Yesterday, the federal government offered insurance giant AIG an $85 billion loan to in the biggest government takeover thus far in the ongoing credit crisis. Interviewed on NBC’s Today Show before the decision yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that “we cannot have the taxpayers bail out AIG or anybody else”:
No, I do not believe that the American taxpayer should be on the hook for AIG and I’m glad that the Secretary Paulson has apparently taken the same line.
Interviewed on ABC this morning, however, McCain suggested that he supported the bail out:
I didn’t want to do that. And I don’t think anybody I know wanted to do that. But there are literally millions of people whose retirement, whose investment, whose insurance were at risk here. They were going to have their lives destroyed because of the greed and excess and corruption.
ABC observed that McCain today “sound[ed] somewhat accepting of the Fed’s action on AIG.” Watch a compilation:
McCain’s change on AIG comes on the heels of economy-related flip flop. McCain told NBC yesterday, “Of course I don’t like excessive and unnecessary regulation.” But on CBS’s Early Show minutes later, McCain said, “Do I believe in excess government regulation? Yes.”
Yglesias observes, “It would be pretty mavericky of McCain to stick with his guns on this. … The good thing about being a maverick, I guess, is that either response would have sufficed as a mavericky one. Or else that McCain just doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” See ThinkProgress’s running tally of McCain’s flip-flops here.