NY Times reported McCain's "reluctan[ce]" to support "bailout for greedy lenders and reckless buyers" -- but he reportedly approved of Bear Stearns aid

››› ››› ANDREW WALZER

A March 30 New York Times article about the debate over government aid for homeowners facing foreclosure contrasted "Democrats emboldened by the Federal Reserve's intervention in the collapse of Bear Stearns [who] are demanding help for 'everyday Americans,' " with "Republicans including Senator John McCain, the party's presumptive nominee, [who] are urging restraint, reluctant to commit taxpayer funds to what they say is simply a bailout." The article did not mention that McCain reportedly agreed with the Fed's decision to step in to avert the collapse of the investment bank Bear Stearns.

In a March 30 article, The New York Times contrasted "Democrats emboldened by the Federal Reserve's intervention in the collapse of Bear Stearns [who] are demanding help for 'everyday Americans,' " with "Republicans including Senator John McCain, the party's presumptive nominee, [who] are urging restraint, reluctant to commit taxpayer funds to what they say is simply a bailout for greedy lenders and reckless buyers." The article also mentioned that McCain and President Bush "offer similar reasons in warning against too much government intervention and say the administration has already taken prudent steps, by giving more flexibility to the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." But the Times did not note that McCain reportedly agreed with the Federal Reserve's decision to extend a $30 billion line of credit to facilitate the acquisition of the near-bankrupt investment bank Bear Stearns by JP Morgan Chase.

As Media Matters for America has noted, a March 28 Times article similarly reported that McCain "argued this week against a vigorous federal intervention to address the [housing] crisis, saying Washington should not bail out banks and homeowners who in his view had knowingly taken on risky mortgages," while failing to note McCain's reported expression of support for the government's involvement in the Bear Stearns deal.

From the March 30 Times article, headlined "Homeowners' Pleas Put G.O.P. Lawmakers in Bind on Defaults":

In Los Portales, a pink and terra cotta condominium complex in this city of hard-striving Hispanic immigrants and often harder luck, many of Juan Carpio's neighbors are losing their homes.

To the right of his ground-floor unit, two apartments are in the early stages of foreclosure. Across the street, a three-bedroom unit has been seized by a bank. To the left, another one is up for auction.

"The government should help," said Mr. Carpio, 57, a former truck driver whose wife is a security guard. "Somebody ought to do something."

In Mr. Carpio's view, that somebody could be Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart, an eight-term Republican who represents Hialeah and whose district slices through Miami-Dade into Broward, two counties in the top 10 of foreclosures nationwide.

But as Congress returns from a two-week recess on Monday for a furious debate over whether to help homeowners on the brink of default, Mr. Diaz-Balart is caught in a crunch of his own.

On one side, Democrats emboldened by the Federal Reserve's intervention in the collapse of Bear Stearns are demanding help for "everyday Americans." On the other, Republicans including Senator John McCain, the party's presumptive nominee, are urging restraint, reluctant to commit taxpayer funds to what they say is simply a bailout for greedy lenders and reckless buyers.

It is a bind shared by other Republicans, especially from high-foreclosure states like Arizona, California, Michigan, Nevada and Ohio. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has a list of 18 districts where it plans to highlight high foreclosure rates in its effort to oust Republican incumbents this year.

[...]

Mr. Bush and Mr. McCain offer similar reasons in warning against too much government intervention and say the administration has already taken prudent steps, by giving more flexibility to the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

But if the legislation is complicated, for Democrats the political message seems clear: no help for the little guy. "You are on your own," said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Unless you are a big financial firm on Wall Street, in which case we'll work around the clock all weekend to help you out."

Posted In
Economy
Network/Outlet
The New York Times
Person
David M. Herszenhorn
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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