CNN claims to fact check the Obama ad trying to tie McCain to Keating.
“McCain intervened on behalf of Charles Keating with federal regulators tasked with preventing banking fraud, and championed legislation to delay regulation of the savings and loan industry — actions that allowed Keating to continue his fraud at an incredible cost to taxpayers,”
Did McCain intervene on Keating’s behalf? CNN’s conclusion is:
The Verdict: True. McCain did push to delay regulations that would have cracked down on savings-and-loans practices and intervened on Keating’s behalf, although he was cleared of wrongdoing in the “Keating Five” case.
True, McCain did sponsor a resolution to delay the effective date of the regulations:
In January 1985, while in the U.S. House, McCain co-sponsored a resolution that would have delayed the effective date of proposed government limits “on direct investment in real estate, service corporations, and equity securities by federally insured savings and loan associations.” He was one of the early sponsors, although a majority of Congress eventually signed on to sponsor it. The legislation would have impacted Keating’s business, but would have regulated the entire industry, not specifically Lincoln Savings and Loan.
But “a majority of Congress eventually signed on to sponsor it.” The majority in Congress at the time? Democrats. So how does this only fall on McCain?
Although CNN concludes that McCain “intervened on Keating’s behalf,” they provide no evidence that this was specifically the case. McCain threw Keating out of his office after Keating called McCain a wimp because McCain would not cross some ethical lines. But there is nothing presented that specifically leads a reasonable person to conclude the McCain intervened for Keating.