In an interview on Tuesday with WCAU in Philadelphia, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) backed away from his Sept. 16 claim that he believes in “excess government regulation,” saying that Americans actually want deregulation:
WELKER: It sounds like you’re calling for more regulation. Yet throughout your career you’ve advocated deregulation. Do you now see that as a failed economic policy — deregulation?
MCCAIN: Oh no. People don’t want regulation. They want to live as freely as they can. It’s smart regulation. Look, I’ve called for fixing Fannie and Freddie a long time ago.
A new LA Times/Bloomberg poll doesn’t bear McCain’s claims out, however. It finds that Americans are actually blaming the financial crisis on a lack of government regulation:
McCain has consistently been a strong advocate of deregulation. In September, he said that “deregulation was probably helpful to the growth of our economy,” and he has also called for a similar deregulation of the health care industry. Of course, one of McCain’s top economic confidantes is Phil Gramm, who drove much of the financial industry’s deregulation.