MCCAIN’S WALL STREET CONCESSION…. Before he secured the Republican presidential nomination, John McCain was surprisingly candid about his own shortcomings. In November 2005, McCain acknowledged, “I’m going to be honest; I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.” In December 2007, in the heat of the Republican primary race, McCain conceded, “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.”
And as it turns out, he also made a surprising concession about his understanding of Wall Street, or in this case, the lack thereof.
This video, also from December 2007, shows McCain telling a group of voters, “Now, I am not an expert on Wall Street. I am not an expert on some of this stuff. I have studied carefully this latest proposal by the Secretary of the Treasury, and all I can tell you is, one, I am glad he’s there. Everybody thinks that Hank Paulson, the Secretary of Treasury is respected in world markets….”
This strikes me as interesting for a couple of reasons. First, McCain really isn’t an expert on Wall Street “stuff,” which makes it all the more curious he’s pretending to know what he’s talking about now.
And second, if McCain is such an enthusiastic fan of Henry Paulson, it’s curious that McCain felt compelled to undermine not only Paulson’s original bailout plan, but also the compromise Paulson reached with policy makers on the Hill.
Regardless, be expected to hear this quote again. As voters’ attention focuses even more on economic matters, the Republican nominee has publicly acknowledged that he doesn’t understand economics as well as he should, and doesn’t understand some of this Wall Street “stuff.”