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CNBC TRANSCRIPT: CNBC'S MARIA BARTIROMO INTERVIEWS SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN TODAY ON CNBC'S "CLOSING BELL WITH MARIA BARTIROMO"

WHEN: Today, March 9th at 4:35pm ET

WHERE: CNBC's "Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with senator John McCain today on CNBC's "Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo."

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

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BARTIROMO: WELCOME BACK ARIZONA REPUBLICAN SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN HAS CO-AUTHORED LEGISLATION TO CREATE A COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE THE CURRENT FINANCIAL CRISIS THE BIPARTISAN COMMITTEE WOULD FOCUS ON THE CAUSE OF THE CRISIS AND SOLUTIONS TO PREVENT FUTURE RECURRENCES FOR MORE ON THAT LEGISLATION AND HIS RECENT COMMENTS ON THE BUDGET, STIMULUS AND AID TO AMERICAN CORPORATIONS WE WELCOME BACK TO THE CLOSING BELL SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN

MCCAIN: THANK YOU NICE TO BE BACK

BARTIROMO: WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH WITH THIS NEW LEGISLATION?

MCCAIN: WELL AMERICANS ARE CONFUSED AND THEY ARE ANGRY THEY WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED SO THAT WHEN WE DO COME UP WITH LONGTERM SOLUTIONS TO THIS CRISIS TO MAKE SURE IT DOESN'T HAPPEN AGAIN THAT THEY'RE FULLY INFORMED THIS KIND OF THING HAS BEEN DONE BEFORE DATING BACK TO JUST AFTER WWII AND SO I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT BECAUSE AMERICANS REALLY ARE VERY CONFUSED ABOUT WHAT TOOK PLACE SO THEY'RE NOT SURE WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AND CONFIDENCE IS A VITAL ELEMENT AS WE KNOW IN ANY ECONOMIC RECOVERY

BARTIROMO: WHAT DO YOU THINK TOOK PLACE?

MCCAIN: GREED, LACK OF OVERSIGHT, EASY MONEY I AM NOT SURE ALL OF THE REASONS MYSELF ONE OF THE REASONS WHY I AM SUPPORTING THE JOINT COMMITTEE BUT IT IS CLEARLY FACTOS OF GREED OUTRIGHT CORRUPSION EASY MONEY LACK OF OVERSIGHT LACK OF REGULATORY OVERSIGHT THAT'S BEEN KEEPING WITH FINANCIAL SITUATIONS FIND OURSELVES IN TODAY

BARTIROMO: WHAT SPECIFIC DUTIES WOULD THE CRISIS COMMITTEE HAVE IN OTHER WORDS WOULD YOU BE SUPEONAING PEOPLE WHO WERE IN CHARGE DURING THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS ALAN GREENSPAN KEEPING RATES LOW, BOB RUBIN SOME OF THE HEADS OF THE LARGER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS GONNA BE SUPEONAED FOR FOCUS?

MCCAIN: WELL I'M SURE WE WOULD IF NECESSARY BUT ALL THOSE PEOPLE THAT YOU JUST NAMED I'M SURE WOULD VOLUNTARILY COME AND TESTIFY AND FRANKLY SOME OF THEM SO THAT WE COULD UNDERSTAND WHY THEY TOOK THE ACTIONS THEY DID SOME OF THE INDIVIDUALS REPUTATIONS HAVE BEEN A LITTLE BIT TARNISHED

BARTIROMO: ON ONE OF THE SUNDAY MORNING TALK SHOWS YOU SAID THAT THE BANKS, AIG, GENERAL MOTORS SHOULD NOT BE SUPPORTED BY TAXPAYER DOLLARS LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF THAT BECAUSE IF WE WERE TO SEE GENERAL MOTORS GO BANKRUPT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A LOT OF JOB CUTS IN AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE WE'VE ALREADY SEEN MORE THAN 4 MILIONS JOBS CUT SINCE THIS RECESSION BEGAN DO YOU WORRY THAT SOMETHING LIKE THAT WOULD EITHER HAVE SYSTEMIC RISK IF YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT AN AIG OR CITIGROUP OR EVEN WORSE THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN TO ACCELERATE

MCCAIN: WELL FIRST OF ALL THE DOWNTURN IS ACCELERATING AS WE KNOW AND IS FAR WORSE THAN MOST ANYONE EXPECTED WHEN THIS HOUSING CRISIS BEGAN GENERAL MOTORS LIKE ANY OTHER CORPORATION THATS IN DEEP TROUBLE IN MY VIEW SHOULD GO INTO CHAPTER 11 THEY COULD REORGANIZE AND CAN RENEGOTIATE LABOR MANAGEMENT CONTRACTS AND EMERGE A MORE VIABLE COMPETITOR AND A MORE VIABLE INDUSTRY AND THE SAME IS SAID FOR OTHER COMPANIES AND CORPORATIONS WHO AS FAR AS THE BANKS ARE CONCERNED HOW MUCH HAVE WE POURED INTO CITI WHAT DID IT CLOSE TODAY A BUCK A SHARE I AM NOT SURE IT IS CLEAR THAT OUR EFFORTS SO FAR HAVE NOT SUCCEEDED ITS TIME WE TRIED SOMETHING ELSE

BARTIROMO: WELL IF WE WERE TO SEE A CITIGROUP PERHAPS GO BANKRUPT WOULDN'T THERE BE COUNTERPARTY RISKS ALL OVER THE PLACE THAT WOULD ACTUALLY CAUSE REAL FURTHER UPSET THROUGHOUT THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM

MCCAIN: I THINK THAT ANYTHING WE DO IS FRAUGHT WITH GREAT RISK THE WORST AS WARREN BUFFETT SAID ON YOUR NETWORK THIS IS THE WORST FINANCIAL CRISIS OF HIS LIFE SO ALOT OF THINGS ARE FRAUGHT WITH DANGER BUT I THINK IT IS VERY CLEAR TO MOST OF AMERICANS THAT WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING SO FAR HAS NOT SUCCEEDED IN ALL IT DID WAS WORSEN THE SITUATION AS HAS CONTINUED TO POUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS INTO FAILING INSTITUTIONS AND INDUSTRIES

BARTIROMO: SO HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE HOW PRESIDENT OBAMA AND THE TREASURY ARE DOING SO FAR?

MCCAIN: I THINK THE MESSAGE IS MUDDLED AND I DON'T THINK THERE'S CERTAINTY AND I DON'T THINK THERE ARE SPECIFICS BUT I DO AGREE THAT THEY SHOULD BE GIVEN MORE TIME BUT SO FAR WE'VE SEEN THE STOCK MARKET CONTINUE TO DROP BECAUSE OF THE MESSAGE BEING SENT INCLUDING THE WASTEFUL AND UNNECESSARY EXCESSIVE SPENDING IN WASHINGTON WITH NO WAY TO PAY FOR IT AND COMMITING GENERATIONAL THEFT BY AMASSING TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF DEBT THAT THERE'S NO WAY OUT OF

BARTIROMO: NOW WE KNOW HOW PRESIDENT OBAMA CAMPAIGNED TALKING ABOUT CHANGING HEALTHCARE TALKING ABOUT CHANGING ENERGY AND COMING UP WITH ALTERNATIVE TO OIL AND CREATING JOBS IN THE PROCESS. WHAT IS HE TO DO NOW THAT HE IS IN OFFICE FACED WITH THE WORST CRISIS ANYONE HAS EVER SEEN BUT STILL NEEDING TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH SOME OF THOSE PROMISES WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN THAT POSITION?

MCCAIN: WELL I WOULD ELIMINATE THE PORKBARREL SPENDING AND IT IS QUOTE ONLY 8 BILLION DOLLARS IN THIS BILL IT IS MUCH MORE THAN THAT WHEN YOU COUNT OTHER APPROPRIATIONS BILLS JUST TO SEND A SIGNAL WE ARE TIGHTENING OUR BELTS HERE AND GETTING RID OF CORRUPT PRACTICES BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY I WOULD TALK MORE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE I WOULD SAY THAT WE CAN NOT AFFORD TO KEEP SOME OF THESE INSTITUTIONS AND REPEAT THE MISTAKES THAT THE JAPANESE MADE AND I WOULD ABSOLUTELY TRY TO FOCUS ON THE ECONOMY NOW AND PERHAPS PUT SOME OTHER PRIORITIES ASIDE BECAUSE IT IS THE ECONOMY THAT IS DRIVING EVERYTHING

BARTIROMO: AND OF COURSE ONE OF THOSE PRIORITIES THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS IS TO RAISE TAXES IN 2011 YOU HAVE BEEN A VOCAL CRITIC OF THE FISCAL YEAR 2009 BUDGET PARTICULARLY OVER THE PORK PROJECTS THAT IT CONTAINS HOW DO YOU APPROACH REDUCING THE DEFICIT WITHOUT RAISING TAXES

MCCAIN: STOP SPENDING REDUCE SPENDING AT SOME POINT AS SOON AS THE GDP IS 2 QUARTERS OF POSITIVE GROWTH PUT US ON A FORCED TRIP TO BALANCING THE BUDGET AND ELIMINATING THE DEFICIT OTHERWISE OUR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS ARE GOING TO PAY IT AND IT S OF ENORMOUS PROPORTIONS AND IT REQUIRES ENTITLEMENT REFORM I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH THE PRESIDENT ON HEALTH CARE REFORM AND I THINK WE CAN REFORM SOCIAL SECURITY AS WELL

BARTIROMO: CAN THAT BE ENOUGH SENATOR STOPPING SPENDING WHICH OF COURSE THEY HAVEN'T STOPPED SPENDING BUT IS THAT ENOUGH TO REALLY DERIVE THE REVENUE THAT YOU NEED IN ORDER TO REALLY PUT A DENT IN THE DEFICIT

MCCAIN: I GUESS IT DEPENDS ON YOUR PHILOSOPHY I THINK RAISING TAXES IS THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO IN A DOWN ECONOMY I THINK RAISING ANYBODY'S TAXES HARMS OVER TIME OUR ABILITY TO HAVE A RAPID RECOVERY FROM THE DIFFICULT ECONOMIC DIFFICULTIES WE ARE IN I THINK IT SENDS THE WRONG SIGNAL AND IT DOESN'T RAISE REVENUES IF THE ECONOMY CONTINUES TO DECLINE

BARTIROMO: EVEN THOUGH THAT THEY'RE NOT TAKING AFFECT UNTIL 2011

MCCAIN: WE HAVE SENT A SIGNAL THAT WE ARE GOING TO RAISE TAXES ON AMERICANS HE HAS SENT A SIGNAL THAT 5% OR 2% OF AMERICANS ARE GOING TO FOOT THE BILL FOR TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN DEFICIT I THINK THAT IS THE WRONG SIGNAL TO SEND TO INVESTORS AND PEOPLE IN THE CAPITAL MARKETS

BARTIROMO: AS FAR AS SOME OF THE OTHER PLANS OUT THERE SOME PEOPLE ARE UNNERVED ABOUT THIS IDEA OF TAKING THE SECRET BALLOT AWAY IN TERMS OF BARACK OBAMA PLANS TO MAKE THE UNIONS A LITTLE MORE POWERFUL HERE WHAT DO YOU SEE THAT IN TERMS OF FOCUS AND HOW DO YOU SEE THAT PLAYING OUT?

MCCAIN: I THINK THEY MAY HAVE THE VOTES HERE IN THE SENATE AND HERE IN THE HOUSE I THINK IT WOULD HAVE TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCES FOR ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS THAT ALL AMERICAN WORKERS AND ALL AMERICAN CITIZENS HAVE AND THAT IS THE RIGHT TO SECRET BALLOT BUT THE PRESIDENT ASSURED LABORERS RECENTLY AND SO HAS THE VICE PRESIDENT THAT THEY WERE GOING TO PUSH THIS THROUGH I HOPE IT DOESN'T HAPPEN AND I HOPE AMERICANS UNDERSTAND THE BASIC RIGHT THAT AMERICAN WORKERS WOULD BE DEPRIVED OF

BARTIROMO: SENATOR YOU KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE FEEL THAT THE STIMULUS PACKAGE WAS DEAD ON ARRIVAL BECAUSE IT CONTAINED SO MUCH REALLY OF THE SPENDING YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT AND THEN ACCORDING TO TAXPAYERS COMMONSENSE REPUBLICANS COMPRISE 6 OF THE TOP 10 SPONSORS OF EARMARKS DOES THAT MAKE YOUR EFFORTS A HARD SELL IF MEMBERS OF YOUR OWN PARTY ARE ENGAGED

MCCAIN: IT MAKES IT A VERY HARD SELL REPUBLICANS PAYED A VERY HEAVY PRICE IN 2008 ELECTIONS BECAUSE WE LET SPENDING GET COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL ONLY TO TRADE OUR BASE AND SOME OF MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES THAT DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT

BARTIROMO: SITTING HERE IN THE WORST ECONOMIC CRISIS THAT ANYONE HAS EVER SEEN DO YOU FEEL RELIEVED THAT IT IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM IN TERMS OF BEING PRESIDENT

MCCAIN: I THINK IT IS EVERYBODYS PROBLEM IT IS ENCUMBENT ON US TO WORK TOGETHER I AGREE WITH WARREN BUFFETT THIS MORNING WHEN HE TOLD YOU ON YOUR SHOW THAT YOU NEED TO WORK TOGETHER BUT AT THE SAME TIME IT HAS GOT TO BE IN A BIPARTISAN BASIS AND THAT MEANS IN ON THE TAKEOFF AS WELL AS BEING IN ON THE LANDING BIPARTISAN NEGOTIATIONS

BARTIROMO: SO RECAPITALIZING THE BANKS WHAT SPECIFICALLY WOULD YOU DO RIGHT NOW WOULD YOU BE FOCUSING ON TAKING THOSE BAD ASSETS OFF OF THE BOOKS WOULD YOU FOCUS ON FORECLOSURES HOW SPECIFIC WOULD YOU GET IN TERMS OF FIXING THE ECONOMY RIGHT NOW GIVE ME YOUR SPECIFIC IDEAS

MCCAIN: MY SPECIFIC IDEA IS TO CONTINUE AND ENLARGE THE HOUSING PROPOSAL THAT HAS BEEN MADE UNTIL I BELIEVE HOUSING PRICES STABILIZE WE ARE NOT GOING TO TURN THE ECNOMOY AROUND IT WOULD SIGNAL THERE IS AN END TO THE AMOUNT OF MONEY WE'RE GONNA PUMP INTO INSTITUTIONS LIKE CITI AND OTHERS AND WE WIL TAKE BAD ASSETS AND WE WILL DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO HELP THEM RECOVER BUT PUMPING MONEY ENDLESSLY INTO FAILING INSTITUTIONS WITH TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN DEBT ISN'T GOING TO DO IT

BARTIROMO: ALL RIGHT SENATOR WE WILL LEAVE IT THERE





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