John McCain lied right out of the gate during tonight's debate, claiming that he had warned us about the financial crisis that we are now facing. But in November, 2007 he admitted that he hadn't seen the mortgage crisis -- the root of today's financial crisis -- coming.Lewison does offer some bonus material. He writes "Here's the video" and provides the following YouTube video to support his argument.
It's certainly fair to say that McCain denies having predicted a particular economic crisis as of November 2007. It's also fair to say that the economic crisis then is not the same as the present one. So what was the state of the crisis then?
After viewing a clip (hat tip to ProPublica.org for pointing the way) of McCain speaking in context, McCain seems to be talking about the manner in which mortgage-based securities caused the subprime crisis to affect the entire world. McCain used the example of a city in Norway that invested in such securities.
I would suggest that McCain's warning concerning the fallout from the lack of backing specific to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was specific to the United States economy and the government-associated financial entities. His statement in the video refers to a different aspect of the subprime crisis (the manner in which mortgage-based securities had tentacles touching everywhere).
As such, it is fair to say that McCain did not anticipate the current specific crisis nor the one from November 2007--but on the other hand the letter he signed does indicate that he anticipated frozen credit markets based on a crisis of confidence in the government if it was forced to back the red ink undergirding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
It is also fair to say that the warning McCain signed is much more specific (and accurate) than the one Barack Obama sent to Bernanke and Paulson.