By- Suzie-Q @ 10:00 AM MST
Posted April 11th, 2008 at 8:30 am
About two weeks ago, John McCain, in a high-profile speech, unveiled his response to the mortgage crisis. Despite the seriousness of the issue, the GOP presidential nominee unveiled a classic YOYO policy: “You’re on your own.”
As the New York Times noted shortly after the speech, “The real core of his speech was his argument against government action to help dig distressed homeowners — or the country — out of the mortgage mess…. His suggestion that federal aid might wrongly reward ‘undeserving’ homeowners sounded both mean-spirited and economically naive. And then there is the double standard. He seemed less concerned about the government helping reckless bankers, endorsing its role in preventing the bankruptcy of Bear Stearns.”
Almost immediately, Barack Obama began hammering McCain for his plan, and Hillary Clinton used it as the basis for a televised ad. Even some Republicans, including senator and former RNC chairman Mel Martinez of Florida, were reluctant to defend McCain’s proposal.
Yesterday, in one of the quicker flip-flops in recent memory, McCain reversed course. The Washington Post, apparently anxious to give McCain a hand, said the senator was “refining” and “revising” his plan. That’s enormously generous of the newspaper, but in reality, McCain’s proposal was an embarrassing dud, so he gave up on it.
Senator John McCain, who drew criticism last month after he warned against broad government intervention to solve the deepening mortgage crisis, pivoted Thursday and called for the federal government to aid some homeowners in danger of losing their homes, by helping them to refinance and get federally guaranteed 30-year mortgages.
“There is nothing more important than keeping alive the American dream to own your home, and priority No. 1 is to keep well-meaning, deserving homeowners who are facing foreclosure in their homes,” Mr. McCain said in a speech on economic themes that he gave at a window company in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn.
Funny, two weeks ago he thought these same homeowners shouldn’t be “rewarded” for acting “irresponsibly.”
Perhaps the nation’s callous constituency is not quite as large as the McCain campaign had hoped.
In both tone and substance, Mr. McCain’s speech was a departure from the remarks he made last month in California. […]
Senator Barack Obama of Illinois suggested in Gary, Ind., that the proposal was too tepid. It was the latest in the ever-escalating exchanges between the two senators and their campaigns.
“I’m glad he’s finally offered a plan. Better late than never,” Mr. Obama said. “But don’t expect any real answers. Don’t expect it to actually help struggling families. Because Senator McCain’s solution to the housing crisis seems a lot like the George Bush solution of sitting by and hoping it passes while families face foreclosure and watch the value of their homes decline.”
At a news conference in Pittsburgh, Mrs. Clinton called Mr. McCain’s proposal a “warmed-over, half-hearted version of the very plan he criticized.”
“Just two weeks ago, Senator McCain said he’d rather do nothing than something about the housing crisis,” said Mrs. Clinton, who ran an advertisement suggesting that Mr. McCain was unprepared to handle middle-of-the-night emergency phone calls about the economy.
“Apparently, Senator McCain got the message,” she said. “Letting the phone ring and ring is not the way to respond to housing crises.”
No word from the McCain camp as to why he no longer believes in the proposal he presented just two weeks ago. It may have something to do with the fact that the senator still doesn’t know anything about economics.
Read Full Post »