This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," September 18, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: We are getting news from Christopher Cox, the Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, who John McCain said today should be fired, that he disagrees with that, which is probably not all that surprising.
With us now is the McCain/Palin senior economic adviser, Doug Holtz- Eakin.
Doug, what do you think? He doesn't agree with you that he should be fired.
DOUGLAS HOLTZ-EAKIN, SENIOR MCCAIN ECONOMIC ADVISER: Well, he is free to disagree.
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What John McCain said is that, if was president and he had an SEC performing the way he perceives this one to have performed, then he would ask for the resignation of the SEC chair.
Now, I guess, by that, it means that some of the rules that Chairman Cox enacted, including the so-called waiting the uptick rule, and some of these others that — I could go on and on here — argue contributed to this, that he — he should have been fired just for that.
HOLTZ-EAKIN: It's the overall performance.
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The senator mentioned some specific examples. He mentioned the naked short sales.
HOLTZ-EAKIN: He mentioned the uptick rule.
But it's the — if you look at what is going on, we have a sector of the economy that is threatening not only the financial services industry, but the economy as a whole. It is the portfolio of the SEC. This is a standard of performance that the senator feels is inadequate.
CAVUTO: Boy, Doug, it seems like your guy can't run away fast enough from President Bush, right?
HOLTZ-EAKIN: Well, look, this is about the future. And, you know, John McCain — I heard the discussion that preceded my coming on the air — you know, John McCain said that, back in 2003, we need to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He said in 2005 the threat to the taxpayer, the threat to financial markets...
CAVUTO: Actually, to be fair to your guy, that is exactly what he said.
HOLTZ-EAKIN: That is exactly what he said.
CAVUTO: And you're exactly right.
My own argument with this, Doug, about, you know, blaming the SEC or blaming Cox, what does that solve? How do you move the ball forward? What does that solve?
HOLTZ-EAKIN: Well, you know, Senator McCain has laid out very specific proposals. He has talked about having a 911-style commission of highly skilled technicians to diagnose the problems, lay out the failures in the regulatory structure, and what we need to move forward.
He knows that this is going to be bipartisan legislation in the Congress. He is the candidate in this race with the track record of reaching across the aisle, working with Democrats and Republicans alike to get things done. And he has a standard for what should come out the other end. We should have safety and soundness for every financial institution.
CAVUTO: Well, then, let me ask you, Doug.
HOLTZ-EAKIN: You know, there is a way forward. And he has talked about all of it today.
CAVUTO: OK, Doug, are you getting worried? Are these latest polls — and you're right. They're just quick snapshots, but they show your guy declining a little bit. These financial developments probably haven't helped you. What do you make of that?
HOLTZ-EAKIN: Well, first and foremost, we are worried about the American people and the fact that this genuine crisis on Wall Street needs to be resolved, so that we have got mainstream Americans that are not crushed under the burden of it.
HOLTZ-EAKIN: And that has been the focus of John McCain, obviously.
You know, the Obama campaign wants to run away from the fact that, you know, it was then President Clinton who signed the financial legislation. You know, Secretary Summers celebrated the passage of it. They want to run away from their connections to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac...
CAVUTO: All righty.
HOLTZ-EAKIN: ... and attack John McCain.
HOLTZ-EAKIN: We are going to talk about the issues.
CAVUTO: All right.
Doug Holtz-Eakin, thank you very much.
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