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Attention, GOP: John McCain is the problem

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 22, 2010 02:18 PM

In critiquing Glenn Beck’s CPAC speech taking the Republican Party to task for failing to own up to its Big Government lapses, Bill Bennett cites various Republicans who have admitted the party’s culpability. But see if you can spot the glaring problem with his defense of the GOP:

From Jim DeMint to Tom Coburn to Mike Pence to Paul Ryan, any number of Republicans have admitted the excesses of the party and done constructive and serious work to correct them and find and promote solutions. Even John McCain has said again and again that β€œthe Republican party lost its way.”

If you didn’t gag when you read this sentence, you are not paying attention:

“Even John McCain has said again and again that ‘the Republican party lost its way.’”

Even John McCain?” The Republican party “lost its way” on core limited government principles because of McCain’s radical progressive agenda. Question for Mr. Bennett: Can you please provide the exact citation and context of the so-called admission you attribute to McCain?

Because to this day, McCain refuses to admit his own individual responsibility for supporting the pre-socialization of the economy started under George W. Bush and continued under Obama. And fellow Republicans continue to whitewash McCain’s fiscal irresponsibility record.

McCain has never admitted he was wrong about his support of:

*The $700 billion all-purpose, earmark-stuffed TARP bailout;

*The $25 billion auto bailout;

*The $300 billion mortgage entitlement bailout; and

*The first $85 billion AIG bailout.

His latest McLame-est excuse for supporting TARP? He was “misled.” Via the Arizona Republic:

Under growing pressure from conservatives and “tea party” activists, Sen. John McCain of Arizona is having to defend his record of supporting the government’s massive bailout of the financial system.

In response to criticism from opponents seeking to defeat him in the Aug. 24 Republican primary, the four-term senator says he was misled by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. McCain said the pair assured him that the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program would focus on what was seen as the cause of the financial crisis, the housing meltdown.

“Obviously, that didn’t happen,” McCain said in a meeting Thursday with The Republic’s Editorial Board, recounting his decision-making during the critical initial days of the fiscal crisis. “They decided to stabilize the Wall Street institutions, bail out (insurance giant) AIG, bail out Chrysler, bail out General Motors. . . . What they figured was that if they stabilized Wall Street – I guess it was trickle-down economics – that therefore Main Street would be fine.”

Nearly 15 months later, commercial lenders still are in shaky condition and the commercial real-estate industry is in trouble, he said. On Friday, President Barack Obama announced $1.5 billion in funding for new measures to help Arizona and four other states hit hard by the tanked housing market and by joblessness.

But McCain stopped short of calling the TARP a mistake.

“Something had to be done because the world’s financial system was on the verge of collapse,” he said. “Any economist, liberal or conservative, would agree with that. The action they took, I don’t agree with.”

All the warning signs and red flags about Henry Paulson’s incompetence and untrustworthiness were there before McCain joined the Chicken Little crowd. (See September 22, 2008, “Why Henry Paulson must be contained.”) Stalwart fiscal conservatives like GOP Rep. Mike Pence saw through the smokescreen and kept their heads. McCain’s trying to have it both ways — refusing to admit he was wrong, blaming crapweasel Paulson for duping him, and creating the illusion that he’ll be competent enough to resist the next inevitable bailout temptation when White House, Treasury, and Fed officials hit the panic button.

He blew it on TARP.

Blew it on the auto bailout.

Blew it on the mortgage entitlement bailout.

Blew it on the AIG bailout.

Blew it on amnesty.

Blew it on campaign finance.

Blew it on global warming.

In short: McCain blows.

I’ve already warned about McCain Regression Syndrome. The GOP hasn’t even begun to cure itself.

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