Geithner "should be given a chance to succeed," McCain said on Friday, according to the Financial Times, which notes that the former presidential candidate was one of the few Republican senators to support Geithner's nomination, and likely the first to "speak up in Mr Geithner's defence amid growing calls for his resignation."
"Everyone acknowledges he needs help," said Mr McCain, in reference to the Obama administration's difficulty in recruiting nominees to the Treasury department, where Mr Geithner remains the only official to have been confirmed.
By Edward Luce and Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington
Published: March 20 2009 21:00 | Last updated: March 20 2009 21:00
Tim Geithner, the embattled US Treasury secretary, should be given a chance to succeed, says John McCain, the former presidential candidate, who is the first prominent Republican to speak up in Mr Geithner’s defence amid growing calls for his resignation.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Mr McCain said that the “perfect storm” over AIG “has been as explosive in a short period of time as anything I have seen”.
It has been some heck of a powder keg.
Mr McCain, who was one of the few Republican senators to vote in favour of Mr Geithner’s nomination after revelations of tax arrears, was speaking at the end of a week in which the Republican Party has targeted Mr Geithner amid mounting public anger over Wall Street bonuses.
The Republicans -- and, by the way, where the heck is Michael Steele? At a hip-hop party? -- want to tie AIG to Geithner and then to Obama, trying to obstruct and damage the Administration at every turn.
“Everyone acknowledges he needs help,” said Mr McCain, in reference to the Obama administration’s difficulty in recruiting nominees to the Treasury department, where Mr Geithner remains the only official to have been confirmed.
Mr McCain also distanced himself from Republican “righteous indignation” over Mr Obama’s budget tactics. Many of Mr McCain’s colleagues fear Mr Obama will use the congressional “reconciliation” process, which enables the majority to circumvent an opposition filibuster, to smuggle through healthcare reforms and energy cap and trade in the budget.
Smuggle? Curious choice of words.
Mr McCain said that a congressional short-cut could be employed by the administration that had been devised by Republicans and used by George W. Bush to push through tax cuts. “Republicans invented this,” he said. “I don’t like it but there are chickens coming home to roost.”Amen, Senator.