McCain Econ Advisor Says He Was Wrong on the Bailout

Posted: Nov 21, 2008 1:50 PM
Not to sound cocky, but I've said again and again I thought John McCain lost the election the day he decided to support the $700 billion financial bailout. It was a turning point for me and, I think, many other conservatives who felt betrayed once again by the maverick.

Now the guy who advised McCain to do it agrees it was a bad move.

"We also make mistakes," Doug Holtz-Eakin said yesterday at the Heritage Foundation.  “There’s no doubt about it--20/20 hindsight. I think the key strategic policy error of the entire campaign, that is mine, is believing that the bailout bill would help.”

Even worse, Holtz-Eakin said their campaign supported throwing $700 billion tax dollars to Wall Street because they thought was  good politics. Not because it even had a whiff of being good policy.

“Financial markets were falling apart,” Holtz-Eakin said. “We were in a terrible position as a campaign in trying to figure out whether to continue to just take hits--which we were--or to try to do something about it when the bailout bill was stalled. We elected to go do something about it. It didn’t pay off as a campaign largely because getting that bill through was not helpful.”

 “That was the key strategic error that we really made,” Holtz-Eakin explained. “Had we stayed away from Washington, stayed away from being identified with that bill – which was ultimately against the John McCain brand-- that’s not a bill he normally would support-- we would have been better served in the long run, I believe. But, that financial market meltdown combined with bad strategic decisions, I think, was a real crippling combination of events.”

H/T to the Business and Media Institute for covering the event.