Facts About The Campaigns And Wall Street

As news of the AIG bailout rocked Wall Street, both candidates were ready with new ads, both looking into the camera and both promising serious reform, CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews reports.

"I'll reform Wall Street and fix Washington," John McCain said in a new ad.

And Barack Obama said he would "end the 'anything goes' culture on Wall Street with real regulation."

McCain, in his latest stump speech, also promises to stop Wall Street abuses before they begin.

"Make sure these outrages, and they are outrages, never happen in the first place," McCain said.

Here are the facts: McCain admitted as the mortgage crisis was happening he never saw it coming. This was last December.

"So I'd like to tell you I did anticipate, but I have to give you straight talk, I did not," he said in Keane, N.H.

McCain also said he did know how to help homeowners without also bailing out speculators.

"But I can't come down yet and give you a specific, uh, solution because I don't claim to be smart enough," he said.

Obama meanwhile claims he saw the meltdown from the start and introduced a law to "stop mortgage transactions that promoted fraud, risk or abuse."

This claim is true. In fact, Obama introduced a 2006 bill trying to curb abusive lending.

But this was one year into his Senate career and the bill went nowhere. As for Obama's claim that McCain was nowhere …this claim is false.

The fact is, in March of 2005, McCain co-sponsored a bill to impose new oversight on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - but that bill also died.

Obama also charges that one of the godfathers of banking deregulation, Phil Gramm, is still one of McCains top advisers and a banking lobbyist.

He's the guy who said that we're just going through a "mental recession" and who called the United States of America a "nation of whiners."

Phil Gramm in fact was a lobbyist for investment bank UBS thru April of this year. He formally left McCain campaign in July.

McCain meanwhile has shifted gears on using taxpayer funds to prop up AIG.

Yesterday he was against all federal help, today he said the government was forced to protect people holding AIG insurance policies and retirement accounts.
  • Wyatt Andrews

    Wyatt Andrews is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Washington D.C. He is responsible for tracking trends in politics, health care, energy, the environment and foreign affairs.

Comments