(GREEN BAY, WISC.) – While outlining his economic recovery plan here today, John McCain told a story that he said epitomizes the problem of accountability in Washington, D.C. In explaining why he called for the resignation of Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Christopher Cox – whom he called "a good man" – McCain talked about Gen. Dwight Eisenhower on the eve of the invasion of Normandy.
"He went to his quarters the night before the invasion and wrote out two letters. One of them was a letter of congratulations to the brave Americans and allies who landed at Normandy and made the most successful invasion and they brought about the beginning of the end of World War II. The other letter he wrote out was his resignation from the United States Army, taking full responsibility for the failure of that invasion," McCain said.
"That kind of accountability and responsibility is missing in Washington today. That's why I believe that the chairman of the SEC should resign and leave office and be replaced."
McCain went on to say that the SEC, as well as several other regulatory agencies, share part of the blame for the current financial crisis.
"At very best, this confusing assortment of regulators and institutions was egregiously lax in carrying out their responsibilities. At worst, they carried out and engaged in the old Washington game of guarding their bureaucratic turf, instead of safeguarding the public interest and protecting investors," McCain said.
"We don't need a dozen federal agencies doing the job badly -- we need the best federal agencies to do the job right."