In short: Who is the real Barack Obama? But ask such questions and all you get in response is another barrage of angry insults.
As the economy has taken the spotlight over the last few weeks and as Barack Obama supporters claim to want to know more about the "issues", these questions have been asked, over and over again and I have yet to see Obama, his campaign or his supporters take an interest in supplying the answers.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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