Description: Town Hall Question #2 - Bailout
Candidate: Sen. McCain
Question: Well, Senators, through this economic crisis, most of the people that I know have had a difficult time. And through this bailout package, I was wondering what it is that's going to actually help those people out. ]
BROKAW: We're going to go now, Senator McCain, to the next question from you from the hall here, and it comes from Oliver Clark (ph), who is over here in section F.
QUESTION Well, Senators, through this economic crisis, most of the people that I know have had a difficult time. And through this bailout package, I was wondering what it is that's going to actually help those people out.
MCCAIN: Well, thank you, Oliver, and that's an excellent question, because as you just described it, bailout, when I believe that it's rescue, because -- because of the greed and excess in Washington and Wall Street, Main Street was paying a very heavy price, and we know that.
I left my campaign and suspended it to go back to Washington to make sure that there were additional protections for the taxpayer in the form of good oversight, in the form of taxpayers being the first to be paid back when our economy recovers -- and it will recover -- and a number of other measures.
But you know, one of the real catalysts, really the match that lit this fire was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I'll bet you, you may never even have heard of them before this crisis.
But you know, they're the ones that, with the encouragement of Senator Obama and his cronies and his friends in Washington, that went out and made all these risky loans, gave them to people that could never afford to pay back.
And you know, there were some of us that stood up two years ago and said we've got to enact legislation to fix this. We've got to stop this greed and excess.
Meanwhile, the Democrats in the Senate and some -- and some members of Congress defended what Fannie and Freddie were doing. They resisted any change.
Meanwhile, they were getting all kinds of money in campaign contributions. Senator Obama was the second highest recipient of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac money in history -- in history.
So this rescue package means that we will stabilize markets, we will shore up these institutions. But it's not enough. That's why we're going to have to go out into the housing market and we're going to have to buy up these bad loans and we're going to have to stabilize home values, and that way, Americans, like Alan, can realize the American dream and stay in their home.
But Fannie and Freddie were the catalysts, the match that started this forest fire. There were some of us -- there were some of us that stood up against it. There were others who took a hike.