Biden Criticizes GOP for Breakdown in Bailout Talks, Says of McCain ‘a Lot of Mavericks Don’t Know a Lot’

By Lee Speigel

Sep 25, 2008 10:27pm

ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports: Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., Thursday blamed Republicans for the breakdown in economic bailout talks and ripped their presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, noting that "a lot of mavericks don’t know a lot".

“We had a deal this morning, it looked like, when I say we – the leadership of the House and the Senate, the Democrats had an agreement on this so-called bailout package and it looked like it was all going to be set," Biden said at a fundraiser in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. "There was a call from the president – would Barack come to the White House with the Congressional leadership and sort of sign on the dotted line?"

But then the Republican nominee arrived and, Biden said, suddenly, for some reason, "things changed."

"We were going to all put this behind us and then I’m told that things changed, that John McCain landed about four o’clock and all of a sudden, I don’t know what the reason, but some of the House Republicans decided that this, this wasn’t going to go forward, at least not, not right away."

"It looked like the principles initially that were offered that they’re all agreed," Biden said. "But that’s not happening right now and it’s a shame."

The Democratic vice-presidential nominee accused President Bush of running an administration less accountable than Richard Nixon’s regime and acting as if "somehow he’d just come to office and this crisis had dropped on his table."

“There’s nobody responsible for anything that’s gone wrong," the Delaware lawmaker said. "Think about it now, I mean that literally. Even in the Nixon administration people were held accountable. Mistakes were made, identified the person or persons and they held them accountable and there was a change. In this administration no one’s held accountable. And now my good friend’s John’s trying to act as though he wasn’t even around when any of this was happening.”

"There’s been virtually no explanation out of the White House, virtually no explanation, and all of a sudden the president as appears as if somehow he’d just come to office and this crisis had dropped on his table.”

Taking another jab at McCain, Biden commented that "a lot of mavericks don’t know a lot" and "a lot of mavericks don’t change".

“John’s talking about how, that he is, he is going to be fundamentally different. All of a sudden he is the ‘maverick.’ Maverick is a code word now for change. Well, you know a lot of mavericks don’t know a lot. You know a lot of mavericks don’t change. John changed his rhetoric, but didn’t change any of his philosophy, didn’t change any of the policy – because if he did, he’d have to acknowledge the economic policy that he’s been adhering to has been bankrupt, as bankrupt as Lehman Brothers.”

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