This Tuesday White House briefing from Tony Fratto on the bailout tells us…
Q Tony, in the past, on important controversial issues, the administration has really worked the conservative base, reached out to them in advance, laid the groundwork. Do you, in hindsight, think the White House perhaps could have done better with that on this issue, seeing as how it was the conservative Republicans who were the ones predominantly who did not vote for this?
MR. FRATTO: Look, I know that yesterday afternoon erupted into, as only Washington can, a number of hours of great finger-pointing. You didn’t see that coming from here. We’re not going to engage in finger-pointing on this issue. What we’re focused on is fixing the problem and trying to get it to a solution that can pass.
And, shockingly, I can find no evidence to the contrary on that (maybe it got churned up in the news cycle before I could get to it, but there you are).
However, this Yahoo News story tells us…
(John) McCain spoke at a campaign round-table a few hours later.
“I call on everyone in Washington to come together in a bipartisan way to address this crisis. I know that many of the solutions to this problem may be unpopular, but the dire consequences of inaction will be far more damaging to the economic security of American families and the fault will be all ours,” he said.
At the same time, a less high-minded skirmish broke out.
McCain’s commercial quoted the Washington Post as saying he had “pushed for stronger regulation” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two disgraced institutions that dominate the devastated mortgage industry, “while Mr. Obama was notably silent.”
The commercial continues: “But, Democrats blocked the reforms. Loans soared. Then, the bubble burst. And, taxpayers are on the hook for billions.”
The Republican National Committee unveiled an even tougher commercial that it said would air in the battleground states of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
“Wall Street squanders our money and Washington is forced to bail them out with — you guessed it — our money.
“Can it get any worse? Under Barack Obama’s plan, the government would spend a trillion dollars more, even after the bailout. A trillion dollars. Who pays? You do.”
Putting aside for a moment the lies that Obama did nothing (and his supposed “trillion dollar plan” isn’t even worthy of comment) and Democrats “blocked reforms” while the crisis spun out of control, I would ask that, in response, you read this and try not to laugh too hard, OK?
(By the way, the Senate recently passed the latest version of the bailout, noted here.)