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Americans Blame Financial Crisis On ‘Lack Of Regulation,’ While McCain Says People ‘Don’t Want Regulation’

By Amanda Terkel  

"Americans Blame Financial Crisis On ‘Lack Of Regulation,’ While McCain Says People ‘Don’t Want Regulation’"

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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.

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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:

econpoll.gif

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.

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