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John McCain’s AIG bailout revisionism

By Michelle Malkin  •  March 17, 2009 12:53 PM

George Stephanopoulos of ABC News just wrapped up a Twitter interview with John McCain.

Stephanopoulous was more concerned with McCain’s daughter’s spats than with nailing McCain on his AIG flip-flopping. What a wasted opportunity. (Or as we say in Twitter-world: #fail.)

Preceding the interview, Sen. McCain wrote this on his Twitter page:

“If we hadn’t bailed out AIG = no bonuses for greedy execs.”

During the “Twitterview” with Stephanopoulous this morning, he wrote this:

“i would have never bailed out AIG, the real scandal is billions to foreign banks.”

Stephanopoulous wrote:

“RIght, but didn’t you vote for first TARP, which went to AIG?”

McCain replied:

“voted for first tarp but that doesn’t mean i voted to bail out AIG.”

And then he quickly followed up:

“i voted for first tarp but that doesn’t mean i voted to bail out AIG.”

I don’t know if McCain was deliberately trying to mislead or whether he just has amnesia. But this is as honking an example of AIG bailout revisionism as I have seen attempted by Washington’s enablers. And it’s turning me green with nausea for St. Patty’s Day.

On September 18, 2008, McCain caved in to the Chicken Little climate in Washington and reversed his position on the $85 billion AIG bailout (that came on the heels of McCain joining hands with Obama to support a $25 billion bailout for the automakers):

A day after he dismissed a federal bailout for American International Group, Republican John McCain announced Wednesday that circumstances had forced him to shift his position and that he supported the proposed $85 billion rescue of the insurance giant.

McCain, who in recent days has slammed what he called Wall Street greed and corruption for causing the latest downward spiral of the stock market, said he had to change his position on AIG to protect millions of Americans who could be hurt if the company was forced to seek bankruptcy protection.

“The government was forced to commit $85 billion,” McCain said in a statement. “These actions stem from failed regulation, reckless management and a casino culture on Wall Street that has crippled one of the most important companies in America.

“The focus of any such action should be to protect the millions of Americans who hold insurance policies, retirement plans and other accounts with AIG,” he said. “We must not bail out the management and speculators who created this mess.”

But that’s exactly what the first bailout infusion did. And McCain went along, as did all the other AIG enablers now pounding their fists on TV, in Twitter-land, and everywhere else.

In October, the feds forked over $37.8 billion more to AIG — and I can’t recall McCain making a stink about it then, either. He was too busy proposing a $300 billion mortgage bailout.

Now, he’s against bailout out failing companies in the first place.

We’ll see how long that lasts…

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Categories: AIG, Subprime crisis, Tim Geithner