John McCain, still on the fence whether to back the proposed $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, huddled this morning with a panel of business executives, including former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
The Associated Press reports that McCain said he wanted to discuss "how we can make sure that the American people regain confidence on Main Street so that they can regain their confidence in Wall Street and in Washington."
The Republican nominee has laid out principles he wants included in the bailout, including greater transparency, CEO accountability, and more oversight. The latter includes an independent board that McCain has suggested that Romney could be on.
Romney, a former GOP primary rival who made a fortune running Bain Capital, has been one of McCain's most vocal advocates on economic issues.
The AP says others talking to McCain this morning were former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers, and John Thain, the CEO of Merrill Lynch before it was bought by Bank of America earlier this month in one of a series of buyouts and bankruptcies on Wall Street.
Conspicuous by her absence was former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who has been off the public stage since saying last week neither McCain nor running mate Sarah Palin were qualified to be a CEO. She has also been problematic because McCain is saying the buyout package should not include excessive "golden parachutes" for CEOs, when she received $45 million in stock and severance pay when she was forced out in 2005.
Tuesday, however, McCain stood behind Fiorina saying he admires and respects her and calling her a "role model to millions of young American women."
There are reports that McCain and Democratic rival Barack Obama might skip the vote in Congress, and reports that Democrats in Congress won't support the bailout plan unless McCain does because they don't want to give him a campaign issue.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.