McCain: "I Would Fire" SEC Chairman

(CBS)
From CBS News' John Bentley:

(CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA) – John McCain called for the firing of Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Christopher Cox today and the creation of a new oversight committee in the wake of the recent financial crisis.

"The primary regulator of Wall Street, the Securities and Exchange Commission, kept in place trading rules that let speculators and hedge funds turn our markets into a casino," McCain said.

"The chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the president and in my view, has betrayed the public's trust. If I were president today, I would fire him."

The current president, however, gave Cox a vote of confidence today, according to White House spokesman Dana Perino, who said Bush supports Cox.

McCain also said he would institute a mortgage and financial institutions trust, called the MFI, to identify banks and other companies that are in danger of failing before they become insolvent.

"This will get the treasury and other financial regulatory authorities in a proactive position instead of reacting in a crisis mode to one situation after the other," he said.

Taking aim at both Barack Obama and Joe Biden, McCain accused the Democratic ticket of taking advantage of the financial crisis for political gain.

"Today Sen. Obama's running mate said that raising taxes is patriotic. Raising taxes in a tough economy isn't patriotic," McCain said. "It's just plain dumb."

Obama's campaign said their candidate has been a leader in trying to avert the financial meltdown.

"Barack Obama has been ahead of the curve on this issue, while McCain has been part of the problem leading the deregulation effort that helped caused this mess," said campaign spokesman Hari Sevugan. "Today's event in Iowa was just more of the same divisive and dishonest politics we have had the last eight years."