Norton trots out false talking point: Financial reform equals taxpayer bailouts

ABC News Top Line interviewed Colorado Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton on the coming push to pass stricter regulations designed to prevent the kinds of Wall Street abuses that led to the financial global crisis and recession.

Norton answered with the false talking point drummed up this week by Capitol Hill Republicans like Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky, who has said that the regulation would somehow result in “taxpayer bailouts.” In fact, the plan would do the opposite. Based on a Republican idea, the legislation would require major Wall Street institutions themselves to contribute to a fund that would be used to dismantle the banks should they fail. The point of the legislation is to prevent taxpayers from ever again paying for high-flying Wall Street risk-taking. Democrats have laughed off the McConnell talking point. “Bailout fund!” said Democrats like Virginia’s Sen. Mark Warner, incredulous. Warner answered this talking point with the last most egregious GOP talking point. This is no bailout fund. The banks are paying for their own real life “death panels,” he said.

Norton pushed the divisive talking point on ABC today, even as she was arguing for the necessity of new regulatory legislation.

Well, I don’t think that the Democrat plan gets at the goal. And the first goal is to protect the American taxpayers from bailouts and subsidies. The second thing that our plan should do is to prevent another financial crisis But most importantly, we need an effective system to ensure, a bankruptcy system, so that large financial institutions that fail have a system rather than taxpayer bailouts.

We need to have bipartisan support on a bill this large and will have a such a large impact on our economy. And so I hope there will be some bipartisan approaches to this bill. But frankly, it’s way too important not to [have bipartisan support].

Sen. Chris Dodd, one of the key players in the battle for regulation, railed on the floor of the Capitol Thursday against the new GOP talking point.

“This is the irony of ironies. The $50 billion provision in this bill was proposed by Republicans. The idea of requiring these institutions to put up money in advance so that if they fail, they end up paying for the cost of unwinding it — who would object to that?”

Norton also took pains, without naming names, to cast primary opponent Weld County D.A. Ken Buck as the beneficiary of “shady” outside groups, as the false grassroots candidate, a charge she herself has battled since she entered the race in September with Washington lobbyist money and the backing of John McCain.

Well in Colorado the main thing is that people care about what Coloradans think. I think anytime you have outside influences like shady 527s groups trying to impact a race in Colorado it doesn’t bode well.

At least two national conservative groups, Campaign for Liberty and Americans for Job Security, have doled out hundreds of thousands on television commercials for Buck.

ABC came back at Norton, though:

Question: So you keep the Washington, sort of, support that you have at arms length?

Answer: The most important support we have is within Colorado… Most importantly it’s the Colorado voters.

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About the Author

John Tomasic

Writer, editor, teacher, web wrangler. He has worked for art, business, culture, politics publications, five universities and a UN war crimes commission. @johntomasic | 720-432-2128 |

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