Gov. Sarah Palin could not name a single instance in which Sen. John McCain has advocated for more regulation of the market -- a position that, in the wake of crisis in the housing and financial markets, the Arizona Senator has adopted as his own.
Appearing on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, Palin briefly discussed McCain's call for greater oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- the two beleaguered mortgage houses - as evidence that McCain doesn't always shy from a firmer government role in the economy. But when pressed, she could not name an actual instance where McCain supported regulation.
"I'm just going to ask you one more time, not to belabor the point," Couric said. "Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation."
"I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you," Palin responded.
The reason she was stumped is somewhat simple: McCain, in his 26 years in Congress has been a strict champion of deregulation. As my colleague, Nico Pitney reported: Back in October 1999, when Senate Republicans led by Phil Gramm were deep in negotiations on key legislation to deregulate the banking industry, McCain was at a primary debate in New Hampshire touting the benefits of such a measure.
"There's a number of reasons why we are experiencing this almost unprecedented prosperity," McCain said back then. "Among them are a lack of regulation, free trade, and most importantly, we are going through a revolution the likes of which the world has seldom seen."
Here is the entirety of Couric's interview with Palin.
COURIC: You've said, quote, "John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business." Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?
PALIN: I think that the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie--that, that's paramount. That's more than a heck of a lot of other senators and representatives did for us.
COURIC: But he's been in Congress for 26 years. He's been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.
PALIN: He's also known as the maverick though. Taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party. Trying to get people to understand what he's been talking about--the need to reform government.
COURIC: I'm just going to ask you one more time, not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation?
PALIN: I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you.