Attorney General Eric Schneiderman made his first appearance on the left-leaning “Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC last night and he was hailed as a hero for his role in investigating the mortgage crisis.
Mr. Schneiderman’s refusal to accept a 50-state settlement negotiated by the Department of Justice has infuriated even many of his Democratic allies, but the attorney general spoke to Ms. Maddow about the financial crisis in a way that pushed back against much of the Republican rhetoric over the past several years.
“This was a man-made crisis.” he said. “It was created by regulatory neglect and greed And I assure you, without telling you any secrets of our investigation, we have not found a trace of evidence that a cop firefighter teacher or sanitation worker was responsible for blowing up the American economy.”
He added, “We have to hold accountable the people who caused this disaster.”
Mr. Schneiderman also defended President Obama’s efforts to right the nation’s housing crisis, even though Mr. Schneiderman was kicked off the group leading the negotiations with the major banks.
“It’s challenging for the president because the Republicans in Congress have essentially openly declared they will do things that they know hurt the American people just to prevent him from getting a win,” he said.
Finally, Mr. Schneiderman seemed to find common cause with the Occupy Wall Street protesters camped across the street from his office, even though he had previously made cautious statements about the demonstrations.
“A lot of folks look at the Occupy Wall Street and the other Occupations and think they are fringe characters,” he said. “I hear the same sense that we don’t have one set of rules for everyone anymore, that people are not held accountable for misconduct from every average American you run into anywhere else,” he said. “There is a sense that equal justice under law is no longer the rule for this country and we got to get that back.”