Flashback: In October, Obama Said That AIG Execs 'Should Be Fired' for Their Excesses

Update: Obama spoke today about AIG, 'Ultimately, I’m responsible. I’m the President of the United States…The buck stops with me.'"
Earlier this week, after the AIG bonuses were revealed, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) called for the replacement of company executives. “Since the federal government … now essentially owns that company, maybe it’s time to fire some people.” Frank told ThinkProgress that, “when you are trying to undo something, it is often not the case that the people who did it are the ones to put in place.” So far, however, the administration has not embraced Frank’s call.

Last fall, as Wall Street crumbled and just one week after the federal government bailed out AIG, the firm’s executives spent $440,000 on manicures, facials, pedicures, and massages at a luxury resort in California. At the time, Obama was a vocal proponent of firing AIG executives. During an October 7, 2008 presidential debate with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), candidate Obama declared, “those executives should be fired”:

OBAMA: It means we are cracking down on CEOs and making sure that they are not getting bonuses or golden parachutes as a consequence of this package [TARP]. In fact, we just found that AIG — a company that got a bailout — just a week after they got help, went on a $400,000 junket. I’ll tell you what. Treasury should demand that money back, and those executives should be fired.

Satyam Khanna is a Research Associate for The Progress Report and at the Center for American Progress.
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