McCain statement on bailout fallout

The Des Moines Register’s Thomas Beaumont is the local print reporter who was selected to "pool" coverage of McCain today in Iowa.  As you may know McCain landed in Iowa shortly before 3 p.m. central, then traveled to a hotel in West Des Moines where he walked into a meeting room, stood behind a lectern and read a prepared statement.  "McCain took no questions after the statement," according to Beaumont, who added that McCain is expected to sit for an hour of national interviews via satellite in Des Moines today.  McCain is scheduled to meet with about 200 invited business folks at an event tomorrow morning in Des Moines. 

McCain’s prepared statement is as follows:

"I speak to you in an hour of crisis for our nation’s economy. I believe the challenges facing our economy could have a grave impact on every American worker, small business owner and family if our leaders fail to act.

"I share the anger and frustration that many Americans feel toward reckless and corrupt mismanagement in Wall Street and in Washington. I returned to Washington last week to work on a bipartisan rescue plan. It was the only plan at that time on the table. It lacked enough support to pass. It also lacked sufficient accountability and transparency to justify the expenditure of the taxpayers’ money.

"The concerns of all members were not being heard. My colleagues were worried about the size of the plan and the risk it posed to taxpayers. I shared those concerns and I laid out the principles I thought must be adhered to. Those principles included responsible oversight, effective transparency, added protections to the taxpayers and a cap on excessive salaries for executives. I also believe the legislation should have no earmarks.

"I worked hard to play a constructive role in bringing everyone to the table. The plan is now significantly improved. It strengthens taxpayers protection and oversight and the taxpayers are on the hook for less money up front. Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t perfect and the fact that taxpayers would have to spend a single dollar to create stability in our economy is a decision that I do not take lightly.

"I was hopeful that the improved rescue plan would have had the votes needed to pass because addressing the credit crisis is of vital importance to families, small businesses and every working American. They must be assured their assets are safe and protected and that our economy will continue to function.

"Today I’ve spoken to the federal chairman Bernanke, Secretary Paulson, Congressional leaders and now it’s time for all members of Congress to go back to the drawing board. I call on Congress to get back obviously immediately to address this crisis.

"Our leaders are expected to leave partisanship at the door and come to the table to solve our problems. Sen. Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship into the process. Now is not the time to fix the blame. It’s time to fix the problem.

"I would hope that all our leaders, all of them,can put aside short term political goals and do what’s in the best interest of the American people."

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.