Fox News host Sean Hannity falsely asserted that Sen. John McCain had "been against the AIG bailout since the very beginning." In fact, while McCain stated in September 2008 that he opposed a federal bailout of AIG, McCain later stated that he supported it.
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On the March 17 edition of his television program, Fox News host Sean Hannity falsely asserted that Sen. John McCain had "been against the AIG bailout since the very beginning." In fact, while McCain stated in September 2008 that he opposed a federal bailout of AIG, McCain later stated that he supported it.
As Media Matters for America has noted, appearing on the September 16, 2008, edition of NBC's Today -- hours before the federal government announced up to $85 billion in loans for AIG -- McCain said that the situation could "harm the average American worker," but that "I do not believe that the American taxpayer should be on the hook for AIG" and that "we cannot have the taxpayers bail out AIG or anybody else." But then, after the government intervention had been announced, McCain appeared on ABC's Good Morning America, and while saying "on the bailout itself, I didn't want to do that," he then suggested it had been necessary, saying, "[B]ut there were literally millions of people whose retirement, whose investments, whose insurance were at risk here, and they were gonna have their lives destroyed because of the greed and excess and corruption." Further, in a September 17, 2008, article about the Good Morning America interview, ABCNews.com reported: "Doug Holtz-Eakin, a senior economic adviser to McCain, sought to clarify McCain's position on the bailot [sic]. 'The senator supports the particulars of the action but regrets that circumstances forced us to actually have to do it.' "
From the March 17 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
HANNITY: All right. And joining -- I don't know whether to laugh or cry -- joining us tonight is a man who has been against the AIG bailout since the very beginning, Senator John McCain. Senator, thanks for being with us.
McCAIN: Thanks, Sean. Thanks for having me on.
HANNITY: Senator, 73 AIG employees as a result of these bonuses that we paid for, not -- forget about we, the American taxpayers paid for -- they became millionaires as a result of these bonuses. In one particular case, a so-called retention bonus of four and a half million dollars for a guy that didn't even stay on the job.
And The Washington Post is pointing out today that we knew about all of this last year. So why are they feigning outrage?
McCAIN: I don't know, but I will say, again, if we hadn't bailed them out, then they would have gone bankrupt, and all of this stuff would have been the subject of the courts and reorganization. Instead, we poured a hundred and how many billion dollars into this failing institution, and now we have everybody scrambling around. It is incredible that the Treasury secretary knew about these bonuses and didn't tell anybody, or certainly Congress was not informed.