This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," November 18, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, well, don't look now, but they are back, apparently because they have never, ever die. I am talking about the bailout zombies, banks and brokerage houses, and, today auto companies.
Oh, sure, these guys might look like night of the living dead, but this is Washington, where rescues never die, and it seems the cash to keep them alive never ends.
All right, welcome, everybody. I am Neil Cavuto. And this is your eerie world.
And this ain't a bad B-movie, my friends. It is right now a horror show, top auto execs' dash for cash today turning into a deadly game of, do it or we die, and maybe you do, too.
We have got a Republican who is for it and one who is dead-set against.
But, first, well, they approved it — now big questions over what exactly they approved — lawmakers second-guessing that $700 billion financial rescue and trashing the guy who came up with it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: WATERS: The fact that you, Mr. Paulson, took it upon yourself to absolutely ignore the authority and the direction that this Congress had given you just amazes me.
• Video: Watch Neil's interview with Maxine Waters
HENRY PAULSON, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: We did not buy illiquid assets for a — for a very good reason. We are going to continue to evaluate and look for programs that Will protect the taxpayer and are effective.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: All right, the lady doing that drilling and grilling today on Capitol Hill, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California.
CAVUTO: ... it was kind of rough stuff there. He — he did this because, he said, times and conditions changed.
Would you have rather him, you know, keep digging a hole and doing the wrong thing?
WATERS: No, I would rather him simply tell us why, from the time we gave him the authorization to do the loan modifications on Americans who are losing their homes, why he did not begin a process to do it.
I don't know whether he never intended to do it or whether there was a change of strategy or thinking somewhere along the line. But the fact of the matter is, the legislation was drawn up around the Treasury buying up all of these toxic mortgages and bad paper, so that we could stabilize this economy because of the subprime meltdown that has taken place.
CAVUTO: So, you voted for this, and you say you voted for something that didn't turn out to be the case?
WATERS: That's absolutely true. And not only did I vote for it. I worked very hard and went around to the Democratic Caucus, to the Latino Caucus, the Black Caucus, convincing them that we had to vote for this bailout even if we didn't like the idea that some of it could be used to bail out business, but we had to vote for it because the centerpiece of it was the loan modification and helping homeowners with these foreclosures that are sweeping this country.
CAVUTO: But isn't The — aren't the changes that were enacted now closer to what you wanted in the first place, ma'am?
CAVUTO: In other words, he is now saying, if I understand it correctly, that — that this is geared toward the very kind of homeowner protections you wanted in the first place.
WATERS: No. No. That's not what he's saying.
He's saying that it was important to stabilize the economy by investing — that is, get an equity position in the banks — because they wanted to unfreeze the credit crunch.
WATERS: They felt that, if they put money into the banks, the banks would be able to lend money to buy cars and for student loans and other kinds of things. He did not talk about the foreclosure problem.
CAVUTO: And, if he had done that, you would have rejected this package, right?
WATERS: If he had done what?
CAVUTO: If he had done, that you would have rejected this?
WATERS: If he had done that, I would have said to him that the only reason that many of us would — would vote for the bill...
WATERS: ... is that they include in the package — we're not against other people getting some bailouts, but we're for homeowners.
We are for people who were pursuing the American dream, who were solicited with many of these exotic products, who were told, you can get in for a low down payment, you can get in on an interest-only loan, yes.
CAVUTO: Well, but not everyone's a — not everyone's a victim, right? Some people are just stupid, right, and they signed up to something...
WATERS: No, no, no, but they're...
CAVUTO: I mean, it's easy to say, yes, all right, someone coerced you.
WATERS: No, that's not true.