McCain Declines to Blame Media for Housing Crisis
By Michael Abramowitz
DENVER -- His campaign may not be so happy with reporters these days, but John McCain passed up a clean shot at the media during his town hall meeting here with women this afternoon.
A questioner who identified herself as a small business owner who has been going through "two years of hell," asked McCain, "What do we do about the media"-- which, she said, is "killing" the car and the real estate businesses. She received a huge ovation, and the audience tittered as McCain seemed to smile and hesitate before answering the question.
"I do believe there are many occasions where the nature of the media is to exaggerate things and perhaps not be as accurate as we would like them to be," McCain said to laughter. "But let me say, very seriously, I think one of the biggest causes of this problem was not so much the media. In fact, I don't think that the media was responsible for what happened at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae."
He went on to blame the beginnings of the crisis on "such a corrupt system in Washington that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac basically got completely out of control, their executives got exorbitant, huge amounts of pay packages," while encouraging "all this risky behavior in the real estate market."
Meanwhile, he added, lawmakers and lobbyists, and greed on Wall Street, accelerated the problem."In all due candor, I can't blame that on the media," McCain added -- though he hastened to add: "I will blame them for a lot of other things."
Posted at 9:23 PM ET on Oct 2, 2008
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