I don’t know what else to say except – our President is lying to us. He couldn’t push through this bailout plan quickly – there is growing opposition – so he resorts to a primetime address to the nation. He’s threatening us in the same manner as Bernanke – accept this bailout or else. These are not incompetent people – they know that this bailout plan will not solve our economic problems. Why are they pushing this? Because they are weak and are told to do so by people in power. Our nation’s finances are being systematically destroyed.
What is really happening? What do we see if we ignore the rhetoric? We see our government and the Federal Reserve taking control of everything – our financial institutions, our mortgages and our very livelihood – and the plan appears to be working.
No one – in the history of the United States – has done more to destroy our nation than George W. Bush. Our constitution, our financial institutions, our military and our middle class are being assaulted – and we’re losing the battle.
I would like to ask our President what it feels like to sell himself out to something as evil as this. What does it feel like every night, lying in bed – knowing that you are destroying the United States and the lives of Americans? What does it feel like to gain the world – and lose your soul? I would like to think that somewhere, deep down – he regrets the path that he has followed. After watching him over the past couple of years – I have my doubts.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2008, 9:32 P.M. ET
Bush Tries to Build Support for Plan
WASHINGTON -- President George W. Bush on Wednesday warned Americans and legislators reluctant to pass a historic financial rescue plan that failing to act fast risks wiping out retirement savings, rising foreclosures, lost jobs, closed business and "a long and painful recession."
In this video image from APTN, President Bush speaks in a prime-time address from the Cross Hall of the White House in Washington, Wednesday.
He spoke just after inviting Democrat Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain, one of whom will inherit the mess in four months, and key congressional leaders to an extraordinary White House meeting Thursday to hammer out a compromise.
"Without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic and a distressing scenario would unfold," Mr. Bush said in a prime-time address from the White House East Room that he hoped would help rescue his tough-sell bailout package.
Mr. Bush explicitly endorsed several of the changes that have been demanded in recent days from the right and left. But he warned that he would draw the line at regulations he determined would hamper economic growth.
"It should be enacted as soon as possible," the president said.
The president's high-stakes speech reflects the difficulties he is experiencing in selling the plan, which would benefit large financial institutions – and their executives – at a time when ordinary Americans are feeling their own pain from the weak economy, high energy prices and rising unemployment.
So far, the White House has relied largely on the credibility of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson – a former Goldman Sachs CEO – and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to convince a skeptical Congress.
But many lawmakers are hesitating, as they're being deluged with complaints about the plan from voters just weeks before the November election.
The White House now is playing its top card – a presidential address to the nation – to persuade the public that the plan is really needed, and that everyone will suffer if the government doesn't act. The administration's hope is that Congress still can pass the plan within days to prevent more dangerous lockups in credit markets. But the risk is that Mr. Bush, with his popularity near its lowest point and less than four months left to go in his term, won't be able to seal the deal either, and the administration will have to alter the plan dramatically.
In particular, Mr. Bush is seeking to sell the plan to many members of his own party, who've been among its most prominent critics so far. Republican support has been so soft that some Democrats worry they'll have to take on most of the responsibility for passing it, exposing themselves to big political risk. Alternatively, Democrats worry they would be blamed for the financial fallout if they reject the bill. So some Democrats on Tuesday specifically called on Mr. Bush to give the address to the nation, hoping to spread the political risk.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said the administration chose tonight for the speech because Congress is getting closer to a solution, and the president feels he should speak directly to the American people. "Everyone will tune in tonight because we are facing a once-in-a-century crisis in our financial markets," she said.