Senator John McCain dramatically suspended his presidential campaign to work on a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry.
But now, the Republican is among those not happy about how it all turned out.
“I’m very disappointed in the first $350 billion of TARP," McCain says in an interview airing this evening on Fox Business Network. "There’s not been accountability, transparency, and apparently we have shifted priorities from time to time, and I never voted for a bill that would bail out the auto industry.”
In the interview, McCain also opines on the economic stimulus package that the man who defeated him in November, Barack Obama, is negotiating with Congress.
“I would like to see it more toward tax relief," McCain said, according to excerpts released by Fox. "I think whatever spending it is you can translate in to job creation.”
He doesn't argue the need for a recovery package. “These are the most challenging times in our lifetime. I’m not saying that it parallels with the Great Depression. We haven’t reached nearly those numbers yet in unemployment of 25% et cetera.”
In the interview, McCain also said he has had "cordial" conversations with Obama, including after a recent trip to Iraq and Afghanistan -- two issues the two butted heads on during the campaign. And McCain said he likes Obama's picks for his national security team.
"I'm not here trying to argue that this president is perfect or that I'm not -- there still are not disagreements. But I do think that his national security team is an excellent one. I think many of the other choices that he has made are good."
McCain praised the selection of Leon Panetta as CIA director, though some have questioned his lack of intelligence experience.
"I don't agree with that," McCain said. "I think that Leon Panetta is highly qualified. And, in all due respect, I think it is not bad from time to time to have someone from outside of the intelligence community, but with strong managerial experience as chief of staff of the White House, to be -- head up one of these agencies. So, I think he's got some good balance there.
Asked whether there was any truth to the rumor of a role in the administration, McCain answered simply, "No."
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.