Grassley tells corrupt AIG (Ain't I Greedy) executives to quit or commit suicide
US Senator Charles Grassley (Republican - Iowa) is so angry over AIG bonuses that he says the executives should resign or kill themselves. In a comment aired on Iowa radio station WMT, Grassley said: “The first thing that would make me feel a little bit better towards them if they’d follow the Japanese model and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say I’m sorry, and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide.”
Sen. Charles Grassley is so angry over AIG bonuses that he says the executives should resign or kill themselves.
In a comment aired this afternoon on WMT, an Iowa radio station, Grassley (R-Iowa) said: “The first thing that would make me feel a little bit better towards them if they’d follow the Japanese model and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say I’m sorry, and then either do one of two things — resign, or go commit suicide.”
The radio clip was also aired on WTOP, a news radio station in Washington.
In response to a POLITICO inquiry, Grassley spokeswoman Jill Gerber clarified Grassley’s comments, saying “clearly he was speaking rhetorically – he meant there’s no culture of shame and acceptance of responsibility for driving a company into the dirt in this country. If you asked him whether he really wants AIG executives to commit suicide, he’d say of course not.”
“Point being, U.S. corporate executives are unapologetic about running their companies adrift, accepting billions of tax dollars to help, and then spending those tax dollars on travel, huge bonuses, etc,” Gerber said.
Grassley’s statement was the most over the top among the many expressions of outrage Monday, as the White House and Congress struggle to figure out how to recoup $165 million in bonuses from AIG, which has received more than $170 billion in federal bailout funds.
“With millions of Americans out of work, staying up nights trying to figure out how to make this week’s paycheck last until the next, wondering how they’ll make the next mortgage payment or pay the overdue tuition bill, these executive bonuses are beyond outrageous,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joined the chorus, saying the bonuses were “appalling.”
Trashing AIG has become a no brainer for campaigners. Jim Tedisco, a candidate in the special election for New York’s 20th congressional district, says AIG “poster child for Wall Street greed” and wants a state investigation.
Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.) went for a play on words, saying: “Clearly, the ‘G’ in AIG stands for greed. It is outrageous that taxpayers are subsidizing bonuses as much as $6.5 million at a time when working families are struggling to make ends meet.”
Nobody else has suggested hara kiri for AIG executives, and Grassley’s spokeswoman tried to make clear the senator didn’t really mean it.