Tuesday, October 7, 2008
McCain Nails It - remarks 10/6/08
My opponent has invited serious questioning by announcing a few weeks ago that he would quote -- "take off the gloves." Since then, whenever I have questioned his policies or his record, he has called me a liar.
Rather than answer his critics, Senator Obama will try to distract you from noticing that he never answers the serious and legitimate questions he has been asked. But let me reply in the plainest terms I know. I don't need lessons about telling the truth to American people. And were I ever to need any improvement in that regard, I probably wouldn't seek advice from a Chicago politician.
My opponent's touchiness every time he is questioned about his record should make us only more concerned. For a guy who's already authored two memoirs, he's not exactly an open book. It's as if somehow the usual rules don't apply, and where other candidates have to explain themselves and their records, Senator Obama seems to think he is above all that. Whatever the question, whatever the issue, there's always a back story with Senator Obama. All people want to know is: What has this man ever actually accomplished in government? What does he plan for America? In short: Who is the real Barack Obama? But ask such questions and all you get in response is another barrage of angry insults.
Our current economic crisis is a good case in point. What was his actual record in the years before the great economic crisis of our lifetimes?
This crisis started in our housing market in the form of subprime loans that were pushed on people who could not afford them. Bad mortgages were being backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and it was only a matter of time before a contagion of unsustainable debt began to spread. This corruption was encouraged by Democrats in Congress, and abetted by Senator Obama.
Senator Obama has accused me of opposing regulation to avert this crisis. I guess he believes if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough it will be believed. But the truth is I was the one who called at the time for tighter restrictions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that could have helped prevent this crisis from happening in the first place.
Senator Obama was silent on the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and his Democratic allies in Congress opposed every effort to rein them in. As recently as September of last year he said that subprime loans had been, quote, "a good idea." Well, Senator Obama, that "good idea" has now plunged
this country into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
To hear him talk now, you'd think he'd always opposed the dangerous practices at these institutions. But there is absolutely nothing in his record to suggest he did. He was surely familiar with the people who were creating this problem. The executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have
advised him, and he has taken their money for his campaign. He has received more money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than any other senator in history, with the exception of the chairman of the committee overseeing them. Did he ever talk to the executives at Fannie and Freddie about these reckless loans? Did he ever discuss with them the stronger oversight I proposed? If Senator Obama is such a champion of financial regulation, why
didn't he support these regulations that could have prevented this crisis in the first place? He won't tell you, but you deserve an answer.
Even after he refused to lift a finger to prevent this crisis, when the crisis hit, he was missing in action. He didn't start making calls to round up votes until after the rescue bill failed in the House and the markets crashed. We continue to see the price of delay today as the markets continue to fall. Today the DOW has fallen below 10,000. And yet, members of his own party said they felt no pressure to vote for the bill.
Why didn't Senator Obama work to pass this bill from the start? Why did he let it fail and drag out this crisis for a full week before doing a thing to help pass it?
Again on taxes, we see a difference between what Senator Obama says today, what he said yesterday and what he has actually done. Over the course of this campaign, he has had many different plans to raise your taxes. During the Democratic primary, he promised to double taxes on every American with a dividend or an investment. He promised to raise payroll taxes. He promised higher taxes on electricity.
Now, Senator Obama claims he will give 95 percent of Americans tax relief. He actually promised the same thing when he was running for Senate in Illinois, but once elected he never introduced legislation to do so. Instead, he voted for the Democratic budget resolution that promised to raise taxes on people making just 42,000 dollars a year. At the time, he even said his vote was intended to get "our nation's priorities back on track." If he's such a defender of the middle class, why did he vote to raise their taxes? Whatever happened to the tax relief he promised them when he was a candidate for the Senate? And why should middle class Americans trust him to keep promises he has already broken?
Senator Obama and I both have differences with how President Bush has handled the economy. But he thinks taxes are too low, and I think spending is too high. The government's out of control spending has resulted in a weaker dollar, raising the cost of groceries and gasoline, and killing jobs.
I will veto pork barrel legislation and cut wasteful government spending. Senator Obama has a different plan. According to third party estimates, he will increase government spending by over 860 billion dollars. He has denied it, but he has refused to tell you how much he does plan to spend. What is the total of his increased spending? Americans deserve to know just how much more of their money Senator Obama intends to spend, and how much more debt he plans to burden them with.
Senator Obama has also criticized earmark spending, those wasteful pork barrel projects stuck in spending bills behind closed doors. And yet, despite his talk on the campaign trail, his actual record is full of requests for earmark projects. In his three short years in the Senate, he has requested nearly a billion dollars in pork projects for his state -- a million dollars for every day he's been in office. Far from fighting earmarks in Congress, Senator Obama has been an eager participant in this corrupt system. In one instance, he sought more than 3 million dollars for a new projector at a planetarium in his hometown. Coincidentally, the chairman of that planetarium pledged to raise more than $200,000 for Senator Obama's campaign. We don't know if they ever discussed the money for the planetarium, and no one has asked Senator Obama. But even the appearance of this kind of insider-dealing disgusts Americans.
I'm going to put a stop to that, my friends, if I'm President.
I have made every single donor to my campaign publicly available, while Senator Obama has taken in over 200 million dollars from undisclosed sources. We have already seen the potential for fraud because of his refusal to disclose his donors. His campaign had to return $33,000 in illegal foreign funds from Palestinian donors, and this weekend, we found out about another $28,000 in illegal donations. Why has Senator Obama refused to disclose the people who are funding his campaign? Again, the American people deserve answers.
On health care, Senator Obama has been misleading you about my plan to give you more money for health care, and he has been equally misleading about his own plans. He has said his goal is a single payer system where government is in charge of health care and bureaucrats stand between you and your doctor. Under the plan he has proposed, he will fine families that don't have the kind of health insurance that Senator Obama tells them to purchase. He will fine employers who do not offer the health insurance that he thinks they should offer.
What he doesn't say, and what nobody has asked, is how big his fines will be. What he doesn't want you to know is that with a small fine, his plan will encourage companies to just pay the fine, drop existing health care coverage for their employees and leave them with only one real option: government run health care.
Who is the real Senator Obama? Is he the candidate who promises to cut middle class taxes, or the politician who voted to raise middle class taxes? Is he the candidate who talks about regulation or the politician who took money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and turned a blind eye as they ran our economy into a ditch?
Is he the candidate who promises change, or is he the politician who has bought into everything that is wrong with Washington? We can't change the system with someone who's never fought the system.
Washington is on the wrong track and I'm going to set it right. The American people know my record. They know I am going to change Washington, because I've done it before. They know I'm going to reform our broken institutions in Washington and on Wall Street because I've done it before. They know I'm
going to deliver relief to the middle class, because that's what I've done.