Transcript: Gibson Interviews Sen. John McCain on Bailout

Read Charlie Gibson's interview with John McCain on the bailout.

ByABC News
September 25, 2008, 3:25 PM

Sept. 25, 2008— -- The following is a transcript of ABC News' Charles Gibson's interview with Senator John McCain on the proposed $700 billion bailout for Wall Street and the status of the first presidential debate, for "World News with Charles Gibson" on Sept. 25, 2008.

GIBSON: Senator, do we have an agreement on legislation to address this problem?

MCCAIN: We do not, but I am very hopeful that we are making progress and I know we are making progress. I have talked to many of my colleagues today and had conversations with them, talked about this issue and have no doubt about the crisis we are facing. We're talking about jobs all over America, we're talking about loans, we're talking about ability of small businesses to stay in operation. And my colleagues are aware of that, and I'm confident that we're going to move forward and get this issue in a bipartisan agreement which is what the American people want.

GIBSON: What's the hang up?

MCCAIN: Well, members have concerns about a bailout, frankly of $700 billion, or an expenditure -- let me put it this way -- an expenditure of $700 billion of taxpayers' money. This is the biggest thing of its kind obviously in history. They have legitimate concerns, some of those have already been satisfied such as accountability and oversight board, CEO executive pay. A number of issues have already been resolved and I'm hopeful we get them resolved and get going and get this thing done.

GIBSON: But this afternoon, the chairman of the House Banking Committee, the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, walked out and said "we have an agreement on principles." And indeed even Senator Bennett from your party said, "I now expect we will indeed have a plan that can pass the House, pass the Senate, be signed by the president and bring a sense of certainty to this crisis that is still roiling the market." What happened between one o'clock this afternoon and four o'clock, when you went into the meeting with the President?

MCCAIN: Well I believe that immediately after that, Congressman Boehner, the Republican leader in the House, came out and said there was not a deal. But again, I think significant progress has been made, I believe it will be made, and I believe that we'll reach a successful conclusion. Members are aware of the crisis situation that we're in. They do have concerns, which I think when you're talking about $700 billion or a trillion dollars, that need to be addressed so that this is a genuine bipartisan, bicameral agreement.