Speaking on NBC’s Meet The Press this morning, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) repeated his claim that he — and the entire country — was lied to about the TARP program in 2007.
Asked about the claim by host David Gregory, McCain was adamant. “We were all misled” by Bush administration Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, McCain said.
Video of the exchange, and the transcript, after the jump.Video:
Gregory: One question about the bailout, the TARP. You voted for it. But you said that you were misled by Former Treasury Secretary Paulson. How so?
McCain: We were all misled. We were all misled. I mean, he said that they were going after the toxic assets. The toxic asset– for– is– were with the housing market. He testified– that. I mean, we were all misled. So, what did he do then? They started pumpin’ money into the financial institutions. Now, the financial institutions are fine. Wall Street’s doin’ great. Main Street is in deep trouble. In my home state of Arizona, 48 percent of the homes are under water. In other words, they’re worth less than the mortgage payments people are making.
Gregory: But [Paulson] says without TARP, you’d have 25 percent unemployment. You would have had that.
McCain: He can– he said– that they would be going after the toxic assets, which were the housing market. And that’s what his testimony was. That’s what he pledged to do. And to the American People and to the Congress. And they turned around. I mean, it’s a matter of record. It’s been reported in all the media. They turned around and switched from trying to address the housing market to bailing out the financial institutions on Wall Street. Whoever thought that we would– when we passed that, we would own General Motors and Chrysler? GMAC? I mean, it’s– it’s– it– it’s beyond what anyone had anticipated.
As Zack reported last week, McCain’s new comments on the federal bailout program, which McCain infamously suspended his campaign help negotiate and pass, seem to contradict what he said about TARP in 2008.