Flashback: In October, Obama Said That AIG Execs 'Should Be Fired' for Their Excesses
Earlier this week, after the AIG bonuses were revealed, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) called for the replacement of company executives. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Since the federal government Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ now essentially owns that company, maybe itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time to fire some people.Ã¢â‚¬Â Frank told ThinkProgress that, Ã¢â‚¬Å“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.Ã¢â‚¬Â So far, however, the administration has not embraced FrankÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s call.
Last fall, as Wall Street crumbled and just one week after the federal government bailed out AIG, the firmÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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, Ã¢â‚¬Å“those executives should be firedÃ¢â‚¬Â:
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 Ã¢â‚¬â€ a company that got a bailout Ã¢â‚¬â€ just a week after they got help, went on a $400,000 junket. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll tell you what. Treasury should demand that money back, and those executives should be fired.