John McCain

Chapter……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Page Number

 

Summary:

Summary………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..3

Bio………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..22

 

Thematic:

McSame:  McCain’s Policies Offer a Third Bush Term……………………………………………………………………………………………26

McCain’s Flip Flops……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….45

McCain’s Controversial Supporters…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..………….53

Double Talk: McCain Says One Thing, Does Another…………………………………………………………………………………………….60

McCain Is Not Ready to Be President (Temper, Off-Color Comments)…………………………………………………….…………..72

McCain’s Problems with the GOP Base…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………78

McCain is Out of Touch…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………88

McCain and Forgotten America………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..….91

McCain, Bob Dole: The Sequel………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………93

McCain and Conservatives………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….105

McCain’s Advisers……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….124

Tracking The Attacks…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..148

 

Issues:

Afghanistan………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..161

Banking and Housing…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..167

Budget and Spending………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….183

Campaign Finance Reform and Ethics…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………195

Crime and Guns………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….202

Defense………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………211

Disaster Relief…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….220

Economy…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….228

Education……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………237

Environment and Energy…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….257

Foreign Policy……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..290

GLBT……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………332

Health Care…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………335

Homeland Security……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..359

Immigration………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..373

Iraq……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..381

Judiciary……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..429

Labor……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..…………..432

National Service………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….446

People of Color…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..447

Seniors…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..…..453

Taxes………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………....465

Technology and Telecommunications………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..471

Trade………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….474

Veterans……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..481

Welfare Reform and Poverty………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…..491

Women and Choice…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….501

 

Business and Ethics:

McCain’s Ties to Lobbyists………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….417

McCain: Same Old Washington Corruption………………………………………………………………………………………………………..579

John McCain’s Defense Contractors……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………600

McCain and Public Financing………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………602

McCain’s Involvement with the Keating Five………………………………………………………………………………………………………609

McCain: Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous…………………………………………………………………………………………………………612

McCain Family Companies………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….622

Rhetoric vs. Reality: McCain’s Personal Finance Disclosure……………………………………………………………………………….625

 Research Summary On Senator John McCain

 

            As John McCain launches his general election bid for the White House he faces considerable challenges.  McCain is saddled with the unpopular presidency of George W. Bush, a fact that is compounded by his stalwart support of Bush agenda.  On ethics, McCain’s campaign is tied to lobbyists and Washington’s culture of corruption.  From his conservative positions to his extreme wealth and notorious temperament, John McCain is out of step with American voters. Finally, John McCain is just wrong on the issues. Here is a summary of the key facts about Senator John McCain’s record.

 

1.    McSame As Bush: John McCain Represents  A Third Term Of Bush, Or Worse

 

Bush Said McCain Was Best to “Carry Forth His Agenda.” Behind closed doors, Bush “has told people for months that he thought McCain would be the nominee.  Even during some of those dark periods he still thought he could win. And also that McCain would be the best to carry forth his agenda.” [Fox News, “Fox and Friends, 2/8/2008]

 

McCain Supported Bush 100 Percent in 2008 and 95 Percent in 2007. According to Congressional Quarterly, McCain supported President Bush a majority of the time—supporting Bush as much as 100 percent in 2008 and 95 percent in 2007. According to CQ, “CQ tries to determine what the president personally, as distinct from other administration officials, does and does not want in the way of legislative action. This is done by analyzing his messages to Congress, news conference remarks and other public statements and documents.” [CQ Voting Studies, Accessed, 6/20/08]

 

McCain Is More Hawkish Than Bush On Iraq

Bush White House

McCain

Cheney Said, “I Really Do Believe We Will Be Greeted As Liberators.”  [NBC, “Meet the Press,” 3/16/03, emphasis added]

McCain Said, “The Iraqi People Will Greet Us As Liberators.”  [NBC, “The Today Show,” 3/20/03, emphasis added]

Bush: Saddam Hussein “provides funding and safe haven to terrorists who would willingly use weapons of mass destruction against America … We will not wait to see what terrorists or terrorist states could do with weapons of mass destruction.”  [The President’s Radio Address, 3/7/03, emphasis added]

McCain: “Hussein continues to acquire, amass, and improve on his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.” [Asheville Citizen-Times, 10/13/02, emphasis added]

Bush: We’ve got to stay the course and we will stay the course.” [Newsweek, 4/19/04, emphasis added]

McCain: “Is Afghanistan perfect, no, we’ve got opium, we’ve got warlords but by God, it’s a heck of a lot better off than it was. And we can to do the same thing in Iraq, we’ve got to stay the course.” [ABC News, 10/24/04, emphasis added]

Bush: “I strongly believe the surge is working and so do the Iraqis.” [CQ Transcriptions, 3/11/08, emphasis added]

McCain: “The conditions on the ground have improved. The surge is working.” [Newsweek, 1/21/08, emphasis added]

 

MCCAIN IS “MCSAME AS BUSH” ON DOMESTIC POLICY ISSUES:

 

SOCIAL SECURITY

McCain Supports Privatization.  According to his campaign website, “John McCain supports supplementing the current Social Security system with personal accounts.” [McCain Campaign Website, accessed 5/30/08]

 

  • McCain Was A “Big Booster” Of Bush’s Social Security Privatization Plan. According to the Associated Press, “There’s another showing Tuesday of the good-cop, bad-cop routine featuring President Bush and Sen. John McCain, Bush’s one-time presidential rival who has become a big booster of the president’s Social Security plan. The Arizona Republican accompanied Bush on Monday to the senator’s home state and Colorado to try to help sell the public and Congress on the president’s proposal for a major Social Security overhaul.” [Associated Press, 3/22/05]

 

TAX CUTS

In A “Breathtaking Turnabout” McCain “Embraced” the Bush Tax Cuts. The New York Times reported, “But an equally breathtaking turnabout occurred earlier in the year, when Mr. McCain embraced the Bush tax cuts he had once denounced as an unaffordable giveaway to the rich. In an interview with National Review, Mr. McCain justified his reversal by saying, ‘Tax cuts, starting with Kennedy, as we all know, increase revenues.’” [New York Times, 10/9/07]

 

  • McCain Voted Against the Bush Tax Cut Citing Benefits For The Wealthy. In 2001, John McCain voted against final passage of the Bush tax cut. McCain said, “I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief.” [H.R. 1836, Roll Call Vote #170, 5/26/01; Los Angeles Times, 5/27/01]

 

HEALTH CARE

McCain’s “Move Away From Employer-Based Coverage” Resembles Bush’s Failed Plan. In an article outlining McCain’s health care plan, the New York Times wrote, “His proposal to move away from employer-based coverage was similar to one that President Bush pushed for last year, to little effect.” [New York Times, 4/30/08]

 

  • McCain’s Health Care Plan Is “Similar To A Proposal Put Forth By President Bush Last Year.” Describing John McCain proposed health care plan, the Washington Post wrote, “Sen. John McCain on Tuesday rejected calls by his Democratic opponents for universal health coverage, instead offering a market-based solution with an approach similar to a proposal put forth by President Bush last year.” McCain also proposed health savings accounts, which were “a centerpiece of Bush’s health-care efforts.” [Washington Post, 4/30/08]

 

IMMIGRATION

McCain Said He And Bush “Share Exactly The Same Views” On Immigration. Discussing immigration during an interview with the New Yorker, McCain said, “The President and I share exactly the same views on the issue.” [New Yorker, 5/30/05]

 

2.    Lobbyist, Inc: John McCain Campaign Ties to Lobbyists

 

McCain Has Enlisted At Least 134 Lobbyists To Run And Raise Money For His Campaign. Senator McCain has recruited at least 127 federal lobbyists to run his presidential campaign and as top campaign fundraisers.  The lobbyists in his inner circle include his campaign manager, senior political adviser, national finance director, deputy campaign manager, several of his national finance co-chairmen and a number of his top policy advisers. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 5/30/08; McCain Source, accessed 6/20/08]

 

  • Washington Post: McCain Campaign “Guided By Lobbyists.” According to the Washington Post, “McCain’s campaign has also been guided by lobbyists.”  [Washington Post, 12/31/07]

 

McCain Forced To Fire Four Top Aides Because Of Lobbying Ties. On May 19, 2008, the Washington Post reported that Thomas Loeffler, McCain’s national campaign co-chairman and national finance co-chairman, resigned from the campaign because he lobbies for Saudi Arabia, making him “the fifth person to sever ties with the campaign amid a growing concern over whether lobbyists have too great an influence over the Republican nominee.”  Of those five top aides to leave the campaign, four were forced to leave because of lobbying ties, and the fifth because of ties to an outside political group: “Regional campaign manager Doug Davenport and Republican convention chief Doug Goodyear departed after acknowledging having represented Burma.  Eric Burgeson, who lobbies the federal government on energy issues, left Thursday.  GOP consultant Craig Shirley parted ways with the campaign because of ties to http://www.stophernow.com, a site created to target Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) that is now aimed at Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). [Washington Post, 5/19/08]

 

  • National Campaign Co-Chairman Tom Loeffler Resigned After Revelation He Lobbies For Saudi Arabia. The Los Angeles Times reported, “A top fundraiser and advisor in Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign has resigned, becoming the latest of five aides in recent days as McCain moves to sever ties with lobbyists. Thomas G. Loeffler, a lobbyist whose clients have included Saudi Arabia, stepped down as national finance committee cochairman, the senator’s campaign said Sunday. … In one filing available on a Justice Department website, Loeffler disclosed that on May 17, 2006, he had a ‘meeting with Sen. John McCain and Prince Turki to discuss the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and U.S.-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia relations.’  Turki was then Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States.” [Los Angeles Times, 5/19/08]

 

  • Regional Campaign Manager Doug Davenport Resigned After It Came To Light He Lobbied For Myanmar’s Military Junta. Doug Davenport, who was forced to resign as one of McCain’s regional campaign managers because he lobbied for Myanmar’s military junta, represented a large portfolio of special interest clients, including Goldman Sachs, Lockheed Martin, Verizon, AT&T, General Motors, Intel, Visa, and the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America. Davenport has also co-hosted at least one McCain fundraiser and is a bundler for McCain’s campaign.  The Wall Street Journal reported that Davenport’s work for Myanmar included undertaking “a PR campaign to improve the military junta’s image – the same regime that is now restricing aid to hundreds of thousands of the country’s cyclone victims.” [Wall Street Journal, 5/11/08; Public Citizen, accessed 5/30/08; Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 5/30/08; ABC News, accessed 5/30/08]

 

  • Former Republican Convention Chief Stepped Down After Myanmar Controversy. Newsweek reported that McCain “recently tapped Doug Goodyear for the job” of running the Republican Convention, and that Goodyear’s “firm was paid $348,000 in 2002 to represent Burma’s military junta, which had been strongly condemned by the State Department for its human-rights record and remains in power today.” [Newsweek, 5/19/08]

 

  • Former McCain Energy Adviser And Top Fundraiser Eric Burgeson Lobbied Federal Government On Energy Issues While Working For McCain. The Miami Herald reported, “Republican presidential contender John McCain on Thursday fired an energy policy advisor who lobbies the federal government on behalf of energy clients, citing a new policy that seeks to quash influence peddling. … McCain’s former energy advisor joined the firm of Barbour Griffith & Rogers in Washington in 2006 after serving as the chief of staff at the Department of Energy. Burgeson’s energy clients include Southern Company, which operates electric utilities and nuclear-power plants in the Southeast.” [Miami Herald, 5/16/08]

 

130 Lobbyists Remain In McCain’s Inner Circle

McCain Campaign Manager Rick Davis Is A Lobbyist. According to the Politico, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis “founded a lobbying firm – Davis, Manafort Inc. – which has made at least $2.8 million lobbying Congress since 1998.”  Davis’s clients have included Bell South, Verizon, Deutsche Post World Net USA, G-Tech, and SBC Telecommunications.  He also set up a lobbying contract between his firm and Alberto Pierri, an Argentine politician, who, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “caused an uproar” by calling a journalist a “Jewish flea-bag.”   [Politico, 7/11/07; Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/27/94; FARA Database, accessed 5/12/08; Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 5/30/08]

 

McCain Senior Political Adviser  And “Uber-Lobbyist” Charlie Black Has Represented World’s Most Brutal Dictators. An analysis of Department of Justice information shows that Charlie Black or his lobbying firm have served as the foreign agent for five Third World dictators: Philippine Dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Somali Dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, Zairian Dictator Mobuto Sese Seko, Equatorial Guinean Dictator Brig. Gen. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, and Nigerian Dictator Ibrahim Babangida.  Additionally, Black has represented Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi and Ibrahim Sarninu Turaki, the governor of Nigeria’s Jigawa State.  The dictators and foreign leaders Black has represented have committed fraud, murder, and numerous other human rights abuses.  The Washington Post called Black an “uber-lobbyist.” [Department of Justice, FARA Database, accessed 3/2008; Washington Post, 5/22/08]

 

Two Top McCain Aides Lobbied For Ameriquest, One Of The Nation’s Largest Subprime Lenders. Senate Lobbying Disclosure records show that from 2005 to 2006, McCain Congressional Liaison John Green, McCain national Finance Co-Chairman Wayne Berman, and their lobbying firm were paid $640,000 to lobby for Ameriquest, “the nation’s largest sub-prime lender.”  Green and Berman lobbied for the interests of the sub-prime lender on legislation meant to protect American homeowners from the sub-prime mortgage crisis.  In 2006, while Green lobbied for the company, Ameriquest “agreed to pay $325 million to settle a 49-state investigation,” an agreement that ranked “as the second-largest predatory lending settlement in history.” [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 3/2008; Consumer Affairs, 1/23/06]

 

Madigan Hired To Fight Child Enslavement Claims Against The UAE. Peter Madigan, a top McCain fundraiser, lobbies for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  According to ABC News, the UAE, “facing a class-action lawsuit over alleged enslavement of boys as jockeys in camel races, has hired several top Washington lobbyists and PR firms to present their case to Congress and the public.”  The lawsuit alleged “that senior ministers from Dubai conspired to force thousands of underage boys to race camels.”  According to The Hill, “The year-long contract with Johnson Madigan could cost the sheikhs’ more than $800,000.  Jeffrey Peck, Sen. Joseph Biden’s (D-Del.) former counsel, and Peter Madigan, once a State Department official under the first President Bush, signed the subcontract.” [ABC News, 2/1/08; The Hill, 4/4/07]

 

7 Top McCain Aides And Fundraisers Helped Air Bus Secure Multi-Billion Air Force Contract Over Boeing. At least seven top McCain advisers and fundraisers – Thomas Loeffler, Susan Nelson, John Green, Kirsten Chadwick, Kirk Blalock, Aleix Jarvis and William Ball III – have all lobbied for EADS, the parent company of European airplane manufacturer Air Bus.  McCain’s EADS lobbyists were influential in steering a multi-billion Air Force contract to Air Bus instead of Boeing. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 5/30/08]

 

At Least 22 Of McCain’s Top Aides And Fundraisers Have Lobbied For 8 Of The Top 10 Defense Contractors. At least 22 of McCain’s top aides and fundraisers have lobbied for the top ten Defense contractors, including 8 lobbyists for Lockheed Martin, 3 lobbyists for Boeing, 1 lobbyist for Northrop Grumman, 3 lobbyists for Raytheon, 2 lobbyists for General Dynamics, 7 lobbyists for EADS, 1 lobbyist for L-3 Communications, and 5 lobbyists for United Technologies.  In total, the top 10 defense contractors have also given at least $216,259 in campaign contributions to McCain. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 5/22/08; CQ Moneyline, accessed 5/22/08; DefenseNews, accessed 5/22/08]

 

McCain Has At Least 22 Big Oil Lobbyists Advising Him Or Raising Money For His Campaign. At least 22 of the lobbyists advising McCain or raising money for his campaign have lobbied for big oil.  His lobbyists have lobbied for Exxon Mobil, Shell, Sunoco, Amerada Hess, Chevron Texaco, the American Petroleum Institute, Occidental Petroleum, Yukos Oil, the Chinese National Off-Shore Oil Corporation, BP, Chevron, and BP Amoco. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 5/30/08; McCain Source, accessed 6/20/08]

 

McCain Has At Least 37 Big Pharma Lobbyists Advising Him Or Raising Money For His Campaign. At least 37 of the lobbyists advising McCain or raising money for his campaign have lobbied for big pharma.  His lobbyists’ clients have included PhRMA, Pfizer, Novartis, Astrazeneca, Wyeth, Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi Pasteur, Eli Lilly, Hoffman La-Roche, and Bristol-Myers Squibb. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 5/30/08]

 

3.    Same Old Washington Corruption: McCain Ties To The Same Special Interests He Decries

 

McCain Said He Had “Never Done any Favors for Anybody – Lobbyist Or Special Interest Group.”  In December 2007, McCain said, “I’ve never done any favors for anybody — lobbyist or special interest group — that’s a clear, 24-year record.”  [Associated Press, 12/20/07]

 

CAMPAIGN FINANCE HYPOCRISY:

McCain Used His Wife’s Jet For Discounted Travel To Campaign Events.  McCain took advantage of a loophole within campaign finance legislation by receiving a discount on a private jet owned by his wife’s company.  The New York Times wrote that, “McCain’s campaign paid a total of $241,149 for the use of that plane from last August through February, records show. That amount is approximately the cost of chartering a similar jet for a month or two, according to industry estimates. The senator was able to fly so inexpensively because the [ethics] law specifically exempts aircraft owned by a candidate or his family or by a privately held company they control.” [The New York Times, 4/27/08]

 

  • McCain’s Campaign Used His Wife’s Jet On Tour Of Impoverished Areas In America. As reported by the New York Times, “According to public records, the [McCain] campaign has continued to use the plane, even as Mr. McCain, of Arizona, became the presumed Republican nominee and his campaign’s finances have improved. In late April, for instance, the plane landed in Selma and Birmingham, Ala., at the same time he was there as part of his tour of impoverished areas.” [New York Times, 5/10/08]

 

McCain Previously Said He Would Never Use Cindy’s Wealth Because He “Values His Marriage Too Much.”  McCain was asked if he would consider using his wife’s wealth on his campaign, like rival Mitt Romney, who had loaned in his campaign $9 million.  McCain said, “I value my marriage too much.  I have never thought about it. I would never do such a thing, so I wouldn’t know what the legalities are.” [Arizona Republic, 7/16/07]

 

MCCAIN BREAKING CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS:

In December 2007 McCain Borrowed $1 Million By Pledging to Seek Federal Funds.” The Washington Post reported, “John McCain’s  cash-strapped campaign borrowed $1 million from a Bethesda bank two weeks before the New Hampshire primary by pledging to enter the public financing system if his bid for the presidency faltered, newly disclosed records show. … Campaign finance lawyers speculated whether McCain may have inadvertently committed himself to entering the public financing system for the remainder of the primary season by holding out the prospect of taking public matching funds in exchange for the $1 million loan in December.”  [Washington Post, 2/16/08]

 

McCain Requested To Opt Out Of Public Financing After He’d Used Public Financing As Loan Collateral. According to the Washington Post reported, “But after McCain won a series of early contests and the campaign found its financial footing, his lawyer wrote to the FEC requesting to back out of the program – which is permitted for candidates who have not yet received any federal money and who have not used the promise of federal funding as collateral for borrowing money.” [Washington Post, 2/22/08]

 

  • FEC Rules Require Candidates Using Federal Funds as Collateral to Stay in System. According to the Washington Post, “Under FEC rules, a candidate who uses a certification for federal funds as collateral for a loan is obligated to remain within the public financing system.” [Washington Post, 2/16/08]

 

  • FEC Chairman Warned McCain Cannot Immediately Leave Public Financing System. On February 22, 2008, the Washington Post reported: “The nation’s top federal election official told Sen. John McCain yesterday that he cannot immediately withdraw from the presidential public financing system as he had requested, a decision that threatens to dramatically restrict his spending until the general election campaign begins in the fall…But McCain’s attempts to build up his campaign coffers before a general election contest appeared to be threatened by the stern warning yesterday from Federal Election Commission Chairman David M. Mason, a Republican. Mason notified McCain that the commission had not granted his Feb. 6 request to withdraw from the presidential public financing system.  The implications of that could be dramatic. [Washington Post, 2/22/08]

 

McCain Violated Law by Breaking Primary Spending Limit. On March 24, 2008, the Boston Globe reported: “John McCain has officially broken the limits imposed by the presidential public financing system, according to spending reports filed last week b y the campaign.  The senator from Arizona has spent $58.4 million on his Republican primary effort.  Those who have committed to public financing can spend no more than $54 million on their primary bid.” [Boston Globe, 3/24/08]

 

2004 Rhetoric: McCain Called on FEC to Go After Those that “Thumb Their Noses at the Law.” In a 2004 op-ed, McCain wrote about “the Federal Election Commission’s despicable failure to do its job. Led by a Democratic apparatchik on one side and a right-wing ideologue on the other, the commission is politically hidebound, and has refused to take on those who brazenly thumb their noses at the law.” [John McCain for Senate 2004, 9/14/04]

 

PAXSON COMMUNICATIONS:

McCain Intervened With Regulators On Paxson Communication’s Bid To Buy Cable Station. The Associated Press reported, “McCain wrote two letters in late 1999 to the Federal Communications Commission on behalf of Florida-based Paxson Communications. He urged quick consideration of a proposal to buy a television station license in Pittsburgh, although he did not ask the FCC commissioners to approve the proposal. At the time, one FCC commissioner’s formal nomination was pending before McCain’s Senate committee, and the FCC chairman complained that McCain’s letters were improper.” [Associated Press, 2/21/08]

 

  • McCain Wrote Letters After Paxson Donated More Than $20,000 To His 2000 Campaign. According to the Associated Press, “McCain wrote the letters after he received more than $20,000 in contributions from Paxson executives and lobbyists. Paxson also lent McCain his company’s jet at least four times during 1999 for campaign travel.” [Associated Press, 2/21/08]

 

McCain Has Acknowledged His Actions Look Corrupt.  According to Newsweek, “With his typically blunt, almost cheery way of admitting the sinfulness of man, including his own weaknesses, he acknowledged in the deposition that his relationship with Paxson—flying on the corporate jet, taking $20,000 in campaign contributions—would “absolutely” look corrupt to the ordinary voter.” [Newsweek, 3/3/08]

 

KEATING FIVE:

McCain’s “Darkest Hour” Was His Involvement With the Infamous Keating Five Scandal.  The Washington Post referred to Senator McCain’s “darkest hour” as the “Keating Five” scandal.  According to the Associated Press, “The Keating Five was the derisive name given McCain and four Democratic senators who were defendants in a congressional ethics investigation of their connections to [banker Charles] Keating.  … They were accused of trying to intimidate regulators on behalf of Keating, a real estate developer in Arizona and owner of Lincoln Savings and Loan based in Irvine, Calif.” [Washington Post, 6/8/07; Associated Press, 2/23/08]

 

  • McCain Failed To Disclose That He Made At Least 9 Trips At Keating’s Expense. According to Slate Magazine, “After McCain’s election to the House in 1982, he and his family made at least nine trips at Keating’s expense, three of which were to Keating’s Bahamas retreat. McCain did not disclose the trips (as he was required to under House rules) until the [Keating Five] scandal broke in 1989.”  After the scandal broke, and the trips were disclosed, McCain paid Keating $13, 433 for the flights. [Slate Magazine, 2/18/00, emphasis added]

 

 

ABRAMOFF:

McCain Withheld Controversial Abramoff E-mail.  During  his committee’s investigation of the Jack Abramoff scandal, McCain withheld a potentially damaging email regarding the relationship between Alabama Governor Bob Riley and Jack Abramoff.  In the email, “Abramoff explains to an aide what he wanted to see Riley do in return for the ‘help’ he received from Abramoff’s tribal clients.” The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana paid $13 million to re-elect the anti-gambling governor in order to maintain their dominance of the industry in the region.  [Huffington Post, 2/25/08]

 

McCain Acknowledged He Would Not Investigate Members. During the Abramoff investigation, McCain said that his investigation would not include the legislative actions taken by Members of Congress saying, “We stop when we find out where the money went.” According to the Associated Press, “The intervention by congressional Republicans ... was all but ignored in recent hearings on Capitol Hill led by [McCain] that examined Abramoff’s lobbying inside Interior.” [Roll Call, 3/10/05; Associated Press, 11/17/05]

 

REP. RICK RENZI:

Co-Chair Of  McCain’s “Arizona Leadership Team” Indicted.  In January 2008, just one month before he was indicted on 35 counts, including conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and official extortion, Renzi was named a co-chair of McCain’s ‘Arizona Leadership Team.” [McCain News Release, 1/26/08; Targeted News Services, 1/26/08]

 

  • McCain Refused to Answer Question About Renzi’s Involvement In His Campaign, Said Renzi In His Prayers. Asked in April 2007 “if the embattled” Renzi “would continue to play a role” in his presidential campaign, McCain said: “Rick obviously has got great difficulties now.  I know nothing about his case.  He’s in my prayers. … And that’s all I’m going to say.” [Hotline, 4/26/07]

 

4.    John McCain Is A Conservative

 

McCain Forced To Disavow Extremist Pastors. The New York Times reported, “On Thursday, four months after Senator John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican candidate, stood next to Mr. Hagee at a news conference and announced how delighted he was to have his endorsement, Mr. McCain renounced it. He acted after a Web site released a recording of a sermon in which Mr. Hagee said Hitler and the Holocaust had been part of God’s plan to chase the Jews from Europe and drive them to Palestine. Mr. McCain also rejected the endorsement of the Rev. Rod Parsley, an Ohio pastor who had been retooling his church into a get-out-the-vote machine for Republicans. The problem for Mr. McCain was that Mr. Parsley was vocally anti-Islam.” [New York Times, 5/24/08]

 

  • McCain Sought And Gained Endorsement Of Extremist Pastor, John Hagee. John McCain was endorsed by San Antonio televangelist John Hagee.  The Dallas Morning News reported, “Mr. Hagee, a leading figure in the Christian Zionist movement, said he’s confident Mr. McCain can attract wary evangelicals by emphasizing his conservative positions on Israel and abortion.”  McCain said, “All I can tell you is I’m very proud to have pastor Hagee’s support.” Hagee told New York Times Magazine that, “It’s true that McCain’s campaign sought my endorsement.”  [Dallas Morning News, 2/28/08; Editor & Publisher, 3/20/08]

 

  • McCain Described Televangelist Rod Parsley as his “Spiritual Guide.” While appearing together in Cincinnati, Ohio, John McCain and Rod Parsley traded compliments in from of a large crowd. McCain called Parsley his “spiritual guide,” while Parsley said McCain was a, “strong, true, consistent conservative.”  In his book, Silent No More, McCain’s Parsley wrote that, “The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed, and I believe September 11, 2001, was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore.”  [The Columbus Dispatch, 2/27/08; Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/23/08]

 

CHOICE

McCain Bragged About Zero Rating From NARAL Pro Choice America. John McCain has received a zero rating on Naral Pro Choice America’s scorecard.  McCain touted his anti-choice credentials, saying, “I have many, many votes and it’s been consistent. And I’ve got a consistent zero from NARAL throughout all those years.” [NARAL Pro-Choice America, 6/11/08; Transcript, The Full McCain: An Interview, National Review, 3/5/07]

 

McCain Has Voted Anti-Choice 125 Times.  According to NARAL Pro-Choice America, John McCain has voted against a women’s right to choose 125 out of the 130 times he voted on reproductive rights. [NARAL.org, accessed on 6/11/08]

 

McCain Said Roe v. Wade Should Be Overturned.  McCain said, “I do not support Roe v. Wade. I think it should be overturned.”  [New York Times, 2/24/07]

 

ENVIRONMENT

McCain Received Failing Marks On League of Conservation Voters Scorecard. In 2007, John McCain received a zero on the League of Conservation Voters’ “National Environmental Scorecard because he failed to vote on every piece of legislation measured.  In previous congresses McCain received failing marks.  In the 109th Congress (2005-2006), McCain received a 41 percent. In the 108th Congress (2003-2004), McCain received a 56 percent. In the 107th Congress (2001-2002), McCain received a 36 percent. In the 106th Congress (1999-2000), McCain received a 6 percent.  [League of Conservation Voters Scorecard, accessed 4/3/08]

 

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND CIVIL RIGHTS

McCain Voted Against Creating Martin Luther King Holiday.  In 1983, McCain voted against the Hall (D-IN) motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill to designate the third Monday of every January as a federal holiday in honor of the late civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  The motion passed 89-77.  [HR 3706, Vote 289, 8/2/83; CQ 1983]

 

McCain Would Not Support Affirmative Action for College Admissions.  Senator McCain indicated he would not support affirmative action policies in public college admissions. [2004 National Political Awareness Test- Senator McCain; NEA McCain Education Tracking Document]

 

McCain On His Supreme Court Nominees:

  • McCain Told Social Conservative Gary Bauer That He Would Appoint Pro-Life Judges. According to the New Yorker, in 1999 McCain had the support of social conservative Gary Bauer. In reference to appointing pro-life judges, Bauer said, “I wanted a commitment from either George Bush or John McCain that if elected he would appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court…Bush said he had no litmus test, and his judges would be strict constructionists. But McCain, in private, assured me he would appoint pro-life judges.” [New Yorker, 5/30/05]

 

  • McCain: “I Want To Find Clones Of Alito And Roberts.” Asked about the type of Supreme Court Justice he would nominate, John McCain said, “Let me just look you in the eye. I’ve said a thousand times on this campaign trail, I’ve said as often as I can, that I want to find clones of Alito and Roberts. I worked as hard as anybody to get them confirmed. I look you in the eye and tell you I’ve said a thousand times that I wanted Alito and Roberts.” [Baltimore Sun via The Swamp, 1/28/08, emphasis added]

 

  • Falwell Said Anti-Choice Community Was “Happy” With McCain’s Views On Life. Conservative reverend Jerry Falwell said that he and “most of the pro-life community” are “happy” with McCain’s “pro-life views.” [ABC News, via Hotline, 3/29/06]

 

5.    Not Ready: Sen. John “Hothead” McCain Plagued By Temper

 

John McCain Has A Well Known Temper, He Admits, “I Have A Temper, To State The Obvious.” John McCain was rated in the Washingtonian as having one of Congress’ “hottest tempers” in 2006, 2004, 2000, and 1998. In his biography, Worth the Fighting For, McCain wrote, “My temper has often been both a matter of public speculation and personal concern. … I have a temper, to state the obvious, which I have tried to control with varying degrees of success because it does not always serve my interest or the public’s.” [Washingtonian, September 2006; Washingtonian, September 2004; Washingtonian, September, 2000; Washingtonian, July 1998, emphasis added; Boston Globe, 1/27/08]

 

Examples of McCain’s Temper:

  • McCain “Scuffled” With 92 Year-Old Strom Thurmond After A Committee Hearing Dispute. Newsweek reported that McCain was rumored to have shoved “one or two” senators, including Strom Thurmond, who was in his 90s at the time of the alleged incident. [Newsweek, 2/11/08]

 

  • McCain Threatened to “Personally Beat the S**t” Out of His Opponent. According to the Arizona Republic, “After McCain’s opponent contacted his ex-wife in hopes of “digging up dirt on McCain,” Carol called to warn her former husband.  McCain recalls, “When the debate ended, I walked over to the opponent who had attempted to mine some little nasty opposition research from my failed marriage and told him with as much steel as I’m capable of demonstrating, ‘If you ever try to hurt anyone in my family again, I will personally beat the s**t out of you.’” [The Arizona Republic, 3/1/07]

 

McCain’s Colleagues On McCain’s Temper:

  • Orrin Hatch Said It Was “Awful” To Be The Focus Of McCain’s Anger. According to the Associated Press, “Hatch, who serves with McCain in the Senate, said his colleague ‘is a passionate person and he does have a temper and sometimes it’s awful to be on the wrong side of it.’” [Associated Press, 12/2/99]

 

  • Thad Cochran: McCain Is Erratic, Hotheaded, Loses His Temper, And It Worries Me. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has endorsed Mitt Romney, criticized McCain’s temper. Cochran said, “The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine...He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.” [Boston Globe, 1/27/08, emphasis added]

 

  • Rick Santorum Raised Questions About McCain’s Temperament. On McCain’s temper, Sen. Rick Santorum said, “I think it’s one without question that factors into his ability to govern, to form coalitions and to get things done. [Boston Globe, Political Intelligence, 2/03/08]

 

  1. Lifestyles of the Rich And Famous: John McCain The Millionaire

 

McCain Was The Eighth Wealthiest Senator In 2006. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, John McCain was the eighth wealthiest Senator in 2006, based on his Senate personal financial disclosure.  McCain’s minimum net worth was listed at $ 27,817,187 and his maximum net worth was listed at $45,045,011. [Center For Responsive Politics via Opensecrets.org, accessed 4/2/08]  

 

  • Wall Street Journal: Industry Experts Estimate Cindy McCain’s Stake Is Worth Over $100 Million.  According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Hensley & Company “has 700 employees and annual revenue of about $300 million. Mrs. McCain has approved the buyout of another distributorship, helping bring sales last year to 23 million cases of beer.  Mrs. McCain (who can tell a beer’s freshness by tasting it, according to her daughter Meghan) declines to say what percentage of the company she owns or its value. Industry experts estimate her stake at about $100 million. [Wall Street Journal, 4/17/08]

 

Examples From The McCain Lifestyle:

  • John & Cindy McCain Own At Least Nine Houses In Arizona, California, and Virginia Worth an Estimated $13,123,269. John and Cindy McCain own a plethora of houses spread throughout the United States, including: two beachfront condos in Coronado, California, a condo in La Jolla, California, a two-unit condominium complex in Phoenix, Arizona, three ranch houses located outside of Sedona, Arizona, a high-rise condo in Arlington, Virginia, and, according to GQ, a loft they bought for their daughter, Meghan.  The amount spent on these houses is an estimated $13,123,269.  [San Diego County Property Records; Maricopa County Property Records; Yavapai County Property Records; Arlington County Property Records; GQ, 3/18/08]

 

  • McCain’s Primary Residence Is 6,000 Sq. Ft. Converted Condominium Worth $4.6 Million. According to the Arizona Republic, “Property records show that Cindy [McCain’s] trust recently bought a condo at the Residences at 2211 Camelback for $4.66 million.” The paper added, “The deal was actually for two condos that could be combined to one space of 6,000 to 7,000 square feet. That is plenty of elbow room, even for a high-end condo, in a region where the typical single-family home runs about 1,600 square feet.” [Arizona Republic, 10/26/06, emphasis added]

 

  • Cindy McCain Holds An American Express Black Centurion Card. According to McCain’s 2006 Senate Personal Finance Disclosure Form, Cindy McCain holds an American Express Black Centurion Card.  According to the disclosure, Mrs. McCain owed from $100,001 to $250,000 on the card.  [2006 Personal Finance Disclosure]

 

  • Celebrating Company’s 50th Anniversary, Cindy McCain Hosted A Party With The Budweiser Clydesdale.  According to the Arizona Republic, “[T]he beer distributor threw itself a 50th anniversary bash last month at the Arizona Biltmore. About 600 employees and their guests had their pictures taken with a Budweiser Clydesdale and listened to Anheuser-Busch Chairman August Busch III and President Patrick Stokes describe Hensley as a model among its suppliers.” [Arizona Republic, 3/5/05, emphasis added]

 

  1. Out Of Touch On Economy and Housing

 

McCain Said To Be Intellectually Uncurious on Domestic Issues. In a Washington Post Op-ed, Michael Gerson wrote, “[T]hose who know Mccain report a general lack of interest in domestic policy compared with his engagement in foreign affairs. ‘It’s sometimes unfairly argued that Bush is intellectually uncurious,’ says one former member of Congress, ‘but on domestic issues that is really true of McCain.’” [Gerson, Washington Post, 2/6/08]

 

McCain Repeatedly Said He Knew Little About Economics:

  • McCain Said He Doesn’t Understand the Economy. McCain admitted to reporters “[t]he issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.” [Boston Globe, 12/18/07]

 

  • McCain Said He Knows “A Lot Less About Economics ... I Still Need To Be Educated.” During an editorial board meeting with the Wall Street Journal, John McCain said, “I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.” [Moore, Wall Street Journal, 11/26/05]

 

  • McCain Said He Didn’t Pay Attention to Economic Issues. In 2000, Jonathan Chait of The New Republic, conducted an interview with John McCain in which McCain admitted not paying attention to economic issues.  When asked about his sudden shift in economic policy, McCain said, “In the interest of full disclosure.  I didn’t pay nearly the attention to those issues in the past. I was probably a ‘supplysider’ based on the fact that I really didn’t jump into the issue.” [New Republic, 1/31/08]

 

McCain Long Denied Recession And Downplayed Economic Woes:

  • McCain Said U.S. Is Not Heading into a Recession. “I am not convinced that we are necessarily going into a recession.  . . .  And our economy, I think our fundamentals are strong and America’s greatest days are ahead of us economically and every other way,” said John McCain.  [Rally, Hilton Head Island, SC 1/18/08]

 

  • McCain: “I Still Believe Our Fundamental Underpinnings Of Our Economy Are Strong…” In a report on CNN, McCain said, “I still believe our fundamental underpinnings of our economy are strong, but it’s obvious that we are facing challenges, which will require actions such as the Federal Reserve took today.”  [CNN, 1/22/08]

 

  • McCain Said Economic Problems Were “Psychological.” During a town hall McCain said, “Now, as far as putting additional money in American taxpayers’ pocket, that’s fine, because a lot of this is psychological.  A lot of it’s psychological.  Because I believe the fundamentals of our economy is still strong.” [McCain Town Hall, 1/24/08, West Palm Beach, Florida]

 

Amid Housing Crisis, McCain Argued Against Government Relief, Blamed Homeowners Who He Said Acted “Irresponsibly.”  On March 25th, John McCain delivered a speech on the housing crisis. According to the New York Times, “McCain appeared to be trying to confront questions about his dexterity in dealing with the economy, a subject that he has admitted is not his strongest suit.”  During the speech, McCain said, “I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.”  The New York Times reported, “Mr. McCain argued this week against a vigorous federal intervention to address the crisis, saying Washington should not bail out banks and homeowners who in his view had knowingly taken on risky mortgages.” [New York Times, 3/26/08; McCain Housing Speech, 3/25/08, emphasis added; New York Times, 3/28/08]

 

  • InMajor Shift” McCain Forced to Change His Position On Housing Policy. Two weeks after his first speech McCain offered a new “HOME plan.” In his remarks McCain said, “But let me make it clear that in these challenging times, I am committed to using all the resources of this government and great nation to create opportunity and make sure that every deserving American has a good job and can achieve their American dream.” The Wall Street Journal reported, “Sen. McCain’s new housing approach represents a major shift from the one he laid out in his speech two weeks ago, when he emphasized his opposition to any sort of government bailout for people who made bad decisions.” [McCain Housing Speech, 4/10/08, emphasis added; Wall Street Journal, 4/11/08]

 

McCain Campaign Confirmed Phil Gramm Helped Shape Housing Policy. Keith Olbermann reported, “The McCain campaign confirmed that [Former Senator Phil] Gramm had input on the speech and that McCain consulted Gramm specifically on the housing issues.” [MSNBC, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” 5/27/08]

 

  • Washington Post Sheds Light On Gramm’s Role Leading To Housing Crisis. The Washington Post reported on the influence of currently lobbyist and former Texas Senator Phil Gramm on McCain’s economic policies. The Post highlighted “Gramm’s aggressive efforts when he was chairman of the Senate Banking Committee to deregulate the banking and financial services industry.  That culminated in passage in 1999 of a sweeping financial services law that tore down the Depression-era Glass-Steagall wall separating regulated commercial banks from largely unregulated investment banks.  And little regulation was put in place to replace it. … To many liberal economists, Gramm’s efforts set the stage for the current crisis.  Lending by noncommercial banks has soared, to about 70 percent of total lending.  Investment banks, including Bear Stearns, grew too large to be allowed to fail.” [Washington Post, 4/2/08]

 

  • American Banker: Gramm’s Role In McCain Campaign “Should Give Comfort To Bankers.” American Banker reported, “Mr. Gramm, a principal author of the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which broke down the walls between banking, insurance, and securities, left Congress in late 2002 to become vice chairman of UBS Warburg. … Observers say that Mr. Gramm’s connection with the campaign should give comfort to bankers unsure of how Sen. McCain would view financial services issues.” [American Banker, 3/11/08, emphasis added]

 

McCain On Housing In the Senate:

  • McCain Voted Against Tax Deduction for Certain Mortgage Insurance Payments. In 2004, McCain voted against a cloture motion on Majority Leader Frist’s motion to recommit the Corporate Tax Overhaul bill to Committee to include a tax deduction for certain mortgage insurance payments, a 50% tax credit to employers that are paying reservists and National Guard members called to active duty and a welfare-to-work tax credit.  The bill included $13 billion in tax cuts for the energy industry.  Senator Clinton also voted against the cloture motion.  The motion was rejected 50-47. [S. 1637, Vote #67, 4/7/04; CQ, 4/7/2004]

 

  • McCain Voted Against Protecting Low-Income Americans from Strict New Bankruptcy Reform Law. In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would clarify that the means test would not apply to debtors whose incomes fell below the median.  The amendment failed 42-58.  [S 256, Vote #31, 3/09/05]

 

  • McCain Opposed Protections Against Predatory Home Lenders who Routinely Target the Elderly. In 2001, McCain voted for a motion to table an amendment that would invalidate claims against borrowers if the creditor has committed material violations of the Truth in Lending Act.  The motion passed 50-49.  [S. 420, Vote #18, 3/08/2001]

 

  1. Out Of Touch On Health and Health Care Policy

 

PERSONAL HEALTH

At 72, McCain Would Be The Oldest First-Term President In The History of The United States.  According to U.S. News & World Report, “McCain would be 72 when he took office if elected, the oldest first-term president in history.” [U.S. News & World Report, 3/17/08]

 

  • 29% of Americans Believe The County Isn’t Ready For A President Over 70 Years-Old. According to a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released on March 26, 2008, 29 percent of respondents said the country isn’t ready to elect a president in their 70s.  That statistic is higher than the 20 percent and 18 percent who said the country is not ready to elect a woman and an African-American, respectively.  [NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, released 3/26/08]

 

McCain Said He Sees His Doctor “Fairly Frequently.” In discussing his cancer and health, John McCain said, “Everything’s fine … Like most Americans, I go see my doctor fairly frequently.” [Associated Press, 3/10/08]

 

  • McCain Has Had Four Cancer Surgeries Since 1993. According to the Los Angeles Times, “He [McCain] had four surgeries between 1993 and 2002: two to remove melanomas, one to remove skin lesions and one to treat an enlarged prostate.” [Los Angeles Times, 5/17/07]

 

HEALTH CARE PLAN

47 Million Americans Had No Health Insurance In 2006. According to the Census Bureau,47 million Americans, including 8.7 million children, lacked health insurance in 2006 [Census Bureau, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2006 report, accessed 4/3/08]

 

McCain Health Care Plan Offers No Estimate Of How Many Uninsured It Will Help. On April 29, 2008, John McCain introduced his health care plan.  The Associated Press reported, “Still missing: The total cost of the plan and an estimate of how many people it would help. There are more than 40 million people in the United States who don't have health insurance. ‘So, a little more detail, but remember, it is April, and the election's in November, so not everything will happen tomorrow or this week,’ Holtz-Eakin told reporters Monday. [Associated Press, 4/29/08]

 

McCain/Bush Plan Would Leave Americans To Fend for Themselves Against Insurance Companies. According to the Center For American Progress, “McCain would deregulate private health insurance by creating a “national market,” letting insurers locate themselves in states with minimal regulations and preventing states from being able to protect their own citizens As a result, the McCain plan would radically change the health insurance market, asking Americans buy health care plans on their own with few regulations or consumer protections.” [Center for American Progress, 4/29/08]

 

CHILDREN’S HEALTH

McCain Opposed Reauthorizing Children’s Health Program Providing Insurance For Millions Of Uninsured Children. In August 2007, McCain voted against passage of H.R. 976, which would have reauthorized the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).  According to Knight Ridder, “The Senate proposal would provide coverage to 3.2 million” uninsured children and renew coverage for the 6 million children already covered by the program.  The legislation passed 68-31. [H.R. 976, Vote #307, 8/2/07; Knight Ridder, 8/2/07]

 

  • McCain Said Bush Veto Of Health Insurance for Uninsured Children Was The “Right Call By The President.” After Bush vetoed the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, McCain said in an interview the veto was the "right call by the president." [CNN.com, 10/3/07]

 

  • McCain Opposed Children’s Health Expansion Because It Would Cover Too Many Children, Including “Middle-Income Children.” McCain not only voted against SCHIP, he went to the Senate floor to argue against covering millions of additional children, arguing “the program has expanded beyond what Congress first intended. In some cases, SCHIP coverage has been extended to middle-income children.” [Congressional Record, 8/2/07]

 

  1. McCain v. the GOP: McCain Cannot Rally His Base

 

McCain Booed At CPAC.  According the Hotline On Call, “McCain was introduced first, though erroneously, by former VA guv George Allen. Allen, who endorsed McCain today after having supported Fred Thompson’s bid, was supposed to introduce Sen. Tom Colburn who had the official honor of presenting McCain. So, with the double introduction, McCain was booed not once, but twice.”  [Hotline On Call, 2/7/08]


Grover Norquist Said McCain Was A Flip Flopper Who Would Not Lead With Conservative Values.
In 2006, Grover Norquist, the head of the conservative group Americans for Tax Reform, said, “What McCain has done is flip-flopped on the gun issue, on the tax issue. He used to be a Reagan Republican on taxes. He’s voted against every one of President Bush’s tax cuts. He voted for the first one before he voted against it but he’s voted against all of them. He’s flip-flopped back and forth not because of where the American people are but because of where the cameras are.” Norquist added that McCain’s “phototropism” was “very damaging from a conservative perspective because that’s unlikely to lead to conservative governance.” [ABC News, 6/11/06]

 

Joe Scarborough: No, No, I Say No, John McCain is not a Conservative.  Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in 2008, Joe Scarborough said, “No, no I say no, John McCain is not a conservative.”  [MSNBC, 1/31/08; Townhall.com, 2/1/08]

 

James Dobson Announced He Would Never Vote For McCain.  In 2008, James C. Dobson released a statement that “he would under no circumstances vote for Mr. McCain in November.” [New York Times, 2/6/08]

 

Rush Limbaugh Has Repeatedly Attacked John McCain:

  • Limbaugh Said McCain Is Not a Loyal Republican. Rush Limbaugh said, “Bob Dole is something that John McCain is not: He’s a loyal Republican.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 2/5/08]

 

  • Limbaugh: There’s A Lot Of Anxiety Among A Lot Of Conservatives About Senator McCain. Rush Limbaugh said, “There’s a lot of anxiety among a lot of conservatives about Senator McCain. It’s simply indisputable, but there was no figure in our roster of candidates who rose up to challenge him or to galvanize conservative support.”  [New York Sun, 1/31/08]

 

  • John McCain Is Wrong On The Issues

 

IRAQ

McCain Voted to Authorize Use of Force in Iraq.  In 2002, McCain voted for passage of the joint resolution that would authorize the use of force against Iraq and require the administration to report to Congress that diplomatic options have been exhausted before, or within 48 hours after military action has begun. The president also would be required to submit a progress report to Congress at least every 60 days. Passed (thus cleared for the president) 77-23 [H J Res 114, Vote #237, 10/11/02]

 

McCain On Staying In Iraq:

 

McCain: “I Don’t Think Americans Are Concerned If We’re There For 100 Years or 1,000 Years or 10,000 Years.” In an interview on “Face the Nation,” host Bob Scieffer asked McCain about staying in Iraq for 100 year.  McCain responded, “We’ve got to get Americans off the front line, have the Iraqis as part of the strategy, take over more and more of the responsibilities. And then I don’t think Americans are concerned if we’re there for 100 years or 1,000 years or 10,000 years. [CBS, “Face the Nation,” 1/06/08]

 

McCain Said American’s Do Not Care About Length of Occupation in Iraq.  When asked if he regretted saying that the U.S. involvement in Iraq could last “1,000 years or a million years,” McCain replied, “That’s just foolishness.  It’s foolishness to use that quote, because the question was how long are we going to be in Iraq.  And that’s not the question the American people care about.” [Hartford Courant, 2/4/08]

 

McCain Said Struggle With Continue for “The Rest Of The Century.” Asked about the war in Iraq during a town hall meeting, John McCain said, “I’d like to look you in the eye and tell you there’s not gonna be any more wars.  I’d like to look you in the eyes and tell you that this terrible evil called radical Islamic extremism is defeated.  I can’t do that.  I’ve got to tell you that we’re gonna be in this struggle for the rest of this century because it’s a transcendent evil.” [Town Hall Meeting; Sun City Center, FL 01/26/08]

 

McCain On The Surge:

 

McCain Said The Troop Surge In Iraq Was Working.  Appearing on Fox News Channel, McCain said, “Today is the day that the president of the United States announced the change in strategy, the so-called surge. I supported that, I argued for it. I’m the only one on this stage that did. I condemn[ed] the Rumsfeld strategy before that I’m telling you, it’s succeeding.” [Fox News, 1/10/08]

 

February 2008: McCain Said Iraq Is Succeeding Politically.  During a town hall meeting in Houston, Texas, McCain said, “In fact we are succeeding in Iraq. …We are succeeding militarily and we are succeeding, uh, politically.” [Town Hall in Houston, TX, 2/28/08]

 

  • Petraeus: “No One Feels There Has Been Sufficient Progress” Politically. General David Petraeus said, “No one feels that there has been sufficient progress by any means in the area of national reconciliation.” The Washington Post reported, “Iraqi leaders have failed to take advantage of a reduction in violence to make adequate progress toward resolving their political differences, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said.” [Washington Post, 3/14/08]

 

McCain On The Reason For And Success Of The War:

 

McCain Backed Bush And Insisted Hussein Had Weapons of Mass Destruction.  While appearing on NBC’s Meet The Press, McCain said, “He has continued his efforts of acquire weapons of mass destruction. He has used them on his own people. He’s used them on others.”  He added that, “there’s no doubt that he is on the path to acquiring a nuclear weapon.” [NBC, “Meet the Press,” 9/22/02]

 

Mission Accomplished: In 2003, McCain Said “Overall, I Believe Our Goals Have Been Met.” While appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, McCain said, “We bombed Mr. Milosevic for 70-some days with 40-some days’ bombing campaign in Gulf War I. And understandably, in real time, we do have a tendency to become impatient. I do, too. But we’re only 11 days in, and even though these forces have been harassing and have inflicted some casualties, tragically, our overall goals, I believe, have been met.” [NBC, “Meet the Press,” 3/30/03]

 

FOREIGN POLICY

McCain Said “There Are Going To Be More Wars.” During a town hall meeting in Polk City, Florida, McCain said, “I’m sorry to tell you, there’s going to be other wars. We will never surrender but there will be other wars.” [CNN, 1/27/08]

 

IRAN: McCain: “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran.”  In April 2007, McCain, speaking to voters in South Carolina, responded to a question about Iran by singing “Bomb, bomb Iran” to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann.”  A man had asked McCain about sending “an air mail message to Tehran.”  McCain answered by singing, “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.”  He then added: “Iran is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. That alone should concern us, but now they are trying for nuclear capabilities. I totally support (President George W. Bush) when he says we will not allow Iran to destroy Israel.” [UPI, 4/19/07]

 

  • McCain Threatened to Return to Iran with the “Full Force of Desert Storm.” In a 1995 press release, McCain wrote of Iraq and Iran, “[a]ggressors in the region should know that, if we must, we will return to the Persian Gulf with the full force of Operation Desert Storm. At the same time, our friends and adversaries elsewhere in the world should understand that the United States will do everything in its legislation will serve as an indication of just how serious we are.” [McCain Press Release, 4/28/95]

 

RUSSIA: McCain Called For Russia’s Expulsion From The G-8.  “Asked what he would do about Russia if he were president, Sen. McCain reiterated a call for the Group of Eight leading nations -- Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the U.S. -- to remove Russia. ‘The G-8 is based on membership of different countries that believe in free and open economies, free and open societies and free and fair elections,’ he said.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/4/08]

 

HOMELAND SECURITY

McCain Voted Against Funding Homeland Security.  In 2004, McCain voted against an effort to increase overall homeland security spending by $2 billion, for a range of programs including explosives detection devices at airports, firefighter grants and radiation devices.  The motion failed 43-51. McCain voted against $6.8 billion in additional funding for homeland defense programs.  This additional money would have come from reducing the President’s tax breaks for taxpayers with incomes in excess of $1 million a year.  The amendment failed 40-57.   [HR 4567, Vote #169, 9/09/04; S. Con. Res. 95, Vote #50, 3/11/04]

 

McCain Voted Against Implementing The Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.  In 2006, McCain voted against an amendment that would implement the recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission, including the screening of all cargo and enabling first-responders to communicate on a common radio spectrum. It also would call for a new direction in Iraq and authorize additional funds for intelligence activities.  The amendment failed 41-57.  [HR 4954, Vote #243, 9/13/06]

 

McCain Voted Against Increasing Funding For First Responders.  In the Senate, John McCain has repeatedly voted against increasing funding for first responders and specifically voted against communications equipment grants.  [HR 2862, Vote #227, 9/14/05; SCR 83, Vote #45, 3/15/06; SCR 18, Vote #50, 3/15/05]

 

McCain Flip-Flopped On Torture, Said U.S. Would Not Torture. During a town hall meeting, John McCain said, “I’ll tell ya, as president of the United States, we will never torture another person in the custody of the United States of America.  That’s not what America is supposed to do.” [Town Hall; Nashua, NH, 12/08/07, emphasis added]

 

  • McCain Voted Against Banning Waterboarding. In 2008, McCain voted against adoption of a conference report that would prohibit the use of any interrogation treatment not authorized by the U.S. Army Field Manual against any individual in the custody of the intelligence community.  The conference report passed 51-45.  [HR 2082, Vote #22, 2/13/08]

 

DEFENSE

McCain Wrote The Law That Allows Defense Contracts To Be Awarded To Foreign Companies.  In 2004, McCain proposed and voted for an amendment to allow the Secretary of Defense to waive the application of any domestic source requirements with respect to items that are grown, reprocessed, reused, produced or manufactured in seven foreign countries that have a “declaration of principles” with the United States.  The amendment passed 54-46.  [S 2400, Vote #135, 6/22/04]

 

McCain Voted Against Stricter Penalties For War Profiteering And Fraud.  In 2004, McCain against the Leahy amendment that would make profiteering on contracts in connection with military or rebuilding activities in Iraq, Afghanistan or other countries punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison and $1 million in fines.  Amendment rejected 46-52.  [S 2400, Vote #120, 6/16/04]

 

McCain Repeatedly Voted To Further The Missile Defense Program. In the Senate, McCain has voted at least five times against cutting funding or to further the missile defense program.  [HR 1585, Vote #245, 7/12/07; S 1873, Vote #131, 5/13/1998; S 1873, Vote #262, 9/9/98; S 936, Vote #171, 7/11/97; S 1745, Vote #160, 6/19/96]

 

Energy

McCain’s Tax Plan Gives Top Five Oil Companies $3.8 Billion A Year In Tax Breaks.  According to a study conducted by the Center for American Progress, “The McCain plan would deliver approximately $170 billion a year in tax cuts to corporations, including some corporations that are very large and profitable. Just one of the proposals—cutting the corporate rate from 35 percent to 25 percent—would cut taxes for five largest U.S. oil companies by $3.8 billion a year.” [Center for American Progress, 3/27/08]

 

Campaign Donations From Industry Players:

  • McCain has Taken At Least $720,613 from the Oil & Gas Industry. According to a Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of campaign finance data provided by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics Center, John McCain accepted at least $720,613 from the oil and gas industry since 1989. [Center for Responsive Politics via Campaign Action Fund]

 

  • McCain Has Accepted $72,600 from Nuclear Power Industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics Center, John McCain received $72,600 in campaign contributions from the nuclear power industry between 1997 and 2002. [Center for Responsive Politics]

 

McCain Voted for $5 Billion in Tax Breaks for Big Oil. In 2006, McCain voted for the conference report on H.R. 4297, which included $5 billion in tax breaks for big oil.  McCain voted for the conference report, even though Republicans added back in two tax loopholes that have allowed the oil industry to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.  The conference report passed 54-44. [H.R. 4297, Vote #118, 5/11/2006]

 

McCain Called For Lifting The Off Shore Drilling Moratorium, Said Coasts “Should Be Open To Exploration and Exploitation.” Despite repeatedly voting to ban off shore drilling in the Senate, John McCain announced a reversal of his previous stance and said, “So I do believe that there are places in the world, as I said, that we should not drill. But I certainly think there are areas off our coasts that should be open to exploration and exploitation. And I hope that we can take the first step, by lifting the moratoria in order to do so.” [H.R. 6, Vote #143, 6/21/2005; S. 14, Vote #221, 6/12/2003; McCain Press Availability, 6/16/07]

 

  • Houston Chronicle: McCain Announced Drilling Stance To “Make Amends With Texas Energy Producers.” The Houston Chronicle Reported, “Republican presidential candidate John McCain, seeking to make amends with Texas energy producers who did not support him during the 2008 GOP primary season, said Monday he wants to end a federal moratorium on offshore drilling and create ‘additional incentives’ for states to approve new exploration ventures.” [Houston Chronicle, 6/17/08]

 

SENIORS

McCain Supports Privatizing Social Security. According to his campaign website, “John McCain supports supplementing the current Social Security system with personal accounts.” [McCain Campaign Website, accessed 3/28/08]

 

McCain Said Privatization Was The Only Way To Save Social Security. During a 2004 political speech in New Hampshire, John McCain was asked, “Will privatizing Social Security be a priority for you going forward?”  McCain said, “Without privatization, I don’t see how you can possibly over time make sure that young Americans are able to receive Social Security benefits.” [C-Span, “Road To The White House” via YouTube.com, accessed 6/18/08]

 

  • McCain Said He Could Accept “Almost Anything” as Part of a Compromise. In 2007, McCain was asked about his 2005 support of increasing Social Security taxes and was pressed about it as a part of a compromise.  McCain said, “Oh. Well, I mean, as part of a compromise, if you come up with a benefit, I can accept almost anything, but it’s got to be part of a compromise.  Am I for raising anybody’s taxes? No, I am not. I am unalterably opposed to doing so. But we have to save it, and come together the way that Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan did.  I will not support any specific remedy, no matter what I said in 2005, and I believe you’re taking that quote out of context, because I never said it before.”  [FOX News, 4/30/07]

 

McCain Voted To Raise The Medicare Eligibility Age From 65 to 67. In 1997, McCain voted in favor of raising the eligibility age for receiving Medicare from 65 to 67 with the change being phased in between 2003 and 2027. The motion passed 62-38. [S 947, Vote #112, 6/24/97]

 

1995: McCain Voted to Cut Medicare by $270 billion.  In 1995, McCain voted for budget that would cut Medicare by $270 billion.  [H.R. 2491, Vote #584, 11/17/1995; H.R. 2491, Vote #556, 10/27/1995; H.C.R. 67, Vote #296, 6/29/1995]

 

McCain Voted Against the Prescription Drug/Medicare Bill After Voting Down 12 Important Enhancements to the Legislation.  In 2003, McCain voted against a Medicare bill which did little to lower the costs of prescription drugs.  Under the limited drug benefit, those with drug costs below $5,800 would still have to pay most of their drug costs, and premiums would vary across the country. The bill passed 76-21. [S 1, Vote #262, 6/26/03]

 

Budget and Appropriations

McCain Said He’s Never Asked For An Earmark Or Pork Barrel Project. McCain has repeatedly said he has never asked for or received an earmark for his state of Arizona.  “In 24 years as a Member of Congress I’ve never asked for nor received a single earmark or pork barrel project for my state.” [Town Hall Meeting in South Carolina, 1/10/08; Fox News Debate 1/6/08]

 

McCain Cites Elimination of Earmarks As A Means To Balancing The Budget.  According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “Sen. McCain often cites elimination of earmarks as a solution to the country’s financial woes. When asked Wednesday, after a town-hall meeting in Exeter, N.H., how he would balance his proposed budget, Sen. McCain responded, ‘By eliminating wasteful and pork-barrel spending, to start with.’” [Wall Street Journal, 3/14/08]

 

  • WSJ: Eliminating Earmarks Wouldn’t Restore Revenue Lost By McCain’s Tax and Spending Proposals. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “eliminating earmarks wouldn’t restore revenue lost by Sen. McCain’s other propositions, including a litany of tax cuts. He plans to not raise taxes, but he also plans to increase the size of the military and institute health-care overhauls.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/14/08]

 

McCain Sponsored $10 Million Earmark For Law Center In Arizona. McCain tried to push a bill through Congress to steer “10 million to the University of Arizona to launch an academic center honoring the late Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist.” At the same time, McCain was also sponsoring a bill which mounted “a direct assault on congressional earmarks.” [Chicago Tribune, 3/4/06]

 

McCain Helped A Phoenix Space Lab Secure A $25 Million Grant From The Federal Government.   In 1990, Arizona Senators Dennis DeConcini and John McCain helped secure a $25 million federal contract for a space science lab in Phoenix.  Senator DeConcini said, “There was the ability to sell it, to float it politically, that this was a good investment for America. I’m glad to have John McCain as a colleague to work for a $25 million contract because it was not just good for Arizona, because it was good for small business and good for the nation, a partnership of the private sector and the federal government.”  [MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, 1/22/90]

 

TAXES

McCain’s Plan: Tax Cuts To For Businesses. According to the Associated Press, John McCain proposed a long-term economic plan that would lower the corporate income tax rate and provide several other tax breaks for businesses.  McCain proposed cutting the corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent.  McCain said that his plan was “pro growth, less taxes and less spending” versus “the Democrats’ tired ideas of tax and spend.” [Associated Press, 1/17/08]

 

McCain Says He Would Treat Employer Sponsored Healthcare as Taxable Income.  The Tax Policy Center wrote that McCain “He says he would treat employer sponsored health benefits as taxable income, while giving individuals a tax credit for the insurance they buy. On its own, taxing employer insurance just like wages would be a huge tax increase—OMB estimates in the neighborhood of $1 trillion from 2009–2013. To many on the right, that alone would violate the no-tax pledge.” [Tax Policy Center, 2/19/08]

 

EDUCATION

McCain Supports Vouchers.  In an interview, McCain said, “I support vouchers.” During his tenure in the Senate, McCain has voted at least nine times for proposals supporting voucher pilot programs and “education savings accounts.”  [Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 7/26/07; S 1, Vote #179, 6/12/01; HR 2646, Vote #96, 4/23/98; HR 2646, Vote #87, 4/21/98; HR 2646, Vote #86, 4/21/98; HR 2646, Vote #34, 3/17/98; S 1156, Vote #260, 9/30/97; S 949, Vote #150, 6/27/97; SCR 2, Vote #89, 5/23/97; S 1513, Vote #238, 7/27/94]

 

McCain Thinks NCLB is Beginning to Work.  In 2001, John McCain rose on the Senate floor to express his support for NCLB.  “I am supporting this measure today,” McCain said, adding, “the bill does make needed strides to improve our Nation’s schools.”  In September 2007, the Marshalltown Times-Republican reported, “Another issue McCain feels needs addressed is education. He feels that No Child Left Behind is beginning to work, but much more needs addressing the in the field of educating our children.” [Congressional Record, No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 – Conference Report (Senate – December 18, 2001), accessed 3/21/08; Marshalltown Times-Republican, 9/05/07; NEA McCain Education Tracking Document]

 

  • McCain Repeatedly Voted Against Full Funding For NCLB. During his tenure in the Senate, McCain has voted at least 3 times against full funding of No Child Left Behind. [SCR 95, Vote #35, 3/10/04; SCR 23, Vote #60, 3/19/03; HJR 2, Vote #5, 1/16/03]

 

LABOR

McCain Repeatedly Voted Against Raising The Minimum Wage.  In the senate, John McCain voted at least eight times against measure to increase the minimum wage. [HR 2, Vote #23, 1/24/07; S.Amdt. 44 to S. 256, Vote #26, 3/07/05; S.Amdt. 128 to S. 256, Vote #27, 3/07/05; S.Amdt. 3079 to S.Amdt. 2951 to S.Con.Res. 101, Vote #76, 4/07/00; S.Amdt. 1383 to S. 1429, Vote #239, 7/30/99; S. 96, Vote #94, 4/28/99; S .Amdt. 3540 to S.Amdt. 3559 to S. 1301, Vote #278, 9/22/98; S.Amdt. 4272 to H.R. 3448, Vote #183, 7/06/96]

 

McCain Voted Against Eliminating Incentives for Companies to Move Manufacturing Plants Offshore.  In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment to repeal tax incentives for domestic companies that move their manufacturing plants to offshore locations and use the resulting revenue to reduce the federal deficit and debt by $3.2 billion from 2006 to 2010.  The amendment failed 40-59.  [S.Amdt. 210  to S.Con.Res. 18, Vote #63, 3/17/05]

 

McCain Voted To Take Away Overtime Pay For As Many As 8 Million Workers.  In 2005, McCain voted against a proposal to block the Labor Department from implementing new rules to overhaul eligibility standards for overtime pay.  The amendment passed 52-47.  [S.Amdt. 3107 to S. 1637, Vote #79, 5/04/04]

 

McCain Voted To Repeal Ergonomics Regulations.  In 2001, McCain voted to repeal a workplace regulation designed to prevent injuries from repetitive motion.  Republicans argued that the regulation would cost businesses billions of dollars.  However, in the long run, the regulations would save companies money.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which wrote the regulations, said that it would cost businesses $4.5 billion to implement, but would save $9 billion through increased productivity and reduced sick days.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.8 million ergonomic injuries are reported each year.  The resolution passed 56-44.  [S.J.Res. 6, Vote #15, 3/06/01; Congressional Record, Page S1846, 3/06/01]

 

McCain Is An “Unashamed and Unabashed” Supporter of NAFTA, Free Trade:

 

  • John McCain Supports NAFTA, Free Trade. John McCain said, “I am an unashamed and unabashed defender of NAFTA. I am an unabashed supporter of free trade agreements.” [Boston Globe, 3/26/08]

 

  • McCain Voted for NAFTA. In 1993, McCain voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Opponents argued that NAFTA has resulting in widespread job losses for American workers.  The bill passed 61-38.  [H.R. 3450, Vote #395, 11/20/93]

 

  • McCain Voted for Permanent Normal Trading Relations (PNTR) To China. In 2000, McCain voted for a bill for permanent normal trade relations with the China. The bill passed 83-15.  [HR 4444, Vote #251, 9/19/00]

 

 

 

McCain’s Biography

 

Short Bio: John Sidney McCain III was born August 29, 1936 while his father was serving as an active duty naval officer in the Panama Canal Zone. His Grandfather was also a Naval officer. 

 

Religion: Episcopalian.

 

Education: U.S. Naval Academy, B.S., 1958; National War College, 1974

 

Family: “Senator McCain has seven children and four grandchildren, and currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife Cindy. McCain has married twice. Married Cindy Hensley (May 17, 1980 - present); Carol Shepp (1965-1980, divorced); Children: Bridget, 1991 (adopted from Bangladesh, 1992); Jimmy, 1988; Jack, 1986; Meghan, 1984; Sidney, 1966; Adopted sons from Carol’s previous marriage: Andy, 1962, and Doug, 1959. Cindy’s (his second wife) formal education includes an undergraduate degree in Education and a Master’s in Special Education from the University of Southern California. As a student, Cindy participated in pilot programs testing Movement Therapy, which is now a widely accepted standard for working with severely disabled children. After receiving her degrees from USC, she began her teaching career at Agua Fria High School in Arizona where she continued her work with disabled children. Cindy McCain continues to be an advocate for kids.” [John McCain.com, accessed 1/07]

 

Early Life

 

YOUTH: “John McCain, 71, was born on a US military base in Panama. Both his father and grandfather were celebrated navy admirals -- the latter commanded the US aircraft carrier fleet in the Pacific during world war two -- and there was never much doubt that he would follow in their footsteps. McCain spent his childhood bouncing from one naval base to another with his family before enrolling at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. He was a lacklustre student with a rebellious streak that often landed him in trouble. He also led a colourful social life, including a period dating a Brazilian exotic dancer.” [Financial Times, 3/5/08]

 

COLLEGE:  “John attended college at the United States Naval Academy, and launched a 22-year career as a naval aviator upon his graduation. In 1958 McCain graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned as a naval officer. In 1965 McCain married Carol Shepp, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and adopted her two sons, Doug and Andy.  Their third child, Sidney was born a year later in 1966. In 1967 McCain was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy. He continued the McCain tradition of service to country passed down to him from his father and grandfather when he asked to serve in the Vietnam War.”  [John McCain.com, accessed 1/07]

 

  • McCain Was Born Into “Navy Royalty” – His Grandfather And Father Were Admirals.  According to Salon’s Jake Tapper, John McCain was “…born into Navy royalty -- both his father and grandfather achieved the rank of admiral…” [Column, Salon.com, 4/14/99]

 

 

VIETNAM: “In Vietnam, McCain had numerous near-death experiences. On July 29 1967, a missile accidentally fired from a nearby plane struck the fuel tanks on John’s plane and created a deadly inferno aboard the ship. John barely escaped the fiery disaster that killed 134 men, injured hundreds more and destroyed 20 planes. Instead of taking the option to return home after the Forrestal disaster, Senator McCain volunteered for more combat duty - a fateful decision that stopped the clock on his life and separated him from his family, and country, for five and a half years. During his 23rd bombing mission on October 26, 1967, a missile struck John’s plane and forced him to eject, knocking him unconscious and breaking both his arms and his leg. John was then taken as a prisoner of war into the now infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” where he was denied necessary medical treatment and often beaten by the North Vietnamese. John spent much of his time as a prisoner of war in solitary confinement, aided by his faith and the friendships of his fellow POWs. After the signing of the Paris Peace Accords, John McCain and nearly 600 fellow POWs were released from the Hanoi Hilton, ending the longest wartime incarceration in U.S. history. In 1979, McCain was promoted to Captain in the US Navy. In 1980, John McCain marries his wife, Cindy Hensley of Phoenix, Arizona. Senator McCain’s last Navy duty assignment was to serve as the naval liaison to the United States Senate. John retired from the Navy in 1981. His naval honors include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.”  [John McCain.com, accessed 1/07]

 

  • McCain Was Offered Early Release From Vietnam POW Camp, Turned It Down Repeatedly. According to the New Yorker, because John McCain’s father had been commander-in-chief of the Pacific, “…the Vietnamese saw him as a valuable propaganda asset (referring to him as ‘the crown prince’) and offered him early release [from a Vietnam POW camp]-something that he turned down repeatedly.” [New Yorker, 5/30/05]

 

 

Career

 

 

CONGRESS: McCain was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1986, after serving two terms in the U.S. House. He has fought to reduce spending and the influence of ‘special interests’ on lawmaking. John McCain was presented with the “Taxpayer’s Hero Award” in 1997, 1998, and 1999 by The Council for Citizens against Government Waste (amongst other taxpayer awards). John McCain was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 1999. Also in 1999, McCain published a best-selling book Faith of My Fathers is published. In 2000 McCain ran for President. In 2002, together with Russ Feingold, McCain helped pass landmark legislation for campaign finance reform, which reformed the influence of money in political campaigns. Also in 2002 McCain published another book and hosted SNL. In 2004 McCain published another book, Why Courage Matters: The Way to a Braver Life. In 2004, McCain was re-elected to his fourth term in the United States Senate with over 77 per cent of the vote. In 2005 McCain received numerous taxpayer awards and another “Eisenhower institute award.”

 

  • McCain’s Years In The Senate Started With Scandal.  “His Senate career got off to a rocky start when he became embroiled in an ethics scandal surrounding a bankrupt financial company he had lobbied for. McCain admitted an error of judgment and has since earned a reputation for campaigning against government corruption and waste.” [Financial Times, 3/5/08]

 

  • McCain Lost 2000 Presidential Primary To George W. Bush.  “He ran for president in 2000 but narrowly lost the Republican nomination to George W. Bush. Ill-feeling between McCain and Bush lingered for years and there was speculation that he would join the Democratic presidential ticket as John Kerry’s running mate in 2004. The rumours proved unfounded and McCain later became a staunch supporter of two controversial Bush administration policies -- the troop ”surge” in Iraq and reform of US immigration laws.” [Financial Times, 3/5/08]

 

POLICIES: “McCain’s campaign rests on two main pillars: his support for the war on terror and his promise to tackle wasteful government spending. McCain has vowed to stay on the offensive against terrorists, describing Islamic extremism as an “existential” threat to US civilisation. His support for offering illegal immigrants a path to citizenship has alienated many conservatives -- prompting him to put greater emphasis on the need for tighter border security. On social issues, he has sought to shed his moderate image and woo Christian conservatives by stressing his longstanding opposition to abortion.” [Financial Times, 3/5/08]

 

CAMPAIGN: “Eight years ago, McCain was the plucky underdog who put up a valiant but ultimately futile fight against George W. Bush for the Republican nomination. In 2008, McCain was determined that he would be the bid-budget frontrunner with establishment backing. But the strategy backfired when his unpopular positions on immigration and Iraq caused a slump in fundraising. It was only after resuming the role of straight-talking underdog that McCain’s fortunes improved. Declining violence in Iraq also helped revive his campaign by vindicating his support for the ‘surge’. [Financial Times, 3/5/08]

 

 

Personal Life

 

FAMILY:

McCain Has Seven Children From Two Marriages.  According to the New York Times, “There are the children from his first marriage — Doug and Andy, from his first wife’s former marriage — whom he adopted when they were small, as well as a daughter, Sidney. Then there is the second family: Meghan, Jimmy, Jack and the McCain’s adopted daughter, Bridget, 16, who became a target of dirty campaigning in the 2000 presidential race, when she was portrayed as the child of an illicit union. … Mr. McCain has frequently said he never pushed his children toward a military career. Yet three of his four sons have been in the service; the fourth, Andy, was turned down by the Naval Academy. Doug was a Navy pilot, Jack is in the academy and Jimmy, whom Mrs. McCain described as ‘the sensitive one,’ stunned many of his siblings by enlisting in the Marines.”  [New York Times, 12/27/07]

 

McCains Adopted A Bangladeshi Orphan That Cindy Brought Back To U.S. For Medical Help. According to Good Housekeeping, John McCain said that his wife, Cindy’s “finest hour” came when in 1991, when Cindy went on a trip to Bangladesh, with the American Voluntary Medical Team, an organization she had launched in 1988 with part of her family’s fortune.  Also according to Good Housekeeping, Mrs. McCain “…visited an orphanage where 150 malnourished infants were living in squalor. Toward the end of her stay, nuns brought her a 10-week-old named Bridget. The baby was severely disfigured by a cleft palate; her caretakers begged Cindy to take her to the United States for treatment, and she quickly agreed.”  Once back in the U.S., both Cindy and John decided to adopt Bridget. [Good Housekeeping, 2/1/00]

 

 

McCain Cheated On and Divorced His First Wife After She Suffered a Disabling Care Accident.  The New York Times writes, “His wife, Carol, a tall, slim woman who had once been a model, had nearly died in a car wreck in 1969 [while McCain was a prisoner of war].  The injuries left her four inches shorter and on crutches, and she had gained a good deal of weight.”  They add, “[His] personal life was a mess: Although he was still living with his wife, he was aggressively courting a 25-year-old woman who was as beautiful s she was rich.” After meeting at a party, McCain pursued the woman “aggressively, flying around the country to see her.” McCain divorced his first wife the next year, and “promptly married Miss Hensley, his present wife.” [New York Times, 2/27/00]

 

WEALTH:

 

McCain Was Seventh Wealthiest Senator In 2005 Based On His 2005 PFD. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, John McCain was the seventh wealthiest Senator in 2005, based on his 2005 personal financial disclosure.  McCain’s minimum net worth was listed at $20,571,136 and his maximum net worth was listed at $32,043,011. [Center For Responsive Politics via Opensecrets.org, accessed 1/8/08]  

 

McCain’s Mother Is Daughter Of “Wealthy Oil Wildcatter”; Was Too Old To Rent Car In Europe, So She Bought A New Mercedes. According to Vanity Fair, at the age of 94, John McCain’s mother was “unstoppable.”  Apparently, she is “the daughter of a wealthy oil wildcatter” and when she went to Europe, and was too old to rent a car, “…she simply bought herself a new Mercedes and hit the road.” [Vanity Fair, February 2007]

 

 

Cindy McCain

 

Cindy McCain Worked As Special Ed. Teacher & Children’s Health Activist. According to Good Housekeeping, McCain’s wife Cindy has been a special education teacher and children’s health activist. [Good Housekeeping, 2/1/00]

 

Cindy McCain Has Led As Many As 55 Medical Missions To Third World Countries. According to Good Housekeeping, McCain’s wife Cindy had led 55 medical missions to Third World Countries as of February 2000 (the publication date of the article). [Good Housekeeping, 2/1/00]

 

Cindy McCain Never Moved Family To D.C., Opted To See McCain When He Could Make It Back To Phoenix. According to Good Housekeeping, McCain’s wife Cindy “…never move the family to Washington, D.C., opting to see her husband when he could make it to Phoenix, where their children [were attending] school.”  Cindy told Good Housekeeping that the decision “…can be lonely...and there are days when I get frustrated.”  Cindy also “…confess[ed] that she balked at McCain’s plan to seek the [2000 Presidential] nomination, because she knew it would mean hitting the road and leaving the kids behind.” [Good Housekeeping, 2/1/00]

 

Cindy McCain Admitted She Had Been Addicted To Painkillers.  According to Good Housekeeping, in 1994, Cindy McCain admitted that she had been addicted to Painkillers.  Cindy had suffered from “crippling pain” and two surgeries on her spine apparently brought her no relief.  Cindy started taking Percoset and Vicodin, two painkillers to which she became addicted.  Cindy told Good Housekeeping that publicly acknowledging her addiction was “very important.”  As of February 2000, [the article’s publication date] Cindy was a member of Narcotics Anonymous. [Good Housekeeping, 2/1/00]

 

Cindy McCain Said Her Addiction Battle Made Her A Better Parent And Person.  According to Good Housekeeping, Cindy McCain said about her battle with addiction to painkillers, “I never want to repeat what happened to me, but I think I’m a better person for having had to deal with it…And I Know I’m a better person.” [Good Housekeeping, 2/1/00]

 

Cindy McCain Stole Painkiller Drugs From Medical Relief Agency She Founded. According to Good Housekeeping, in 1994 Cindy McCain admitted that she had both been addicted to painkillers and had stolen pills from a medical-relief agency she had founded.  Although no charges were filed, Good Housekeeping reported that “Cindy paid restitution to the agency and did penance by working in a soup kitchen.”  Good Housekeeping mentioned that Cindy worried about the fact that media scrutiny surrounding the scandal would be hard on her children and husband. [Good Housekeeping, 2/1/00]

 

 

 

 

McSame: McCain’s Policies Offer a Third Bush Term

 

 

“[H]e has more than earned our support. He has earned our admiration and our love.”

– John McCain on George W. Bush [Chicago Tribune, 8/11/04]

 

A vote for John McCain is a vote for a third Bush term. McCain has admitted that his relationship with Bush is based on shared views in Iraq, immigration and a common agenda. McCain has offered no plan to end the war in Iraq. In fact, McCain says he is comfortable with being in Iraq for a hundred years. McCain offered a radical health care plan that is similar to a failed Bush proposal. McCain endorsed Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security—so much so he joined Bush on the campaign to sell the proposal. Although, McCain previously opposed Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy he has made a “breathtaking turnaround” and supports these budget-busting, tax cuts for the wealthy.

 
 
Top Hits:

  • In 2008, John McCain has voted with George W. Bush 100% of the time.
  • Bush said McCain was set to “carry forth his agenda.”
  • McCain said his friendship with Bush was based on shared views on the issues.
  • McCain will continue Bush’s failed policies in Iraq.
  • McCain’s health care plan is the same as Bush’s.
  • McCain supported Bush’s efforts to privatize Social Security.
  • McCain flip-flopped to align himself with the Bush tax cuts.
  • McCain supported Bush’s disastrous No Child Left Behind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bush Endorsed McCain For 2008

 

Bush Said McCain Was Best to “Carry Forth His Agenda.” Behind closed doors, Bush “has told people for months that he thought McCain would be the nominee.  Even during some of those dark periods he still thought he could win. And also that McCain would be the best to carry forth his agenda.” [Fox News, “Fox and Friends, 2/8/2008]

 

President Bush: McCain Is “Not Going To Change When It Comes To Taking On The Enemy.”  After endorsing John McCain’s candidacy for president, President Bush said, “The good news about our candidate is he’ll be a new president, a man of character and courage, but he’s not going to change when it comes to taking on the enemy. He understands this is a dangerous world. And I understand we better have steadfast leadership who’s got the courage and determination to pursue this enemy, so as to protect America.” [White House Press Conference, 3/5/08] 

 

McCain Said He Calls Bush Every Day To Remind Bush of His “Extreme Loyalty.”  During an appearance on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” Chris Matthews asked McCain, “Does the president notice the pattern of your extreme loyalty to him?”  McCain said, “I call him every day and try to remind him.” [MSNBC, Hardball, 3/13/06]

 

Bush Said He Will Do Whatever It Takes For McCain To Win.  While endorsing McCain at the White House, President Bush said, “If my showing up and endorsing him helps him - or if I’m against him and it helps him - either way, I want him to win.  Bush added, “I got a lot to do, but I’m going to find ample time to help.  I can help raise him money, and if he wants my pretty face standing by his side at one of these rallies, I’d be glad to show up.” [Associated Press, 3/5/08]

 

Bush Said He “Looks Forward To Vigorously Campaigning” For McCain.  “The president has said he looks forward to vigorously campaigning for the GOP and tonight it has become clear that the GOP nominee will be Senator John McCain,” said White House press secretary Dana Perino. “Of course the president is going to endorse the GOP nominee which is going to be Senator John McCain.” [Associated Press, 3/5/08]

 

McCain Is a “Foot Soldier Following Bush.”  After Bush implied his support for McCain, the Washington Post reported, “whether [McCain] likes it or not, he is now also a foot soldier following Bush, and the two will have to figure out how to fight the next battle together.” [Washington Post, 2/8/08]

 

Cheney Set To Headline Closed-Door Fundraiser For McCain’s Victory Fund.  Vice-President Dick Cheney headlined a closed-door fundraiser for the McCain-RNC victory Fund.  Politico wrote, “It’s the eighth event Cheney has done for Victory, but may be the most noteworthy.” [Politico, 4/25/08]

 

McCain’s Campaign Hired Bush-Cheney 2004 Communications Director.  McCain’s presidential campaign hired Nicole Wallace to assist the campaign with strategy and communications.  Politico reported that, “Wallace served as communications director for Bush-Cheney ‘04 and held the same post in the White House at the start of the president’s second term.” [Politico, 4/24/08]

 

McCain Supported Bush 100 Percent in 2008, 95 Percent in 2007

 

McCain Supported Bush 100 Percent in 2008 and 95 Percent in 2007. According to Congressional Quarterly, McCain supported President Bush a majority of the time—supporting Bush as much as 100 percent in 2008 and 95 percent in 2007. According to CQ, “CQ tries to determine what the president personally, as distinct from other administration officials, does and does not want in the way of legislative action. This is done by analyzing his messages to Congress, news conference remarks and other public statements and documents.” [CQ Voting Studies, Accessed, 5/15/08]

 

McCain: “There Was A Recent Study That Showed That I Voted With The President Over 90 Percent Of The Time.”  During an appearance on FOX’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” McCain said, “The president and I agree on most issues. There was a recent study that showed that I voted with the president over 90 percent of the time, higher than a lot of my even Republican colleagues.” [Fox News, “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” 5/22/03]

 

 

Presidential Support

Year

Support

Oppose

2008 (through May 15, 2008)

100%

0%

2007

95%

5%

2006

89%

11%

2005

77%

23%

2004

92%

8%

2003

91%

9%

2002

90%

10%

2001

91%

9%

 

 

 

 

McCain/Bush Friendship Based on Issues

 

McCain Said Relationship With Bush Based On Shared Views On The Agenda. According to New York Times, “McCain described their relationship as a function of their positions and their shared views on such big issues as Iraq and immigration. ‘I believe if I were not in the Senate and not working on these issues, we might communicate once in a while, but not the way we do,’ he said. ‘We have a very good personal relationship, but it’s primarily based on the agenda.’” [New York Times, 7/03/06]

 

 

Republicans Agree: McSame As Bush


McCain’s National Security Adviser Said McCain Would Continue Bush’s Policies In Iraq.  When asked how McCain’s plan for Iraq was different from the failed policies of the Bush Administration, John Lehman, McCain’s National Security Adviser, said, “Well, he’s not continuing failed policies, he’s continuing the successful policies...” [MSNBC, 3/26/08]

 

Lindsey Graham Couldn’t Describe How McCain’s Worldview Differed From Bush’s.  While appearing on CNN on March 26th, Campbell Brown asked Sen. Lindsey Graham to describe how McCain’s worldview differed from Bush’s.  After a brief hesitation, Graham replied, “I don’t think I can describe it different than a person.” [CNN, 3/26/08]

 

Chuck Hagel Refused To Endorse McCain Because He Represents a Continuation of Bush’s Iraq Policies.  Appearing on CNN’s The Situation Room, Chuck Hagel said, he would not endorse because they want “to explain to the American people how they are gonna unwind American involvement in this fiasco in Iraq and what their foreign policy is gonna look like over the next four years.” He added, “I don’t agree with John McCain, and you know this Wolf, I think John and the President and others have put the Iraqi situation in the wrong context.” [CNN, “The Situation Room,” 3/27/08]

 

President Bush: McCain Is “Not Going To Change When It Comes To Taking On The Enemy.”  After endorsing John McCain’s candidacy for president, President Bush said, “The good news about our candidate is he’ll be a new president, a man of character and courage, but he’s not going to change when it comes to taking on the enemy. He understands this is a dangerous world. And I understand we better have steadfast leadership who’s got the courage and determination to pursue this enemy, so as to protect America.” [White House Press Conference, 3/5/08]

 

 

McSame On Economic Plan

 

Like Bush, McCain’s Economic Plan Is Centered On Tax Cuts.  According to the New York Times, “A major component of his economic plan — like those of Presidents Bush and Reagan — centered on tax cuts. Besides making the Bush income tax cuts permanent and reducing corporate taxes to 25 percent from 35 percent, Mr. McCain called for eliminating the alternative minimum tax and doubling the value of exemptions for dependents to $7,000 from $3,500, among other recommendations.” [New York Times, 4/16/08; emphasis added]

 

MAKING BUSH TAX CUTS PERMANENT

McCain Said The Bush Tax Cuts “Have To Be Made Permanent.” Discussing the Bush tax cuts during a town hall meeting in Springfield, Massachusetts, McCain said, “The first thing we want to do is not raise your taxes. So the tax cuts have to be permanent. We can’t raise your taxes in a time of economic difficulty in America. We need to make -- as I said, we need to make those tax cuts permanent.” [CNN, 3/14/08]

 

PRESIDENT BUSH: “We Need To Make The Tax Cuts Permanent.”  During a speech at the NRCC Dinner, President Bush said, “Our message is this: We need a Republican President and a Republican Congress

  • to prevent the Democrats from raising your taxes. We need to make the tax cuts permanent.” [President Bush’s Speech at the NRCC Dinner, 3/17/08]

 

CORPORATE TAX CUTS

McCain Proposed Corporate Tax Rate Cut. John McCain said, “The great goal is to get the American economy running at full strength again, creating the opportunities Americans expect and the jobs Americans need. And one very direct way to achieve that is by taking the savings from earmark, program review, and other budget reforms -- on the order of 100 billion dollars annually -- and use those savings to lower the business income tax for every employer that pays it.  So I will send to Congress a proposal to cut the taxes these employers pay, from a rate of 35 to 25 percent. As it is, we have the second-highest tax on business in the industrialized world.” [McCain Remarks on the Economy at Carnegie Melon University, 4/15/08]

 

  • Bush Signed “Sweeping” Corporate Tax Rewrite, Giving $136 Billion in Corporate Tax Breaks. In 2004, the Associated Press reported, “With no fanfare, President Bush Friday signed the most sweeping rewrite of corporate tax law in nearly two decades, showering $136 billion in new tax breaks on businesses, farmers and other groups.” [Associated Press, via MSNBC, 10/22/04]

 

SPENDING

McCain Proposed A Freeze Of Discretionary Spending. John McCain said, “As president, I will also order a prompt and thorough review of the budgets of every federal program, department, and agency. While that top to bottom review is underway, we will institute a one-year pause in discretionary spending increases with the necessary exemption of military spending and veterans benefits.” [McCain Remarks on the Economy at Carnegie Melon University, 4/15/08]

 

  • Discretionary Spending Freeze “Mirrors” Bush. According to the Washington Post, “McCain will also call for ‘a pause’ in discretionary spending increases to allow for a ‘top-down review’ of all government programs and agencies except veterans benefits and military spending. That proposal also mirrors the freeze in discretionary spending that Bush has had in place the past several years.” [Washington Post, 4/15/08]

 

TRADE

McCain Advocated Free Trade, Criticized “Hid[ing] Behind Walls.” John McCain said, “Opening new markets for American goods and services is indispensable to our future prosperity. We can compete with anyone. Senators Obama and Clinton think we should hide behind walls, bury our heads and industries in the sand, and hope we have enough left to live on while the world passes us by. But that is not good policy and it is not good leadership. And the short-sightedness of these policies can be seen today in Congress’ refusal to vote on the Colombian Free Trade Agreement. When new trading partners can sell in our market, and American companies can sell in theirs, the gains are great and they are lasting. The strength of the American economy offers a better life to every society we trade with, and the good comes back to us in many ways -- in better jobs, higher wages, and lower prices.”  [McCain Remarks on the Economy at Carnegie Melon University, 4/15/08]

 

  • Bush: “Walling Off America From World Trade Would Be A Disaster For Our Economy.”  During a speech on Wall Street, President Bush said, “I know there’s going to be a vigorous debate on trade, and bashing trade can make for good sound bites on the evening news. But walling off America from world trade would be a disaster for our economy. Congress needs to reject protectionism and to keep this economy open to the tremendous opportunities that the world has to offer.  [Economic Speech in New York City, 1/31/07; Public Papers of the Presidents]

 

 

McSame On Health Care

 

HEALTH CARE PLAN

McCain’s Plan “Would Seek To Lure Workers Away From Their Company Health Plans.” While describing the health care plan proposed by John McCain, The Washington Post wrote, “McCain’s prescription would seek to lure workers away from their company health plans.”  McCain would provide families with a $5,000 tax credit to purchase their own health insurance on the free market.  [Washington Post, 4/30/08]

 

  • Bush’s Plan Panned for Eroding Employer-Sponsored Health Care. Experts criticized Bush’s health care plan proposed early in 2007 because it would “erode the employer-sponsored system that still provides coverage to more than half of all Americans.” It prompted fear among many that the plan “would prompt more employers to drop health coverage and offer employees an immediate increase in wages to buy coverage on the individual market. But those plans tend to be more expensive, less comprehensive and harder to get for consumers who are already sick.” [Washington Post, 1/25/05]

 

McCain’s “Move Away From Employer-Based Coverage” Resembles Bush’s Failed Plan. In an article outlining McCain’s health care plan, the New York Times wrote, “His proposal to move away from employer-based coverage was similar to one that President Bush pushed for last year, to little effect.” [New York Times, 4/30/08]

 

  • McCain’s Health Care Plan Is “Similar To A Proposal Put Forth By President Bush Last Year.” While describing the health care plan proposed by John McCain, The Washington Post wrote, “Sen. John McCain on Tuesday rejected calls by his Democratic opponents for universal health coverage, instead offering a market-based solution with an approach similar to a proposal put forth by President Bush last year.” McCain also proposed health savings accounts, which were “a centerpiece of Bush’s health-care efforts.” [Washington Post, 4/30/08]

 

McCain’s Plan Would Force Patients To “Buy Health Insurance On Their Own.” McCain’s health care plan is an attempt to force patients to “buy health insurance on their own instead of receiving it from their employers.” [New York Times, 5/1/08]

 

CHILDREN’S HEALTH CARE

JOHN MCCAIN: McCain Voted Against Providing Insurance For Millions Of Uninsured Children. In August 2007, McCain voted against passage of H.R. 976, which would have reauthorized the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).  According to Knight Ridder, “The Senate proposal would provide coverage to 3.2 million” uninsured children and renew coverage for the 6 million children already covered by the program.  The legislation passed 68-31. [H.R. 976, Vote #307, 8/2/07; Knight Ridder, 8/2/07]

 

PRESIDENT BUSH: Bush Vetoed Bill Reauthorizing SCHIP And Providing Insurance For Millions Of Uninsured Children.  According to the Library of Congress, President Bush vetoed H.R. 976 On October 3rd, 2007.  If signed into law, the bill would have reauthorized the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).  According to Knight Ridder, “The Senate proposal would provide coverage to 3.2 million” uninsured children and renew coverage for the 6 million children already covered by the program.  [Library of Congress, accessed on 5/6/08; Knight Ridder, 8/2/07]

 

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

JOHN MCCAIN: McCain Supports Excluding Seniors From Prescription Drug Coverage.  John McCain said, “Many retired Americans face the terrible reality of deciding whether to buy food, pay rent or buy their prescriptions. And their government should help them. But when we added the prescription drug benefit to Medicare, a new and costly entitlement, we included many people who are more than capable of purchasing their own medicine without assistance from taxpayers who struggle to purchase their own. People like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet don’t need their prescriptions underwritten by taxpayers. Those who can afford to buy their own prescription drugs should be expected to do so.” [McCain Remarks on the Economy at Carnegie Melon University, 4/15/08]

 

  • BUSH WHITE HOUSE: Bush Supported Excluding Seniors From Prescription Drug Coverage. According to the Washington Post, “The Bush administration is advancing a proposal to levy higher premiums and deductibles on upper-income seniors enrolled in Medicare’s new prescription drug benefit, raising fees on beneficiaries with incomes over about $80,000 a year.” [Washington Post, 10/5/07]

 

 

McSame On Privatizing Social Security

 

JOHN MCCAIN: McCain Supports Privatization.  According to his campaign website, “John McCain supports supplementing the current Social Security system with personal accounts.” [McCain Campaign Website, accessed 3/28/08]

 

  • McCain Was A “Big Booster” Of Bush’s Social Security Privatization Plan. According to the Associated Press, “There’s another showing Tuesday of the good-cop, bad-cop routine featuring President Bush and Sen. John McCain, Bush’s one-time presidential rival who has become a big booster of the president’s Social Security plan. The Arizona Republican accompanied Bush on Monday to the senator’s home state and Colorado to try to help sell the public and Congress on the president’s proposal for a major Social Security overhaul.” [Associated Press, 3/22/05]

McCain Said, “Private Savings Accounts Work.” While appearing with President Bush in Tucson, Arizona in 2005, McCain said, “Private savings accounts work. They have been proven to work not only in America but all over the world, and we ought to really strongly support it.” [Presidential speech in Tucson, Arizona, 3/21/05; Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

 

  • McCain Defended Bush Plan, Said “Personal Savings Accounts Are Workable And Have Worked In Other Countries.” McCain said, “Well, I think the president wants to take a comprehensive approach to start with, but, second of all, these personal savings accounts are workable and have worked in other countries. They could pay a much greater return than the present 1.8 to 2 percent. We members of Congress and federal employees can invest our money into these five different -- and we’re doing fine, between seven and nine percent return. The president is willing to look at a comprehensive fix”  [CNN, “Inside Politics,” 3/03/05]

 

PRESIDENT BUSH: Workers “Ought To Be Allowed To Take Some Of Their Own Money And Put It In A Personal Savings Account.” While speaking to the American Legislative Exchange Council, President Bush said, “I strongly believe that younger workers ought to be allowed to take some of their own money and put it in a personal savings account, so they can watch their money grow at a rate greater than that which the Government can grow their money, a personal account they call their own, a personal account the Government cannot spend, a personal account they can pass on to whomever they want.” [Speech to the American Legislative Exchange Council, 8/3/05; Public Papers of the Presidents]

 

 

McSame On Eliminating The Right To Choose And Promising to Appoint Extreme Judges

 

JOHN MCCAIN: “Roe v. Wade Is A Flawed Decision That Must Be Overturned.” John McCain’s campaign website states, “John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench. Constitutional balance would be restored by the reversal of Roe v. Wade.” [JohnMcCain.com, accessed on 5/13/08]

 

  • McCain On His Supreme Court: McCain Promised to Appoint “Clones” Of Bush Nominees Alito And Roberts. During a May 6, 2008 speech on his judicial philosophy, John McCain said, “I will look for accomplished men and women with a proven record of excellence in the law, and a proven commitment to judicial restraint. I will look for people in the cast of John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and my friend the late William Rehnquist.”  In January 2008, McCain said, “I’ve said as often as I can, that I want to find clones of Alito and Roberts.” [Remarks By John McCain on Judicial Philosophy, 5/6/08; Baltimore Sun via The Swamp, 1/28/08, emphasis added]

 

PRESIDENT BUSH: “Roe v. Wade Was A Reach.  It Overstepped The Constitutional Bounds.” Despite previously opposing a ‘litmus test’ for federal judges, George W. Bush insisted he  would appoint pro-lie judges.  “Roe v. Wade was a reach.  It overstepped the constitutional bounds as far as I’m concerned,” he said.  He added, “I want to remind you I’m not a lawyer.” [San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/21/00]

 

 

McSame On Siding With Big Oil

 

JOHN MCCAIN: McCain’s Plan Gives Tax Breaks To Big Oil.  According to a study conducted by the Center for American Progress, McCain’s plan to cut “the corporate rate from 35 percent to 25 percent—would cut taxes for five largest U.S. oil companies by $3.8 billion a year.”  Additionally, “Oil and gas interests have donated $780,662 in campaign contributions to John McCain’s candidate and leadership committees over his career, according to a Campaign Money Watch analysis of campaign finance data provided by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.” [Center for American Progress, 3/27/08; Center for Responsive Politics via Campaign Action Fund]

 

PRESIDENT BUSH: Bush Gave Tax Breaks To Big Oil.  According to the Library of Congress, President Bush signed H.R. 4297 into law on May 17, 2006, which included $5 billion in tax breaks for big oil.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, George Bush has accepted $2,596,725 from the oil and gas industries.  [Library of Congress, accessed on 5/6/08; Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 5/6/08]

 

 

McSame On Education

 

JOHN MCCAIN: No Child Left Behind Is A “Major Milestone” And “An Accountability Act.”  On Larry King, McCain stated, “Senator Kennedy and President Bush worked together on the No Child Left Behind Act. The No Child Left Behind Act may have some flaws associated with it, but I still view it as a major milestone in trying to improve education in this country.”  He added, “I think some also might interpret it as an accountability act as well.” [CNN, “Larry King Live,” 11/03/05]

 

  • McCain Repeatedly Voted Against Fully Funding No Child Left Behind. In 2003 and 2004, McCain voted repeatedly against fully funding No Child Left Behind, resulting in an unfunded mandate.  [SCR 95, Vote #35, 3/10/04; SCR 23, Vote #60, 3/19/03; HJR 2, Vote #5, 1/16/03; HJR 2, Vote #5, 1/16/03]

 

PRESIDENT BUSH: No Child Left Behind Reached A “Historic Milestone Of Accountability.” During remarks on the implementation of No Child Left Behind, President Bush referred to it as “an historic milestone of accountability.”  He added that “Parents and teachers and principals and education chiefs are making good on our promise to leave no child left behind. We will continue to stand with them as they help the next generation realize the greatness of our country.” [Remarks on Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, 6/10/03]

 

  • GOP Congressman: “I Voted Against The No Child Left Behind Act… I Saw It As A Huge Unfunded Mandate.” During an interview with Human Events, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner said, “let me say that I voted against the No Child Left Behind bill, and was one of 33 Republicans who did that, because I saw it as a huge unfunded mandate, and that those who supported the legislation essentially over-promised what the federal government could deliver.” [Human Events, 12/22/06]

McSame On Denying Recession

 

Bush

McCain

 

Bush: “The Fundamentals Are Strong.” While speaking about recent economic troubles in Kansas City, President Bush said, “The fundamentals are strong.  We’re just in a rough patch.” [Los Angeles Times, 2/2/08; emphasis added]

 

McCain: “I Still Believe Our Fundamental Underpinnings Of Our Economy Are Strong…” In a report on CNN McCain said, “I still believe our fundamental underpinnings of our economy are strong, but it’s obvious that we are facing challenges, which will require actions such as the Federal Reserve took today.” [CNN, 1/22/08; emphasis added]

 

Bush: “I Don’t Think We’re Headed To A Recession.” According to CBS News, President Bush said, “I don’t think we’re headed to a recession, but no question we’re in a slowdown.” [CBS News, 2/28/08; emphasis added]

 

McCain: “I Don’t Believe We’re Headed Into A Recession.”  While speaking at a Fox News Republican debate, McCain said, “I don’t believe we’re headed into a recession. I believe the fundamentals of this economy are strong, and I believe they will remain strong.” [Fox News GOP Debate, South Carolina, 1/10/08; emphasis added]

 

Bush: “We’re Just In A Rough Patch.”  According to the Los Angeles Times, President Bush said, “The fundamentals are strong,” Bush said. “We’re just in a rough patch, as witnessed by the employment figures today. And I’m confident we can get through this rough patch.” [Los Angeles Times, 2/2/08; emphasis added]

 

McCain: “This is A Rough Patch.”’  While speaking at a Fox News Republican debate, McCain said, “I believe the fundamentals of this economy are strong, and I believe they will remain strong. This is a rough patch, but I think America's greatness lies ahead of us.” [Fox News GOP Debate, South Carolina, 1/10/08; emphasis added]

 

Bush: “We Need To Make the Tax Cuts Permanent.”  While speaking about the state of the economy, President Bush said, “one thing’s for certain, is we need to make the tax cuts permanent.” [President’s Speech on the Economy at the EEOB, 2/19/04; emphasis added]

 

McCain: “I’ll Make the Bush Tax Cuts Permanent.”  While appearing on Meet the Press, McCain said, “I’ll make the Bush tax cuts permanent… I’ve said 500 times that I want the tax cuts to be made permanent..” [NBC, “Meet the Press,” 1/27/08; emphasis added]

 

 

 

Bush & McCain: McSame on Iraq

 

McSame on…

Bush White House

McCain

 

… WMDs

 

Bush Insisted Iraq Had Weapons of Mass Destruction.  During an address to the nation in March of 2003, Bush said, “Saddam Hussein has had a long history of reckless aggression and terrible crimes.  He possesses weapons of terror. He provides funding and safe haven to terrorists who would willingly use weapons of mass destruction against America and other peace-loving countries.”  He added, “We will not wait to see what terrorists or terrorist states could do with weapons of mass destruction.” [The President’s Radio Address, 3/7/03; emphasis added]

 

 

McCain: Hussein Continues To Acquire, Amass And Improve On His Arsenal of Weapons of Mass Destruction.  During a floor debate on the floor of the senate, McCain said, “Saddam Hussein continues to acquire, amass, and improve on his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. He continues to attempt to acquire a nuclear weapon. These are all well-known facts. So if you believe that Saddam Hussein....is not going to abandon his request for his weapons, then the longer we wait, the more dangerous he becomes.” [Asheville Citizen-Times, 10/13/02; emphasis added]

 

 

… Being Greeted As Liberators

 

Cheney Said, “I Really Do Believe We Will Be Greeted As Liberators.”  While appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Vice President Cheney said, “I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. I've talked with a lot of Iraqis in the last several months myself, had them to the White House. The president and I have met with them, various groups and individuals, people who have devoted their lives from the outside to trying to change things inside Iraq.” [NBC, “Meet the Press,” 3/16/03; emphasis added]

 

McCain Said “The Iraqi People Will Greet Us As Liberators.”  While appearing on NBC’s The Today Show, McCain said, “But I believe, Katie, that the Iraqi people will greet us as liberators. I believe that they will have an opportunity over time, and it will be difficult, to realize the same hopes and dreams and aspirations that every person in the world has and deserves the opportunity to live in a free and open society.” [NBC, “The Today Show,” 3/20/03; emphasis added]

 

 

 

McSame on…

Bush White House

McCain

 

How to Pay for War

 

Paul Wolfowitz Said Iraqi Oil Revenues Will Help Pay For Reconstruction.  While speaking at a hearing of the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, said, “And my -- a rough recollection -- well, I'm -- the oil revenues of that country could bring between 50 and 100 billion dollars over the course of the next two or three years. Now, there are a lot of claims on that money, but that's -- we're not dealing with Afghanistan that's a permanent ward of the international community. We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.” [Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, 3/27/03; emphasis added]

 

McCain Said Iraqi Oil Reserves Would Cover The Cost of War.  During an interview with National Journal, McCain said, “Everybody now is talking of post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. I look on it with optimism and hope. As far as the cost is concerned, Iraqis have vast oil reserves and they, I’m sure, would shoulder the cost of the transition.” [National Journal, 2/15/03; emphasis added]

 

 

… A Mission Accomplished

 

Standing Under A “Mission Accomplished” Banner, Bush Declared An End To Major Combat Operations.  While giving a speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln and standing under a giant “Mission Accomplished” banner, Bush announced, “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” [Associated Press, 5/2/03; emphasis added]

 

 

McCain Said Capture Of Saddam Hussein Was A “Mission Accomplished.”  During an interview on ABC News “This Week” McCain was asked about the capture of Saddam Hussein and the effect on US Forces.  McCain said, “Their morale could not be higher. This is a mission accomplished. They know how much influence Saddam Hussein had on the Iraqi people, how much more difficult it made to get their cooperation. Every member of the military and civilian over there are rejoicing today. It was interesting to see Ambassador Bremer’s emotion. It was well- deserved.” [ABC, “This Week,” 12/14/03; emphasis added]

 

 

 

 

McSame on…

Bush White House

McCain

 

… Staying the Course

 

 

Bush: “We’ve Got to Stay the Course.” After meeting with the family of a fallen soldier, President Bush told the press, “We’ve got to stay the course and we will stay the course.” [Newsweek, 4/19/2004; emphasis added]

 

 

McCain: “We’ve Got to Stay the Course.”  In an interview with ABC News, McCain said, “Is Afghanistan perfect, no, we’ve got opium, we’ve got warlords but by God, it’s a heck of a lot better off than it was. And we can to do the same thing in Iraq, we’ve got to stay the course.” [ABC News, 10/24/04; emphasis added]

 

 

… Cutting and Running

 

Bush Said The U.S. Will Not Cut and Run.  During an interview, President Bush said that Iraqi’s “need to know that we won’t leave the country prematurely. They need to know two things: we’re not going to cut and run; and two, we believe they have the capacity to run their own country.” [Washington Post, 11/17/03; emphasis added]

 

 

McCain Said The U.S. Can’t Cut and Run.   According to the Associated Press, McCain said, “We can’t cut and run.”  They added, “Bush’s most important ally may be McCain.” [Associated Press, 9/22/05; emphasis added]

 

 

… Military & Political Solutions

 

 

Bush: A Military Solution Alone Will Not Stop Violence.  According to CNN, “The U.S. will win the war ‘unless we leave before the job is done,’ Bush said. He cautioned, however, that ‘a military solution alone will not stop violence.’” [CNN, 10/25/06; emphasis added]

 

 

McCain: A Military Solution Alone Will Not Solve the Problems In Iraq.  McCain said, “We all agree a military solution alone will not solve the problems of Iraq. There must be a political agreement among Iraqis that allows all groups to participate in the building of their nation, to share in its resources and to live in peace with each other.” [Congressional Documents and Publications, 8/23/07; emphasis added]

 

 

 

 

McSame on…

Bush White House

McCain

 

… Terrorists Following Us Home

 

Bush Said The Terrorists Would Follow “Follow Us Home” If The U.S. Withdrew From Iraq.  While speaking at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention in Kansas City, President Bush said, “Unlike in Vietnam, if we withdraw before the job is done, this enemy will follow us home. And that is why, for the security of the United States of America, we must defeat them overseas so we do not face them in the United States of America.” [The President’s speech to the VFW Convention, 8/22/07; emphasis added]

 

McCain Said The Terrorists Would “Follow Us Home” If The U.S. Withdrew From Iraq.  As reported in the Atlantic Free Press, McCain said, “I believe al Qaeda would trumpet to the world that they had defeated the United States of America , and I believe that therefore they would try to follow us home.” [Atlantic Free Press, 3/9/08; emphasis added]

 

 

… Who To Listen To

 

Bush Said He Will Listen To “Commanders on the Ground.” During a speech in Parma, Ohio, President Bush said, “I’m going to remind the people in the audience today that troop levels will be decided by our commanders on the ground, not by political figures in Washington, DC, and that we’ve got a plan to lead to victory.” [President’s Speech to GrafTech International in Parma, Ohio, 7/10/07; Public Papers of the Presidents, 7/16/07; emphasis added]

                   

 

McCain Said It Was Important To Listen to “Commanders on the Ground.” During a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, General James L. Jones said he “absolutely” relied on commanders on the ground.  McCain responded, “I think that’s important. Because there’s a lot of people who are armchair generals who reside here in the air-conditioned comfort of Capitol Hill who somehow do not trust the judgment of some of the finest leaders that our nation has produced, and there will be various proposals about troop reductions, announcing withdrawals which may not comport with conditions on the ground.” [Federal News Service, 9/6/07; emphasis added]

 

 

… The Surge’s “Success”

 

Bush Said The Troop Surge In Iraq Is Working.  While speaking to a group of religious broadcasters, President Bush said, “Since the surge began, sectarian killings are down and al-Qaida has been driven from many strongholds it once held. I strongly believe the surge is working and so do the Iraqis.” [CQ Transcriptions, 3/11/08; emphasis added]

 

 

McCain Said The Troop Surge Is Working.  When as ked if he believed if there was a connection between his political success and the condition in Iraq, McCain answered, “I do. The conditions on the ground have improved. The surge is working. If it weren’t, we’d be in a different place right now, no question.” [White House Bulletin, 1/14/08; emphasis added]

 

 

McSame on…

Bush White House

McCain

 

… Waving The White Flag of Surrender

 

Bush Accused Democrats of Waving The “White Flag of Surrender.” While speaking at a fundraiser for Sen. Jim Talent, Bush said, “There’s a group in the opposition party who are willing to retreat before the mission is done. They’re willing to wave the white flag of surrender. And if they succeed, the United States will be worse off, and the world will be worse off.” [Los Angeles Times, 7/2/06; emphasis added]

 

 

McCain Accused Democrats of Raising The “White Flag of Surrender.” According to Agence France Presse, McCain said, “I’m so proud of the jobs that the men and women in the military are doing there, and they don’t want us to raise the white flag of surrender like Senator Clinton does.” [Agence France Press, 1/25/08; emphasis added]

 

 

… al Qaeda

 

Bush: “Al Qaeda Is On The Run In Iraq.”  During the 2008 State of the Union address, President Bush said, “Ladies and gentlemen, some may deny the surge is working, but among the terrorists there is no doubt. Al Qaeda is on the run in Iraq, and this enemy will be defeated.” [2008 State of the Union, 1/28/08; emphasis added]

 

 

McCain: We Are Succeeding In Iraq, Al Qaeda Is On The Run.  While speaking at a town hall meeting in Exeter, New Hampshire, McCain said, “We are succeeding in Iraq, we are succeeding in Iraq. The new strategy and surge is succeeding. But I also warn you, if you forget everything I have mentioned, please remember this, Al Qaeda is on the run but not defeated.” [Town Hall Meeting in Exeter, New Hampshire, 3/1/08; emphasis added]

 

 

 

 

 

Endless War

 

Bush Said U.S. Commander Will Have “All The Time He Needs” Before Troops Start Coming Home. During remarks on plans to decrease troop levels Bush said, “General Petraeus says he’ll need time to consolidate his forces and assess how this reduced American presence will affect conditions on the ground before making measured recommendations on further reductions. And I’ve told him he’ll have all the time he needs.” On the war in Iraq Bush said “[W]e should be able to agree that our national interest require the success of our mission in Iraq... And while this war is difficult, it is not endless. And we expect that as conditions on the ground continue to improve, they will permit us to continue the policy of return on success.” [Bush Remarks on the War on Terror, 4/10/08]

 

 

McCain Said Iraq Conflict Is “Long, Hard, Tough,” Supports Continuation Of War. During an appearance on ABC’s This Week, McCain was asked about the progress of the war in Iraq. McCain said, “I’m very pleased at the overall progress that’s been made since we started the surge. I know Americans are frustrated and saddened by the sacrifice that’s been made. . But it’s long and it’s hard and it’s tough. But American casualties are down overall. Although there’s been a very bad spike. This is very, very long and hard and tough. If we succeed in Iraq, you will see a stable part of a very important part of the world. And you will see a longstanding US ally.” [ABC, This Week, 4/20/08]

 

 

 

 

 

“I do want you to judge me by the company that I keep…”

– John McCain

(Speech; Orlando, FL 01/28/08, http://youtube.com/watch?v=kuOYWX9Q4nc)

 

New McCain Manager Is Tied To Bush

 

Former Bush Insider Steve Schmidt Will Take Over McCain Campaign. Politico reported, “Steve Schmidt is taking over the day-to-day operation of John McCain’s campaign, according to multiple campaign sources.  At a staff meeting in the campaign’s Arlington, Va., headquarters this morning, campaign manager Rick Davis made the announcement about Schmidt’s new role.  Schmidt, a bald and barrel-chested operative known for his aggressive brand of political combat, responded by exhorting campaign aides with a speech that one staffer likened to a locker room pep talk out of the football movie ‘Rudy.’ … Senior staff briefed the field aides about the move, explaining Davis would focus more on long-range tasks while Schmidt as taking an enhanced daily role.” [Politico, 7/2/08]

 

  • Schmidt Was Member Of Bush’s Inner Circle. The Washington Post reported, “During the 2006 election cycle, Schmidt served as campaign manager for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s reelection bid, and prior to that was a member of the Bush political inner circle.  He handled the strategic communications efforts during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Samuel A. Alito Jr. and John G. Roberts Jr., and during the 2004 presidential election he was a member of the ‘breakfast club’ – a small gathering of top level Bush advisers who met regularly at the home of senior strategist Karl Rove.” [Washington Post, 12/20/06]

 

  • Schmidt Was Bush’s “Attack Dog.” Politico reported, “It’s no secret that Steve Schmidt, Bush’s attack dog in the 2004 election, and Mark McKinnon, the president’s media strategist, are performing similar functions for McCain now.” [Politico, 3/8/08, emphasis added]

 

Other Bush Insiders Helping McCain

 

KARL ROVE

 

Karl Rove Had Private Conversation With McCain. On March 8, the Politico reported, “Karl Rove, the president’s top political hand since his Texas days, recently gave money to McCain and had a private conversation with the senator.  A top McCain adviser said both [former RNC Chairman Ken] Mehlman and Rove are now informally advising the campaign.” [Politico, 3/8/08]

 

  • Karl Rove Said To Have “Direct Line” To New McCain Manager Schmidt. After Karl Rove attacked Obama during remarks at the NRA, reporter Marc Ambinder wrote, “The gun stuff is much less important than Rove's general line of argument; Rove has a direct line to McCain advisers Steve Schmidt and Charlie Black and has been pushing the campaign to make these sorts of contrasts.” [Ambinder, theAtlantic.com, 5/16/08, emphasis added]

 

Rove Quietly Active In McCain Campaign.  The New York Times reported that while Rove does not consider himself an adviser to the campaign, he “maintains regular contact with his progeny” – meaning Nicole Wallace and Steve Schmidt – and that they “occasionally ask me for reactions.”  [The New York Times, 5/12/08, emphasis added] 

 

Rove Friends Given Positions Of Influence Within McCain Campaign. The Chattanooga Times reported that “McCain wrapped himself ever-closer in the Bush mantle by shaking up his top staff.  He gave more power to advisers close to former White House meanie Karl Rove, who designed the president’s successful but shameful campaign of narrow, emotional wedge issues.” [Chattanooga Times Free Press, 7/7/08]

 

 

CHARLIE BLACK

 

Charlie Black Worked For Bush On 2000 South Carolina Primary Where “Allegations About McCain Surfaced.” The Baltimore Sun reported, “Charlie Black, a longtime Republican strategist and informal Bush adviser who has worked alongside Rove, said Rove is “willing to play tough and hard on issues.”  Black, who worked with Rove in the 2000 South Carolina primary, where the allegations about McCain surfaced, said Rove “never did anything out of bounds.” [Baltimore Sun, 11/7/04]

 

  • McCain Was Accused Of Having Illegitimate Black Child. In a 2004 op-ed in the Boston Globe, current McCain campaign manager Rick Davis explained how McCain was smeared in 2000 in South Carolina: “Having run Senator John McCain’s campaign for president, I can recount a textbook example of a smear made against McCain in South Carolina during the 2000 primary. … Anonymous opponents used ‘push polling’ to suggest that McCain’s Bangladeshi born daughter was his own, illegitimate black child.” [Boston Globe, 3/21/04]

 

  • McCain Said He Was “Proud” Of Charlie Black’s Campaign Experience.  McCain said, “I’m proud of the record of many of my advisers. One small example, Charlie Black. Charlie Black was involved in the first Reagan campaign, and he’s been involved in every national presidential campaign since.” [Associated Press, 2/22/08]

 

Black Advised Helms On Senate Re-Election Bid And Bragged About Victory. The Washington Post reported, “‘It’s a tremendous victory for conservatives,’ Helms’ strategist Charles Black said.  ‘It enhances his clout and influence in the Senate in the eyes of the press and his colleagues.  He’ll be even more effective than he has been.’” [Washington Post, 11/8/84, emphasis added]

 

Boston Globe Described Black As The “Strategist Credited With Formulating Bush’s Assault.”  The Boston Globe described Charlie Black as “a strategist credited with formulating Bush’s assault on the Democratic nominee, Michael S. Dukakis, in 1988.”  [Boston Globe, 2/17/92]

 

Black Defended Campaign Ads Called “Dirtiest Since 1964.” The Los Angeles Times reported that Black went on “Meet the Press” to defend the Bush campaign’s television ads: “Blasting the media ads of both candidates, one leading political analyst said the 1988 race has set a new mark for distortion of an opponent’s record, and called Vice President George Bush’s media campaign the dirtiest since 1964. … ‘The fact is, we have presented assertions and facts that are well documented, and they’re all true,’ Charles Black, a senior Bush campaign adviser, said on the NBC program.  ‘If we present a specific fact or assertion that’s not true, Gov. Dukakis can come back and prove that.  He hasn’t.  He’s making a general denial because the specifics are all true,’ Black said.” [Los Angeles Times, 10/24/88, emphasis added]

 

Black Described As Lee Atwater’s “Mentor.” In 1988, the New York Times reported, “Mr. Atwater, the manager of Mr. Bush’s presidential campaign, has a reputation for playing hardball politics, and he freely concedes that. … In his job, he consults regularly with a group he calls the ‘best political minds in the country,’ which includes Charlie Black, his mentor.” [New York Times, 5/30/88]

 

Black Was Behind Ideas Credited To Atwater.  The Boston Globe reported, “Without Atwater, who died of cancer last year, and Ailes, the media specialist who is considered too controversial after the 1988 campaign's heavy use of attack ads, Bush would appear to be lacking experienced bare-knuckle fighters. … He could be aided on attack themes by Charles Black, an Atwater associate, who is a key member of Teeter's team. Black, a wealthy lobbyist and consultant, is credited by one friend as ‘coming up with many of the ideas Atwater got credit for.’” [Boston Globe, 2/2/92, emphasis added]

 

Black Described as Reagan’s Political “Braintruster.” In January 1979, the Washington Post described Black as “one of Reagan’s political braintrusters.” [Washington Post, 1/24/79]

 

Black Was Initially Reagan’s National Political Director. According to the Associated Press Black was Reagan’s “national political director.” [Associated Press, 9/5/79; Associated Press, 11/12/79]

 

Reagan Fired Black On Night Of New Hampshire Primary. According to the Associated Press, Black and two other top Reagan aides were fired on the night of the New Hampshire primary.  Black, campaign manager John Sears and press secretary James Lake all told “reporters that they were fired by Reagan and did not resign.” The AP reported, “‘I was called into a meeting with Gov. Reagan and handed a press release saying the three of us had resigned,’ Black said.  ‘I want to make it clear – I didn’t quite.’” [Associated Press, 2/28/80]

 

Bush Hired Black As “Gesture To The Right.” After managing New York Congressman Jack Kemp’s failed presidential bid, Vice President Bush hired Black as his platform strategist.  Newsday reported, “Black, a conservative who said he was hired by the Bush campaign as a gesture to the right, added that Bush and the party’s right ‘are headed in the same direction.’  And despite grumbling among the party’s moderates that more Reaganism won’t necessarily appeal to the nation this year, Black added, ‘It’s important not to alienate the conservatives.” [Newsday, 6/26/88]

 

Black Said There Is No Conflict In Lobbying Officials He Helped Elect. The Washington Post reported, “Black contends that there are no ethical problems in lobbying public officials for whom the consulting firm has worked, or in lobbying the huge network of Bush and Reagan campaign workers who have gotten jobs in the administration.  ‘In the administration, everybody in a presidential campaign is a prospect for getting a job in the government, but you are working with these people on a peer basis or sometimes they are your superiors.  It is not like I hired [Commerce Secretary and Bush campaign finance chairman] Bob Mosbacher and gave him his start in politics so he owes me once he’s in government,’ Black said. [Washington Post, 8/12/89]

 

Black Implied He Personally Lobbied President George H.W. Bush. Asked by the Washington Post if he contacted President Bush on behalf of Bethlehem Steel, Black said, “If you look over the list of decision makers in the administration on that issue, I’ve probably talked to just about all of them.  I’ve not imposed myself on the president on that.” [Washington Post, 8/12/89, emphasis added]

 

NICOLE WALLACE

 

McCain’s Campaign Hired Bush-Cheney 2004 Communications Director.  McCain’s presidential campaign hired Nicole Wallace to assist the campaign with strategy and communications.  Politico reported that, “Wallace served as communications director for Bush-Cheney ‘04 and held the same post in the White House at the start of the president’s second term.” [Politico, 4/24/08]

 

  • Rove Trained McCain Staffer Wallace. During a discussion of Karl Rove’s loyalties to McCain considering their history, Norah O’Donnell said Rove trained Bush communications director Nicole Wallace. [MSNBC, Verdict with Dan Abrams, 4/12/08]

 

  • Wallace Has Been With The Bush Family Since 1999. Nicole Wallace (nee Devenish) served as press secretary to Governor Jeb Bush starting in 1999 before spending 5 years with the George W. Bush Administration as Communications Director.  [The National Journal, 1/20/07]

 

MERCER REYNOLDS

 

McCain Fundraising Effort Led By Man Who Raised $273 Million For Bush.  The New York Times reported that Mercer Reynolds, the man who raised “a record $273 million for the 2004 re-election campaign” for Bush, would be serving as National Finance Co-Chairman for McCain.  [New York Times, 2/13/08]

 

“Instrumental” Bush Fundraiser To Join Team McCain.  Ambassador Mercer Reynolds will serve as National Finance Co-Chair for John McCain, according to a press release on February 12, 2008.  In his statement regarding Reynolds’ new position, McCain said, “Mercer Reynolds was instrumental in President Bush’s campaigns in 2000 and 2004, and I value his support.  He will be a critical member of my campaign team and I look forward to working with him.” [JohnMcCain.com, accessed 7/7/08]

 

  • Bush And Reynolds Have Enjoyed A Long-Term Relationship.  Mercer Reynolds has worked with Bush since the 1980s: Bush and Reynolds were among the partners of an oil exploration company called Spectrum 7, and they jointly owned the Texas Rangers.  During the 2000 election, Reynolds was an early financial backer of the Bush campaign and was key in bringing “most of the Cincinnati business community” to the fundraising table.  Once he became president, Bush appointed Reynolds as ambassador to Switzerland.  [Cincinnati Enquirer, 2/14/08]

 

McCain Adviser Hopes Reynolds Will Bring Bush Bundlers To McCain.  Charlie Black said of Reynolds, “He knows them all, and hopefully we’ll get them on board,” when discussing the addition of Reynolds to the McCain team and Reynolds’ connections with the Bush bundlers. [New York Times, 2/13/08]

 

  • McCain Unable To Rely On Bush Bundlers For Cash.  According to the Arizona Republic, the McCain finance team has only been able to attract a few of the Bush bundlers to raise money for McCain’s presidential bid.  By May of 2004, bundlers had raised $209 million for Bush; by May of 2008, bundlers had only raised $111 for McCain. [Arizona Republic, 7/6/08]

 

  • Reynolds Gave Near Limit To Both Romney and Giuliani; Only $500 To McCain.  According to CQ Moneyline, Mercer Reynolds gave Romney and Giuliani each $2,100 in March of 2007.  The total amount given to John McCain by Reynolds is $500, donated in January of 2008.  [CQMoneyline.com, accessed 7/7/08]

 

Reynolds: McCain Is “Going To Consolidate The President’s Legacy In Iraq.”  During a phone interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Mercer Reynolds said, “He’s a conservative in every sense of the word…He's the most likely candidate to win the election. Also, he's going to consolidate the president's legacy in Iraq, and that's important to conservatives.”  [Cincinnati Enquirer, 2/14/08, emphasis added]

 

KIRK BLALOCK

 

McCain Recruited Lobbyist And Former Top Bush Aide As Top Fundraiser. According to Public Citizen, lobbyist Kirk Blalock is a top McCain fundraiser.  He is also a former top aide to Bush and Washington insider.  According to the Center for Public Integrity, "Not many companies change their names to accommodate a recent hire, but not every new employee has the standing of Kirk Blalock.  In a town where influence is predicated on who you know, Blalock's connections are a conspicuously valuable commodity.  As special assistant to the president, he often counseled George W. Bush and crafted political strategies with now-Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove.  And as deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liaison, he coordinated the Bush administration's outreach to the business community – a role that gave him unique stature along Washington, D.C.'s K Street corridor.  Perhaps that's why in October 2003, just 11 months after Blalock left public service for Fierce & Isakowitz, the 25-year-old lobbying shop made him a name partner.  It proved to be a profitable decision: Since Blalock's arrival, the firm has nearly doubled its annual revenue to more than $6 million," with records showing he personally lobbied the White House for 20 clients. [CPI, accessed 6/2/08]

 

MIKE MURPHY

 

Murphy And Schmidt Worked On Schwarzenegger’s Re-Election Bid.  Mike Murphy and Steve Schmidt worked for the re-election campaign of Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Amid rumors of discontent, Murphy said: “Steve Schmidt has been a friend of mine since I originally helped recruit him into the Arnold world back in 2005…Steve and I are friends, and we get along fine.” [New York Times, 7/8/08]

 

Murphy Skill In Message Crafting Endeared Him To McCain. After masterminding the overall message of McCain’s 2000 presidential bid, Murphy enjoys “a deep rapport with McCain – including an ability to tell him when he’s made a mistake.”  Murphy’s acknowledged skill is developing creative, tactical, and clear messages for his candidates.  [The New York Times, 7/7/08]

 

Murphy Has History Of Successful Campaign Runs.  Murphy served as chief strategist for Mitt Romney’s gubernatorial bid, as well as both successful elections of Governor Jeb Bush.  As a result of his ties to both Romney and McCain, Murphy did not participate in the 2008 GOP Primary cycle.  [The New York Times, 7/7/08]

 

Murphy: McCain Campaign Needs “Focus.” During an NPR interview, Murphy commented that the McCain campaign needed to streamline the overall message and channel the best of McCain, saying “…There are some mixed signals coming out of the messaging of the campaign, and I think the campaign could maybe use a little bit more of that focus going forward.”  He did not comment on his possible future role within the campaign. [NPR: Morning Edition, 7/3/08]

 

Murphy’s Response To Attack Comment Was Blaming It On “Reporter Cleavage.”  Mike Murphy was asked during a radio interview with Dennis Miller about the Black terrorist comment to which Murphy said, “I think there must have been tremendous reporter cleavage involved or something.” [MSNBC: Countdown, 6/26/08; http://youtube.com/watch?v=EMM1seEVka0]

 

Black Says Another Terrorist Attack Would Be Beneficial To McCain. In an interview with Fortune Magazine, “Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. ‘Certainly it would be a big advantage to [McCain],’ says Black.” [Fortune, 6/28/08]

 

McCain Message Expert Murphy Says McCain Is Not A “Lockstep Republican.”  During an interview on NPR’s All Things Considered during which the McCain campaign strategy was discussed, Mike Murphy said: “…as Republicans go there's no more independent maverick-minded person than McCain. On everything from climate change to spending control, to the way the war is conducted, he's been a vociferous critic of the Bush administration…

 

MICHAEL DuHAIME

 

Bush Aide And Giuliani Staffer Brought To Team McCain.  The New York Sun reported that Michael DuHaime, a “former Bush aide who recently came aboard after working on Mayor Giuliani’s presidential primary campaign,” joined the McCain campaign and will be working closely with Steve Schmidt.  [The New York Sun, 7/8/08]

 

 

McCain’s Flip-Flops

 

In his constant pursuit of political stardom, McCain has developed a bad habit of pandering to the views of those whose approval he is currently seeking.  As McCain’s target constituency rotates among conservatives, moderates, and the press, so do his policies.

 
 
 

McCain has flip-flopped on a number of issues, including:

  • Torture
  • Secretary Rumsfeld
  • Ronald Reagan
  • The Religious Right
  • The Wyly Brothers
  • The Bush Tax Cuts
  • Gun Control
  • Stem Cell Research
  • The Length of Occupation in Iraq
  • Immigration
  • Bosnia
  • Kosovo
  • George W. Bush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McCain Compromised Long-Held Positions For Political Gain.  According to the Boston Globe, David Golove, a New York University law professor, “He’s willing to compromise on long-held positions that he’s taken, which are positions that have great moral considerations that stand behind them, apparently out of concern about political consequences.” [Boston Globe, 2/16/08]

 

McCain’s Flip-Flops Have Made It Nearly Impossible to Figure Out His Beliefs.  Jonathan Chait of The New Republic wrote, “[McCain] has diverged wildly from conservative orthodoxy, but he has also reinvented himself so completely that it has become nearly impossible to figure out what he really believes.” [National Post, 2/14/08]

 

 

Torture

 

2008: Age 71

FLIP: McCain Strongly Disagreed With Allowing Waterboarding As An American Interrogation Technique. According to an opinion article in the Nation, after McCain won the New Hampshire primary, the National Review continued attacks on him for his stance against waterboarding. McCain disagrees with Mitt Romney on waterboarding, as was discussed at a past G.O.P. debate. McCain said, “Governor, I'm astonished that you haven't found out what waterboarding is,” after Romney was asked about the technique and said he would have to check with his advisers, “How in the world anybody could think that that kind of thing could be inflicted by Americans on people who are held in our custody is absolutely beyond me.” [The Nation, 1/10/08]

 

2008: Age 71

FLOP:  McCain Voted Against Waterboarding Ban.  Although McCain once appeared as a passionate advocate of the ban on waterboarding, he voted against the bill.  In a statement, McCain said, “I believe that our energies are better directed at ensuring that all techniques, whether used by the military or the CIA, are in full compliance with our international obligations and in accordance with our deepest values.” [Los Angeles Times, 2/14/08]

 

 

Rumsfeld

 

2003: Age 67

FLIP: McCain Expressed Full Faith in Rumsfeld Iraq War Strategy. John McCain supported the initial war plan created by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. According to Salon  “McCain was among the most aggressive proponents of a preemptive strike against Saddam Hussein, cosponsoring the resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. He also expressed full faith in the way it would be executed -- a war plan conceived and executed by Rumsfeld.” [Mark Benjamin, Salon.com, 1/17/08]

 

2008: Age 71

FLOP: McCain Said Problem With Iraq Was Mishandling by Rumsfeld. During the Republican presidential debate, sponsored by MSNBC, McCain said, “The problem was the mishandling of Iraq by nearly four years by Rumsfeld. Again, I railed against that, I was criticized by Republicans.” [MSNBC GOP Presidential Debate, 1/24/08]

 

 

Securing The Border

 

2003: Age 67

FLIP: McCain: “We Can’t Secure Our Borders.  We Can Never Build An Impenetrable Wall To The North And South Of Us.” During an appearance on Big Story, McCain said, “We can't secure our borders, Rita. We can never build an impenetrable wall to the north and south of us.” [Fox News, “Big Story,” 5/31/03]

 

2006: Age 70

FLOP: McCain: “We Need To Build A Wall And We Need To Enforce Our Borders.” During an appearance on CBS’s The Early Show, while speaking about immigration, McCain said, “We need to build a wall and we need to enforce our borders. But we're never going to solve the immigration issue until we have a viable guest worker program as well, and earned citizenship for the 11 million that are already here.” [CBS, “The Early Show,” 2/1/06]

 

 

Abortion

 

1999: Age 62

FLIP: McCain Was Opposed To Overturning Roe Because It Would Force Women To Seek Illegal Abortions. McCain told the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle in 1999 why he didn’t want to overturn Roe, saying, “I’d love to see a point where [Roe vs. Wade] is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 8/20/99]

 

2006: Age 70

FLOP: McCain Now Supports Overturning Roe v. Wade. Speaking on ABC News, McCain said that he supported a reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision. McCain said, “I do believe that it’s very likely, or possible, that a Supreme Court should - could overturn Roe v. Wade which would then return these decisions to the states which I support.” McCain had previously said that he would not support overturning Roe v. Wade because it would “force X number of women to undergo illegal and dangerous operations.” [ABC News, 11/19/06; San Francisco Chronicle, 8/20/99]

 

 

Ronald Reagan

 

1986: Age 49

FLIP: McCain Accused Reagan of Being a Lame Duck.  McCain said he agreed with Rep. Les Aspin when he claimed that, “I think we’re seeing a little lame-duckism,” in regards to President Reagan.  McCain added, “Ronald Reagan is not going to be at the top of the ticket, and people are striking out on their own.  I don’t think anybody wants to be perceived as a Reagan Robot.” [New York Times, 5/25/86]

 

2008: Age 71

FLOP: McCain Claimed to Have Been A Foot Soldier in the Reagan Revolution.  A McCain campaign advertisement claimed that McCain had been inspired by Ronald Reagan.  McCain said, “I enlisted as a foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution.” [JohnMcCain.com, “True Conservative,” 2/1/08]

 

 

Religious Right

 

2000: Age 64

FLIP: McCain Called Falwell “Evil Influence” on Republican Party. McCain’s 2000 presidential bid tanked in Virginia and South Carolina when he called religious broadcasters Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson “agents of intolerance” who exerted an “evil influence” on the Republican Party. [Kansas City Star, 5/28/05]

 

2006: Age 69

FLOP: McCain Said The Christian Right Had A Major Role In The GOP. In 2006, McCain affirmed his support of the Christian right’s place in the GOP, saying, “I believe that the Christ--quote, ‘Christian right,’ has a major role to play in the Republican Party,” and reasoned that Falwell was no longer intolerant, answering a question if he still believed his 2000 statement to be true, saying, “No, I don’t.” [NBC News, 4/2/06]

 

 

Wyly Brothers

 

2000: Age 64

FLIP: McCain Predicted Backlash Against Bush And “His Sleazy Texas Buddies.” According to Post and Courier, “McCain said he sensed a backlash developing against campaign commercials aired by Bush and ‘his sleazy Texas buddies’ in New York and elsewhere. … ‘We’re starting to see a backlash’ against television commercials, he said. ‘We ask Governor Bush to do what he refused to do all day yesterday on nationwide television and tell his sleazy Texas buddies to stop these negative attacks.’ McCain was referring to commercials attacking his environmental record, paid for by two Texas brothers, Sam and Charles Wyly, who are supporters of the governor. In addition, McCain was angered by a Bush campaign commercial, running in New York, that attacked him as an opponent of increased breast cancer research.” [Post and Courier, 3/07/00]

 

2006: Age 69

FLOP: McCain Raised Money From Wyly Brothers and Funders of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. In response to ads run against him in 2000 by “Republicans for Clean Air,” a group funded by Texans Sam and Charles Wyly, McCain called the Wylys Bush’s “sleazy Texas buddies,” called the group “disgraceful” and their money “dirty.” He also attacked Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which ran ads against John Kerry in 2004, as “dishonest” and “dishonorable.” However, McCain’s fundraiser in Dallas on May 15, 2006 for his political action committee had the Wyly brothers and Albert Huddleston and Harold Simmons, who together gave $3.1 million to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, as members of the host committee. [UPI, 4/24/06; CBS News, 3/7/00; Dallas Morning News, 5/14/06; Dallas Morning News, 4/23/06; AP, 8/5/04; abcnews.com, 4/23/06]

 

Bush Tax Cuts

 

2001:  Age 65

FLIP: McCain “Vigorously” Opposed Bush Tax Cuts. According to Club for Growth, “When the most important pro-growth tax cuts in a generation were proposed by President Bush in 2001 and 2003, Senator McCain vigorously opposed them. The depth of this opposition goes a long way towards tarnishing the Senator’s fiscal credentials. First, it is notable that Senator McCain stood so astride the Republican anti-tax position that he was one of only two Republican senators to oppose the 2001 tax cuts and one of only three GOP senators to oppose the 2003 reductions. [Club for Growth White Paper, 3/12/07]

 

  • McCain: “I Cannot In Good Conscience Support A Tax Cut In Which So Many Of The Benefits Go To The Most Fortunate Among Us…” According to Club for Growth, “Second, Senator McCain’s stated reason for opposing the Bush tax cuts rhetorically allied him with the most radical anti-growth elements of national politics. Senator McCain argued, “I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief.” [Club for Growth White Paper, 3/12/07]

 

2006: Age 69

FLOP: McCain Voted To Extend Bush Tax Cuts. In 2006, McCain voted to extend tax cuts supported by the president that were set to expire between 2005 and 2010. “The Senate voted 53-47…in favor of extending the president’s investor tax cuts on dividends and capital gains. Joining in this breakthrough vote was John McCain, the senator who voted against these tax cuts when they were introduced in 2003. This is an important shift for the GOP presidential frontrunner[.]” McCain’s vote was described as “a sharp reversal of his anti-tax-cut posture,” though he defended the shift, saying, “it was a gimmick,” reasoning that “the tax cuts were temporary and then had to be made permanent.” [Senate vote #10, H.R. 4297, 2/2/06, passed 66-31; New York Times, 2/21/06; Washington Times, 3/6/06; NBC News, 4/2/06]

 

 

Gun Control

 

1999: Age 63

FLIP: McCain Called for Further Gun Control After Columbine. After the Columbine massacre, Senator McCain “reversed himself on a top-tier gun control issue,” sponsoring a bill “to require criminal background checks on all public firearms sales, including those at gun shows.” At the time McCain said “Clearly, there were people who were taking advantage of this loophole, and obviously, Columbine had an effect on me.” [Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 9/6/02]

 

2007: Age 70

FLOP: After Virginia Tech Massacre, McCain Said There Should Be No Gun Control. Republican presidential candidate John McCain declared Wednesday he believes in “no gun control,” making the strongest affirmation of support for gun rights in the GOP field since the Virginia Tech massacre. And “when asked whether ammunition clips sold to the public should be limited in size, said, ‘I don’t think that’s necessary at all.’” [AP, 4/19/07]

 

 

Background Checks at Gun Shows

 

1999: Age 63

FLIP: McCain Said People Should Be Subject To Background Checks At Gun Shows.  During an interview with Salon.com reporter, Jake Tapper, McCain said, “It’s obvious that at a gun show people should be subject to background checks. I don’t get it why in stores you get a background check, but you go three blocks down, there’s no background checks.”  McCain said that a loophole which existed to exempt gun shows from background checks “…should be closed.” [Salon.com, 5/14/99]

 

1999: Age 63

FLOP: But McCain Voted Against Closing Loophole To Exempt Gun Shows From Background Checks.  Despite his statement in a Salon.com article, that a loophole exempting gun shows from conducting background checks should be closed, McCain voted, a day after his interview, to kill an amendment offered by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, which would have closed that very loophole. [Salon.com, 5/14/99]

 

1999: Age 63

FLIP: McCain Changed His Mind Again, “Signaled” He Support Closing Gun Show Background Check Exemption Loophole.  McCain changed his mind three times about whether or not to support actions to close a loophole that exempted gun shows from requiring background checks for gun buyers.  First McCain said he thought the loophole should be closed, then he voted to kill legislation that would have closed the loop hole, and then he signaled that “…he’d support legislation to close the loophole…” [Salon.com, 5/14/99]

 

 

Stem Cell Research

 

January 1992: Age 55

FLIP: McCain Said He Would Not Support Use of Fetal Tissue. According to the Boston Globe, “In a January 1992 letter to the director of Arizona Right to Life, McCain said the group could count on his being ‘steadfast’ against abortion. ‘I have no intention of supporting the use of fetal tissue’ from abortions, McCain wrote. [Boston Globe, 2/13/00]

 

May 1992: Age 56

FLOP: McCain Voted to Lift Moratorium on Fetal-Tissue Transplants.  McCain voted in favor of a Senate bill authorizing funds for the National Institutes of Health that included a provision to lift the federal-research moratorium that presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush had imposed on fetal-tissue transplants. ‘I have lost sleep struggling with this,’ McCain wrote to a constituent in May 1992. ‘My abhorrence for the practice of abortion is unquestionable. Yet my abhorrence’ for Parkinson’s and juvenile diabetes ‘and the suffering they cause is just as strong.’” [Boston Globe, 2/13/00]

 

  • 1997: McCain Opposed Amendment that Banned Research on Fetal-Tissue Transplants. According to the Boston Globe, McCain “was the chief sponsor of a bill, enacted in 1997 and bearing Udall’s name, that provides $100 million a year for finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurological disorder that afflicts about 1 million Americans. He opposed an amendment that would have banned research on fetal-tissue transplants.” [Boston Globe, 2/13/00]

 

 

Iraq Occupation

 

2005: Age 69

FLIP: McCain Didn’t Want Permanent Military Presence in Iraq Before He Wanted Million Year Troop Commitment. During a discussion of the Administration’s Iraq War failures, McCain said neither he nor the American public would support keeping troops in Iraq for an indefinite amount of time. Said McCain: “I’m not for keeping troops there forever. I hope--I wish we could take them out tomorrow. It’s not a question of whether we want to withdraw or not. We all want that.” [Meet the Press, 12/5/05]

 

2008: Age 71

FLOP: McCain: “I Don’t Think Americans Are Concerned If We’re There For 100 Years or 1,000 Years or 10,000 Years.” In an interview on “Face the Nation,” host Bob Scieffer asked McCain about staying in Iraq for 100 year. McCain responded, “We’ve got to get Americans off the front line, have the Iraqis as part of the strategy, take over more and more of the responsibilities. And then I don’t think Americans are concerned if we’re there for 100 years or 1,000 years or 10,000 years. What they care about is a sacrifice of our most precious treasure, and that’s American blood. So what I’m saying is look, if Americans are there in a support role, but they’re not taking casualties, that’s fine. We’re in Kuwait now. As you well recall, we had a war, we stayed in Kuwait. We didn’t stay in Saudi Arabia. So it’s going to be up to the relationship between the Iraqi government and the United States of America.” [CBS, “Face the Nation,” 1/06/08]

 

 

Immigration

 

2003: Age 66

FLIP: McCain Embraced Amnesty in 2003.  According to Politico, “McCain himself embraced the term [‘amnesty’] during a news conference a few years ago in his office in Tucson, Arizona.”  In 2003, McCain said, “Amnesty has to be an important part because there are people who have lived in this country for 20, 30 or 40 years, who have raised children here and pay taxes here and are not citizens. That has to be a component of it.’ The newspaper also quoted McCain as saying: ‘I think we can set up a program where amnesty is extended to a certain number of people who are eligible and at the same time make sure that we have some control over people who come in and out of this country.’” [The Politico, 6/4/07; DNC Public Information, 1/5/08; Tucson Citizen, 5/29/03]

 

2008: Age 71

FLOP: McCain: “I Have Never Supported Amnesty.” At the ABC News/Facebook/WMUR New Hampshire Republican debate, McCain said, “I have never supported amnesty.” [ABC News/Facebook/WMUR N.H. GOP Debate, 1/5/08]

 

 

Bosnia

 

1995: Age 58

FLIP: McCain Long Opposed Military Options in Bosnia.  McCain was adamantly opposed to U.S. involvement in the humanitarian crisis in Bosnia, and then co-authored a resolution that backed US peacekeepers on the ground.  He said, “I have long opposed this action. I am very concerned about the ultimate outcome of the use of air power without a full commitment of the US forces because I do not believe it is a viable military option.” [Boston Globe, 4/29/99]

 

1995: Age 58

FLOP: McCain Changed Position to Support Dole in 1996.  Likely presidential nominee, Bob Dole, and John McCain co-sponsored a resolution that called for 20,000 US ground forces to keep the peace in Bosnia.  The resolution gives “assent to the operation while insisting on a U.S.-led effort to begin immediate arming and training of the Muslims.”  According to U.S. News & World Report, McCain supported the measure “not because he agrees with the policy and not because he can make a case that Bosnia is vital to America's national security. “I have no choice,” he said. [Washington Post, 12/12/95; U.S. News & World Report, 12/18/1995]

 

 

Kosovo

 

1998: Age 62

FLIP: McCain Accused the Clinton Administration of Misleading Congress on Kosovo.  According to CNN, McCain accused the President of misleading congress in U.S. involvement in Kosovo.  He said, “They have not made the case either to Congress or the American people, and the president has to explain why our interests are there.” [CNN, 10/7/98]

 

1999: Age 62

FLOP: MCCAIN: We are a Superior Power, and We Must Win This Conflict With Whatever It Takes.  Speaking about the conflict in Kosovo, McCain stated, “I saw we’re in it, and we have to win it.”  He added, “That means that we have to exercise every option,” and, “We are a superior power, and we must win this conflict with whatever it takes.” [ABC This Week, 3/28/99]

 

 

McCain’s Ultimate Flip-Flop: George W. Bush

 

THEN:

 

McCain: There’s No Shame Associated With The [Bush] Campaign.  According to Post and Courier, “In New York, … a controversial ad that accused McCain of being opposed to breast cancer research.  ‘They know no depths,’ McCain said of the latest Bush ad. ‘There’s no shame associated with the (Bush) campaign.’”  [Post and Courier, 3/05/00]

 

McCain: “My Opponent [Bush] Wants To Be President In The Worst Way.”  According to Post and Courier, “Sounding tired but defiant, McCain told backers in Bakersfield, Calif., that Bush was guilty of deploying negative tactics. ‘My opponent wants to be president in the worst way. I want to be president in the best way.’ With the pink evening sun dipping beneath an American flag serving as his backdrop, McCain said, ‘We’re still the underdog. Don’t forget it. But we’re going to win Tuesday.’”  [Post and Courier, 3/01/00]

 

McCain Said Bush Owed Voters An Apology For “Running Such A Low Campaign.”  According to the  Associated Press, “McCain continued to portray Bush as a negative campaigner, though the senator ran attack ads himself until last week and never has stopped upbraiding Bush on the stump.  At a noisy college rally, McCain said Bush owes ‘an apology to the people of South Carolina for running such a low campaign.’”  [AP, 2/18/00]

 

McCain To Bush: “You Should Be Ashamed.”  According to the Associated Press, “McCain offered a stern lecture of his own and demanded that Bush apologize for an event at which McCain’s commitment to veterans was questioned by a Bush backer. ‘You should be ashamed,’ McCain said. … One of the debate’s harsher moments came when McCain, a former prisoner of war, lectured Bush about a supporter who questioned McCain’s commitment to veterans’ issues.  ‘I don’t know if you can understand this George, but that really hurts,’ said McCain, a former Navy pilot. ‘That really hurts.’”  [AP, 2/16/00]

 

McCain Accused Bush Of “Savagery.”  According to the Associated Press, “John McCain defended inconsistencies in his voting record on public campaign financing as honorable compromises Monday and accused George W. Bush of ‘savagery’ in his criticism. … McCain, who has been trying to brand Bush as a negative campaigner, said of his opponent’s criticism: ‘This kind of savagery is not necessary in an American political campaign.’”  [AP, 2/14/00]

 

McCain Accused Bush Of Being Untrustworthy.  According to the Associated Press, “McCain, a former Vietnam prisoner of war, said he was offended by a Bush ally who questioned his commitment to veterans - a comment McCain said was ‘beyond the pale’ - as well as by aggressive new Bush ads. He noted that he and Bush had shaken hands just weeks ago and agreed not to air negative ads against each other.  ‘I believe it is not trustworthy when someone shakes your hand and says they’re not going to run a negative ad, and then runs a negative ad,’ he said aboard his bus.  ‘We’ve already got somebody in the Oval Office who is not trustworthy,’ he said. He went even further in a new TV ad that says one of Bush’s ads ‘twists the truth like Clinton.’”  [AP, 2/09/00]

 

McCain Didn’t Want To Be Alone With The Bushes In AZ.  Close friends and Arizona neighbors of the McCains, Sharon and Oliver Harper, told the New Yorker that once, while they were vacationing on Arizona’s Lake Powell, “…they received an urgent call.”  Apparently, George and Laura Bush were about to visit the McCains in Arizona to improve their relations.  McCain and his wife asked the Harpers if they could come back from vacation because they didn’t “…want to be left alone with [the Bushes]…and said it would be “really difficult” to be alone with them.  The Harpers did go back early and the New Yorker reported that the Harpers displayed, in their home, “…a photograph of the three couples smiling gamely at the camera.” [New Yorker, 5/30/05]

 

NOW:

 

McCain Said He Was Proud of Bush.  According to The New York Times, McCain told President Bush, “Look, hang on, things are bad.  I’m proud of the job you are doing and I wanted you to know that I will continue to do what I can to help.” [New York Times, 7/3/06]

 

McCain Said He And Bush Share Agenda.  The New York Times reported, “Even as he called Mr. Bush a friend, Mr. McCain described their relationship as a function of their positions and their shared views on such big issues as Iraq and immigration. “I believe if I were not in the Senate and not working on these issues, we might communicate once in a while, but not the way we do,” he said. “We have a very good personal relationship, but it’s primarily based on the agenda.” [New York Times, 7/3/06]

 

McCain: “I Trust The President Of The United States.”  While attending a Town Hall meeting in Arizona, Senator McCain said, “I trust the president of the United States.” [Arizona Republic, 2/22/06]

 

McCain Said Bush Would “Restore Dignity and Honor To The Oval Office.” The New York Post reported, “Campaigning in California, McCain looked comfortable with Bush - in contrast to the pained look he showed when he formally endorsed Bush in May - and said he’s ‘proud to be part of this crusade’ and praised Bush as ‘a man who will restore dignity and honor to the Oval Office.’” [New York Post, 8/11/00]

 

McCain’s Controversial Supporters

 

A president’s policy is shaped by those who the president decides to surround himself with.  If McCain’s campaign at all foreshadows what would occur in a McCain Administration, the nation should be very worried about who has the ear of the president.  Time after time, McCain has been forced to reject, denounce, clarify, and rebuke statements made and actions taken on his behalf. 

 

 
 
Top Hits:

  • McCain’s Arizona Co-Chair was indicted on 35 counts, including wire fraud and money laundering
  • McCain sought the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee, who has called the Catholic Church a “Great Whore” and a “False Cult.”
  • McCain’s “Spiritual Guide” has said America was founded to destroy the religion of Islam.
  • McCain was introduced Bill Cunningham, who focused on Obama’s middle name, and referred to him as a “hack Chicago politician.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rep. Rick Renzi

 

McCain Named Indicted Congressman Rick Renzi To Co-Chair his “Arizona Leadership Team.”  In January 2008, just one month before he was indicted on 35 counts, including conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and official extortion, Renzi was named a co-chair of McCain’s ‘Arizona Leadership Team;” [McCain News Release, 1/26/08; Targeted News Services, 1/26/08]

 

  • Congressman Rick Renzi indicted on 35 Counts A federal grand jury indicted Republican U.S. Rep. Richard Renzi of Arizona on 35 criminal counts including conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and official extortion, according to court papers unsealed in February. [Reuters, 2/22/08]

 

  • Renzi Was Accused of Embezzling Money for Campaign. Renzi was charged along with James Sandlin, 56, a real estate investor and one of his political backers, and Andrew Beardall, 36, an attorney who had been general counsel of Renzi's family insurance business. Renzi and Beardall are accused of embezzling money from insurance clients to fund the lawmaker's congressional campaign.  [Bloomberg 2/22/08]

 

  • McCain and Renzi Traveled to Iraq Together, Discussed Iraq Speech with Renzi. In April 2007, Renzi accompanied McCain on a trip to Iraq. While traveling back from Iraq, McCain and Renzi discussed a key McCain campaign speech on Iraq to be given at the Virginia Military Institute.  "'You can't get around the elephant in the room, which is Iraq,' said Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), who discussed the speech with McCain as the pair flew back together from a congressional visit to Iraq this week." [Associated Press Online, 4/3/07; Washington Post, 4/7/07]

 

  • Renzi Helped McCain With ‘The Next Phase of His Campaign’ "By kicking off the next phase of his campaign with a speech about the war, McCain embraced not only Bush's strategy but also the issue that could be his biggest vulnerability."[Arizona Republic, 4/12/07]

 

McCain Said It ‘Doesn’t Matter’ If Renzi Is Still A Part of His Campaign.  While appearing at a campaign event in Cincinnati, McCain was asked if indicted Congressman Rick Renzi would step down from his campaign leadership.  McCain said that it was “his choice” to remain a part of the campaign and that “it doesn’t matter” if Renzi is still associated with the campaign.  It wasn’t until March 9th that McCain acknowledged Renzi had left the campaign. [Media availability, Cincinnati, OH, 2/26/08; Tucson Citizen, 3/10/08]

 

 

Bill Cunningham

 

McCain Supporter Used Obama’s Middle Name, Referred To Obama As A Hack, Chicago-Style Politician.  Radio talk show host Bill Cunningham delivered remarks before John McCain took the stage at an event in Cincinnati.  Cunningham used Obama’s middle name, Hussein, three times and called him a “hack Chicago politician from the Daley political machine.” [New York Times, 2/27/08]

 

  • Cunningham Said McCain’s Campaign Told Him To Deliver “Red Meat” To Supporters. While appearing on Hannity & Colmes, Bill Cunningham said McCain’s staff had told him to deliver “red meat” to supporters.  Cunningham said, “his people told me to give the faithful red meat, give them red, raw meat.” [Fox News, 2/25/08]

 

McCain Vowed Attacks On Obama Will “Never Happen Again.”  After Bill Cunningham invoked Barack Obama’s middle name, Hussein, McCain said those types of attacks “will never happen again.”  McCain added, “The moral of the story is we just have to have stronger control of our campaign. … There is no excuse for what happened today.” [Fox News, 2/27/08]

 

McCain Said He Had “Never Met Mr. Cunningham.”  According to McLatchy News, McCain disavowed Cunningham’s remarks, saying, “I never met Mr. Cunningham, but I will make sure nothing like that ever happens again.” [McLatchy Newspapers, 3/6/08]

 

  • Contradicting McCain, Cunningham Insisted That He Has “Met Him Twice.”  While appearing on CNN, Bill Cunningham said, “I met him twice. His people called me specifically. His people said you're the guy we want because you've met John.”  [CNN, “American Morning,” 2/27/08]

 


 

John Hagee

 

McCain Actively Sought The Endorsement of John Hagee.  Controversial Pastor John Hagee told New York Times Magazine that, “It’s true that McCain’s campaign sought my endorsement.” [Editor & Publisher, 3/20/08]

 

NYT: “Mr. Mccain Began Seeking Mr. Hagee’s Endorsement More Than A Year Ago.” On April 8, 2008, the New York Times wrote, “Mr. McCain began seeking Mr. Hagee’s endorsement more than a year ago, trying to bolster the campaign’s support among evangelical voters. Republican leaders are concerned that evangelicals will sit out the election in November, depriving Mr. McCain of votes that may be crucial to beating the Democratic nominee.” [New York Times, 4/8/08]

 

McCain Said he was “Very Proud” to Receive Endorsement of Outspoken Pastor, John Hagee.  On February 27, 2008 McCain traveled to Texas to receive the endorsement of San Antonio televangelist John Hagee.  The Dallas Morning News reported, “Mr. Hagee, a leading figure in the Christian Zionist movement, said he’s confident Mr. McCain can attract wary evangelicals by emphasizing his conservative positions on Israel and abortion.”  McCain said, “All I can tell you is I’m very proud to have pastor Hagee’s support.”  [Dallas Morning News, 2/28/08]

 

Hagee Said Adultery “Warranted The Death Penalty In The Bible.”  According to The Guardian, John Hagee said, “A number of crimes warranted the death penalty in the Bible: murder, adultery, incest, sodomy, rape, kidnapping, witchcraft, blasphemy and disobedience to parents.” [The Guardian, 7/25/94; emphasis added]

                                                       

  • McCain Cheated On and Divorced His First Wife After She Suffered a Disabling Care Accident.  The New York Times writes, “His wife, Carol, a tall, slim woman who had once been a model, had nearly died in a car wreck in 1969 [while McCain was a prisoner of war].  The injuries left her four inches shorter and on crutches, and she had gained a good deal of weight.”  They add, “[His] personal life was a mess: Although he was still living with his wife, he was aggressively courting a 25-year-old woman who was as beautiful s she was rich.” After meeting at a party, McCain pursued the woman “aggressively, flying around the country to see her.” McCain divorced his first wife the next year, and “promptly married Miss Hensley, his present wife.” [New York Times, 2/27/00]

 

                                                                                            

McCain On Hagee

 

McCain: “I Was Pleased To Have The Endorsement Of Pastor John Hagee.” During a town hall meeting in Houston, Texas, McCain promoted his conservative credentials by saying, “I was please to have the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee yesterday.  A lot of people are coming in our direction.  [Town Hall Meeting in Houston, Texas, 2/28/08]

 

McCain: “Pastor John Hagee Supports What I Stand For.” During a speech in Round Rock, Texas, McCain said, “Well, I think it's important to note that John, Reverend, Pastor John Hagee who has supported and endorsed my candidacy, supports what I stand for and believe in.” [McCain speech in Round Rock, Texas, 2/29/08]

 

McCain: “I Am Very Proud Of Pastor John Hagee's Spiritual Leadership To Thousands Of People.” During a speech in Round Rock, Texas, McCain said, “I am very proud of Pastor John Hagee's spiritual leadership to thousands of people.  I am proud of his commitment to the independence and freedom for the state of Israel.” [McCain speech in Round Rock, Texas, 2/29/08]

McCain Defended Hagee’s Anti-Catholic Remarks.  While appearing on Bill Bennett’s radio show, McCain defended John Hagee’s anti-Catholic statements.  “I will say that he said that his words were taken out of context, he defends his position. I hope that maybe you’d give him a chance to respond. He says he has never been anti-Catholic, but I repudiate the words that create that impression.” [Bill Bennett’s radio show via Think Progress, 3/11/08]

 

  • McCain Rebuked By Catholic Groups For Being “Very Proud” Of Bigot’s Support. After enthusiastically accepting the support of John Hagee, McCain was criticized by the Catholic League and Catholics United.  Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League said McCain should “retract his embrace of Hagee,” a man who has “waged an unrelenting war against the Catholic Church.”  Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United, released a statement saying, “By receiving the endorsement of an outspoken critic of the Catholic Church, McCain once again demonstrates that he is willing to sell out his principles for a chance to win the Presidency.”  [Washington Post, 2/28/08]

 

McCain on Hagee: “I’m Glad To Have His Endorsement. I Condemn Remarks That Are, In Any Way, Viewed As Anti-Anything.” While discussing Pastor Hagee’s endorsement during an appearance on ABC’s This Week, McCain said, “I’m glad to have his endorsement. I condemn remarks that are, in any way, viewed as anti-anything.”  [ABC, “This Week,” 4/20/08]

 

 

Hagee On Catholics

 

Hagee Made Anti-Catholic Remarks. Hagee has offended Catholics with disparaging remarks.  “In Hagee’s ‘black history’ of the Catholic Church, for example, Catholics were far from only guilty of sins of omission when it came to the Nazis, they also gave Hitler his blueprint, according to Hagee.  In a speech this year, Hagee pointed to the Catholic Church as having provided the jumping-off point for the Holocaust.”  Hagee’s anti-Catholic statements caused the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights to call him a ‘veteran bigot,’ accusing him of distorting Catholic teachings and misrepresenting Catholic history.” [National Review, 12/21/07]

 

Catholic League President Criticized Hagee’s “War Against The Catholic Church.” In a statement, Catholic League president Bill Donohue said, “There are plenty of staunch evangelical leaders who are pro-Israel, but are not anti-Catholic. John Hagee is not one of them. Indeed, for the past few decades, he has waged an unrelenting war against the Catholic Church. For example, he likes calling it ‘The Great Whore,’ an ‘apostate church,’ the ‘anti-Christ,’ and a ‘false cult system.’” [Catholic League Release, 2/28/08]

 

Hagee Said Hitler Was Doing The Work Of The Catholic Church “More Efficiently.” During a televised sermon, Pastor Hagee said, “When Adolf Hitler came to power he said, “I’m not going to do anything in my lifetime that hasn’t been done by the Roman Church for the past 800 years, I’m only going to do it on a greater scale and more efficiently.” [Catholic League Release, 2/28/08; video]

 

Hagee Called The Catholic Church A “False Cult System.” During a televised sermon in which Pastor John Hagee discussed the history of the Catholic Church, he said, “This false cult system that was born in the Genesis 10 and progressed through Israel and became bale worship.  [BVOV, video

 

Hagee Said The Catholic Church Was “The Great Whore Of Revelations 17.” During a televised sermon in which Pastor John Hagee discussed the history of the Catholic Church, he pointed to an icon representing the church and said, “This is the Great Whore of Revelations 17.  This is the Anti-Christ system.  This is the Apostate Church.” [BVOV, video

 

Hagee Said The Catholic Church Was A “False Religious System” That Will Be “Devoured By The Anti-Christ.” During a televised sermon, Pastor Hagee said of the Catholic Church, “While the church is in heaven, this false religious system is going to be totally devoured by the anti-Christ.”  [Catholic League Release, 2/28/08; video]

 

 

 

 

Hagee On Katrina

 

Hagee: “Hurricane Katrina Was, In Fact, The Judgment Of God Against The City Of New Orleans.” During an appearance on NPR’s Fresh Air, Pastor Hagee said, “I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are--were recipients of the judgment of God for that. The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade on the Monday that the Katrina came, and the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades. So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know that there are people who demure from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the day of judgment, and I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.” [NPR, “Fresh Air,” 9/18/06; emphasis added]

 

Hagee: “All Of The City Was Punished Because Of The Sin That Happened There In That City.” During an appearance on NPR’s Fresh Air, Pastor Hagee was asked, “So I know you’re very opposed to homosexuality, but you think that the whole city was punished because of things like the forthcoming Gay Pride parade?”  Hagee responded by saying, “This is true. All of the city was punished because of the sin that happened there in that city.” [NPR, “Fresh Air,” 9/18/06]

 

April 2008: Hagee Reaffirmed His Belief That Hurricane Katrina Was God’s Way Of Punishing New Orleans.  During an appearance on The Dennis Prager Show, Hagee said, “It is wrong to say that every natural disaster is the result of sin. It is a result of God’s permissive will.”  He was then asked, “In the case of New Orleans, you do feel that God’s hand was in it because of a sinful city?” Hagee responded by saying, “That it was a city that was planning a sinful conduct, yes.” [The Dennis Prager Show, 4/22/08]

 

  • Hagee Backtracked On God’s Motivation For Katrina. In an email sent on April 25th, 2008, Pastor Hagee sought to restate his position on God’s motivation for Hurricane Katrina.  He wrote, “As a believing Christian, I see the hand of God in everything that happens here on earth, both the blessings and the curses. But ultimately neither I nor any other person can know the mind of God concerning Hurricane Katrina. I should not have suggested otherwise. No matter what the cause of the storm, my heart goes out to all who suffered in this terrible tragedy. There but for the grace of God go any one of us.” [Baltimore Sun, 4/26/08]

 

 

Rod Parsley

 

McCain On Parsley

 

McCain Said Parsley Was A “Moral Compass,” Thanked Him For His “Leadership” And “Guidance.”  At a campaign rally in Cincinnati, McCain said, “I’m very honored today to have one of the truly great leaders in America, a moral compass, a spiritual guide, Pastor Rod Parsley.”  He added, “I wanna say thank you for being here, I want to thank you, Rod, for your kind introduction, for your leadership and your guidance.  I’m very grateful you’re here sir.” [McCain Event in Cincinnati, Ohio, 2/26/08]

 

McCain Described Televangelist Rod Parsley As His “Spiritual Guide.” While appearing together in Cincinnati, Ohio, John McCain and Rod Parsley traded compliments in from of a large crowd.  McCain called Parsley his “spiritual guide,” while Parsley said McCain was a, “strong, true, consistent conservative.”  [The Columbus Dispatch, 2/27/08]

 

 

Parsley Is Out Of Touch With Mainstream America

 

Rod Parsley Settled A Lawsuit Alleging He Had Choked A Painter Over A Contract Dispute.  Rod Parsley and his father, James, were forced to settle a lawsuit filed against the two men for “breach of contract, assault, slander and fraud.”  The Columbus Dispatch reported that, “The suit stemmed from a dispute over a painting contract that [Frederick] Bungard had with the Parsleys. Bungard said in his suit that the Rev. Parsley, 35, choked him and James Parsley, 62, punched him Sept. 4, 1991.” [Columbus Dispatch, 4/12/95]

 

Parsley On Religious War: “Man Your Battle Stations, Ready Your Weapons, Lock And Load!”  During a speech to the War on Christians and Values Voters conference, Rod Parsley said, “So my admonishment to you this morning is this: Sound an alarm! A spiritual invasion is taking place.”  He added, “Man your battle stations!  Ready your weapons!  They say, ‘his rhetoric so inciting.’ I came to incite a riot!  I came to affect a divine disturbance in the heart and soul of the church.  Man your battle stations, ready your weapons, lock and load!”  [Parsley speech to the War on Christians and Values Voters Conference, 3/28/06]

 

Parsley Accused Liberals Of Wielding “The Sinister Sword Of Segregation, Of Racism, And Genocide.”  During a televised sermon, Pastor Rod Parsley said, “Our culture has become completely intolerant of anybody who claims a belief system where there is an absolute right, and an absolute wrong.  They are intolerant of anyone who stands to defend the biblical definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  They are intolerant of anyone who stands up to defend the most hopeless among us, anyone who stands up to defend the sanctity, the dignity, the value of human life.  We are now deemed worse than politically incorrect; we have become, in fact, culturally incorrect.  And today, I will expose perhaps the greatest hypocrisy of this tolerance touting culture, and prove to you once and for all that underneath their smiles of inclusion lurks the sinister sword of segregation, of racism, of genocide.” [World Harvest Church sermon, Date Unknown, *video*]

 

Parsley Believes Adultery Should Be A Felonious Act.  Rod Parsley’s Center for Moral Clarity sent an e-mail to supporters praising a judge in the state of Michigan for charging an adulterer with a felony.  The group wrote, “Lawmakers and judges in Michigan are holding married couples accountable for their vows of fidelity… The rest of the nation should take a look at the Michigan statute. Criminal laws are designed to force people to conform to certain acceptable standards of personal behavior. Most of society’s code of conduct has its roots in the 10 Commandments.”  Additionally, “Adultery is a violation of biblical instruction as well as an offense against the other partner in what should be a sacred relationship.” [People for the American Way, 2/2/07]

 

Parsley Said Government Should Eliminate The Minimum Wage In Order To Help The Poor.  According to The American Prospect, McCain supporter Rod Parsley said, “I’m convinced the best thing government can do to help the poor is to get out of the way. If government reduced taxes, removed industrial restraints, eliminated wage controls, and abolished subsidies, tariffs, and other constraints on free enterprise, the poor would be helped in a way that [Aid to Families With Dependent Children], Social Security, and unemployment insurance could never match.” [The American Prospect, 11/05]

 

Parsley Urged Ohioans To Support A Right Wing Candidate “Like You’re Going To Carry The Blood-Stained Banner Of The Cross.” During a Kenneth Blackwell campaign event on the steps of the Ohio State Capital, Rod Parsley said, “Let the Reformation begin! Shout it like you’re going to carry the blood-stained banner of the cross of Christ the length and breadth of the Buckeye State!” [People for the American Way, accessed 5/22/08]

 

Parsley On Islam

 

Southern Poverty Law Center: Parsley Is Guilty Of Hate Speech That Is “Inviting Violence” & “Inciting Hatred.”  Mark Potok, the head of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center which tracks hate groups, said, “It’s obvious when so-called religious leaders demonize whole groups like that that they are inviting violence. The man is inciting hatred; there’s no plainer way to say it. When you say an entire group of people is demonic and anti-Christian, that’s hate speech, yes.” [The Athens News, 7/11/05]

 

Parsley: “Islam Is Responsible For More Pain, More Bloodshed And More Devastation Than Nearly Any Other Force On Earth.” McCain’s “spiritual guide” argued that, “Islam is responsible for more pain, more bloodshed and more devastation than nearly any other force on earth at this moment.” [The Athens News, 7/11/05]

 

Parsley Wrote That America Was Founded To Destroy Islam.  In his book, Silent No More, McCain’s “spiritual guide” wrote that, “The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed, and I believe September 11, 2001, was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore.”  [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/23/08]

 

Parsley: “Islam Is An Anti-Christ Religion That Intends, Through Violence, To Conquer The World.”  In his book, Silent No More, Parsley wrote, “Islam is an anti-Christ religion that intends, through violence, to conquer the world.” [The Athens News, 7/11/05]

 

 

Parsley On The “Homosexual Agenda”

 

Parsley Lambasted Hate-Crimes Legislating.  During an appearance on the “Rod Parsley Show,” Mr. Parsley spoke about federal hate crimes legislation.  He said, “At first blush, of course, so-called hate crimes legislation sounds like a very noble cause.  Who, after all, doesn’t want to be against hate?  This deceptive ploy, a liberal homosexual agenda begins to lose its allure once you pull the mask back, and take a closer look.” [TBN, “The Rod Parsley Show,” via People for the American Way, accessed 5/22/08

 

Parsley Opposed Hate Crimes Legislation Because “The Next Person Charged With A Crime Could Be Me.” During televised remarks, Rod Parsley said, “This so called hate-crimes legislation would give preferred status to people based entirely on who they choose as a sexual partner.  What if they change their mind the next night?  We simply cannot allow an extreme and errant segment of the population in America, a radical homosexual lobby to dictate what we say and what we think; something our founding fathers would have found utterly reprehensible.” He added, if hate crimes legislation passed, “the next person charged with a crime could be me.” [TBN via People for the American Way, 9/17/07]

 

 

 

 

Double Talk: John McCain Says One Thing, Does Another

 

John McCain’s has spent his entire career telling Americans he’ll give them honest ‘straight talk’ on the issues. The problem is, McCain has a history of doing just the opposite: saying one thing, and doing another. Even McCain’s reputation as an ethical fighter against the special interest is a work of media fiction. McCain has pushed the very type of earmarks he has railed against, as well as

 

 
 
TOP HITS:

  • McCain pushes pork and earmarks just like everyone else
  • McCain claims to be an advocate for fiscal responsibility but has voted for at least four fiscally disastrous Bush Budgets.
  • John McCain Does Favors for Lobbyists, Lets them Run His Presidential Campaign
  • Commentators have noticed McCain’s transformation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John McCain: Congress’s Biggest Hypocrite on Earmarks

 

McCain Claims He’s Never Asked for an Earmark. McCain has repeated over and over again that he has never asked for or received an earmark for his state of Arizona.  “In 24 years as a Member of Congress I have never asked for nor received a single earmark or pork barrel project for my state.” [Fox Debate, http://youtube.com/watch?v=5W-uzPblPXE]

 

But the Facts Tell A Different Story:

 

  • McCain Sponsored $10 Million Earmark For Law Center In Arizona. McCain tried to push a bill through Congress to steer “10 million to the University of Arizona to launch an academic center honoring the late Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist.” At the same time, McCain was also sponsoring a bill which mounted “a direct assault on congressional earmarks.” [Chicago Tribune, 3/4/06]

 

  • McCain Pushed For And Successfully Got $14.3M For Arizona’s Luke Air Force Base. McCain pushed for, and got, $14.3 million for Arizona’s Luke Air Force Base inserted into the just-completed fiscal 2004 military construction appropriations conference report. The only problem is the project to acquire more land near the base was not requested by President Bush or fully authorized by the Senate Armed Services Committee - two of McCain’s criteria for identifying so-called ‘pork.’” [Roll Call, 11/6/03]

 

The Only Good Pork Is McCain’s Pork:

 

  • McCain Fights Others Pork, Pushes His Own. “Arizona Sen. John McCain is sponsoring two interesting pieces of legislation. One mounts a direct assault on congressional earmarks, those little morsels of home district pork that lawmakers slip into unrelated spending bills. The other steers $10 million to the University of Arizona to launch an academic center honoring the late Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Yes, McCain does seem to be saying to himself: Stop me before I sin again… McCain and co-sponsor Jon Kyl, Arizona’s other GOP senator, insist their pork proposal isn’t hypocritical because they aren’t trying to hide anything. It is set out in stand-alone legislation to be vetted on its own merits…in Congress, it seems, the only bad pork projects are those sponsored by somebody else.” [Chicago Tribune, 3/4/06]

 

McCain: Special Interest Hypocrite

 

McCain Claims the Special Interests Don’t Get Favors from Him

 

McCain Claims the Special Interests Don’t Give Him Money. Speaking in New Hampshire, McCain absurdly claimed he is the only one the special interests don’t funnel campaign money to.  “Everyone says they’re against the special interests - I’m the only one the special interests don’t give any money to.” [McCain Town Hall Meeting, New London, New Hampshire, 11/18/07, http://youtube.com/watch?v=xLfSpYULGXY]

 

McCain Said He Had “Never Done Any Favors For Anybody – Lobbyist Or Special Interest Group.” According to the Associated Press, in December 2007, McCain said, “I’ve never done any favors for anybody — lobbyist or special interest group — that’s a clear, 24-year record.” [Associated Press via WST News, 12/20/07]

 

In Response to Keating Five Incident, McCain Wrote in Book About Not Intervening in Federal Decisions. In his book Worth the Fighting For, McCain wrote, “Learning from my unhappy experience, I have refrained from ever intervening in the regulatory decisions of the federal government if such intervention could be construed, rightly or wrongly, as done solely or primarily for the benefit of a major financial supporter of my campaign.” [Worth the Fighting For, Chapter 8, pp. 159-160]

 

The Problem Is, It just Isn’t True

 

According to the New York Times, McCain Did Exactly what Iseman Asked. “When news organizations reported that Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s client, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement.”  [New York Times, 2/21/08]

 

McCain’s Action On Iseman’s Behalf ‘The Regulatory Equivalent of an Earmark.’ “Here’s the potential trouble for McCain: intervening with the FCC to force a vote on a lobbyist’s behalf is a lot like a self-dealing lawmaker earmarking money on a lobbyist’s behalf. In fact, what McCain admits to doing on Iseman’s behalf can be thought of as the regulatory equivalent of an earmark. [The Atlantic, 3/21/08]

 

McCain Promised Never To Fly Directly To Phoenix, Did It Anyway on Corporate Jets. “Mr. McCain promised, for example, never to fly directly from Washington to Phoenix, his hometown, to avoid the impression of self-interest because he sponsored a law that opened the route nearly a decade ago. But like other lawmakers, he often flew on the corporate jets of business executives seeking his support, including the media moguls Rupert Murdoch, Michael R. Bloomberg and Lowell W. Paxson, Ms. Iseman’s client. (Last year he voted to end the practice.)”  [New York Times, 2/21/08]

 

 

 

McCain: Double Talk on Lobbyists. Bad In DC, But OK for His Presidential Campaign

 

In Washington, McCain Has Voted For Bans on Gifts And Donations from Lobbyists…

 

  • McCain Voted to Ban PAC and Lobbyist Contributions. In 1994, McCain voted for an amendment to prohibit Members of Congress from accepting contributions from political action committees and lobbyists. The amendment passed 66-29. [S.1935, Vote #104, 5/5/1994]

 

  • McCain Voted to Ban All Gifts. In 1994, McCain voted to ban a senator, senator’s spouse, or staff member from accepting any gifts from anyone but friends and relatives. The amendment passed 90-3. [S. 1935, Vote #102, 5/5/1994] 

 

  • McCain Voted for Campaign Finance Bill Restricting Donations from Lobbyists. In 1993, McCain voted for campaign finance legislation that restricted donations from lobbyists. The legislation passed 60-38. [S. 3, Vote #158, 6/17/1993]

 

But Now That He’s Running For President, Lobbyists and Their PACS are OK.

 

McCain Accepted At Least $689,704 from the Lobbying Industry.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain accepted at least $689,704 from the lobbying industry.  [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 1/18/08]

 

  • McCain’s Campaign Relies on 59 Lobbyist Fundraisers. McCain has more lobbyists raising money for him than any other candidate. [Public Citizen, Accessed January 30, 2008; ABC News, January 29, 2008]

 

  • McCain Fundraising Event Claimed 24 Lobbyist Co-Chairmen. 24 Washington lobbyists were listed as co-chairmen of a recent McCain fundraiser at the Charlie Palmer Steakhouse in Washington, D.C. [ABC News, January 29, 2008]

 

  • McCain has Taken At Least $1,163,727 from the Telephone Utility and Telecom Services Industries – More than Any Other Senator. Senator McCain has taken at least $1,163,727 in campaign contributions from the telephone utility and telecom service industries, more than any other Senator. [Analysis of Center for Responsive Politics data]

 

  • McCain has Taken Hundreds-of-Thousands from Top Telecom Companies. McCain has taken at least $146,950 from America’s six largest telecommunications companies alone – Verizon, AT&T, Sprint-Nextel, Comcast, Bell South and Qwest. [Analysis of CQ Moneyline data, 1985-2007; Fortune, 7/26/06]

 

  • McCain Took Over $55,000 from Communications Industry Special Interest PACs in 2007 Alone. In 2007 alone, McCain took over $55,000 from special interests representing the communications and telecommunications industries for his presidential campaign.  As a member of the powerful Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, McCain regulates and oversees these industries.  [FEC, accessed 2/1/08]

 

  • McCain Accepted At Least $704,796 from Insurance Industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain accepted at least $704,796 from the insurance industry.  [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 1/18/08]

 

  • McCain Accepted At Least $447,962 from Oil & Gas Industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain has accepted at least $447,962 from the oil and gas industry.  [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 1/08/08]

 

  • McCain Accepted At Least $443,869 from Defense Industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain has accepted at least $443,869 from the defense industry.  [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 1/18/08]

 

  • McCain Accepted At Least $265,093 from the Pharmaceutical Industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain has accepted at least $265,093 from the pharmaceutical industry.  [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 1/18/08]

 

Conservative Magazine Accused McCain Of Being A Maverick For Political Gain.  The February 11, 2008 issue of American Conservative wrote, “But what seems to account for his evolution from realism to hopped-up interventionism is nothing more than sheer ambition. This was the case in 1983, when he defied the Reagan administration over sending U.S. soldiers to die at the hands of a Beirut suicide bomber, and in 1999, when the cry went up to take on Slobodan Milosevic. He was positioning himself against his own party, while staking out a distinctive stance independent of the Democrats. It was, in short, an instance of a presidential candidate maneuvering himself to increase his appeal to the electorate—and, most importantly, the media.” [American Conservative, 2/11/08]

 

Commentators Have Noticed McCain’s Complete Change From the McCain of 2000

 

  • Ian MacDonald: McCain Went From Maverick Candidate In ‘00 To “Consensus Establishment Moderate Right Of Center” Candidate In ‘08. According to National Post columnist, L. Ian MacDonald, “McCain, very much the maverick in 2000, has now emerged as the consensus establishment and moderate right-of-centre candidate in 2008.” [Op-Ed, National Post, 1/23/08]

 

  • Hartford Courant: “The Senator Is A Salty, Reformist, Provocative And Classy Presence In Our Politics. At Least The Straight-Talking Mr. McCain Of The 2000 Campaign Was.” According to a Hartford Courant editorial, “If you were speculating just a few months ago about the most likely major candidate to drop out of the 2008 presidential race first, chances are you wouldn’t have named John McCain. But today the Arizona Republican -- the presumed front-runner for his party’s nomination a year ago -- is teetering and may indeed fall, despite his protestations to the contrary. … Mr. McCain’s campaign has made serious mistakes -- among them, pandering to the religious right (which calls his authenticity into question) and spending too much money. The result has been plummeting donations and poll numbers, a nearly empty treasury and campaign workers heading for the exits. Mr. McCain slogs on, but pundits are saying ‘dead man walking.’ … The senator is a salty, reformist, provocative and classy presence in our politics. At least the straight-talking Mr. McCain of the 2000 campaign was.”  [Editorial, Hartford Courant, 7/13/07]

 

  • Alter: He Repressed The Maverick Spirit Of The 2000 Campaign. According to an op-ed by Jonathan Alter published in the Charleston Gazette, “On the surface, McCain’s strategy for becoming president makes perfect sense. He repressed the maverick spirit of the 2000 campaign (it didn’t get him elected last time, he’s said), hired a bunch of Bushies and signed off on a strategy of kissing up to the hard-core conservatives who dominate the Republican primaries. The fact that many liberals and independents fell out of love with him didn’t seem relevant; they don’t vote in those contests. Under the GOP’s system of primogeniture, the nomination traditionally goes to the guy whose turn it is. It’s McCain’s turn, so he figured all he had to do was sound a few conservative themes and line up the right endorsements. He’d lock it up early, then tack to the center for the general election.  But something’s gone terribly wrong. The political positioning is too transparent to be convincing. … McCain remains an endearing, sometimes provocative campaigner, but the magic is on the wane. … John McCain may be playing the political angles on various social issues, but not on Iraq. Henry Clay, the great 19th-century senator, once said, ‘I’d rather be right than be president.’ Sadly for McCain, the odds are growing that he’ll be neither.”  [Op-Ed, Jonathan Alter, Charleston Gazette, 4/10/07]

 

  • Roanoke Times: “McCain Has Sacrificed The Last Drop Of Credibility In What Was Once A Rather Deep Well.” According to an editorial in the Roanoke Times,  “And so the presidential candidate who once boasted of riding the ‘Straight Talk Express’ has been exposed as a ridiculous Pollyanna, desperate to prove that some Baghdad neighborhoods are safe and blind to the actual truth exposed by his visit.  For some inexplicable reason, McCain is staking his political career on his unwavering support for President Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq. And so he has joined the president and others in the administration in making ridiculously overconfident and optimistic statements that defy the reality of the situation in Iraq.  Perhaps it is only possible to wholeheartedly support what is happening in Iraq through the dark tint of rose-colored glasses.  But in so doing, McCain has sacrificed the last drop of credibility in what was once a rather deep well.”  [Editorial, Roanoke Times, 4/05/07]

 

  • Concord Monitor: “Some Left-Leaning Voters Feel McCain Has Dispensed With The ‘Straight Talk’ To Pander To His Party’s Base.” According to a Concord Monitor editorial, “In 2000 New Hampshire was ready to elect John McCain president even if the rest of the country wasn’t. Tomorrow he makes his first visit this year as a candidate for president in 2008. He’s unlikely to be able to pick up exactly where he left off. … Has McCain changed as well? He was well served here in 2000 by his image as the candidate who bucked the party establishment, rebuked the fringes of the religious right and spoke movingly of causes larger than self-interest. Now some left-leaning voters feel McCain has dispensed with the ‘straight talk’ to pander to his party’s base.  Of course, the politics of positioning cuts both ways. Some right- leaning voters remember deciding McCain was not one of them in 2000.  Persuading people to change their minds can be harder than winning them over to start with. … Seven years ago, no one knew better than New Hampshire voters that there was a world of difference between John McCain and George W. Bush. Fairly or not, McCain returns as the candidate most entwined in Bush’s defining endeavor. As he makes the case for why the war must be seen through to fruition, can McCain remind us why he would have been the better president after all?”  [Editorial, Concord Monitor, 3/15/07]

 

  • Dowd: “But There’s One Huge Group That He’s Not Pandering To: Americans.” According to Maureen Dowd, “Certainly, the senator has tried to worm his way into the affections of W. and the religious right: The Discovery Institute, a group that tries to derail Darwinism and promote the teaching of Intelligent Design, helped present the lunch, dismaying liberal bloggers who have tracked Sen. McCain’s devolution on evolution. … But there’s one huge group that he’s not pandering to: Americans.  Most Americans are sick and tired of watching things go hideously backward in Iraq and Afghanistan, and want someone to show them the way out. Mr. McCain is stuck on the bridge of a sinking policy with W. and Dick Cheney, who showed again last week that there is no bottom to his lunacy. The senator supported a war that didn’t need to be fought and is a cheerleader for a surge that won’t work.  It has left Sen. McCain, the Arizona Republican, once the most spontaneous of campaigners, off balance. He’s like a cat without its whiskers. … Sometimes I miss John McCain, even when I’m with him.”  [Op-Ed, Maureen Dowd, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2/26/07]

 

  • Krugman: “Senator John McCain, Whose Reputation For Straight Talk Is Quickly Getting Bent Out Of Shape…” According to Paul Krugman, “Senator John McCain, whose reputation for straight talk is quickly getting bent out of shape, appears to share the Bush administration’s habit of rewriting history to preserve an appearance of infallibility. Last month Senator McCain asserted that he knew full well what we were getting into by invading Iraq: ‘When I voted to support this war,’ Mr. McCain said on MSNBC, ‘I knew it was probably going to be long and hard and tough, and those that voted for it and thought that somehow it was going to be some kind of an easy task, then I’m sorry they were mistaken.’  But back in September 2002, he told Larry King, ‘I believe that the operation will be relatively short,’ and ‘I believe that the success will be fairly easy.’”  [Op-Ed, Paul Krugman, New York Times, 2/19/07]

 

  • McCain “Seems To Be Adopting Tactics He Previously Criticized.” According to the Charleston Gazette, “Respected Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is running for president again. Although he has long been a clean-campaigns advocate, he seems to be adopting tactics he previously criticized. At least, he’s hiring campaign operatives once involved in ugly smears.  During early Republican primary elections in 2000, campaign dirty tricksters attacked McCain, falsely, for being a traitor while he was in jail as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. And an outfit backing George W. Bush made telephone calls to potential voters in the South Carolina primary suggesting that McCain had fathered a ‘black child,’ perhaps with a ‘black prostitute.’ (The McCains did adopt a daughter, named Bridget, through an orphanage Mother Teresa had created in Bangladesh.)  During the 2004 presidential campaign, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ran television ads smearing Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who was running against Bush. At the time, McCain attacked those Swift Boat ads as ‘dishonest and dishonorable.’  But today, McCain is using that same Swift Boat firm to help him plan campaign ads for 2008. He also has hired a wide array of dirty tricksters to run his presidential race, including key political operatives Bush used to attack McCain in 2000, according to the New York Times.  Last fall, McCain’s top adviser criticized a TV smear of former Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr., D-Tenn, which showed the black congressman flirting with a young, scantily clad, blonde, white woman. The ad had racist overtones. Terry Nelson, a former Bush campaign consultant, headed the committee sponsoring that ad. McCain first hired Nelson as an adviser last spring. After the Ford TV ad controversy hit the news, McCain promoted Nelson to his national campaign manager, the Times  What has happened to the Arizona Republican known for integrity?”  [Editorial, Charleston Gazette, 2/12/07]

 

  • “In The Past, McCain Presented Himself As ‘Senator Straight Talk.’ That Image May Not Work In The 2008 Political Battles.” According to the Charleston Gazette, “With Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., McCain sponsored the bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 to regulate campaign financing. He’s generally deemed a politician of honor.  But recently, McCain has backpedaled to endorse President Bush’s escalation of the Iraq war and to solidify relations with the fundamentalist Religious Right. In the past, McCain presented himself as ‘Senator Straight Talk.’ That image may not work in the 2008 political battles.”  [Editorial, Charleston Gazette, 2/12/07]

 

  • McCain 2008 Campaign A “Far Cry” From His 2000 Bus, Which May Exact An “Awful Price” And He Knows It. Todd Purdum wrote in Vanity Fair that McCain is not the same candidate he was in 2000. “But the plain truth is that the Straight Talk Express, Version 2.008, is often a far cry from the Magic Bus of 2000.” Discussing comments McCain made on the campaign trail in 2004, Purdum wrote, “That’s not straight talk. That’s partisan pap,” adding, “Nor, presumably, was it straight talk last summer at an Aspen Institute discussion when McCain struggled to articulate his position on the teaching of intelligent design in public schools.” Overall, Purdum found, “McCain’s own compromises in pursuit of the presidency may be necessary, even justified. And they may, in fact, pave his way to victory in the Republican primaries, and perhaps to the White House itself. But even if no one calls him out, and the public plays along, McCain may pay an awful price. Because, whatever happens, he will know. He will know. He will know.” [Vanity Fair, February 2007]

 

  • Richard Cohen: “The Straight Talk Express Is In A Ditch.” According to Richard Cohen of the Washington Post, “McCain’s virtue is his virtue - those aspects of his character that mirror his physical courage. He has been the politician who would not play politics, the presidential candidate who would sweep out the White House, put K Street in its place, rein in Congress and, always, talk plainly and candidly to the American people. In short, he was the man who could restore faith in government.  But he cannot do that if, at the same time, he defends a war fought for nonexistent reasons, preceded by fibs, lies and exaggerations, draining America of blood and treasure and leaving us worse off now than before those bombs were dropped where - as it symbolically turned out - Saddam Hussein was not. Times have changed. The Straight Talk Express is in a ditch.”  [Op-Ed, Richard Cohen, Washington Post, 5/16/06]

 

  • Tom Edsall: McCain Trying To Maintain Straight Talker Credibility While Doubletalking To Win GOP Nomination. Tom Edsall said, “McCain is trying to do two contradictory things…he wants to retain the appeal he had in 2000 as a straight talker who will not adjust his words and positions for political gain, and he is trying to win the Republican nomination. The nomination will be determine by voters and activists, many of whom do not like McCain because 1) he has voted against some of the Bush tax cuts, 2) he is the prime sponsor of campaign finance legislation seen by libertarians as an attack on free speech, and 3) he pointedly attacked Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson in a highly publicized speech in 2000. McCain is now trying to thread about three needles as once, a tough task for anyone.” [washingtonpost.com, 5/15/06]

 

  • McCain, “Unbidden,” Said Changing Positions Could Damage His Greatest Attraction. The New

York Times wrote, “Unbidden, [McCain] acknowledged the danger of the perception that he had become politically expedient. Mr. McCain said there was ‘much increased sensitivity for me not to display traces of hypocrisy’ because of the way he had defined himself. ‘I would argue that I have not changed any of my positions, and if I did really change my positions on issues, that I would lose what is probably one of the greatest attractions that people have for me, and that is as a person who stands up for what he believes in,’ Mr. McCain said” [New York Times, 4/9/06]

 

  • McCain “Damaged His Reputation For Principled Straight Talk To Join Bush’s Misguided Bid To Privatize Social Security.” According to the Petersburg Times, “At least President Bush didn’t kiss John McCain again. Last year during his re-election campaign, Bush planted one on McCain as the Arizona senator pretended to like his old nemesis. Maybe McCain isn’t faking it anymore, because he too easily damaged his reputation for principled straight talk to join Bush’s misguided bid to privatize Social Security.”  [Editorial, St. Petersburg Times, 2/25/05]

 

  • “The Straight Talk Express Has Blown A Tire.” According to Marie Cocco, “The Straight Talk Express has blown a tire.  John McCain speaks before the Republican National Convention tonight and drapes the mantle of his moral stature around George W. Bush.  As men, the two could not differ more. The president believes in his own righteousness. McCain believes in the righteous act of speaking truth to power. As politicians, the two share a deep conviction. They are dedicated to the art of the mutual use. … The Arizona Republican made his reputation in 2000 as the candidate willing to challenge his party orthodoxy on both policy and smash-mouth politics. Above all, he presented himself as the principled foe of the special interests and the slick tacticians that have hijacked politics. ‘Straight talk,’ he called it.  McCain now asks us to forgive his own superficial maneuver. He wants us still to believe he is above the cynicism of contemporary politics, while he simultaneously indulges in it. … Tonight McCain maintains his political viability within the system. It is a perfect gambit. But it is out of sync with the premise of McCain’s appeal.  McCain’s great strength is that he offers us the hint there is something at his core that is special, and true. We already have enough politicians with something at the core that is ambition. He wants us still to believe he is above the cynicism of politics while he indulges in it.”  [Op-Ed, Marie Cocco, Newsday, 8/30/04]

 

  • Giuliani Accused McCain for “Anti-New York” Legislative Record. According to the Post and Courier, “New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who has endorsed Bush, went public with his refusal to join a Pataki-led effort to attack McCain’s legislative record as ‘anti-New York.’”  [Post and Courier, 3/05/00] ***Note: this headline is WRONG—needs to be changed (using the clips from the time) to focus on Pataki’s charges.

 

  • Bush Campaign Commercial Attacked McCain as Opponent of Increase Breast Cancer Research. According to the Post and Courier, “In addition, McCain was angered by a Bush campaign commercial, running in New York, that attacked him as an opponent of increased breast cancer research.”  [Post and Courier, 3/07/00]

 

 

 

The Real McCain Is A Dirty Campaigner

 

McCain’s campaign flaunts the illusion that it is determined to run a friendly, principled campaign.  While promising a “respectful campaign,” McCain’s campaign routinely engages in the very smear tactics it publicly decries.  Whether it’s linking Obama to Hamas to questioning his patriotism, McCain and his surrogates are failing to live up to their self-imposed standards.

 

“In this day and age, my friend, everything is fair game.”

 

-- John McCain [MSNBC, “Hardball,” 7/21/04]

 

Holier Than Thou: McCain Pretends To Be Above The Fray        

 

Cindy McCain: “None Of This Negative Stuff Though, You Won’t See It Come Out Of Our Side At All.” During an appearance on NBC’s Today Show, Cindy McCain said, “I believe we’re going to see a great debate, which the American public deserves, more importantly.  None of this negative stuff though, you won’t see it come out of our side at all.  My husband is absolutely opposed to any negative campaigning at all.” [NBC, “Today Show,” 5/8/08; emphasis added]

 

McCain: “I Want To Have A Respectful Campaign. That's What Americans Really Want.” During an interview with Bill O’Reilly, McCain said, “I want to have a respectful campaign. That's what Americans really want.”  He added, “I will run a campaign that I can look back on and say, as I did in 2000 and I have every other race that I've ever been in, that I'm - that was an honorable campaign. That's what I'm going to do.” [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 5/8/08]

 

McCain: “I’m Gonna Run A Respectful Campaign.” During an appearance on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, McCain said, “I’m gonna run a respectful campaign.  Americans are sick and tired of the kind of campaigns that they’ve seen.  I will run a respectful campaign, my friend.” [Comedy Central, The Daily Show, 5/7/08

 

McCain: The American People Are “Tired Of The Impugning People's Character And Integrity.” While taking questions from reporters at the annual meeting of the Newspaper Association of America, McCain said, “Americans want a respectful campaign.  They're tired of the 527s. They're tired of the attacks. They're tired of the impugning people's character and integrity. They want a respectful campaign. And I am of the firm belief that they'll get it and they can get it, if the American demand it and reject a lot of this negative stuff that goes on.” [Transcript of the Annual Meeting of the Newspaper Association of America, 4/14/08]

 

McCain Said It Would Bother Him A “Great Deal” If He Benefitted From Latent Prejudice.  While taking questions from reporters at the annual meeting of the Newspaper Association of America, McCain was asked, “Does it bother you at all that you might actually benefit from latent prejudice in the country?”  He said, “No. That would bother me a lot. That would bother me a great deal.” [Transcript of the Annual Meeting of the Newspaper Association of America, 4/14/08]

 

McCain Vowed Attacks On Obama Will “Never Happen Again… We Just Have To Have Stronger Control Of Our Campaign.”  After Bill Cunningham invoked Barack Obama’s middle name, Hussein, McCain said those types of attacks “will never happen again.”  McCain added, “The moral of the story is we just have to have stronger control of our campaign. … There is no excuse for what happened today.” [Fox News, 2/27/08]

 

McCain: “I Will Treat Them With Respect.”  After the controversy surrounding Bill Cunningham’s remarks concerning Senator Obama’s middle name, McCain said, “I have repeatedly stated of my respect for Senator Obama and Senator Clinton, that I will treat them with respect, I will call them Senator, we will have respectful debate. I regret any comments that may be made about these two individuals who are honorable Americans. We just have strong philosophical differences.” [NPR, “Morning Edition,” 2/27/08]

 

 

McCain Himself Is Guilty Of Negative Campaigning

 

McCain: “If Senator Obama Is Favored By Hamas, I Think People Can Make Judgments Accordingly.” During a conference call with bloggers, McCain said, “I think it's very clear who Hamas wants to be the next president of the United States. If Senator Obama is favored by Hamas, I think people can make judgments accordingly.” [CNN, The Situation Room, 4/25/08]

 

McCain’s Campaign Sent An E-Mail Linking Obama To Hamas.  In an e-mail distributed by John McCain’s campaign, Christian Ferry, McCain’s Deputy Campaign Manager, wrote, “Barack Obama's foreign policy plans have even won him praise from Hamas leaders.”  He added, “We need change in America, but not the kind of change that wins kind words from Hamas, surrenders in Iraq and will hold unconditional talks with Iranian President Ahmadinejad.” [McCain Campaign E-Mail To Supporters, 4/18/08] 

 

McCain Said Obama Lacked “Experience, Knowledge And Judgment.” While attacking Obama aboard his campaign bus, John McCain said, “There's a huge difference there, and it's got to do with experience, knowledge and judgment -- none of which Senator Obama has.” McCain strategist Steve Schmidt added, “Inexperience and poor judgment in the president of the United States makes the world a more dangerous place.” [5/21/08]

 

McCain: Obama Is “Totally Insensitive To The Hopes And Dreams And Ambitions Of A 100 Million Americans.” In response to Senator Barack Obama’s proposal to increase capital gains taxes,  McCain said, “That means he has no understand of the economy and that he is totally insensitive to the hopes and dreams and ambitions of a 100 million Americans who will be affected by his almost doubling of the capital gains tax.” [Time Magazine, 4/27/08]

 

McCain Repeatedly Referred To Obama As An Elitist.  During an appearance on NBC’s Today, McCain said, “I would hope that Senator Obama would repudiate and apologize for his remarks concerning the heartland of America, where some kind--where his elitist remarks indicated that people who are hard-working, dedicated people who harbor traditional values and principles and value their religion and the--and the Second Amendment of the Constitution would not be treated in an elitist fashion. I hope he'll apologize for that.” [NBC, Today Show, 4/25/08]

 

McCain And The GOP Attack Dogs

 

“If I am the nominee of the party, I will obviously assure everyone within my party that this has got to be a respectful debate.”

 

-- John McCain [London Times, 2/29/08]

 

Looks Like His Party Missed The Memo…

 

The Tennessee GOP Produced A Video Lambasting Barack Obama’s Wife.  The Tennessee Republican Party produced a web video mocking Michelle Obama’s statement that “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country” despite the fact that she has since clarified her remarks.  The Associated Press wrote, “The four-minute video posted on YouTube is built around the remark, replaying it six times and interspersing it with commentary by Tennesseans, identified mostly by their first names, on why they are proud of America.” [Associated Press, 5/16/08]

 

The Tennessee GOP Issues A Statement Referring To Obama By His Middle Name And Pictured In Traditional Somali Attire.  The Tennessee Republican Party issued a press release, “that said Obama was anti-Israel and was supported by anti-Semites like Louis Farrakhan, founder of the Nation of Islam. The release uses Obama's middle name, Hussein, and includes the widely distributed photo of Obama in native Somali garb on a trip to Africa in 2006.” [International Herald Tribune, 2/29/08]

 

The North Carolina Republican Party Produced An Offensive Ad Regarding Reverend Wright.  The Raleigh News & Observer wrote, “The North Carolina Republican Party says it will air an ad linking two Democratic candidates for governor to Barack Obama's controversial former minister, despite objections from Sen. John McCain.  The ad shows video of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and then slams Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and state Treasurer Richard Moore.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 4/23/08]

 

McCain Was Unconvincing In His Efforts To Halt The North Carolina GOP’s Anti-Obama Ad.  Despite McCain’s claims that, “I've done everything that I can to repudiate and to see that this kind of campaigning does not continue,” the North Carolina Republican Party insisted on running an anti-Obama advertisement.  When asked if the state party's unwillingness to heed his call raised questions about his leadership, McCain replied: “I don't know exactly how to respond to that.” [NBC, Today Show, 4/25/08]

 

McCain Supporter Used Obama’s Middle Name, Referred To Obama As A Hack, Chicago-Style Politician.  Radio talk show host Bill Cunningham delivered remarks before John McCain took the stage at an event in Cincinnati.  Cunningham used Obama’s middle name, Hussein, three times and called him a “hack Chicago politician from the Daley political machine.” [New York Times, 2/27/08]

 

Cunningham Said McCain’s Campaign Told Him To Deliver “Red Meat” To Supporters.  While appearing on Hannity & Colmes, Bill Cunningham said McCain’s staff had told him to deliver “red meat” to supporters.  Cunningham said, “his people told me to give the faithful red meat, give them red, raw meat.” [Fox News, 2/25/08]

 

Swift Boater: “We Will Attack Obama Viciously.” As reported in the Washington Post, “‘We will attack Obama viciously on all fair issues, whether they are national security, whether they are taxes or the economy,’ promised Chris LaCivita, one of the Republican strategists behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that attacked Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry in 2004. LaCivita added: ‘At the end of the day, every individual has a right to participate in the political process whether John McCain likes it or not. It's their constitutional right.’” [Washington Post, 5/14/08]

 

The RNC Is Planning A $19.5 Million Campaign Trying To Paint Obama As Out Of Touch.  According to the International Herald Tribune, “The Republican National Committee is planning a $19.5 million advertising campaign to portray Obama, 46, as out of touch with the country and too inexperienced to be commander in chief, seeking to put him on the defensive before he can use his financial advantage against McCain, party officials said.” [International Herald Tribune, 5/12/08]

 

McCain Adviser: “It's Going To Be Swift Boat Times Five.” According to Newsweek, “ [A] McCain adviser, who asked for anonymity discussing internal campaign strategy, bluntly warned: ‘It's going to be Swift Boat times five on both sides … The candidates will both do their best publicly to mute it. But in a close race, I don't see how to shut that down.’” [Newsweek, 5/19/08]

 

GOP Attack Dog Said “I'm Kinda Like In A Candy Store In This Election.” Floyd Brown, who helped produce the infamous “Willie Horton” ad against Michael Dukakis, is reportedly gearing up for a dirty campaign against Obama.  He said, “There's plenty of stuff out there… I'm kinda like in a candy store in this election.” [Newsweek, 5/19/08]

 

McCain Has Embraced The Dirty Politics Of The Past

 

McCain Called Wyly Brothers “Wyly Coyotes” in 2000; Brothers Hold Fundraiser For McCain in 2006. In 2000, “the Wyly brothers of Dallas were pumping millions into a shadowy TV blitz aimed at derailing Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid. McCain cried foul, demanding an FEC investigation and accusing the billionaire Texans of collusion with the Bush team. ‘They should be ashamed,’ he said at the time. ‘Tell ‘em to keep their dirty money in the state of Texas.’ … But heck, that was a long time ago. Monday night, Charles and Sam Wyly will co-host a fund-raiser for a man who once derided them as the ‘Wyly coyotes’ and as George W. Bush’s ‘sleazy Texas buddies.’ Talk about bygones. ‘Senator McCain has made a career of always trying to look forward and do what’s best for the country,’ said his strategist, John Weaver. ‘That began with normalizing relations with Vietnam. Once you can do that, you can do anything.’” [Dallas Morning News, 5/14/06]

 

McCain Called Swift Boat Attack Ads “Dishonest and Dishonorable.” While speaking out against the attack ads run against John Kerry in 2004 by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, McCain said, and “I deplore this kind of politics” and added “I think the ad is dishonest and dishonorable.” McCain compared it to attacks against his campaign in 2000, saying, “it was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me.” [AP, 8/5/04]

 

  • McCain Has Accepted $61,650 From Swift Boat Donors And Associates, Though He Once Condemned Their Kerry Smears. According to the Nation, Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign has accepted as much as $61, 650 from Swift Boat donors and their associates. Also according to the Nation, when the Swift Boat ads that criticized John Kerry during the ‘04 election were first released, “…McCain was alone among his Republican colleagues to condemn them. A fellow Vietnam veteran, a good friend of Kerry’s and a former target of smears about his own service, McCain called the ads ‘dishonest and dishonorable,’ a ‘cheap stunt,’ and he urged Bush to condemn them.” [Nation, 1/2/08]
  • McCain Took $4,200 From Swift Boat Funder Bob Perry. McCain accepted $4,200 from Perry in 2005 despite the fact that Perry gained notoriety as the chief financial backer of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, whose ads criticized the Vietnam War record of Senator John F. Kerry.  Perry gave $4.5 million to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’s campaign in 2004 to distort John Kerry’s military record. [Washington Post, 3/17/07]

McCain Hired Terry Nelson To Be His Campaign Manager. According to the New York Times’ The Fix, “Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) continues to recruit top GOP political operatives in expectation of a presidential run. According to a source close to the McCain operation, the candidate has lined up Terry Nelson to serve as campaign manager (if a formal bid is announced), and Republican National Committee Communications Director Brian Jones has committed to lead the press effort for a national bid. Nelson, who served as national political director for President Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign, joined McCain’s Straight Talk America political action committee in March.” [New York Times, “The Fix,” 12/07/06]

 

  • Nelson “Sandwiched Right Between Tom Delay And Rove’s RNC In The Alleged Money Laundering That Took Place In Texas In 2002.” According to MyDD, “This recruit is a double-whammy, because Nelson was sandwiched right between Tom Delay and Rove’s RNC in the alleged money laundering that took place in Texas in 2002.” According to the Associated Press, “The political director for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign testified Friday before a grand jury investigating charges that corporate money was used illegally in 2002 state legislative races. A spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee confirmed that political director Terry Nelson testified. … The grand jury is looking into whether state law was violated when an RNC group gave $190,000 to seven candidates for the Texas House in 2002. The donations to each candidate were made on the same day two weeks after Texans for a Republican Majority, created by U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, sent $190,000 in corporate money to the RNC group.” [MyDD.com, 3/18/06; Associated Press, 3/20/04]

 

McCain’s New Hampshire State Director Asked For Leniency for Convicted Phone-Jammer James Tobin. Republican lobbyist Mike Dennehy, Senator McCain’s New Hampshire State Director, sent a letter to Judge Steven McAuliffe that asked the judge for a lenient sentence and called convicted phone-jammer James Tobin the “the most ethical man I know” despite the fact that Tobin was convicted of multiple felonies over his role in the 2002 phone-jamming crime. The letter was the only such letter from any Granite Stater. Dennehy’s appeal on behalf of Tobin came weeks after Senator McCain hired Terry Nelson--Tobin’s supervisor at the Republican National Committee and National Republican Senate Committee--as a senior political strategist. Even after learning about

Nelson’s possible involvement in the phone jamming scheme, McCain later said that he had “no qualms” about Nelson’s ethics and that he considers Nelson to be “a fine man” who was “very helpful to President Bush.” [Cox News Service, 4/3/06]

 

South Carolina Strategist Richard Quinn Was Quoted As McCain’s South Carolina Spokesperson In December 2005. As recently as December 23, 2005, Richard Quinn was identified as “McCain’s South Carolina spokesman” in providing a response to criticism about McCain’s scheduled visit to Spartanburg. A 2004 Vanity Fair piece on McCain’s fall in the 2000 campaign identified Quinn as “the McCain [2000] campaign’s South Carolina strategist.” [Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 12/23/05; Vanity Fair, 11/04]

 

  • Quinn Was Founder and Editor In Chief Of A Magazine “Rabidly Devoted” To Confederate Heritage And Maintained Ownership Of The Magazine In 2001. Quinn was the editor in chief of The Southern Partisan magazine, which was described by Vanity Fair as “rabidly devoted to the South’s Confederate heritage.” Following the 2000 McCain campaign, Quinn “removed his name from the magazine’s masthead to avoid further damage to the political candidates that are his clients…but he continues as part owner.” [Vanity Fair, 11/04; The State, 2/9/01]

 

 

 

 

 

            Not Ready: McCain’s Temper and Outlook Make Him Unfit For The Presidency

 

John McCain’s career is laced with examples of his well-known temper, which has been unleashed frequently on those who question, oppose or just get in his way. Even his GOP colleagues have openly discussed McCain’s temper affecting his fitness to be president. McCain has also showed a lack of readiness by using offensive language and inappropriate statements.  Finally, McCain has shown a lack of curiosity and familiarity on certain issues that reveal a tendency to make mistakes.

 

 
 
TOP HITS:

  • McCain has admitted a weakness of his widely-known temper.
  • There are numerous examples of John McCain cursing or threatening those who oppose him, including his fellow Senators.
  • One GOP Senator said McCain’s temper was enough to not trust him near the trigger.
  • McCain has repeatedly used racial slurs and often makes off color statements that display a lack of self control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McCain’s Temper

 

McCain Admitted That He Has Regretted Losing His Temper, But There Are Things Worth Getting Angry About In Politics. The Boston Globe reported on McCain and his temper.  They cited a passage from McCain’s memoir “Worth the Fighting For” wherein McCain addressed the issue.  McCain apparently wrote, “My temper has often been both a matter of public speculation and personal concern…I have a temper, to state the obvious, which I have tried to control with varying degrees of success because it does not always serve my interest or the public’s. I have regretted losing my temper on many occasions. But there are things worth getting angry about in politics, and I have at times tried to use my anger to incite public outrage. I make no apologies for that. . . . When public servants lose their capacity for outrage over practices injurious to the national interest, they have outlived their usefulness to the country.” [Boston Globe, 1/27/08]

 

McCain Was Frequently Rated As Having One Of Congress’ “Hottest Tempers” By Washingtonian Magazine.  John McCain was rated in the Washingtonian as having one of Congress’ “hottest tempers” in 2006, 2004, 2000, and 1998.  McCain had the second “hottest temper” in Congress in 2006, placed first in 2004, 2000, and placed second in 1998. [Washingtonian, September 2006; Washingtonian, September 2004; Washingtonian, September, 2000; Washingtonian, July 1998]

 

McCain’s Temperament May Be Most Discussed Element Of His Life And Career. According to Vanity Fair, “McCain’s temperament may be the single most discussed element of his life and career.”  McCain’s high school nicknames were apparently “Punk” and “McNasty” and McCain has been rated, by Capitol Hill staffers in the Washingtonian, as having one of the top “Hottest Tempers” several times. [Vanity Fair, 2007]

 

  • McCain Last One To Recognize He Has Hot Tempered Reputation. According to Vanity Fair “McCain’s aides [said] that McCain himself was the last to recognize that he had a reputation as a hothead, and used to rail at them in private every time a public commentator suggested he had a problem, shouting, ‘I do not have a temper. I just care passionately.’” [Vanity Fair, 2007]

 

Examples of McCain’s Temper:

 

McCain “Scuffled” With 92 Year-Old Strom Thurmond After A Committee Hearing Dispute. According to Washingtonian, “In January 1995, McCain was midway through an opening statement at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing when Chairman Strom Thurmond asked, ‘Is the senator about through?’ McCain glared at Thurmond, thanked him for his ‘courtesy’ (translation: buzz off), and continued on. McCain later confronted Thurmond on the Senate floor. A scuffle ensued, and the two didn’t part friends.” Newsweek reported that McCain was rumored to have shoved “one or two” senators, including Strom Thurmond, who was in his 90s at the time of the alleged incident. [Washingtonian, 2/97; Newsweek, 2/11/08]

 

McCain “Screamed ‘F*ck You!’ at Senator John Cornyn.  The New York Post reported, “Presidential hopeful John McCain - who has been dogged for years by questions about his volcanic temper - erupted in an angry, profanity-laced tirade at a fellow Republican senator, sources told The Post yesterday. In a heated dispute over immigration-law overhaul, McCain screamed, ‘F--- you!’ at Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who had been raising concerns about the legislation. ‘This is chickens---stuff,’ McCain snapped at Cornyn, according to several people in the room off the Senate floor Thursday. ‘You’ve always been against this bill, and you’re just trying to derail it.’’ [New York Post, 5/19/07]

 

McCain Repeatedly Called Senator Pete Domenici an “A**hole.”  According to Newsweek, “Why can’t McCain win the votes of his own colleagues? To explain, a Republican senator tells this story: at a GOP meeting last fall, McCain erupted out of the blue at the respected Budget Committee chairman, Pete Domenici, saying, ‘Only an a--hole would put together a budget like this.’ Offended, Domenici stood up and gave a dignified, restrained speech about how in all his years in the Senate, through many heated debates, no one had ever called him that. Another senator might have taken the moment to check his temper. But McCain went on: ‘I wouldn’t call you an a--hole unless you really were an a--hole.’ The Republican senator witnessing the scene had considered supporting McCain for president, but changed his mind. ‘I decided,’ the senator told Newsweek, ‘I didn’t want this guy anywhere near a trigger.’” [Newsweek, 2/21/00]

 

McCain Apparently Once Told Chuck Grassley He Was A “Fucking Jerk.”  According to Salon.com reporter Jake Tapper, McCain had a large temper.  Tapper wrote about a story told to him, by another Senator, wherein McCain once said to Chuck Grassley, “I thought your problem was that you don’t listen. But that’s not it at all. Your problem is that you’re a fucking jerk.”  McCain and Grassley had been embroiled in a debate over how to deal with former U.S. Marine Bobby Garwood, a former POW who had been an accused defector, during a meeting of the Senate Special Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.  McCain believed Garwood had been a “traitor” while Grassley believed Garwood had been wrongly accused. [Salon.com, 5/14/99]

 

McCain Threatened to “Personally Beat the Shit” Out of His Opponent.  According to the Arizona Republic, “After McCain’s opponent contacted his ex-wife in hopes of “digging up dirt on McCain,” Carol called to warn her former husband.  McCain recalls, “When the debate ended, I walked over to the opponent who had attempted to mine some little nasty opposition research from my failed marriage and told him with as much steel as I’m capable of demonstrating, ‘If you ever try to hurt anyone in my family again, I will personally beat the shit out of you.’” [The Arizona Republic, 3/1/07]

 

McCain Began His Senate Career Screaming At A Young Volunteer. According to the Arizona Republic, “It was election night 1986, and John McCain had just been elected to the U.S. Senate for the first time. Even so, he was not in a good mood. McCain was yelling at the top of his lungs and poking the chest of a young Republican volunteer who had set up a lectern that was too tall for the 5-foot-9 politician to be seen to advantage, according to a witness to the outburst.” Jon Hinz, then Executive Director of the Arizona Republican Party, noted of the outburst, “You’d have to stick cotton in your ears not to hear it. He (McCain) was screaming at him, and he was red in the face. It wasn’t right, and I was very upset at him.” [Arizona Republic, 11/5/99]

 

McCain’s Staff Had To Restrain Him From Attacking A Phoenix City Councilwoman. The Arizona Republic reported, “In 1993, [former Phoenix City Councilwoman Kathy] Dubs, a Republican, was singed by McCain during a presentation about a proposed regional airport that was to be located between Phoenix and Tucson. Phoenix wasn’t happy about an airport that would compete with Sky Harbor International, recalled Dubs, then on the City Council…I said, ‘You know, the question that comes to my mind, that my constituents would ask me, is, ‘How much property do your relatives own in Casa Grande?’’ Dubs said. That’s when McCain grew angry. ‘He slammed his fist to the table and stood up and said this meeting is over,’ she said. ‘Then he pointed his finger at me and started calling me names. His staff was pulling him back, trying to get him to sit down.’” [Arizona Republic, 11/5/99]

 

McCain Threatened An Arizona Politician For Not Endorsing His Senate Run. According to the Arizona Republic, “Carl Kunasek, now a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission, was blasted by McCain in 1985, when Kunasek refused to endorse McCain during his first run for the U.S. Senate. The incident ‘included [McCain] standing on his feet and leaning over and telling me what would happen to me,’ Kunasek said Thursday. Kunasek declined to say what McCain threatened, but added that the threat, political in nature, was never acted on. The incident, Kunasek said, ‘was not pleasant, and I was surprised.’” [Arizona Republic, 11/5/99]

 

McCain Refused To Speak To Senators Pryor And Heflin For Years Following The Keating Investigation. The Washingtonian reported, “The Senate’s special counsel recommended in 1990 dropping charges against McCain for doing anything illegal or even unseemly to shield savings-and-loan operator Charles Keating from federal investigators. Yet Democrat David Pryor of Arkansas kept voting against freeing McCain from the Senate’s Keating Five investigation. ‘It was purely political,’ says McCain, who didn’t speak to Pryor for nearly six years. Alabama’s Howell Heflin got the same silent treatment.” [Washingtonian, 2/97]

 

McCain Called Student “A Little Jerk” Who Ought to be Drafted.  According to Think Progress, “In September, a high school student asked McCain whether the senator was ‘too old to be president and too conservative to be respected.’ McCain ‘jokingly’ responded by calling the student ‘a little jerk’ who ought to be drafted. [McCain Townhall, 9/4/07, via YouTube]

 

McCain Tore Into Obama For Supporting Competing Reform Legislation. On Monday, February 6, “McCain literally exploded” and “blasted Obama” when he “delivered a sharp scolding…in a two-page letter, which contained atypically harsh and sarcastic words from one senator to another.” McCain “accused his Democratic colleague Barack Obama of ‘partisan posturing’ on the issue of lobbying ethics reform,” “delivered a caustic rebuke” and “unleashed an unusually biting and blunt broadside Monday against one of his Democratic colleagues, Sen. Barack Obama,” [CBS News, 2/6/06; UPI, 2/7/06; Chicago Tribune, 2/7/06; Associated Press, 2/7/06; New York Sun, 2/7/06; CNN.com, 2/7/06]

 

McCain’s Colleagues On McCain’s Temper:

 

Sen. Orrin Hatch Called It “Awful” To Be The Focus Of McCain’s Anger. According to the Associated Press, “Hatch, who serves with McCain in the Senate, said his colleague ‘is a passionate person and he does have a temper and sometimes it’s awful to be on the wrong side of it.’” [Associated Press, 12/2/99]

 

Sen. Thad Cochran: No Other President Has Had McCain’s Temper.  When asked if McCain’s tempter was disabling or disqualifying in a potential president, Cochran responded, “I certainly know no other president since I’ve been here who’s had a temperament like that.” [Newsweek, 2/11/08]

 

  • Sen. Thad Cochran: McCain Is Erratic, Hotheaded, Loses His Temper, And It Worries Me. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has endorsed Mitt Romney, criticized McCain’s temper. Cochran said, “The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine...He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.” [Boston Globe, 1/27/08]

 

Sen. Bob Corker Refused To Say McCain Had The Temperament To Be President.  Senator Bob Corker twice refused to say that McCain has the temperament to be president when asked on Hannity & Colmes.  When asked, Corker said, “You know, his temperamental issues have been written about,” and, “Well I think he is an American hero.” [FOX, Hannity and Colmes, 2/19/08]

 

Sen. Rick Santorum Raised Questions About McCain’s Temperament.  According to the Boston Globe, “Mitt Romney’s campaign is blasting out automated phone calls that feature a recording of former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania raising questions about John McCain’s ‘temperament’ -- a hot-button issue that Romney himself has assiduously avoided.  Santorum said in an interview today that he wrote the script himself, and the campaign deferred to him and approved it.  ‘John McCain has written about and talked about the issues that he has with respect to his temperament and his ability to work with other people and to do so in a way that’s productive,’ Santorum said in an interview after stumping for Romney at Dave & Buster’s restaurant.  ‘This is not something he hasn’t spoken about and talked about and admitted to and I think that to me it is a relevant issue for people to consider…I think it’s one without question that factors into his ability to govern, to form coalitions and to get things done.’ … Santorum said he had personally witnessed problems with McCain’s temperament, which he declined to detail.  ‘I don’t know anybody in the Senate who hasn’t,’ Santorum said. ‘Everybody has their McCain story.’”  [Boston Globe, Political Intelligence, 2/03/08, emphasis added]

 

Other Commentators, Observers Say McCain Has A Temper:

 

McCain Known To Attack The Motives Of Those Who Disagree With Him. The Arizona Republic reported, “In 1996, McCain vented during a meeting attended by McCain, [David] Johnson [legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee] and Bill Pierce, president of the National Committee for Adoption. Johnson and Pierce had come to voice their concerns about a bill McCain was then sponsoring. But, according to Johnson, ‘McCain didn’t want to hear any of that…All he wanted to do is berate this man,’ Johnson said, referring to Pierce…’When someone disagrees with him, he immediately attacks their motives,’ Douglas Johnson said. ‘(He thinks) anyone who disagrees with him is driven by selfish motives and perhaps even stupidity.’” [Arizona Republic, 11/5/99]

 

McCain’s Communications Director Said Anger Was Part Of John McCain. Dan Schnur, John McCain’s communications director in the 2000 presidential race, acknowledged McCain’s tendency toward anger, saying, “Anybody who knows John McCain knows that he gets angry.’” [Washington Post, 11/2/99]

 

AZ G.O.P Chairman: McCain Is “Tough To Deal With.” Randy Pullen, Chairman of the Arizona Republican party said about McCain, “He’s tough to deal with, there’s no doubt about it…He believes what he believes in, and he wants other people to support him in those beliefs.” [CBS News, 1/23/08]

 

GOP Strategist: McCain’s Battles Increase Animosity, Breed Resentment. According to CBS News, GOP strategist Greg Mueller commented about McCain, “Some of his battles are so intense and loud that it sort of increases the animosity…You’ve got these intense issues where a lot of rhetoric gets tossed around and it breeds resentment.” [CBS News, 1/23/08]

 

GOP Aide: McCain Is “My-Way-Or-The Highway” Type Of Leader.  According to The Hill, a House GOP Leadership aide said McCain has been “my-way-or-the-highway” in the Senate.   When asked about McCain’s address to the House Republican Conference, he said, “Members will be generally curious to hear what Sen. McCain has to say, but the tone of his message and the framework of his campaign strategy will be very important, particularly to conservatives.  Will he sound like the ‘my-way-or-the-highway’ McCain that’s graced the Senate for 10 years? Or will he sound like a presidential candidate that realizes it’s a two-way street and is willing to embrace conservativism?” [The Hill, 2/12/08]

 

Friends And Colleagues Acknowledge That McCain “Blows Up” And Will “Hammer” Those Who He Disagrees With. According to Washingtonian, “‘[McCain] just comes out and blows up every once in a while,’ says a congressional correspondent, who didn’t want to be named. ‘You can almost see the steam coming out of his ears.’ In a Senate that still tries to present itself as a polite debating club, McCain stands out for his willingness to take on ‘distinguished colleagues.’ Sometimes his wrath reaches beyond Capitol Hill. Cross one of the lines he has drawn and he’ll take you on, no matter your rank.” [Washingtonian, 2/97]

 

McCain Described as Vindictive with “More Enemies than Nixon.” According to a Newsweek report, McCain has “a bit of a vindictive streak.”  A former Pentagon official stated, “John has an enemies list longer than Nixon’s.  And unlike Nixon, McCain really does try to get you.” [Newsweek, 2/11/08]

 

McCain “The Biggest Bully In The Senate.” “According to Douglas Johnson, the legislative director of the

National Right to Life Committee, an anti-abortion lobbying group, McCain is reputed to be ‘the biggest bully in the Senate.’” [Arizona Republic, 11/5/99]

 

David Keene: McCain is An “Ornery Old Guy.”  When discussing McCain’s potential running mates, David Keene, president of the American Conservative Union, said, “That’s the high-profile, easy way” to get right with conservatives. “If you said, ‘I can’t change because I’m too old to change and I’m too ornery and I don’t want to be nice to you but I’ll select as my running mate someone you really love,’ then they’ll all say ‘OK, we’ll put up with the ornery old guy.” [Associated Press, 2/10/08]

 

McCain: No Self Control Leads to Inappropriate Statements

 

Vanity Fair: “McCain Is A Man Of Strong Opinions, Strongly Expressed.”  Vanity Fair’s Todd Purdum said that John McCain was “…a man of strong opinions, strongly expressed.”  Purdum went on, pointing out that McCain has said, “…current fiction bores the shit out of me” has called the leader of North Korea, a “pip-squeak in platform shoes,” and even said that Pakistani capital “sucks”, seconding the reporter’s views that “Islamabad has limited charms.”   At a Nascar race in New Hampshire, McCain said about a reporter who was following him around, “This is Adam Nagourney, New York Times. They’re a Communist paper, but he’s O.K.”  McCain apparently introduced Senator John Sununu by stating, “You can be very proud of him, and thank God he inherited his mother’s temperament.”  And also said to a gathering of businessmen, “I want to keep health-care costs down until I get sick, and then I don’t give a goddamn!” [Vanity Fair, February 2007]

 

McCain’s Willingness To Think Candidly Out Loud May Be Risky.  Vanity Fair columnist Todd Purdum wrote, “What’s so different about—and potentially risky for—McCain is his perpetual willingness to think out loud, unplugged and unfiltered.” [Vanity Fair, 2007]

 

“McCain Is Devoid Of Self Control.”  CounterPunch’s Alexander Cockburn wrote that, “The problem here for McCain is that he’s a dunderhead in statecraft, devoid of self control, capricious in moral standards and an imbecile in his lack of political judgment.” [Counterpunch, 2/23/08]

 

McCain: “I Hate the Gooks.” During the 2000 presidential campaign, McCain refused to apologize for saying, “I hate the gooks, I will hate them as long as I live.”  [San Francisco Chronicle, 2/18/00]

 

McCain Referred to His Vietnamese Wartime Captors as “Gooks.”  According to Asian Week, “Less than 24 hours after stories ran about Sen. John McCain’s statement to reporters that he would continue to refer to his Vietnamese wartime captors as ‘gooks,’ his campaign announced Feb. 18 that he would no longer use that term. Three days later McCain issued an official apology.  Several stories that ran last Friday quoted McCain as saying ‘I hate the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live… I was referring to my prison guards and I will continue to refer to them in language that might offend.’ … ‘I will continue to condemn those who unfairly mistreated us,” McCain said in a statement released Feb. 21. ‘But out of respect to a great number of people for whom I hold in very high regard, I will no longer use the term that has caused such discomfort… I apologize and renounce all language that is bigoted and offensive, which is contrary to all that I represent and believe.’  [Asian Week, 1/24/00; U.S. News & World Report, 1/28/08]

 

  • In 1999, McCain Said He Was “Absolutely and Unequivocally” Committed To Appointing An Asian American to His Cabinet.  In 1999, many presidential candidates spoke in front of a group of 6,000 minority journalists.  The Washington Post reported, “In his remarks today, McCain said he favors affirmative action, is "absolutely and unequivocally" committed to appointing an Asian American to his Cabinet, and opposes so-called English-only laws.”  [Washington Post, 7/9/99]

 

McCain Used Racist “Tar Baby” Slur In Response to Question at Town Hall Meeting.  According to CNN, “Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, issued an apology for his use of the phrase ‘tar baby’ in response to a question he received at his mid-day town hall meeting in Cedar Falls, Iowa on Friday.  A questioner asked McCain whether as president he ‘would be bold enough to address the issue of equal access to children for fathers that have gone through divorce.’  The Republican presidential candidate responded, ‘I’m sorry to disappoint you, I am not going to overturn divorce court decisions. That’s why we have courts and that’s why people go to court and get a divorce. If I as President of the United States said this decision has to be overturned without the proper appeals process then I would be disturbing our entire system of government... But for me to stand here before all these people and say that I’m going declare divorces invalid because someone feels that they weren’t treated fairly in court, we are getting into a, uh, uh, tar baby of enormous proportions.” [CNN, 3/16/07]

 

  • McCain Was Forced To Apologize For Racist Remark.  McCain was forced to apologize for using a racist remark.  During a press conference, CNN’s Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley asked McCain about his use of the phrase ‘tar baby,’ viewed by some as having racist overtones.  ‘I hope that it’s not viewed that way,’ McCain said. ‘It was a situation where if I kept going on that I would then be overturning court decisions. I don’t think I should have used that word and it was wrong to do so.’”  [CNN, 3/16/07]

 

McCain Used Racist “Tar Baby” Slur Phrase to Explain His View On Bosnia.  When describing his skepticism of air strikes in Bosnia, McCain rhetorically asked, “The question is do air strikes help, do they exacerbate, or do they put our fist in the tar baby that would inevitably lead us to military intervention on the ground?” Apparently McCain made the phrase a part of his vocabulary long before his gaffe in Iowa. [All Things Considered, NPR, 4/28/93]

 

Mistakes: McCain Flubs

 

McCain Has A “General Lack of Interest” on Domestic Issues. In a Washington Post Op-ed, Michael Gerson wrote, “But those who know McCain report a general lack of interest in domestic policy compared with his engagement in foreign affairs. ‘It’s sometimes unfairly argued that Bush is intellectually uncurious,’ says one former member of Congress, ‘but on domestic issues that is really true of McCain.’ McCain’s foresight on Iraq has carried him far. But eventually he will need to engage Democrats on issues from health care to education to poverty. And being right on the war will not be enough.” [Washington Post, 2/6/08]

 

 

 

 

McCain v. the GOP: Problems with His Party

 

John McCain’s is widely thought to be the default nominee for the Republican party. McCain has had many problematic interactions with his Senate colleagues, with Republicans in Arizona and even infamously considered leaving the party.  The lack of enthusiasm surrounding John McCain from what should be his base makes him an odd standard-bearer for the general election.

 

 
 
TOP HITS:

  • McCain was dubbed the “most liberal, least trustworthy” of GOP presidential candidates.
  • Conservatives of all stripes (Religious right and economic conservatives) oppose John McCain.
  • Sen. John Cornyn likened McCain’s candidacy to a “grieving process.”  He along with several prominent Republicans have expressed opposition to McCain’s candidacy.
  • Republicans in Arizona have issues with McCain.
  • Rush Limbaugh has repeatedly said McCain would destroy, or harm the Republican party.
  • McCain considered leaving the Republican party to become an independent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conservatives Oppose John McCain

 

McCain Booed At CPAC.  According the Hotline On Call, “McCain was introduced first, though erroneously, by former VA guv George Allen. Allen, who endorsed McCain today after having supported Fred Thompson’s bid, was supposed to introduce Sen. Tom Colburn who had the official honor of presenting McCain. So, with the double introduction, McCain was booed not once, but twice.”  [Hotline On Call, 2/7/08]

 

Club for Growth: Stance On Personal Accounts Though, Is Marred By His Willingness To Raise Social Security Taxes.  According to the Club for Growth, “This positive stance on personal accounts though, is marred by his willingness to raise Social Security taxes as part of a package that would include personal accounts. On a February, 23, 2005 edition of Meet the Press, Tim Russert asked Senator McCain if he would support ‘as part of the solution to Social Security’s solvency problem, that you lift the cap so that you would pay payroll tax, Social Security tax, not just on the first $90,000 of your income, but perhaps even higher?’ Senator McCain answered, ‘As part of a compromise I could . . . I’m proud of the job that Senator Lindsey Graham has been doing in his leadership position on this issue and showing some courage.’ Raising Social Security taxes in this manner is not a sign of courage. It could constitute a massive tax increase and prove devastating to economic growth in this country. Furthermore, Senator McCain’s support for Lindsey Graham’s proposal to raise Social Security taxes contradicts his own observation about the woefully poor return workers receive. Raising taxes would only make that return worse. As Senator McCain hinted in 2000, it is not Social Security taxes that are too low, but the below-market return on those taxes that should most concern policy makers and taxpayers alike.”  [Club for Growth white paper, 3/13/07]

 

Texas GOP Executive Committee Members Said McCain’s Immigration Stance is “Intolerable.” Members of the Texas Republican Party’s executive committee said that McCain’s stances on illegal immigration were intolerable.  According to The Dallas Morning News, “Several members of the state Republican executive committee expressed serious reservations Wednesday about Mr. McCain’s conservative credentials.” Committee member John Cook said, “It was amnesty.  I don’t want our nominee to carry the party to the moderate wing.” [Dallas Morning News, 2/6/08]

 

Grover Norquist Called McCain A Flip Flopper Who Would Not Lead With Conservative Values.

During an interview which on ABC News, Grover Norquist, the head of the conservative group Americans for Tax Reform, said McCain’s flip-flopping tendency would be damaging to conservative goals. Norquist said of McCain, “What McCain has done is flip-flopped on the gun issue, on the tax issue. He used to be a Reagan Republican on taxes. He’s voted against every one of President Bush’s tax cuts. He voted for the first one before he voted against it but he’s voted against all of them. He’s flip-flopped back and forth not because of where the American people are but because of where the cameras are.” Norquist added that McCain’s “phototropism” was “very damaging from a conservative perspective because that’s unlikely to lead to conservative governance.” [ABC News, 6/11/06]

 

Joe Scarborough: No, No, I Say No, John McCain is not a Conservative.  Speaking on Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough said, “No, no I say no, John McCain is not a conservative.”  He adds, “A conservative is not a man that calls tax cuts that George Bush passed, that revived the economy, tax cuts for the rich, that is not a conservative.  A conservative is not a man that is one of two Republicans standing alone in Washington, DC voting against those tax cuts that every other Republican supported in Washington DC that is not a conservative.  A conservative is not a man that teams up with Teddy Kennedy to produce a bill that is nothing short of amnesty that would allow 12 million illegal immigrants to gain legal status the day after John McCain’s bill and Teddy Kennedy’s bill becomes law, that is not a conservative.  A conservative is not somebody that goes on Tim Russert’s show, a couple of weeks ago, and says that if that amnesty bill, that would allow 12 million illegal immigrants to becomes citizens the next day, he does not go on that show and say, “Yes, I would sign that bill,” but don’t worry, it’s not going to come to my desk.  That is not a conservative.”  A conservative is not a man that says who he wants to increase taxes, maybe 50 cents per gallon, on the American people, trying to pass through a bill that the rest of the world won’t sign on to.” [MSNBC, 1/31/08; Townhall.com, 2/1/08]

 

Carol Platt Liebau: Republicans Who Support McCain Should Know They Risk Driving Conservatism To The Sidelines At Home. Political commentator Carol Platt Libau wrote and article entitled, “The Unique Threat of John McCain.”  Libau said, “Although there is much to praise in McCain’s defense record (most notably, his support for the surge in Iraq), when it comes to a domestic agenda, he’s about the most “civil” Republican a Democrat could hope for. Indeed, in a McCain presidency with a Democratic Congress, conservatives risk becoming irrelevant.”  Libau compared the possibility of a McCain presidency to that of a Schwarzenegger presidency, and said that “McCain’s history is littered with examples of his eagerness to work across the aisle; the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill, McCain-Feingold campaign finance ‘reform,’ and McCain-Lieberman environmental legislation come instantly to mind.  There’s no doubt that John McCain has earned the praise of Democrats and The New York Times by being willing to support their pet causes.” [Op-Ed, Townall.com, 1/28/08]

 

McCain Dubbed “Most Liberal, Least Trustworthy Candidate.” Michael Graham, a conservative talk-radio host and author, called McCain the GOP’s “most liberal, least trustworthy candidate.” This shows that while McCain has cemented his frontrunner status, he is still loathed by many in his own party. [Wall Street Journal, 1/31/08]

 

George Will Questioned McCain’s Commitment To Constructionist Judges And Pro-Life Credentials. In response to a comment by McCain where he felt that “quote-First Amendment rights” were being stretched too far, George Will hypothesized that statement showed that a President McCain would appoint judges who held elastic interpretations of the Constitution in support of abortion rights. George Will wrote, “McCain hopes that in 2008 pro-life Republicans will remember his pro-life record. But they will know that, regarding presidents and abortion, what matters are Supreme Court nominees. McCain favors judges who think the Constitution is so radically elastic that government regulation of speech about itself is compatible with the First Amendment. So Republican primary voters will wonder: Can President McCain be counted on to nominate justices who would correct such constitutional elasticities as the court’s discovery of a virtually unlimited right – one unnoticed between 1787 and 1973 – to abortion?” [“Imus in the Morning,” 4/28/06; George Will, Washington Post, 5/11/06]

 

McCain Has “Tough Row To Hoe” In Iowa Facing Opposition From Iowa GOP County Chairs. Roll Call reported that, “Despite his status as the national frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, [McCain] appears to have an uphill climb in the make-or-break caucus state of Iowa, where a majority of county Republican chairmen say he is far from the first choice of likely caucus voters.” After interviewing Iowa GOP County chairs, the report found that “the prevailing sentiment” focused on “disdain for his politics — particularly his handling of President Bush’s judicial nominees and his association with the issue of campaign finance reform.” Overall, “most” of the county chairs believed McCain “is not conservative enough — he is too much of a ‘maverick,’ several county chairman said — to win.” 42 out of the 63 chairs interviewed also indicated that “likely caucus-goers in their area are not inclined to support McCain.” Andrea Roys, chairwoman of the Fayette County GOP in northeastern Iowa, said of McCain, “I have no use for him … he tries to appeal to the media and make himself liked — and is a RINO Republican as far as I am concerned.” Loras Schulte, Benton County GOP co-Chairman, said, “As we say around here, he has a tough row to hoe.” [Roll Call, 1/10/07]

 

Anti-Immigration Groups Attempted Anti-McCain GOTV Efforts.  Anti-Immigration groups, such as NumbersUSA sent out massive e-mails in a last minute effort to rally voters before Super Tuesday.  Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA warned of “political illiteracy” among Republican primary voters could lead to “disastrous consequences.” [New York Times, 2/4/08]

 

Conservative Magazine Accused McCain Of Being A Maverick For Political Gain.  The February 11, 2008 issue of American Conservative wrote, “But what seems to account for his evolution from realism to hopped-up interventionism is nothing more than sheer ambition. This was the case in 1983, when he defied the Reagan administration over sending U.S. soldiers to die at the hands of a Beirut suicide bomber, and in 1999, when the cry went up to take on Slobodan Milosevic. He was positioning himself against his own party, while staking out a distinctive stance independent of the Democrats. It was, in short, an instance of a presidential candidate maneuvering himself to increase his appeal to the electorate—and, most importantly, the media.” [American Conservative, 2/11/08]

 

Conservatives’ Whispers Continue That McCain May Not Be Conservative Enough. “Republican Party activists who dominate the nomination process are increasingly wondering if Sen. John McCain of Arizona, thought to be the early front-runner, is really conservative enough to satisfy them. There is already a whispering campaign underway to revive criticisms that McCain is short-tempered and a loose cannon. Many conservatives are still unhappy with McCain’s past criticisms of Christian conservative leaders and his maverick ways on campaign finance reform and other issues.” [U.S. News and World Report, 3/6/06]

 

David Keene: “McCain Would Like To Remake Party Without Conservatives.”  In a CBS News article on McCain having to face conservative skeptics, American Conservative Union chairman David Keene commented on McCain, “There’s this personal animosity he has towards people over issues…Most conservatives see that he would like to remake the party without them.”  According to CBS News, Keene also said “those who’ve worked with [McCain] get the sense that he doesn’t like conservatives.”   Keene also remarked, “In [McCain’s] world, it’s very difficult to have a simply policy disagreement…Everything becomes personal. His position is right, and everyone else’s is basically evil.” [CBS News, 1/23/08]

 

McCain Backer Said “You Have To Be Prepared To Deal In A World In Which There Are Imperfect Choices.”  James Bopp Jr., an RNC member working to elect McCain said, “If you want to participate in politics, you have to be prepared to deal in a world in which there are imperfect choices.”  Bopp also said he will continue to fight McCain’s legislation that challenges conservative ideals.  [Washington Post, 3/5/08]

 

GOP Strategist: McCain Could Have Trouble Winning Over Conservatives On Supreme Court Judge Issue. According to CBS News, “McCain and his surrogates have made some overtures to skeptical conservatives by stressing that McCain will pick strict constructionist judges as president.”  GOP Strategist Greg Mueller commented on the issue, “It’s a huge issue for Republicans, a party crossing issue…The next president could appoint two, three, even four Supreme Court judges. If McCain goes out and talks about that, it’s going to be a reminder to the conservative base of the party – ‘who do you want picking your judges?’” [CBS News, 1/23/08]

 

Ann Coulter: “Hillary is More Conservative Than McCain.” Appearing on Hannity & Colmes, Ann Coulter stated, “If you’re looking at substance rather than whether it’s an R or D after his name manifestly, if he’s our candidate, then Hillary’s gonna be our girl, Sean, ‘cause she’s more conservative that he is. I think she would be stronger on the war on terrorism.”  [Townhall.com, 2/1/08]

 

National Review Op-Ed.: “McCain Isn’t Right For The Right.” Deroy Murdoch of the National Review Online wrote,  argued there was plenty to admire about McCain, but still opposed McCain’s presidential bid, pointing out, “McCain diligently has stymied conservative, free-market policies…is dangerously soft on captured terrorists…and…is anyone’s guess whether he will support the Right or sandbag its efforts.” [Op-ed, National Review Online via CBS News, 1/20/08]

 

 

The Religious Right Strongly Opposes  McCain

 

Conservatives Would Rather “Chew Off Their Legs Than Support” McCain.  The Globe and Mail wrote, “You’ve got to like John McCain. He’s got the hard right in a froth. They hate him even more than they hate Hillary Clinton. They’d rather chew off their legs than support him. This is an enormous plus. I figure anyone who’s incurred the wrath of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and the Christian fundamentalists must have a lot going for him.” [Globe and Mail, 2/7/08]

 

Republicans Still Suspicious of McCain, Say There Is “No Support” For Him And Were Insulted By Previous Statements. Many conservative leaders in Iowa are skeptical about a McCain candidacy in 2008. The head of the Iowa Christian Alliance, Steve Scheffler, said of McCain’s chances of success in Iowa, “I don’t want to say it’s an insurmountable hurdle, but it’s a big, big hill to climb.” Scheffler continued, saying, “There’s no support for McCain in this constituency, and I don’t see how you can make a scenario where you can bypass us.” Chuck Hurley, who heads the Iowa Family Policy Center, still holds against McCain his comments in 2000 about Jerry Falwell and the Christian right, Hurley said, “I don’t think Christian leaders who urge people to vote biblically, I don’t think that’s an evil influence…To me that statement by McCain is an extreme slap in the face to my faith.” [AP, 4/13/06]

 

McCain’s Reconciliation With Christian Community Turned Off Old Admirers, Conservatives Still Distrust Him.  According to Dan Nowicki of the Arizona Republic, McCain’s “…attempts to patch up old feuds with the evangelical Christian community turned off many old admirers” and “at the same time, many social conservatives continue to distrust him.” [Column, Arizona Republic, 1/2/08]

 

James Dobson Announced He Would Never Vote For McCain.  James C. Dobson released a statement that “he would under no circumstances vote for Mr. McCain in November.” [New York Times, 2/6/08]

 

  • Dobson On McCain: “I Pray We Don’t Get Stuck With Him.” James Dobson, “founder of the Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family as well as the Focus Action cultural action organization set up specifically to provide a platform for informing and rallying constituents,” came out strongly against a McCain candidacy during a radio interview. Dobson said in response to a statement McCain made on gay marriage, “Speaking as a private individual, I would not vote for John McCain under any circumstances.” Dobson reasoned his opposition both because of social issues and “legislation he’d just been discussing on the program, regarding an attempt by Democrat leaders in Congress to create obstacles for ministries such as Focus to reach constituents with action messages about pending legislation, is being supported by McCain, too.” Dobson criticized the legislation as having originated from McCain, saying, “that came from McCain, and the McCain Feingold Bill kept us from telling the truth right before elections.” Dobson added that “there are a lot of other things,” pointing out that McCain’s “not in favor of traditional marriage,” and concluded saying, “I pray that we won’t get stuck with him.” Despite the attack, McCain was open to heal the fissure with Dobson, saying, “I’m obviously disappointed and I’d like to continue and have a dialogue with Dr. Dobson and other members of the community.” Noting his past success reaching out to other conservative leaders, McCain said, “I’m happy to say that I’ve established a dialogue with a number of other leaders,” such as Jerry Falwell, Rick Warren and Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention. [Worldnetdaily.com, 1/13/07; AP, 1/17/06]

 

  • James Dobson: McCain Has Stuck His Thumb In Conservatives’ Eye. When talking about John McCain, James Dobson said, “I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative, and in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are … I cannot, and will not, vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.” [2/5/08]

 

 

Prominent Republicans Attacked McCain

 

Sen. Thad Cochran: No Other President Has Had McCain’s Temper.  When asked if McCain’s tempter was disabling or disqualifying in a potential president, Cochran responded, “I certainly know no other president since I’ve been here who’s had a temperament like that.” [Newsweek, 2/11/08]

 

  • Sen. Thad Cochran: McCain Is Erratic, Hotheaded, Loses His Temper, And It Worries Me. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has endorsed Mitt Romney, criticized McCain’s temper. Cochran said, “The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine...He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.” [Boston Globe, 1/27/08]

 

Sen. Bob Corker Refused To Say McCain Had The Temperament To Be President.  Senator Bob Corker twice refused to say that McCain has the temperament to be president when asked on Hannity & Colmes.  When asked, Corker said, “You know, his temperamental issues have been written about,” and, “Well I think he is an American hero.” [FOX, Hannity and Colmes, 2/19/08]

 

Sen. Rick Santorum Raised Questions About McCain’s Temperament.  According to the Boston Globe, “Mitt Romney’s campaign is blasting out automated phone calls that feature a recording of former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania raising questions about John McCain’s ‘temperament’ -- a hot-button issue that Romney himself has assiduously avoided.  Santorum said in an interview today that he wrote the script himself, and the campaign deferred to him and approved it.  ‘John McCain has written about and talked about the issues that he has with respect to his temperament and his ability to work with other people and to do so in a way that’s productive,’ Santorum said in an interview after stumping for Romney at Dave & Buster’s restaurant.  ‘This is not something he hasn’t spoken about and talked about and admitted to and I think that to me it is a relevant issue for people to consider…I think it’s one without question that factors into his ability to govern, to form coalitions and to get things done.’ … Santorum said he had personally witnessed problems with McCain’s temperament, which he declined to detail.  ‘I don’t know anybody in the Senate who hasn’t,’ Santorum said. ‘Everybody has their McCain story.’”  [Boston Globe, Political Intelligence, 2/03/08, emphasis added]

 

Sen. Orrin Hatch Called It “Awful” To Be The Focus Of McCain’s Anger. “Hatch, who serves with McCain in the Senate, said his colleague ‘is a passionate person and he does have a temper and sometimes it’s awful to be on the wrong side of it.’” [Associated Press, 12/2/99]

 

John Cornyn Likened McCain’s Candidacy To A “Grieving Process.”  While speaking at the Dallas County Republican Party’s Reagan Day Dinner, Sen. John Cornyn compared the struggle to accept McCain to a grieving process.  “Presidential candidate John McCain wasn't the first choice, or even the second, third or fourth choice, of many of the 500 or so die-hard Republicans gathered Saturday night for the Dallas County party's annual Reagan Day Dinner. ‘I sort of liken it to a grieving process. You come to acceptance,’ said Cornyn, ticking off the conventionally accepted stages of mourning. But ‘on every issue I care about, and you care about, John McCain is head and shoulders above Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.’” [Dallas Morning News, 3/2/08]

 

 

Arizona GOP v. McCain

 

AZ G.O.P Chairman: McCain Is Tough To Deal With. According to CBS News, Chairman of the Arizona Republican party has said about McCain, “He’s tough to deal with, there’s no doubt about it…He believes what he believes in, and he wants other people to support him in those beliefs.” [CBS News, 1/23/08]

 

McCain Lost Arizona Straw Poll.  McCain recently lost a Republican Presidential Straw Poll in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous county.  According to Republican state representative, Russell Pearce, “We feel betrayed and let down by our senior senator.  I will not support a candidate I don’t care how many medals he has on his chest, when he won’t do the right thing for America.” [Los Angeles Times, 2/4/08]

 

59% of Maricopa County Republicans Named McCain “Unacceptable.”  During a straw poll in Maricopa County, Arizona, 59% of attendees named John McCain as an unacceptable candidate.” [Salon.com, 2/4/08]

 

McCain Faced Backlash From Arizona Republicans.  Rob Haney, a passionate Arizona conservative, said “It’s an unending litany of items that we find unacceptable in a Republican candidate who would represent Republican values.” [Salon.com, 2/4/08]

 

 

 

Rush Limbaugh Has Repeatedly Attacked John McCain

Move this section below the next two.

Limbaugh Criticized McCain’s Stance on Torture.  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “See, but this is one of the things about Senator McCain that troubles me, and it goes beyond the obvious conclusion here that if you're not going to do what you can in the nuclear ticking time bomb situation, if you're not going to cast it all aside to save your own country, you know, fine.  The question I have is, why does Senator McCain want to sound like the liberals on this?  I mean, here’s a guy who's promoting his national security foreign policy military expertise and experience and yet offered the ticking time bomb scenario, he says there’s no way we shall ever torture anybody to get what we want because it would diminish us in the rest of the world.  Well, so would a nuclear bomb diminish us and kill a bunch of us, by the way.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/25/08]

 

Limbaugh Accused McCain Of Diluting The Republican Party.  Rush Limbaugh said, “We are trying to stop the wanton destruction of the party, the wanton dilution of the party.  We are sick and tired of how the people who seem to be triumphing in our party are precisely the people who seem to be selling this party out in terms of its ideology.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 2/7/08]

 

Limbaugh Said McCain Is Not a Loyal Republican. Rush Limbaugh said, “Bob Dole is something that John McCain is not: He's a loyal Republican.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 2/5/08]

 

Limbaugh Accused McCain of Exploiting His Military Record.  Rush Limbaugh said, “Senator McCain is resorting to the same kind of politics as Hillary Clinton: Every challenge to him is said to be a challenge to his military record -- Hillary uses her gender the same way.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 2/5/08]

 

Limbaugh Said A McCain Nomination Would Destroy the Republican Party.  When speaking about Huckabee and McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “I'm here to tell you, if either of these two guys get the nomination, it's going to destroy the Republican Party, it's going to change it forever, be the end of it.  A lot of people aren't going to vote.  You watch.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/15/08]

 

Limbaugh Said McCain “Slid Right Into Bed” With Socialists.  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “Slides right into bed with the liberal socialists every single time they wink at him.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 2/5/08]

 

Limbaugh Said McCain Lied About Romney.  When speaking about McCain’s character, Rush Limbaugh said, “Is it character when you lie about your opponent's position on "timetables" for withdrawal from Iraq, are proven to have been wrong about it and yet continue the lie?” [RushLimbaugh.com, 2/5/08]

 

Limbaugh Said McCain Lied About Opposing the Bush Tax Cuts.  When speaking about McCain’s character, Rush Limbaugh said, “Senator McCain has also lied about his reason for opposing the Bush tax cuts, and the Drive-Bys let him get away with this.  His original reason was that he didn’t want to support these tax cuts without appropriate budget cuts, spending cuts.  That's not what he said at the time.  No less than the Associated Press has gone out and fact-checked this.  “In 2001, McCain said the tax cuts favored the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. In 2003, he said there should be no tax cuts until the Iraq war costs were known.” He’s changing his position and his explanation on his position, practically every time he's asked about this.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 2/5/08]

 

Limbaugh Said McCain Would Turn GOP Into a Liberal Wing of the Democratic Party.  Rush Limbaugh said, “You know, I'm all for expanding the party, too, but not by changing the party into a liberal wing of the Democrat Party.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 2/5/08]

 

Limbaugh Accused McCain of Attempting to Destroy the Republican Party.  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “I think ever since South Carolina 2000 he's had it in for the Republican Party, and one of his objectives is to destroy it and change it.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 2/5/08]

 

Limbaugh  Said McCain Doesn’t Have a Philosophy.  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “His positions are not rooted in philosophy," meaning he doesn't have a philosophy.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 2/4/08]

 

Limbaugh  Said McCain “Bucks Principles Held By a Majority of People.”  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “He loves the maverick business.  What is a maverick?  A maverick is somebody that bucks tradition and principles held by a majority of people.  A maverick is somebody in it for himself.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 2/4/08]

 

Limbaugh Questioned McCain’s “Maverick” Label.  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “The American people who pay scant attention, who don’t really know what's going on this early prior to an election, they focus on personalities and soap operas of campaigns and this kind of thing.  Maverick, yeah, tough guy, rugged individualist who will speak his mind.  He’s not one.  He’s taking the easy route, moistening the finger.  He’s out there saying the Democrat Party has better ideas than we do; the Democrat Party’s ideas poll better than ours do. I'm going to adopt the Democrat Party’s ideas.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 2/4/08]

 

Limbaugh Claimed McCain Has a Pious Attitude.  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “You know, McCain does have this St. John of Arizona type attitude. You're not supposed to ask him about his past record.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/31/08]

 

Limbaugh Said McCain Casts Principles Aside For Political Gain.  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “I think one of the reasons they're able to embrace candidates like Senator McCain is that he's been so willing to cast conservative principles aside when it makes sense for him politically, socially, or what have you.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/31/08]

 

Limbaugh: There’s A Lot Of Anxiety Among A Lot Of Conservatives About Senator McCain.  According to the New York Sun, “A popular talk radio host who has vocally opposed Mr. McCain in recent weeks, Rush Limbaugh, sounded resigned yesterday to the prospect that the Arizona senator will be the Republican nominee. ‘It looks like McCain’s pretty far down the line now to having wrapped this up,’ Mr. Limbaugh said on his program.  ‘There’s a lot of anxiety among a lot of conservatives about Senator McCain. It’s simply indisputable, but there was no figure in our roster of candidates who rose up to challenge him or to galvanize conservative support. All the candidates on our side, for various reasons, are uninspiring or worse, and so, just as I predicted, the base has fractured.’”  [New York Sun, 1/31/08]

 

Limbaugh Claimed McCain Was Not the Choice of Conservatives.   When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “to pretend that Senator McCain is the choice of conservatives when exit poll data from every primary state show just the opposite... He is not the choice of conservatives, as opposed to the choice of the Republican establishment -- and that distinction is key.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/30/08]

 

Limbaugh Criticized McCain’s Alleged Stance on Alito.  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “Now, McCain has told conservatives that he would be happy to appoint the likes of, say, John Roberts to the Supreme Court, but he indicated he might draw the line on a Samuel Alito because, quote, “he wore his conservatism on his sleeve,” unquote.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/28/08]

 

Limbaugh Criticized McCain’s Stance on Torture.  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “See, but this is one of the things about Senator McCain that troubles me, and it goes beyond the obvious conclusion here that if you're not going to do what you can in the nuclear ticking time bomb situation, if you're not going to cast it all aside to save your own country, you know, fine.  The question I have is, why does Senator McCain want to sound like the liberals on this?  I mean, here’s a guy who's promoting his national security foreign policy military expertise and experience and yet offered the ticking time bomb scenario, he says there’s no way we shall ever torture anybody to get what we want because it would diminish us in the rest of the world.  Well, so would a nuclear bomb diminish us and kill a bunch of us, by the way.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/25/08]

 

Limbaugh Accused McCain of Having Contempt for Conservatives.  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “McCain, frankly, has shown conservatives little but contempt over many years.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/21/08]

 

Rush Limbaugh: McCain Wants People to Shut Up. When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “By the way, McCain wants people to shut up.  That's called McCain-Feingold.  McCain passed the first successful, major shut-up bill in the history of the country.  McCain-Feingold was an abridgement of free speech.  McCain wants people to shut up.  Why should we shut up?  Why don't they shut up?” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/21/08]

 

Limbaugh Said McCain Would Not Try to Bring Jobs to Michigan.  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “Nobody knows, but what McCain essentially said to the people of Michigan was, “I’m not going to try to get the jobs back.” When he says the jobs aren't coming back, it means, “I’m not going to try to get ‘em back.”  By the way, we’re talking about jobs, not certain types of jobs.  What Michigan needs is employment, and if certain types of jobs are out the window... I mean, they no longer have people that manufacture the horse and buggy or the buggy whip. But there’s still people getting jobs as the economy grows.  McCain sent the message he wasn’t even going to try.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/21/08]

 

Limbaugh Accused McCain of Having a Bad Temper.  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “Who is it that is having to fight off the tendency to display a bad temper on the Republican side?  I believe it is Senator McCain.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/21/08]

 

Limbaugh Lambasts McCain’s Record.  While quoting Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh said, “The McCain domestic record is a disaster. To say he fought spending, most particularly earmarks, is to nibble around the edges and miss the heart of the matter. For starters, consider: McCain-Feingold -- the most brazen frontal assault on political speech since Buckley v. Valeo.  McCain-Kennedy -- the most far-reaching amnesty program in American history.  McCain-Lieberman -- the most onerous and intrusive attack on American industry -- through reporting, regulating, and taxing authority of greenhouse gases -- in American history. McCain-Kennedy-Edwards -- the biggest boon to the trial bar since the tobacco settlement, under the rubric of a patients’ bill of rights.  McCain-Reimportantion of Drugs -- a significant blow to pharmaceutical research and development, not to mention consumer safety.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/11/08]

 

Limbaugh Said McCain Was Hostile to American Enterprise.  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “As chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, McCain was consistently hostile to American enterprise, from media and pharmaceutical companies to technology and energy companies.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/11/08]

 

Limbaugh Criticized McCain’s Involvement in the “Gang of 14.” When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “How many of us can forget the Gang of 14 debacle?  Remember that, ladies and gentlemen?  The Gang of 14 prevented the Republican leadership in the Senate from mounting a rule change that would have ended the systematic use (actual and threatened) of the filibuster to prevent majority approval of judicial nominees.  You never had to have 60 votes to get a judicial nominee approved.  The Democrats started filibustering, you needed 60 votes.  We were going to pull the trigger on the nuclear option to get rid of this once and for all and McCain rides in with Senator Lindsey Grahamnesty and others, to form the Gang of 14 -- which, by the way, has expired, ladies and gentlemen.  The Gang of 14 deal has expired now.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/11/08]

 

Limbaugh Criticized McCain For Taking Credit For Iraq Surge.  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “His supporters point to essentially one policy strength, McCain’s early support for a surge and counterinsurgency. It has now evolved into McCain taking credit for forcing the president to adopt General David Petraeus’s strategy, but I haven't seen any "evidence to support" that.  But McCain’s supporters saying Bush wouldn't have done it if it weren't for the influence of McCain. McCain had it right?  I haven't seen the evidence.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/11/08]

 

Limbaugh Criticized McCain For Granting Terror Suspects Due Process.  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “McCain-ACLU -- the unprecedented granting of due-process rights to unlawful enemy combatants (terrorists).  McCain has repeatedly called for the immediate closing of [Club Gitmo] and the introduction of Al-Qaeda terrorists into our own prisons -- despite the legal rights they would immediately gain and the burdens of managing such a dangerous population.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/11/08]

 

Limbaugh Criticized McCain For Attempting to Silence Wisconsin Pro-Life Group.  When speaking about McCain, Rush Limbaugh said, “Well, what did he do to advance his pro-life belief?  He joined liberal Democrats in filing a brief in the Supreme Court against the ability of the Wisconsin Right to Life committee to run ads about life and abortion prior to an election.  This is above and beyond McCain-Feingold!  He actually filed his own brief in the Supreme Court against the ability of Wisconsin Right to Life committee to run ads about life and abortion prior to an election.” [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/11/08]

 

 

McCain Infamously Considered Leaving the Republican Party


McCain Was Close To Abandoning G.O.P. Said Democratic Leaders.
  According to the Hill’s Bob Cusack, in 2001, several Democratic lawmakers said John McCain was “…close to leaving the Republican Party.”  In interviews with the Hill, “…former Senator Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and ex-Rep. Representative Tom Downey (D-N.Y.) said there were nearly two months of talks with the maverick lawmaker (McCain) following an approach by John Weaver, McCain’s chief political strategist” about the possibility of McCain leaving the G.O.P. [The Hill, 3/28/07]

 

  • Daschle Said He Had Meetings And Conversations With McCain About Leaving G.O.P.  According to the Hill, while McCain considered leaving the Republican Party, he had meetings and conversations with then Minority Leader Tom Daschle about what the conditions would be if he switched party affiliation, his committees, seniority etc. Daschle said that during those conversations “…[A lot of issues] were on the table.” [The Hill, 3/28/07]

 

  • McCain And His Former Chief Of Staff Said McCain Never Considered Leaving The Republican Party. According to the Hill, John McCain disputed several high profile, Democratic lawmakers’ claims that he considered leaving the Republican Party.  McCain’s campaign released a statement in which McCain said, “As I said in 2001, I never considered leaving the Republican Party, period.”  Mark Salter, one of McCain’s former Chiefs of Staff and campaign advisor, said McCain never thought about leaving the Republican Party, “Never at any time. Never” he stressed. [The Hill, 3/28/07]

 

Daschle Said McCain Considered Becoming Independent, Never Democrat.  According to the Hill, former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said that, at times, Democratic leaders thought McCain could be their “best opportunity.”  He “…stressed that McCain never considered becoming a Democrat, but was close to becoming an Independent.” [The Hill, 3/28/07]

 

 

 

McCain is Out of Touch

 

Before a president can effectively govern this diverse nation, they must first be able to understand the needs, hopes, and desires of its citizens.  McCain’s infamous temper, astonishing wealth, and advancing age all contribute to the fact that McCain cannot relate with ordinary Americans. 

 

Top Hits:

  • Like Bush, McCain is described as a “My-way-or-the-highway type of leader.”
  • McCain is the 7th wealithiest senator; he owns a $1 million parking lot and a $2.7 million beachfront condominium in Coronado, California.
  • McCain is 72 years old and would be oldest first-term president in the history of the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McCain: Stubborn Like Bush

 

Newsweek: Like Bush, McCain Seems To See Issues In Black And White, And “Rejects Too Much Of The Gray.”  According to Newsweek, “he can be pragmatic in the pursuit of them, but seems to see them in largely black and white terms, not unlike George Bush, and rejects too much of the gray.” [Newsweek, 4/7/08]

 

GOP Aide: McCain Is “My-Way-Or-The Highway” Type Of Leader.  According to The Hill, a House GOP Leadership aide said McCain has been “my-way-or-the-highway” in the Senate.   When asked about McCain’s address to the House Republican Conference, he said, “Members will be generally curious to hear what Sen. McCain has to say, but the tone of his message and the framework of his campaign strategy will be very important, particularly to conservatives.  Will he sound like the ‘my-way-or-the-highway’ McCain that’s graced the Senate for 10 years? Or will he sound like a presidential candidate that realizes it’s a two-way street and is willing to embrace conservativism?” [The Hill, 2/12/08]

 

McCain “The Biggest Bully In The Senate.” “According to Douglas Johnson, the legislative director of the

National Right to Life Committee, an anti-abortion lobbying group, McCain is reputed to be ‘the biggest bully in the Senate.’” [Arizona Republic, 11/5/99]

 

Newsweek: McCain Can Seem Prickly, Impetuous and Vindictive.  In a special report, Newsweek reported that “in rare weak moments, he can seem prickly, impetuous, vindictive – the sort of military martinet whose finger is supposed to be kept far away from the button.” [Newsweek, 2/11/08]

 

AZ G.O.P Chairman: McCain Is Tough To Deal With. According to CBS News, Chairman of the Arizona Republican party has said about McCain, “He’s tough to deal with, there’s no doubt about it…He believes what he believes in, and he wants other people to support him in those beliefs.” [CBS News, 1/23/08]

 

McCain Called Inflexible And Righteous.  Spanish writer Keith Smith wrote, “[F]or the sake of the rest of the world, I hope we do not face another Republican presidency with someone as inflexible and righteous as John McCain.  [Trinidad News, 2/25/08]

 

David Keene: McCain is An “Ornery Old Guy.”  When discussing McCain’s potential running mates, David Keene, president of the American Conservative Union, said, “That’s the high-profile, easy way” to get right with conservatives. “If you said, ‘I can’t change because I’m too old to change and I’m too ornery and I don’t want to be nice to you but I’ll select as my running mate someone you really love,’ then they’ll all say ‘OK, we’ll put up with the ornery old guy.” [Associated Press, 2/10/08]

 

McCain Known To Attack The Motives Of Those Who Disagree With Him. “In 1996, McCain vented during a meeting attended by McCain, [David] Johnson [legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee] and Bill Pierce, president of the National Committee for Adoption. Johnson and Pierce had come to voice their concerns about a bill McCain was then sponsoring. But, according to Johnson, ‘McCain didn’t want to hear any of that…All he wanted to do is berate this man,’ Johnson said, referring to Pierce…’When someone disagrees with him, he immediately attacks their motives,’ Douglas Johnson said. ‘(He thinks) anyone who disagrees with him is driven by selfish motives and perhaps even stupidity.’” [Arizona Republic, 11/5/99]

 

McCain’s Willingness To Think Candidly Out Loud May Be Risky.  Vanity Fair columnist Todd Purdum commented, “What’s so different about—and potentially risky for—McCain is his perpetual willingness to think out loud, unplugged and unfiltered.” [Vanity Fair, 2007]

 

 

McMillionaire

 

McCain Owns A $2.7 Million Beachfront Condominium In Coronada, California.  Property records from San Diego County, California show that the McCains own a $ 2,705,040 condominium in Coronada, California.  The property is owned by Dream Catcher Family LLC, a domestic limited liability company managed by the McCain family. [San Diego County Property Records; Arizona Corporation Commission]

 

.

 

McCain’s Family Oversees Eight Financial Entities.  According to public records, McCain’s family manages and oversees the finances of numerous companies, trusts, and foundations that hold the family’s vast financial wealth.  Including:

  • Hensley & Company
  • The Cindy Hensley McCain Family Trust
  • John and Cindy McCain Family Trust (Non-Profit)
  • Dream Catcher Family LLC
  • Wild Creek Enterprises LLC
  • Wild River LLC
  • Wild Rapids LLC
  • 701/801 LLC

 

McCain Was Seventh Wealthiest Senator In 2005 Based On His 2005 PFD. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, John McCain was the seventh wealthiest Senator in 2005, based on his 2005 personal financial disclosure.  McCain’s minimum net worth was listed at $20,571,136 and his maximum net worth was listed at $32,043,011. [Center For Responsive Politics via Opensecrets.org, accessed 1/8/08]  

 

McCain’s Mother Is Daughter Of “Wealthy Oil Wildcatter”; Was Too Old To Rent Car In Europe, So She Bought A New Mercedes. According to Vanity Fair, at the age of 94, John McCain’s mother was “unstoppable.”  Apparently, she is “the daughter of a wealthy oil wildcatter” and when she went to Europe, and was too old to rent a car, “…she simply bought herself a new Mercedes and hit the road.” [Vanity Fair, February 2007]

 

McCain Owns A Parking Lot Worth Over A Million Dollars.  According to McCain’s Senate Personal Finance Disclosure, the McCain family owns a parking lot worth over $1 million.  [2006 Personal Finance Disclosure]

 

  • The Average Family’s Home Is Worth $217,800.  According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, the average sale price for American homes in the final quarter of 2007 was $217,800.  [National Association of Realtors, “Single Family 4th Quarter 2007,” accessed on 3/27/08]

 

 

McCain: The Oldest President

 

At 72, McCain Would Be The Oldest First-Term President In The History of The United States.  According to U.S. News & World Report, “McCain would be 72 when he took office if elected, the oldest first-term president in history.” [U.S. News & World Report, 3/17/08]

 

29% of Americans Believe The County Isn’t Ready For A President Over 70 Years-Old.  According to a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released on March 26, 2008, 29 percent of respondents said the country isn’t ready to elect a president in their 70s.  That statistic is higher than the 20 percent and 18 percent who said the country is not ready to elect a woman and an African-American, respectively.  [NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, released 3/26/08]

 

McCain Has Been Diagnosed With Melanoma Four Times.  According to the New York Times McCain has been diagnosed with Melanoma four separate times.  In 1993, McCain had a lesion on his shoulder that was safely removed.  In 2000 and 2002 pathology tests showed McCain also had Melanoma on his upper left arm and on his nose, respectively.  Also in 2000, McCain was diagnosed with a very serious type of Melanoma on his temple.  [New York Times, 3/9/08]

 

Brit Hume: McCain “May Have Had A Senior Moment There.  I Think That’s Unfortunate For Him.” While discussing McCain’s erroneous statement that Iran was training al Qaeda, Fox News host Brit Hume said, “I mean, the feeling was not that he's a dope who didn't know his way around, but that he might have had kind of a senior moment there, and I think that's unfortunate for him.” [Fox News, 3/23/08]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McCain To “Forgotten America”: Drop Dead

 

            This week, John McCain endeavored to travel to the “forgotten” parts of America to reach out to these communities.  However, his statements and policies, which were couched as “straight-talk”, are really John McCain telling these communities he has no solutions for their problems and no understanding of their needs.  Here is a day by day recap of McCain’s tour.

 

McCain Announced Tour Of “Forgotten America,” Reaching Out to Voters Not Associated With Republican Party. According to the USA Today, “John McCain plans to spend next week reaching out to African-Americans, displaced factory workers and people living in poverty - voters not usually associated with the Republican Party. … Starting Monday, the presumptive GOP nominee for president will stop in Alabama’s ‘Black Belt,’ then move on to the struggling steel town of Youngstown, Ohio, and the Appalachian region of Kentucky. The Arizona senator is also trying to make it to New Orleans, which is still recovering from 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.” [USA Today, 4/18/08]

 

Monday: Talking to White Voters In Selma, Alabama

 

McCain Visited Selma, Alabama In Attempt To Reach Out To African-Americans.  According to the USA Today, “John McCain plans to spend next week reaching out to African-Americans… [On] Monday, the presumptive GOP nominee for president will stop in Alabama’s ‘Black Belt.’ The Washington Post wrote, “The Republican presidential nominee lavished praise on John Lewis, an African American leader in the civil rights movement and a long-time Democratic congressman from Georgia. McCain said Lewis is fighting to achieve ‘a better country than the one he inherited.’” [USA Today, 4/18/08; Washington Post, 4/21/08]

 

  • Birmingham News: “Most Of The 250 Or So Who Showed Up To Greet McCain In Selma Were White.” According to the the Birmingham News, “McCain acknowledged during a stop in Selma earlier in the day that many black voters likely will not choose him in this fall’s presidential election. In fact, most of the 250 or so who showed up to greet McCain in Selma were white, as was the case later in the day at a town hall meeting in Thomasville.” [Birmingham News, 4/22/08]

 

Tuesday: McCain Offered “Small Comfort” To Workers Who “Cling” To Lost Jobs

 

McCain Traveled To Youngstown To Highlight Changes In Global Economy. According to the USA Today, “Youngstown is the latest stop on McCain’s tour this week of what his campaign portrays as ‘forgotten’ places — communities struggling with changes in the global economy.  McCain again defended free trade during a town hall meeting at Youngstown State University, but added that other countries have violated the principle at the expense of the U.S. interests.” [USA Today, 4/22/08]

 

  • McCain Said “I Can’t Tell You These Jobs Are Ever Going To Come Back. During a town hall event in Youngstown, McCain said, “I can’t tell you that these jobs are ever going to come back to this magnificent part of the country … But I will commit to giving these workers a second chance. They need it, they deserve it. I know that’s small comfort to you, but I can’t look you in the eye and tell you those steel mills are coming back.” [New York Times, 4/23/08, emphasis added]

 

  • McCain Told Workers Not To “Cling To An Old Economy.” John McCain said, “So we want people to be part of that revolution, and we’ve got to be part of that new economy, rather than try to cling to an old economy.” [Boston Globe, 4/23/08]

 

FLASHBACK TO 1999: McCain Disparaged Mill Jobs When Asked About Trade, Promised “High-Tech” Industry. USA Today reported, “A man in Littleton [Colorado] complained that free-trade policies were destroying the textile industry. ‘Frankly, I didn’t know that your ambitions for your children were to work in a textile mill,’ McCain said. ‘I would rather have them work in the high-tech industry.’” [USA Today, 9/7/99]

 

In Youngstown, McCain Said Fiorina Was A “Role Model” Who Was “Very Smart.” During a town hall meeting in Youngstown, Ohio, McCain praised Carly Fiorina, who has been described as the ‘face of McCain’s economic team. McCain said,  “This person here, is a friend of mine, but more importantly a role model of mine.  She began some years ago as a part-time secretary and ended up as the CEO and Chairman of one of the largest corporations in America, Hewlett-Packard.  Welcome Carly Fiorina, who is with us today.  She’s very smart.” [Town Hall Meeting in Youngstown, Ohio, 4/22/08; Washington Post, 1/2/08]

 

Birds of A Feather: McCain Advisor Fiorina Is Outsourcing Acolyte:

 

  • Fiorina Defended Outsourcing of Technology Jobs, Said No Job is “America’s God-Given Right.”  According to the Associated Press, “Worried about possible government reaction to the movement of U.S. technology jobs overseas, leading American computer companies are defending recent shifts in employment to Asia and elsewhere as necessary for future profits and warning policy makers against restrictions. “There is no job that is America’s God-given right anymore,” said Carly Fiorina, chief executive for Hewlett-Packard Co.  [Associated Press, 1/7/04]

 

  • Promoting Outsourcing, Fiorina Said US Cannot Be Distracted by “Short Term Employment Concerns.” She said the country cannot afford to be distracted by short-term financial and employment concerns. “The biggest barrier (to solutions) is our nation’s attention span,” she said.” [Washington Post, 1/8/04]

 

Thursday: Tells New Orleans He Would Not Rebuild Their Homes

 

McCain’s Tour Sought To Reach Out To Those “Ignored For Long Years By The Sins Of Indifference And Injustice.” According to the Washington Post, McCain said, “There must be no forgotten places in America, whether they have been ignored for long years by the sins of indifference and injustice, or have been left behind as the world grew smaller and more economically interdependent.” [Washington Post, 4/21/08]

 

  • McCain Said He Would Consider Tearing Down The Lower Ninth Ward. According to CBS News, McCain “also told reporters he was not sure if he would rebuild the lower 9th ward as president. ‘That is why we need to go back is to have a conversation about what to do -rebuild it, tear it down, you know, whatever it is,’ he said.” [CBS News, 4/24/08]

 

 

 

McCain: Bob Dole, The Sequel

 

 

 

If John McCain and his presidential campaign seem familiar, they should.  The similarities between McCain’s candidacy and Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential run are striking.  Both are Republican candidates running on the past, both in bringing up their biography and war hero stories, and in pursuing policies that will move America back instead of taking us forward.  Twelve years after the Republicans nominated Dole, they are preparing to nominate another aging war hero and veteran of the U.S. Senate in his 70s to headline the GOP ticket in November.  Like Dole, McCain would be the oldest president ever elected to a first term should he win in November.  The similarities between McCain and Dole are extensive:

 

Age: McCain will be 72 years old at the 2008 GOP Convention.  Dole was 73 at the 1996 convention.

 

Short Tenures in the House: McCain spent two terms in the U.S. House before running for the Senate.  Dole spent three terms in the House before ascending to the Senate.

 

Senate Veterans: McCain has served 20 years in the U.S. Senate.  Dole served 27 years in the U.S. Senate

 

Previous Primary Challenge to a President Bush: Eight years before being nominated, McCain unsuccessfully challenged George W. Bush for the Republican nomination.  Eight years before being nominated in 1996, Dole challenged George H.W. Bush for the Republican nod. 

 

Disabled Military Veterans: McCain was seriously wounded after his plane was shot down during the Vietnam War and subsequently as a prisoner of war.  As a result, McCain has lost some mobility of his arms.  Dole was seriously wounded by German machine gun fire in World War II.  As a result, Dole lost much use of his right arm. 

 

 

McCain and Dole:  After Losing First Race to a Bush, Moved to the Right to Win the Nomination

 

JOHN MCCAIN

 

McCain Moved to the Right after 2000 Loss to Bush. The Baltimore Sun editorialized: “He ran as a maverick eight years ago, at a time before the modern conservative movement received an overdue bill for three decades of vanities, policy failures, moral hypocrisies and its ideological lurch toward radicalism.  Now, at a moment when Republicans seem to be rethinking everything from their foreign policy assumptions to their positions on reproductive choice, Mr. McCain has positioned himself as heir to George W. Bush’s legacy, including the Iraq war.” [Baltimore Sun, 8/15/07]

 

BOB DOLE

 

Dole Moved To The Right To Win Nomination After 1988 Loss To Bush. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, “The former Kansas senator had moved to the right to get the nomination.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 11/6/96]

 

Dole Moved To The Right In Response To Competition. The Los Angeles Times reported, “Remember: Dole moved to the right in the GOP primaries – he had to compete with Buchanan for conservative support, and outflank Steve Forbes and Lamar Alexander.” [Los Angeles Times, 7/28/96]

 

McCain and Dole: Pandered to the Christian Right To Make Up For Lack Of Support

 

JOHN MCCAIN

 

2000: McCain Called Jerry Falwell “Evil Influence” On Republican Party. McCain’s 2000 presidential bid tanked in Virginia and South Carolina when he called religious broadcasters Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson “agents of intolerance” who exerted an “evil influence” on the Republican Party. [Kansas City Star, 5/28/05]

 

  • 2006: Gearing Up For Second Run, McCain Cozied Up To Falwell. In 2006, McCain affirmed his support of the Christian right’s place in the GOP, saying, “I believe that the Christ--quote, ‘Christian right,’ has a major role to play in the Republican Party,” and reasoned that Falwell was no longer intolerant, answering a question if he still believed his 2000 statement to be true, saying, “No, I don’t.” [NBC News, 4/2/06]

 

BOB DOLE

 

Dole “Plead for Support” From Christian Right. The Washington Post reported, “Republican presidential nominee Robert J. Dole, who faces dangerously low levels of support among white evangelical voters and mounting criticism from Christian right leaders, made a surprise visit to the Christian Coalition’s Road to Victory conference yesterday to plead for support with a promise to sign the ‘partial-birth abortion’ ban into law.  After weeks of playing down the importance of social and religious conservatives, Dole, who had not been scheduled to appear, made a last-minute decision to introduce his running mate, Jack Kemp, to the gathering.  He told the more than 4,000 activists, ‘We understand your commitment.  We understand your strength, and I would ask you for your full and complete support every day, every day between now and November 5.’” [Washington Post, 9/15/96]

 

McCain and Dole:  Tied to an Unpopular GOP Leader

 

JOHN MCCAIN IS TIED TO BUSH POLICIES

 

Gallup Poll Shows McCain Suffering Because of Ties to Bush. A Gallup poll released on April 2, 2008, showed that out of McCain, Clinton and Obama, 40 percent of Americans named McCain as the candidate “they least wanted to see elected president this year.”  25 percent of those who named McCain cited “his similarity with President Bush.” [Gallup, 4/2/08]

 

McCain’s Fortunes Tied to Unpopular President. ABC News reported, “It’s a cruel twist of irony for Sen. John McCain: The same man who beat him in 2000 could defeat him again in 2008.  With immigration and Iraq dominating the short-term politics on Capitol Hill and the presidential campaign, President Bush and McCain, R-Ariz., find their political fates intertwined.” [ABC News, 6/11/07]

 

  • McCain Pushes the Bush Endless War Strategy: “I Don’t Think Americans Are Concerned If We’re There For 100 Years or 1,000 Years or 10,000 Years.” In an interview on “Face the Nation,” host Bob Scieffer asked McCain about staying in Iraq for 100 year. McCain responded, “We’ve got to get Americans off the front line, have the Iraqis as part of the strategy, take over more and more of the responsibilities. And then I don’t think Americans are concerned if we’re there for 100 years or 1,000 years or 10,000 years. What they care about is a sacrifice of our most precious treasure, and that’s American blood. So what I’m saying is look, if Americans are there in a support role, but they’re not taking casualties, that’s fine. We’re in Kuwait now. As you well recall, we had a war, we stayed in Kuwait. We didn’t stay in Saudi Arabia. So it’s going to be up to the relationship between the Iraqi government and the United States of America.”  [CBS, “Face the Nation,” 1/06/08]

 

  • McCain Said He And Bush Shared Same Views On Immigration. During an interview with the New Yorker, McCain told reporter Connie Bruck, “The President and I share exactly the same views on the issue [of immigration]…He believes there are willing workers and willing employers and we ought to match them up. He recognizes that our borders are broken and we need to protect them, but we can only do it in a dual approach.” Bruck pointed out that despite McCain’s assertion that he agreed with Bush on immigration, McCain and Senator Kennedy had introduced comprehensive immigration legislation that many of McCain Republican colleagues “…deride[d] as ‘amnesty’” and for which Bush had not indicated his support. [New Yorker, 5/30/05]

 

  • McCain Is the Same As Bush on Health Care. According to the Wall Street Journal, McCain’s health care plan “would give all Americans a refundable tax credit to help them buy insurance, totaling $2,500 per person or $5,000 per family. They would get the tax credit whether they were to get insurance through work or buy it on their own. The existing tax break for employer-sponsored insurance would be eliminated, taking a step away from the work-based model in place for the last half century and toward an individual market. President Bush proposed a similar idea.” [Wall Street Journal, 10/11/07]

 

  • McCain Accompanied Bush to Help Sell Bush Social Security Privatization. According to the Associated Press, “There’s another showing Tuesday of the good-cop, bad-cop routine featuring President Bush and Sen. John McCain, Bush’s one-time presidential rival who has become a big booster of the president’s Social Security plan.  The Arizona Republican accompanied Bush on Monday to the senator’s home state and Colorado to try to help sell the public and Congress on the president’s proposal for a major Social Security overhaul.”  [AP, 3/22/05]

 

BOB DOLE WAS HURT BY CLOSENESS TO GINGRICH

 

Dole Attributed his Falling Poll Numbers to Gingrich. In 1996, the Washington Post reported, “Attributing his falling poll rating to his Siamese-twin appearances with Gingrich, whose approval ratings were hurtling downward, Dole began to avoid joint photos.” [Washington Post, 4/7/96]

 

Dole Confidante Said Gingrich was Hurting Dole’s Chances Against Clinton. In 1996, the Washington Post reported, “Sen. Alfonse M. D’Amato (N.Y.), in an unusually blunt assessment of a fellow Republican leader, has criticized House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) for pushing an agenda that he says the public is rejecting as too extreme.  D’Amato’s comments, made in a series of interviews Thursday, took on significance because he is a confidant of Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) and because they gave voice to concerns other party leaders have been expressing privately.  D’Amato indicated that if Gingrich and his charges don’t moderate their message, the party and its presumptive presidential nominee, Dole, will suffer at the polls.  ‘It’s already hurt Republicans,’ D’Amato said, according to the Associated Press.  ‘It’s not helpful.’  Polls show President Clinton has a double-digit lead on Dole in virtually every crucial state and that there is declining support for the GOP legislative agenda and the job Gingrich is doing.” [Washington Post, 5/4/96]

 

Gingrich Seen as Vulnerability for Dole. In 1996, the Washington Post reported, “Clinton’s victory remains November’s most likely outcome.  Dole has been trying to walk about from Gingrich and the House radicals – both literally on platforms and at microphones, and philosophically, as in the new Republican budget.  Now he is resigning his Senate seat, but this may be more tactic than disavowal.  What Gingrich, the House GOP and the smaller cadre of wild-eyes in the Senate stand for is too close to the core of the post-1980 Republican party for Dole to shun – or even seriously dissent from.  That point will only be reinforced when, for instance, Gingrich presides at the August national convention.” [Washington Post, 5/19/96]

 

Observers Said Gingrich’s Support Would Hurt Dole. In 1996, the Washington Post reported Gingrich “remains highly unpopular, with only one-third of those questioned for a Time Magazine-CNN poll this month saying they approved of the job he was doing and half saying they disapproved.  Taking on the president pits Gingrich against an adversary whose approval ratings are the mirror image of his own.  The Time-CNN survey found 51 percent saying they approved of Clinton’s job performance and 37 percent saying they disapproved.  As a result, some analysts said a high-profile role by Gingrich, who has pledged to be Dole’s partner, could do the Kansan more harm than good.  ‘If you’re Republican nominee and you’ve got the most unpopular speaker in American history, I’m not sure ‘partner’ is the term that comes to mind,’ said GOP political analyst Kevin Phillips.  ‘The best thing he could do is not be around as much and occasionally say he’s wrong.’” [Washington Post, 5/21/96]

 

McCain and Dole: Washington Insiders Stuck in the Same Old Politics

 

IN THE SENATE FOR DECADES

 

McCain Has Been in the Senate for Decades. In 2007, Ross Douthat of the Atlantic appeared on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” and referred to “John McCain, who’s been a leader in the Senate for decades.”  McCain was first elected to the Senate in 1986. [MSNBC, “Hardball,” 9/13/07]

 

Dole Was in the Senate for Decades. In 1996, the Washington Post reported, “In the Senate, where he has been for nearly three decades, there are workhorses and show horses, and Dole has little patience for the latter.”  Dole served in the Senate from 1969 to 1996. [Washington Post, 2/19/96]

 

MILLIONS IN SPECIAL INTEREST DOLLARS

 

McCain has Taken Millions in Special Interest Dollars.

 

  • McCain Has Taken At Least $ from the $720,613 from the Oil & Gas Industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain accepted at least $720,613 from the oil and gas industry. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 4/2/08]

 

  • McCain Has Taken Over $1.2 Million from the Telecom Industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain accepted at least $1,206,728 from the Telecom Services & Equipment and the Telephone Utilities Industries. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 4/2/08]

 

  • McCain Has Taken Nearly $1.1 Million from Commercial Banks. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain accepted at least $1,092.266 from commercial banks. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 4/2/08]

 

  • McCain Has Taken Over $4.1 Million from the Securities & Investment Industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain accepted at least $4,176,558 from the securities and investment industry. . [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 4/2/08]

 

  • McCain Has Taken Over $3.1 Million from Real Estate Industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain accepted at least $3,101,042 from the real estate industry. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 4/2/08]

 

  • McCain Has Taken Over $500,000 from the Defense Sector. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain accepted at least $522,653 from the defense sector. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 4/2/08]

 

  • McCain Has Taken Over $850,000 from the Insurance Industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain accepted at least $856,854 from the insurance industry. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 4/2/08]

 

  • McCain Has Taken Nearly $1.7 Million from the Transportation Sector. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain accepted at least $1,699,006 from the transportation sector. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 4/2/08]

 

Dole “Raked in Special Interest Millions During his Career.” In 1996, Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory wrote, “One of the problems is that Dole was not perfectly cast to lob the first stone.  He has raked in special interest millions during his career.” [Washington Post, 10/29/96]

 

  • Dole Took $548,000 from the Finance and Insurance Industry PACs. From 1980 through 1996, Dole took $548,00 from finance and insurance industry PACs. [CQ Moneyline, accessed 4/2/08]

 

  • Dole Took $236,303 from Agriculture Industry PACs. From 1980 to 1996, Dole took $236,303 from agriculture industry PACs. [CQ Moneyline, accessed 4/2/08]

 

  • Dole Took $216,695 from Energy and Natural Resources PACs. From 1980 to 1996, Dole took $216,695 from energy and natural resources industry PACs. [CQ Moneyline, accessed 4/2/08]

 

  • Dole Took $146,567 from Transportation PACs. From 1980 to 1996, Dole took $146,567 from transportation industry PACs. [CQ Moneyline, accessed 4/2/08]

 

ADVISED BY LOBBYISTS

 

Super-Lobbyist Charles Black Served as Adviser to Both McCain and Dole. Super-lobbyist and Washington insider Charles Black, McCain’s senior political adviser, was also an adviser to Bob Dole during his 1996 presidential run. [Baltimore Sun, 10/7/96]

 

McCain and Dole Tapped Lobbying Partners to Run their Campaigns. McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, founded the lobbying firm Davis, Manafort with his partner Paul Manafort.  According to the Associated Press, “Running Dole’s day-to-day campaign strategy is Paul Manafort, a long-time lobbyist who is a partner in a firm representing gambling equipment maker GTECH, Sports Services Corp. and the Embassy of Costa Rica.” [Associated Press, via Charleston Gazette, 10/21/96]

 

McCain’s Campaign is Full of Lobbyists. McCain has more than 80 lobbyists working on his campaign or serving as top fundraisers.  His lobbyists aides include campaign manager Rick Davis, deputy campaign manager Christian Ferry, senior political adviser Charlie  Black, campaign co-chairman Thomas Loeffler, regional campaign manager Doug Davenport, congressional liaison John Green, national finance co-chairman Wayne Berman, and national finance director Susan Nelson. [Public Citizen, accessed 4/2/08; USA Today, 3/23/08]

 

Dole’s Campaign Was Full of Lobbyists:

 

  • Lobbyist Stood with Dole as he Gave Acceptance Speech. According to the Associated Press, one Dole adviser was “Tom Korologos, a Washington lobbyist and Dole adviser who stood on the platform as the GOP Nominee made his acceptance speech in San Diego.” Korologos was “an adviser to Dole throughout his Senate career.” [Associated Press, via Charleston Gazette, 10/21/96]

 

  • Numerous Dole Aides Were Lobbyists. According to the Associated Press, Dole’s top aides included a number of lobbyists: “Other lobbyists joining [Tom] Korologos inside the Dole campaign include: [Charles] Black, whose firm was paid $160,000 during the first six months of this year by Philip Morris. Other clients include Angola’s UNITA rebels, who the State Department has criticized for failing to follow through on a two-year-old peace agreement; GTECH and AT&T, Former congressman Vin Weber, who represents AT&T, Browning-Ferris, the Edison Electric Institute and West Publishing Co., among others.  Campaign treasurer and fund raiser Robert Lighthizer, whose lobbying clients include steel companies like Bethlehem and U.S. Steel; drug maker Glaxo Wellcome; and Colgate-Palmolive.  Former Senate aide Rod DeArment, who helped direct Dole’s vice-presidential search.  His clients include the Association of American Medical Colleges, General Electric, GTE and IBM.” [Associated Press, via Charleston Gazette, 10/21/96]

 

McCain and Dole: Campaigns Focused on the Past

 

FOCUSED ON THE REAGAN REVOLUTION

 

McCain Is Focused on Reagan Revolution of the 1980s. Trying to convince conservatives at the 2008 CPAC conference that he is in line with the conservative politics set forth by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, McCain said, “I am proud, very proud, to have come to public office as a foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution.  And if a few of my positions have raised your concern that I have forgotten my political heritage, I want to assure you, I have not, and I am as proud of that association today as I was then.” [CNN, 2/7/08]

 

Dole Was Focused on the Politics of the 1980s. Appearing on “News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” Dole said: “I did call President Reagan yesterday about 4 o’clock.  When I got him on the phone, I said, Mr. President, tonight I will give my acceptance speech, and I want to say, as I do, that I’ve talked to you, and that out of great respect from all Americans, for you, Mr. President, I want to be able to say that we’re going to win because we have the right agenda, because we are the party of ideas, and because we want to complete the Reagan revolution.” [PBS, “News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” 8/16/96]

 

CAMPAIGNS FOCUSED ON CANDIDATE BIOS

 

McCain Focuses on Personal Bio. The Washington Post reported, “Sen. John McCain returned to his ancestral home state Monday to begin a week-long tour aimed at reintroducing himself to the American people and highlighting his military background. … The speech was largely a condensed version of his book ‘Faith of My Fathers,’ a biography that traces his upbringing and the Navy careers of his grandfather, his father and himself.” [Washington Post, 4/1/08]

 

Dole Had Trouble Moving Past His Biography. In a 1996 column, E.J. Dionne wrote, “Bob Dole sacrificed a lot for his country.  All the personal references in Dole’s speech were convincing, and he delivered them eloquently.  But when Dole moved off biography, he moved into a fantasy world.” [Washington Post, 8/18/96]

 

  • During Campaign, Dole Constantly Returned to Biography. In 1996, the Washington Post reported the central role played by Dole’s hometown of Russell, Kansas, in his campaign: “Russell is the linchpin of the Dole biography. It’s the touchstone to which Dole constantly returns – in his speeches, in his cross-country campaigning, in his nostalgic evocations of America.” [Washington Post, 5/15/96]

 

 

CANDIDATES THAT WON’T BRING CHANGE

 

Voters Don’t See Dole as a Candidate of Change. An ABC News/Washington Post poll released on March 5, 2008, revealed that only 41 percent of Americans “say McCain would do enough to bring needed change to Washington, a real shortcoming of his own.” [ABC, 3/5/08]

 

Dole’s Republican Rivals Said He Couldn’t Bring Change. Lamar Alexander, one of Dole’s Republican rivals for the 1996 GOP nomination, criticized Dole for not being capable of bringing change to Washington.  The Chattanooga Free Press reported, “One of Mr. Alexander’s primary messages is ‘you can’t change Washington with more of Washington,’ [Alexander campaign manager] Mr. Akins said.  ‘Dole and [Texas Senator Phil] Gramm spent careers creating a system that they do very well in Washington.  They’re experts in it.  Why would they want to change it?’” [Chattanooga Free Press, 11/21/95]

 

McCain and Dole:  Angry Old War Horses

 

McCain Is Known For His Temper:

 

McCain Was Frequently Rated As Having One Of Congress’ “Hottest Tempers” By Washingtonian Magazine.  John McCain was rated in the Washingtonian as having one of Congress’ “hottest tempers” in 2006, 2004, 2000, and 1998.  McCain had the second “hottest temper” in Congress in 2006, placed first in 2004, 2000, and placed second in 1998. [Washingtonian, September 2006; Washingtonian, September 2004; Washingtonian, September, 2000; Washingtonian, July 1998]

 

  • Thad Cochran: “The Thought Of His Being President Sends a Cold Chill Down My Spine.” Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has endorsed Mitt Romney, criticized McCain’s temper. Cochran said, “The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine...He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.” [Boston Globe, 1/27/08]

 

  • Editor at McCain’s Hometown Newspaper said McCain has “Volatile Temper.” Appearing on CNN in 1999, Keven Willey, Editorial Page Editor of the Arizona Republic, said, “The fact that Senator McCain has had a volatile temper is not news to those of us in Arizona.” [CNN, “Inside Politics” 12/6/99]

 

  • Even Dole Said McCain has a Temper. In 2008, the Chicago Tribune reported, “Dole says John McCain, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee in 2008, has a temper – but has gotten it under ‘control.’” Appearing on Larry King Live, Dole said, “He does have a…I guess you could say temper.  But I always sort of rationalized that because the poor guy had been locked up in a little, you know, a space about as large as this table…about six years…He can control it.  It’s not a problem anymore.” [Chicago Tribune, 3/7/08; CNN, “Larry King Live,” 3/5/08, via Hotline, 3/6/08]

 

DOLE WAS ANGRY AND UNFORGIVING

 

Dole “Never Forgives and Never Forgets.” In 1988, the New York Times reported, “A Senate supporter of Bob Dole said recently: ‘Bob Dole never forgives and never forgets.  You know if you cross him, you’ve got problems.’” [New York Times, 2/8/88]

 

Dole Displayed “Intense” Anger. In 1988, the New York Times reported, “A senior aide to Mr. Dole remarked: ‘There’s a quiet intensity about Bob Dole’s anger.  I’ve never seen him shout or slam doors or curse or scream like some senators.  He gets very quiet, very intense.  It’s controlled and targeted anger.’” [New York Times, 2/8/88]

 

Dole Angrily Confronted Vice President Bush During 1988 Campaign. According to the New York Times, in the midst of the 1988 Republican presidential primary, Dole angrily confronted Vice President Bush on the Senate floor: “Mr. Dole strode up to Mr. Bush at the Senate rostrum on Thursday and angrily shoved a press release in front of the Vice President, who was presiding over the chamber…. Mr. Dole frowned and pounded the desk.”  The argument was over a press release issued by the Bush campaign. [New York Times, 2/8/88]

 

MCCAIN AND DOLE MADE LONG-AGO MILITARY SERVICE A CENTERPIECE OF THEIR CAMPAIGNS

 

McCain Says He Doesn’t Exploit Vietnam, but Raises Doubts. In Free Ride: John McCain and the Media, David Brock and Paul Waldman write: “A key part of McCain’s Vietnam story as the press tells it is that the senator is reluctant to mention it.  ‘One of the things I’ve never tried to do is exploit my Vietnam service to my country because it would be totally inappropriate to do so,’ McCain once said.  But for someone who says he doesn’t want to talk about his experience as a POW, McCain sure does bring it up a lot. … From the very beginning of his political career, McCain has known just when to pull out his POW history for maximum effect.” [Brock and Waldman, Free Ride: John McCain and the Media, Media Matters] 

 

Dole Used World War II Service as Centerpiece of Campaign. The New York Times reported: “But here and in Clifton, N.J., where he gave the speech, the day belonged to Mr. Dole, the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee, whose campaign hopes to turn his World War II combat service and resulting disability into a major theme to employ against President Clinton, who avoided the Vietnam War, in the struggle for the White House.  ‘I can’t change his record, and he can’t change my record,’ Mr. Dole told reporters after talking to about 500 people.  ‘These are the facts.  I’m proud to have served my country.’” [New York Times, 5/28/96]

 

McCain and Dole: Same Record of Supporting Policies That Are Bad for American Families

 

TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY

 

McCain Supports Making Bush Tax Cuts for the Wealthy Permanent. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” McCain said, about Bush’s tax cuts, “We’ve got to make these tax cuts permanent.  We have to, otherwise I think it’ll have a negative impact on our economy.” [NBC, “Meet the Press,” 1/27/08]

 

  • Dole Pushed Cuts to Medicare to Finance Tax Relief for the Wealthy. Petersburg Times editor Philip Gailey wrote in 1996, “Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, gave the Democrats the ammunition they needed to recast the debate as an attempt to cut health care for the elderly to finance a tax cut for the wealthy.” [St. Petersburg Times, 6/9/96]

 

GAS TAX HOLIDAY

 

2008: McCain Proposed Gas Tax Holiday. On April 15, 2008, McCain called for a temporary suspension of federal gas taxes: “I propose that the federal government suspend all taxes on gasoline now paid by the American people – from Memorial Day to Labor Day of this year. The effect will be an immediate economic stimulus – taking a few dollars off the price of a tank of gas every time a family, a farmer, or trucker stops to fill up. Over the same period, our government should suspend the purchase of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which has also contributed to the rising price of oil. This measure, combined with the summer-long ‘gas-tax holiday,’ will bring a timely reduction in the price of gasoline. And because the cost of gas affects the price of food, packaging, and just about everything else, these immediate steps will help to spread relief across the American economy.” [Time, 4/15/08]

 

1996: McCain Supported Dole’s Plan To Repeal 1993 Gas Tax. On April 27, 1996, the New York Times reported, “Senator Bob Dole today called for the repeal of a 4.3-cent gas tax that a Democratic Congress passed in 1993 as part of President Clinton’s plan to reduce the budget deficit.”  Three days later, the Washington Times reported, “Mr. McCain said the GOP’s strategy is to repeal the 1993 gasoline tax and remind voters that Mr. Clinton and congressional Democrats imposed it without any Republican votes.  ‘It’s part of our effort to get back on our agenda, get back on issues that are effective for us as opposed to playing defense,’ Mr. McCain said.” [New York Times, 4/27/96; Washington Times, 5/1/96]

 

CUTS TO ENTITLEMENTS

 

Dole Economic Plan Would Have Required Massive Entitlement Cuts. After Dole released his economic plan, the Washington Post reported that “no new details emerged on how the plan would reduce personal income tax rates by 15 percent while balancing the budget by 2002 without major cuts in such costly entitlements as Social Security or in other social services.” [Washington Post, 8/28/96, emphasis added]

 

McCain Pledged to “Reform” Entitlement Programs. Speaking to CPAC in February, McCain said, “I will not permit any expansion whatsoever of the entitlement programs that are bankrupting us.  On the contrary, I intend to reform those programs so that government is no longer in the habit of making promises to Americans it does not have the means to keep.” [John McCain for President, 2/7/08]

 

AGAINST EDUCATION FOR AMERICA’S CHILDREN

 

McCain and Dole Voted Against Increasing Education Funding by $56 Billion By Ending Corporate Tax Preferences.  In 1996, McCain voted to kill an amendment to increase education spending by $56 billion over six years and offset the costs by ending certain corporate tax preferences.  Motion to table agreed to 52-48.  [SCR 57, Vote #126, 5/22/96]

 

McCain and Dole Support Vouchers. In 1996, the Washington Post reported that Dole “promote[d] a plan for education vouchers that could be used in parochial schools.”  According to McCain’s 2008 campaign website, he believes school choice “is a fundamental and essential right we should honor for all parents.” [Washington Post, 10/20/96; McCain for President, accessed 4/4/08]

 

McCain and Dole Voted Against Protecting $40 Billion For Education Student Loan Programs.  In 1995, McCain voted against an amendment to restore $40 billion over seven years from cuts in education programs and student loans.  Motion rejected 47-51.  [S 13, Vote #175, 5/22/95]

 

WOMEN AND CHOICE

 

McCain and Dole Voted Against Ensuring Patients Have Unfettered Access to Reproductive Health Clinics. In 1994, McCain voted against establishing federal criminal and civil penalties for anti-abortion activists who use force, the threat of force or physical obstruction to block access to abortion clinics. The measure passed 69-30. [S. 636, Vote #112, 5/12/94]

 

McCain and Dole Voted Against Giving Federal Employees The Right To Choose Health Plans Which Ensure Access To A Broad Range Of Reproductive Health Options. In 1995, McCain voted against a committee amendment to strike bill provisions to prohibit federal employees or their families from receiving abortion services through federal health insurance policies except when the life of the woman would be endangered. The measure passed 52-41. [HR 2020 , Vote #369, 8/5/95]

 

HEALTH AND MEDICAL

 

McCain and Dole Voted To Restrict Leave Granted Under FMLA. In 1993, McCain voted for an amendment to the Family and Medical Leave Act that would allow an employee to take unpaid leave under reduced leave schedule only if employer agrees. The motion to table the amendment passed 59-39. [S 5, Vote #10, 2/4/93]

 

McCain and Dole Opposed Restoring Medicaid Eligibility To Pregnant Women And Children. In 1995, McCain voted against increasing tax collections in the bill by $51 billion by reducing revenue reductions for “upper income taxpayers” and spending the money by restoring Medicaid benefits for pregnant women and children and by including prenatal care and delivery services for pregnant women. The motion to table passed 50-49. [S 1357, Vote #532, 10/27/95]

 

SENIORS

 

McCain and Dole Voted to Cut Medicare by $270 billion.  In 1995, McCain voted for budget that would cut Medicare by $270 billion.  [H.R. 2491, Vote #584, 11/17/1995; H.R. 2491, Vote #556, 10/27/1995; H.C.R. 67, Vote #296, 6/29/1995]

McCain and Dole Voted to Allow Use of the Social Security Trust Fund to Balance The Budget. In 1995, McCain voted to kill an amendment that would reaffirm the commitment of the Congress not to use the surpluses in the Social Security Trust Fund to mask the true size of the deficit in any plan for a balanced budget. The motion to table passed 53-46. [H.J.R. 122, Vote #578, 11/16/95]

 

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

 

McCain Opposes Affirmative Action. In a 2004 questionnaire, Senator McCain indicated he would not support affirmative action policies in public college admissions. [2004 National Political Awareness Test- Senator McCain]

 

Dole Led Charge Against Affirmative Action In 1990s. In 1995, the Washington Post reported, “Such complaints have fueled a backlash against affirmative action.  Led by Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.), many Republicans in Congress are urging a ‘colorblind’ approach to federal contracting that would help disadvantaged firms but not base assistance purely on the race or sex of company owners.” [Washington Post, 3/10/95]

 

IRRESPONSIBLE TAX PLANS THAT BENEFIT THE RICH

 

McCain Proposed Irresponsible Plan For Corporate Welfare.

 

  • McCain’s Tax Plan Gives Top Five Oil Companies $3.8 Billion A Year In Tax Breaks. According to a study conducted by the Center for American Progress, “The McCain plan would deliver approximately $170 billion a year in tax cuts to corporations, including some corporations that are very large and profitable. Just one of the proposals—cutting the corporate rate from 35 percent to 25 percent—would cut taxes for five largest U.S. oil companies by $3.8 billion a year.” [Center for American Progress, 3/27/08]

 

  • McCain’s Tax Plan Gives Top Ten Health Insurance Companies $1.9 Billion A Year In Tax Breaks. According to a study conducted by the Center for American Progress, “As president, McCain would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent and allow corporations to deduct immediately all of their investments in equipment and technology. Reducing the corporate tax rate alone would deliver a $1.9 billion tax cut to the 10 largest health insurance and managed care companies.” [Center for American Progress, 4/9/08]

 

McCain Backed Bush Tax Cuts That Benefit the Wealthy. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” McCain said, about Bush’s tax cuts, “We’ve got to make these tax cuts permanent.  We have to, otherwise I think it’ll have a negative impact on our economy.” [NBC, “Meet the Press,” 1/27/08]

 

Dole Proposed Halving The Capital Gains Tax. In 1996, in addition to proposing a 15 percent across-the-board tax cut, Dole proposed halving the capital gains tax from 28 percent to 14 percent. [Washington Post, 8/9/96]

 

McCain and Dole: Even Charlie Black Agrees

 

Super-Lobbyist Charles Black Served as Adviser to Both McCain and Dole. Super-lobbyist and Washington insider Charles Black, McCain’s senior political adviser, was also an adviser to Bob Dole during his 1996 presidential run. [Baltimore Sun, 10/7/96]

 

  • Black Thought Dole’s Vision Made Him Look Presidential. The Akron Beacon Journal reported, “Six new ads were cut last week, all positive, with Dole talking about his vision for the future and where he wants to take the country. He highlights his economic program in one, his school-choice plan in another.  ‘He looks like a president,’ said senior adviser Charles Black.  ‘They’re all positive Bob Dole, futuristic, uplifting, positive and visionary.’” [Akron Beacon Journal, 11/3/96]

 

  • Black Thinks McCain Is Ready To Be Commander In Chief. Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Black said, “We’re moving on and want to talk about why John McCain is best qualified to be commander in chief and how he’ll solve the big problems facing the country.” [CBS, “Face the Nation,” 2/24/08]

 

McCain and Dole: Old Friends and Allies

 

McCain was Dole’s “Preferred Candidate” in 2008. In 2007, Bloomberg reported that McCain was Dole’s preferred candidate for president.  “My heart has always been with my good friend John McCain,” Dole said. [Bloomberg, 7/27/07]

 

McCain – “One Of Dole’s Most Trusted Companions” – Stood By Dole As He Conceded 1996 Election. As Dole conceded his loss in the 1996 presidential election, the crowd was unwieldy.  The New York Times reported that “Mr. Dole was clearly irritated” and Elizabeth Dole “was also unhappy with the unappreciative audience, losing her habitual smile and, at one point, shaking her head in what appeared to be disgust.”  But it was McCain standing by Dole’s side to try and control the situation: “Senator John McCain of Arizona, one of Mr. Dole’s most trusted companions, who stood on stage with him, tried to quiet the young people, many of them drunk, when they started booing at Mr. Dole’s pledge to support the President.” [New York Times, 11/6/96]

 

McCain Gave Political Eulogy For Dole After 1996 Concession Speech. The New York Times reported, “The scene was transformed when Senator McCain stood at the microphone in front of the neon bowling pins and gave a majestic tribute – almost a political eulogy -  to a man with whom he traded few words but shared much history and emotion.  ‘This is the last crusade of a great warrior, a member of a generation of Americans who went out and made the world safe for democracy so that we could have lives that were far better for ourselves and for our children,’ Mr. McCain said.  It was the public moment when some in the campaign said they felt the curtain coming down.” [New York Times, 11/6/96]

 

McCain was “Adviser” to Dole’s 1996 Campaign. In 1996, the Palm Beach Post called McCain “a close friend of Dole and adviser to the campaign.” [Palm Beach Post, 10/24/96]

 

McCain Demanded Romney Apologize for Insulting Dole. In 2008, Esquire reported that during the Republican primary, “McCain had started the flight from New York to San Diego by asking, through the gathered press, for Romney to apologize for slighting Bob Dole, a man for whom McCain feels something like love.” [Esquire, 4/2008]

 

Dole Wrote to Limbaugh on McCain’s Behalf. In February 2008, Politico reported, “Bob Dole, the former Senate Republican leader, wrote an insistent letter to Rush Limbaugh on Monday and suggested that for the good of the party, the conservative talk-show host should stop his strafing of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)…. Dole strongly defended the senator’s conservative credentials, noting that his voting record is opposed to abortion and supportive of gun-owner rights.” [Politico, 2/5/08]

 

Right Wing Writer Compared McCain Candidacy to Disastrous Dole-Kemp Ticket. In February 2005, right wing writer Michelle Malkin wrote: “John McCain continues to wrap himself in the mantle of Dole/Kemp to prove his winning conservative bona fides.  He’ll probably invoke their name 100 times at CPAC later this week.”  Malkin went on to remind her readers “what a disaster Dole/Kemp turned out to be 12 years ago.” [MichelleMalking.com, 2/5/08]

 

Dole “Remained Close” with McCain in 2000, Only Withheld Endorsement Because of Wife’s Prospects for VP Spot on Bush Ticket. In 2000, CNN reported that Elizabeth Dole endorsed Governor George W. Bush for president.  “Conspicuously absent from the press conference was Dole’s husband, former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, who was the 1996 Republican presidential nominee.  Mr. Dole remains close to McCain, who was a strong defender of Dole in 1996.  The former senator has not endorsed anyone, but McCain advisers expect he will remain silent on the issue because of the possibility that his wife could fill the vice presidential slot if Bush wins the nomination.” [CNN, 1/4/00]

 

McCain Traveled on 1996 Campaign Plane to Stump for Dole. In 1996, the Washington Post reported that McCain “traveled frequently on Dole’s campaign plane.” [Washington Post, 11/2/96]

 

McCain Advised Dole on Foreign Policy. In 1996, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported on “Dole’s foreign policy advisers – among them former pilot Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).” [Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 10/23/96]

 

Rich White Men

 

McCain is the 8th Richest U.S. Senator. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain is the eight richest U.S. Senator.  McCain and his wife’s net worth is between $27,817,187 and $45,045,011. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 4/2/08]

 

Dole’s Wife is 7th Richest U.S. Senator. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Dole’s wife, Elizabeth, who currently serves as a U.S. Senator from North Carolina, is the seventh richest senator.  Her and her husband’s net worth is between $18,523,145 and $69,211,000. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 4/2/08]

 

  • Like McCain, Dole Was Multi-Millionaire During Presidential Run. According to the Austin American-Statesman, in 1996 Dole and his wife had “assets of more than $3 million, according to disclosure reports.” [Austin American-Statesman, 5/17/96]

 

Problems With Spending Limits

 

McCain Violated Law by Breaking Primary Spending Limit. On March 24, 2008, the Boston Globe reported: “John McCain has officially broken the limits imposed by the presidential public financing system, according to spending reports filed last week by the campaign.  The senator from Arizona has spent $58.4 million on his Republican primary effort.  Those who have committed to public financing can spend no more than $54 million on their primary bid.” [Boston Globe, 3/24/08]

 

Dole Had Issues With Spending Limits. In June 1996, the New York Times reported, “The Democratic National Committee charged tonight that Bob Dole’s Presidential campaign exceeded Federal campaign spending limits by nearly $350,000 last month, and urged Federal officials to move against Mr. Dole’s financially strapped campaign.”  USA Today also reported that the DNC “filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) charging Dole with exceeding the $37 million primary-season limit.” [New York Times, 6/12/96; USA Today, 6/13/96]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McCain and Conservatives

 

McCain has a complicated relationship with the right wing of his party. After calling Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson ‘agents of intolerance’ during his 2000 campaign for the Presidency, McCain has tried to make amends with the far right. He traveled to Liberty University to deliver the keynote address at Falwell’s right wing university. He has also been endorsed by controversial ‘christian-zionist’ past John Hagee, who is known for making remarks widely interpreted as ‘anti-catholic.’ In an effort to pander to the right wing, McCain has also stated that he’s in favor of overturning Roe vs wade, and that he would appoint conservative judges  to the federal bench.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roe v. Wade

 

McCain Told Social Conservative Gary Bauer That He Would Appoint Pro-Life Judges. According to the New Yorker, in 1999 McCain had the support of social conservative Gary Bauer.  In reference to appointing pro-life judges, Bauer said, “I wanted a commitment from either George Bush or John McCain that if elected he would appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court…Bush said he had no litmus test, and his judges would be strict constructionists. But McCain, in private, assured me he would appoint pro-life judges.” [New Yorker, 5/30/05]

 

McCain: “I Pledge to You to be Loyal and Unswerving Friend of the Right to Life Movement.  “If I am fortunate enough to be elected as the next President of the United States, I pledge to you to be a loyal and unswerving friend of the right to life movement.”  [Statement by Sen. McCain read by Sen. Sam Brownback at the March for Life in Washington, DC, January 22, 2008. http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=26539 (accessed January 30, 2008.]

 

McCain Web Site Said Roe v. Wade was “Flawed Decision.”  Sen. McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign website states that he “believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned.”  [John McCain for President 2008 campaign website, On the Issues: Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life (accessed February 4, 2008). http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/95b18512-d5b6-456e-90a2-12028d71df58.htm]

 

  • McCain Said Roe v. Wade Should Be Overturned. McCain said, “I do not support Roe v. Wade. I think it should be overturned.”  [Ann Althouse, Rudy & Mitt Hem & Haw on Abortion, N.Y. Times, February 24, 2007.]

 

Judges

 

McCain Proud of Alito and Roberts.  “I’m proud that we have Justice Alito and Roberts on the United States Supreme Court. I’m very proud to have played a very small role in making that happen.”  [Transcript, Republican Presidential Candidates Participate in a Debate, May 3, 2007.]

 

Gun Control

 

After Virginia Tech Massacre, McCain Said There Should Be No Gun Control. Republican presidential candidate John McCain declared Wednesday he believes in “no gun control,” making the strongest affirmation of support for gun rights in the GOP field since the Virginia Tech massacre. And “when asked whether ammunition clips sold to the public should be limited in size, said, ‘I don’t think that’s necessary at all.’” [AP, 4/19/07]

 

Controversial Supporters

 

McCain Called Rev. Jerry Falwell an Agent of Intolerance, But Then Supported Him. “In 2000, the campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was dealt a near-fatal blow in the state after he described the Revs. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell as ‘agents of intolerance.’”  But then in 2006, “Senator John McCain earned widespread ridicule for publicly embracing Jerry Falwell, whom he had once described as ‘evil.’” [Washington Post, 10/28/07; New York Times, 11/4/07]

 

  • McCain Called Falwell “Evil Influence” on Republican Party. McCain’s 2000 presidential bid tanked in Virginia and South Carolina when he called religious broadcasters Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson “agents of intolerance” who exerted an “evil influence” on the Republican Party. [Kansas City Star, 5/28/05]

 

McCain Would Base Presidential Selection on Judeo Christian Tradition.  During an interview on BeliefNet, McCain said, “I think the number one issue people should make [in the] selection of the President of the United States is, ‘Will this person carry on in the Judeo Christian principled tradition that has made this nation the greatest experiment in the history of mankind?’” [BeliefNet Interview, 9/28/07]

 

McCain Hired Liberty University’s Debate Coach, Who Boasted “I’m an Ideologue.” On November 16, the Lynchburg News & Advance reported that “Brett O’Donnell, who guided Liberty University’s debate team to a consensus No. 1 national ranking earlier this year, is taking a leave of absence to become an adviser to presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain.” O’Donnell will officially join McCain’s exploratory committee as “communications strategist,” beginning on January 8, 2007. O’Donnell indicated that he would “advise McCain on media interviews, help shape policy statements and prepare the senator for candidate forums and debates.” O’Donnell described his decision making process for taking on a 2008 presidential client as needing someone who shared his values, especially on Iraq, saying, “I believe in a preemptive strategy, in fighting over there and not over here. I don’t want to be just a hired gun. I have an agenda. I’m an ideologue.” [Lynchburg News & Advance, 11/16/06; New York Times, 3/19/06]

 

Despite Liberty University Speech, Conservatives Were Not Convinced. McCain’s speech at Liberty “was shorn of religious references and avoided controversial social issues,” and was received “politely but hardly enthusiastically” by the conservative crowd. Conservative leaders said that McCain’s test includes more than giving a speech. Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Assn. of Michigan, pointed to the upcoming federal marriage amendment vote, saying, “if he is making an attempt to pander to religious conservatives [at Liberty University], he will have missed an opportunity to do so if he fails to vote for the marriage protection amendment.” Louis Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, said, “John McCain has to get in line behind a number of other people that have already won our respect and admiration and, in some cases, already our support.” Gary Bauer, president of American Values, wasn’t yet ready to give McCain his support, as he did in 2000, saying “It’s one speech, and I think the jury is out as to whether it will lead to anything broader or more lasting.” [Washington Post, 5/14/06; Newsday, 5/14/06; Los Angeles Times, 5/14/06; Sacramento Bee, 5/13/06]

 

  • McCain Bothered By Criticism About Pandering. “When I asked McCain, in between his speeches to the Brussels Forum here, if the criticism bothered him, he answered quietly, ‘Oh, yeah.’ He says liberals need to understand that he’s not a man of the left, or even the center. ‘I haven’t changed. My record is the same on all issues, which is that of a conservative Republican.’ But in the next breath, he lists all the positions he has taken that have made him the darling of centrist Republicans and Democrats, from torture to ethics reform to climate change.” [Byron York, Washington Post, 5/3/06]

 

McCain And Falwell Joined The Stage In A Marriage Of Convenience. McCain went to Lynchburg as a “symbolic outreach to millions of religious conservatives” in a “public debut of the newfound, and potentially mutually beneficial, relationship between McCain and Falwell.” Prior to the speech, “Falwell rolled out the red carpet” for McCain, “assembling about 150 church leaders from around the country” for a reception and private dinner. Arranging the meeting with religious leaders was a goal of Falwell’s, who said “I don’t think there’s any question [that our relationship benefits McCain politically]. There are 80 million evangelicals in this country.” [Washington Post, 5/7/06; Arizona Republic, 5/13/06; Atlanta Journal Constitution, 5/14/06; Chicago Tribune, 5/14/06; Washington Post, 5/14/06; Newsday, 5/14/06; Sacramento Bee, 5/13/06]

 

McCain Said The Christian Right Had A Major Role In The GOP.  In 2006, McCain affirmed his support of the Christian right’s place in the GOP, saying, “I believe that the Christ--quote, ‘Christian right,’ has a major role to play in the Republican Party,” and reasoned that Falwell was no longer intolerant, answering a question if he still believed his 2000 statement to be true, saying, “No, I don’t.” [NBC News, 4/2/06]

 

McCain Scheduled To Speak At Falwell’s Liberty University Graduation. In 2006, McCain “will be Liberty University’s graduation speaker on May 13.  ‘I was in Washington with him about three months ago,’ Falwell said. ‘We dealt with every difference we have. There are no deal breakers now. But I told him, ‘You have a lot of fence mending to do.’’  Falwell, LU’s chancellor, said McCain, an Arizona Republican, is among the presidential candidates he could support in 2008…Falwell said McCain could very well be the Republican Party’s best hope in 2008.” [Lynchburg News & Advance, 3/28/06]

 

McCain Agreed To Speak At Falwell’s Liberty University And Discounted Previous Statement That Falwell Was An “Agent Of Intolerance.”  McCain will be Liberty University’s graduation speaker on May 13. “I was in Washington with him about three months ago,” LU’s Chancellor Jerry Falwell said. “We dealt with every difference we have. There are no deal breakers now. But I told him, ‘You have a lot of fence mending to do.’” Falwell said McCain is among the presidential candidates he could support in 2008. Speaking on “Meet The Press” on April 2, McCain doubled back on his statement in 2000 that Falwell was an “agent of intolerance.” Asked if he still believed that to be the case, McCain replied, “No, I don’t.” McCain defended his decision to speak at LU, saying of himself and Falwell, “we agreed to disagree on certain issues and we agreed to move forward.” [Lynchburg News & Advance, 3/28/06; NBC News, 4/2/06]

 

McCain Pledged To Purge “Poison” From American Culture. McCain is “confident his ‘25-year record on pro-life’ will satisfy social conservatives. About culture: ‘I’ve done some terrible things in my life, so I try not to be a judge, but it seems to me there is a poison in our culture that we have to address. Maybe it’s through the bully pulpit, but we can’t pass a bunch of laws to control it all.’” [New York Sun, 3/7/06]

 

McCain Met With Falwell To Lay Groundwork for 2008 Run. “Sen. John McCain is taking action to make it hard for conservatives to write him off in the 2008 presidential race. His office confirms that the maverick moderate recently met with the Rev. Jerry Falwell, a conservative icon who is influential with voters on the right.” [US News and World Report, 11/14/05]

 

McCain Said “Conservative” 17 Times In CPAC Speech.  The Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus wrote, “McCain packed 17 mentions of “conservative” into the speech: He was “proud to be a conservative” with “conservative convictions.” He would run “a campaign based on conservative principles.” He would have “a clearly conservative approach to governing.” Candidates tend to run to the extremes in the primaries and veer back to the center for the general. McCain doesn’t have that luxury yet.” [Washington Post, 2/8/08]

 

2006: McCain Said The Christian Right Had A Major Role In The GOP.  McCain affirmed his support of the Christian right’s place in the GOP, saying, “I believe that the Christ--quote, ‘Christian right,’ has a major role to play in the Republican Party,” and reasoned that Falwell was no longer intolerant, answering a question if he still believed his 2000 statement to be true, saying, “No, I don’t.” [NBC News, 4/2/06]

 

McCain Endorsed By Outspoken Pastor, John Hagee.  McCain was endorsed by San Antonio televangelist John Hagee.  The Dallas Morning News reported, “Mr. Hagee, a leading figure in the Christian Zionist movement, said he’s confident Mr. McCain can attract wary evangelicals by emphasizing his conservative positions on Israel and abortion.”  McCain said, “All I can tell you is I’m very proud to have pastor Hagee’s support.”  [Dallas Morning News, 2/28/08]

 

  • Hagee Made Anti-Catholic Remarks. Hagee has offended Catholics with disparaging remarks.  “In Hagee’s ‘black history’ of the Catholic Church, for example, Catholics were far from only guilty of sins of omission when it came to the Nazis, they also gave Hitler his blueprint, according to Hagee.  In a speech this year, Hagee pointed to the Catholic Church as having provided the jumping-off point for the Holocaust.”  Hagee’s anti-Catholic statements caused the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights to call him a ‘veteran bigot,’ accusing him of distorting Catholic teachings and misrepresenting Catholic history.” [National Review, 12/21/07]

 

McCain Endorsed By Oliver North.  Oliver North, who was “convicted in 1989 of shredding documents, accepting an illegal gratuity and aiding and abetting in the obstruction of Congress,” endorsed John McCain.  [Washington Post, 2/12/08]

 

McCain Endorsed By Gary Bauer.  Gary Bauer, anti-abortion activist, has endorsed John McCain.  Bauer said McCain, “has dedicated his life to defending human rights around the world, including the rights of the unborn.” McCain was grateful, “Gary has always been a forceful, unapologetic advocate for the sanctity of life and traditional marriage, judicial restraint and a strong American foreign policy based on our values” he said. [Politico, 2/11/08]

 

McCain Endorsed By John Bolton.  According to the Associated Press, “McCain’s campaign announced the endorsement of yet another prominent Republican, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, who praised McCain’s courage “to fight the liberals in the Senate” in the controversy over Bolton’s nomination to his former post.” [Associated Press, 2/10/08]

 

Bush Offered Implicit Endorsement of McCain.  President Bush gave a speech implying his steadfast support for John McCain, the likely Republican nominee.  According to the Washington Post, “In a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Bush offered an implicit endorsement of McCain’s bona fides as a true conservative in the face of deep skepticism on the right.” [Washington Post, 2/8/08]

 

  • McCain Thanked Evangelical Leaders for Their Support.  During a visit to Nashville, Tennessee, McCain said, “I was very pleased to see comments made by people like Tony Perkins and Dr. Richard Land.”  Perkins is the head of the Family Research Council while Land is a leader in the Southern Baptist Convention.  The two leaders have recently complimented McCain in the press.  [Bloomberg News, 2/2/08]

 

McCain Changed Message From Security And Spending Issues In N.H. To Moral Issues In S.C.  According to the Time Magazine, while McCain campaigned on strong national security and limited government spending in New Hampshire, he campaigned on different issues in South Carolina.  In South Carolina, McCain campaigned on issues such as Internet child pornography, his determination to nominate judges who “strictly interpret the constitutions and do not legislate from the bench, and his 24 year opposition to abortion. [Time Magazine, 1/17/08]

 

John Hagee

 

McCain Endorsed By Outspoken Pastor, John Hagee.  McCain was endorsed by San Antonio televangelist John Hagee.  The Dallas Morning News reported, “Mr. Hagee, a leading figure in the Christian Zionist movement, said he's confident Mr. McCain can attract wary evangelicals by emphasizing his conservative positions on Israel and abortion.”  McCain said, “All I can tell you is I'm very proud to have pastor Hagee's support.”  [Dallas Morning News, 2/28/08]

 

  • McCain Actively Sought The Endorsement of John Hagee. Controversial Pastor John Hagee told New York Times Magazine that, “It’s true that McCain’s campaign sought my endorsement.” [Editor & Publisher, 3/20/08]

 

Hagee Made Anti-Catholic Remarks. Hagee has offended Catholics with disparaging remarks.  "In Hagee's 'black history' of the Catholic Church, for example, Catholics were far from only guilty of sins of omission when it came to the Nazis, they also gave Hitler his blueprint, according to Hagee.  In a speech this year, Hagee pointed to the Catholic Church as having provided the jumping-off point for the Holocaust."  Hagee's anti-Catholic statements caused the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights to call him a 'veteran bigot,' accusing him of distorting Catholic teachings and misrepresenting Catholic history." [National Review, 12/21/07]

 

  • McCain Defended Hagee’s Anti-Catholic Remarks. While appearing on Bill Bennett’s radio show, McCain defended John Hagee’s anti-Catholic statements.  “I will say that he said that his words were taken out of context, he defends his position. I hope that maybe you’d give him a chance to respond. He says he has never been anti-Catholic, but I repudiate the words that create that impression.” [Bill Bennett’s radio show via Think Progress, 3/11/08]

 

  • McCain was Forced to Repudiate Pastor Hagee’s Remarks. “We've had a dignified campaign, and I repudiate any comments that are made, including Pastor Hagee's, if they are anti-Catholic or offensive to Catholics,” McCain said.  He added, “And we can't have that in this campaign.  We're trying to unite the country. We're uniting the country, not dividing it.” [Associated Press, 3/7/08]

 

  • McCain Rebuked By Catholic Groups For Being “Very Proud” Of Bigot’s Support. After enthusiastically accepting the support of John Hagee, McCain was criticized by the Catholic League and Catholics United.  Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League said McCain should “retract his embrace of Hagee,” a man who has “waged an unrelenting war against the Catholic Church.”  Cchris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United, released a statement saying, “By receiving the endorsement of an outspoken critic of the Catholic Church, McCain once again demonstrates that he is willing to sell out his principles for a chance to win the Presidency.”  [Washington Post, 2/28/08]

 

 Hagee Opposes Two-State Israel Because he Believes Rapture is Coming. "Among Huckabee's leading evangelical backers is Pastor John Hagee," who is "the executive director of Christians United for Israel, a national lobbying group that organizes against a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine crisis and in favor of a military strike on Iran.  Hagee's zealous support for Israel is kindled by his belief that Jesus will one day return to 'biblical Israel' to usher in a kingdom of Heaven on Earth.  'As soon as Jesus sits on his throne he's gonna rule the world with a rod of iron,' Hagee told his congregation in a sermon this December.  'That means he's gonna make the ACLU do what he wants them to.  That means you're not gonna have to ask if you can pray in public school…We will live by the law of God and no other law.'" [The Nation, 1/11/08]

 

McCain Repudiated Pastor Hagee’s Remarks.  “We've had a dignified campaign, and I repudiate any comments that are made, including Pastor Hagee's, if they are anti-Catholic or offensive to Catholics,” McCain said.  He added, “And we can't have that in this campaign.  We're trying to unite the country. We're uniting the country, not dividing it.” [Associated Press, 3/7/08]

 

Supply Side Supporters

 

McCain Praised By Club For Growth.  The Club For Growth released a statement in support of John McCain, it read, “Senator McCain deserves some credit for making a conscious effort to reach out to conservatives at CPAC today.” [TIME, 2/7/08]

 

McCain Endorsed by Steve Forbes.  Former presidential candidate Steve Forbes has endorsed John McCain.  Forbes stated, “John McCain’s pro-growth plan to cut taxes stop wasteful spending and reform out healthcare system will secure our nation’s prosperity for generations to come.” [Chicago Tribune, 2/2/08]

 

Former Solicitor General Endorsed McCain.  Conservative former Solicitor General, Ted Olsen, endorsed John McCain.  Olsen cited McCain’s “courage, character, and integrity.” [FOX News, 2/1/08]

 

McCain Has Conservative Record

 

McCain Described as “Only Candidate Prepared to be Commander in Chief.” The Wall Street Journal writes that, “John McCain has a record of courageous service and broad experience of years of involvement in every military and national security issues that has face this nation.  He is the only candidate prepared to be commander in chief from the first day in office.”  [Wall Street Journal, 2/1/08]

 

Wall Street Journal Defended McCain’s Conservative Credentials.  In an effort to defend John McCain, The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page praised his experience handling tough national security, views on tax code reform, and fiscal responsibility.  It added, “Mr. McCain will return the Republican Party to its principle that government should do its job, and can do it with less of America’s money.” [Wall Street Journal, 2/1/08]

 

McCain Described as More Conservative Than Often Portrayed in the Press.  According to Salon.com, “William Dixon, the head of the University of Arizona political science department, says that, “ angry conservatives actually have the real McCain backward: Rather than a closet liberal, he is substantially more conservative than typically portrayed in the press. “If anyone is misinterpreting McCain,” says Dixon, “it’s Democrat-leaning independents who think he’s a Republican maverick.” [Salon.com, 2/4/08]

 

Bob Dole Sent Rush Limbaugh a Letter Defending McCain.  Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole sent Rush Limbaugh a letter defending John McCain’s conservative credentials.  While admitting disagreements with McCain over campaign finance and the Bush tax cuts, Dole defended McCain’s pro-life record, his support for strict constructionist judges, and his desire to keep America safe. [CNN, 2/4/08]

 

Wall Street Journal Defended McCain’s Conservative Credentials.  In an effort to defend John McCain, The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page praised his experience handling tough national security, views on tax code reform, and fiscal responsibility.  It added, “Mr. McCain will return the Republican Party to its principle that government should do its job, and can do it with less of America’s money.” [Wall Street Journal, 2/1/08]

 

McCain Has Solid Record On The Defining Principles Of Modern Conservative Movement. According to columnist Adrian Wooldridge, of the New York Times, John McCain’s “…willingness to squabble with fellow party member makes him look more like a moderate than he really is…”  Wooldridge pointed out that despite McCain’s tendency to be a “maverick” and to often speak out against those in his own party, McCain “…has a solid record on the defining principles of the modern conservative movement — traditional values, the free market and national defense — a record that is far more solid on these core beliefs than Mr. Romney’s.” [Op-Ed, New York Times, 1/17/08]

 

McCain Has Conservative Voting Record, Has 82% Rating From The American Conservative Union. According to Foxnews.com, McCain “…has had a very conservative voting record.”  Apparently, he has a lifetime rating of 82 percent from the American Conservative Union and “…he has generally been a solid and reliable vote for the anti-abortion side, rarely wavering from his pro-life stance.” [Foxnews.com, 1/14/08]

 

Charlie Black’s Ties to Jesse Helms

 

Charlie Black got his start in politics in his native North Carolina, learning the tactics of political warfare from Senator Jesse Helms.  After helping get Helms elected to the Senate in 1972, Black moved to Washington to work in Helms’s Senate office.  He subsequently worked on or consulted for every one of Helms’s re-election bids.  As Helms’s top political operative, Black was complicit in the racially-charged campaign tactics attributed to Helms, including those used during the notorious 1990 smear campaign against Harvey Gantt, the African American former mayor of Charlotte.  Black and Helms targeted Gantt with a barrage of negative attacks, drawing national attention for their tactics.

 

CONFLICTING VIEWS OF HELMS

 

Head Of North Carolina NAACP Celebrated Helms’s Retirement, Called Him “Jim Crow Sr.” In 2001, the head of the North Carolina NAACP celebrated Helms’s announcement that he was retiring from the U.S. Senate.  The News & Record reported, “Skip Alston of Greensboro, however, could barely keep from shouting for joy.  ‘This is a great day for North Carolina,’ said Alston, president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP.  ‘Jesse Helms – Jim Crow Sr. – is about to retire after spreading his venom of racism and hate for almost 30 years.’  ‘So let’s enjoy this day, but don’t celebrate too much.  Jim Crow Sr. trained a lot of disciples.  There are a lot of Jim Crow Jr.’s out there.’” [News & Record, 8/26/01]

 

Charlie  Black Said Working For Helms, You Knew “You Were Part Of Something Bigger.” In 2002, the Associated Press reported, “‘You thought you were part of something bigger than just working for a guy,’ said Charlie B lack, one of Helms’ earliest campaign aides and Senate staffers who is now a GOP consultant and adviser to presidents.  ‘You were part of a movement.  Everybody who has worked for him knows they have something in common.’” [Associated Press State & Local Wire, 12/22/02]

 

Black On Helms Leaving The Senate: “It’s Really The End Of An Era.” “It’s really the end of an era with [Strom] Thurmond and Helms and [Phil] Gramm leaving.  They all played a key role in the Regan revolution and what Reagan was able to accomplish,” Charlie Black said.” [Associated Press State & Local Wire, 9/4/01]

 

CHARLIE BLACK WAS HELMS “PROTÉGÉ”

 

Black Worked On All Of Helms’s Campaigns And In His Senate Office. The Washington Post reported, “A native of Wilmington, N.C., Black has been a key player in each of Helms’ campaigns and worked several years on the North Carolina Republican’s Senate staff.” [Washington Post, 12/1/86]

 

Newsweek: Black is Helms Protégé. In 1991, Newsweek described Black as “an old Jesse Helms protégé.” [Newsweek, 12/16/91]

 

New York Times: Black Got His Political Education From Helms. In 1990, the New York Times reported, “It’s probably no accident that both Lee Atwater, the head of the Republican National Committee and the man often credited for George Bush’s hardball strategy in 1988, and Charles Black, who is filling in for Atwater while he battles an inoperable brain tumor, got much of their political education from Helms.” [New York Times, 10/28/90]

 

Black Served As Consultant To Helms, Bragged About Helms’s Influence. After Helms won re-election to the Senate in 1984, the Washington Post reported that “the election also reaffirms his standing as this conservative movement’s foremost spokesman, a power to be reckoned with in the Senate and throughout the nation.  ‘It’s a tremendous victory for conservatives’ Helms,’ strategist Charles Black said.  ‘It enhances his clout and influence in the Senate in the eyes of the press and his colleagues.  He’ll be even more effective than he has been.’” [Washington Post, 11/8/84]

 

BLACK WAS PAID ADVISER TO HELMS’S CONGRESSIONAL CLUB

 

After his election to the U.S. Senate in 1972 (with Charlie Black on his campaign staff), Jesse Helms founded the Congressional Club to help pay down his campaign debt.  The Congressional Club would develop into Helms’s personal political machine, supporting Helms and other conservative candidates, and growing in stature and size to become “the nation’s second-largest political action committee,” according to the Washington Post in 1985 [Washington Post, 3/31/85].  Originally called the Congressional Club of North Carolina, the group later changed its name to the National Congressional Club.  In 1993, the name was changed again to the National Conservative Club.  The committee went inactive in the late 1990s, but filed reports with the FEC until 2006.  The organization was run by long-time Helms political hand Carter Wrenn.  The Congressional Club was involved in some of the 1970s, 80s and 90s dirtiest campaigns, including the racially-charged campaigns against former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt that featured the notorious “Hands” ad.

 

Congressional Club Paid Charlie Black And His Consulting Firm As Adviser. According to Congressional Club reports filed with the FEC, the Congressional Club made payments both to Charles Black individually, and to Campaign Consultants, the consulting wing of Black, Manafort and Stone.  In filings throughout the 1990s, the Congressional Club listed debts/obligations of $5,500 to Charles Black and of $10,417.02 to Campaign Consultants, a company of Black, Manafort and Stone (Black’s consulting firm).  In the filings, both Black and his firm are listed as “consultants.”  These debts/obligations were listed in every report available on the FEC’s website, from 1993 to 2005. [Federal Election Commission, Congressional Club filings, accessed 4/24/08]

 

Congressional Club Raised Millions For Helms And Other Conservatives. The News & Record reported, “Helms, with the help of Richard Nixon’s coattails, won the seat by beating Democrat Nick Galifianakis.  [Raleigh attorney Tom] Ellis and other Helms backers then organized the Congressional Club, a political action committee, to raise money to pay off Helms’ $400,000 campaign debt.  The Congressional Club not only raised enough to pay off the debt, but it collected more than $7 million to finance Helms’ race against Democrat John Ingram in 1978.  Helms outspent Ingram 30-1, winning 56 percent of the vote.  Ellis said the Congressional Club mailed at least 10 million fund-raising letters a year during those years.  At least a million went to wealthy and conservative Orange County, Calif., he said.  ‘We were preaching to a well-heeled choir,’ he said.  With the help of Ellis and the bulging Congressional Club coffers, Helms began to change the political landscape in North Carolina and the face of conservatism in the country.” [News & Record, 8/26/01]

 

Congressional Club Created Famed Mailing List. The News & Record reported, “The mailing list of an estimated 200,000 known contributors to the Helms cause has  been so critical in past campaigns, with their huge TV advertising budgets, that it has come to be known in political circles as ‘The List.’” [News & Record, 8/7/94]

 

Congressional Club Ran North Carolina Republican Politics. The News and Observer reported, “The Congressional Club became so powerful that it often controlled the state Republican Party organization, a case of the tail wagging the dog.  When Republican governors tangled with the Congressional Club, they often lost.” [News and Observer, 8/26/01]

 

Helms Used Congressional Club To Exercise His Political Power. The New York Times reported, “In 1980, Helms campaigned in 22 states for Mr. Reagan and other G.O.P. candidates, and his unique political machine, the Congressional Club of North Carolina, raised an astonishing $4 million nationwide for the Republican standard-bearer.” [New York Times, 2/8/81]

 

Black Got Helms’s Political Machine To Back Kemp In 1988. According to the Associated Press, Charles Black, Jack Kemp’s 1988 presidential campaign manager, helped the candidate score “a much-needed coup by winning the support of the arch-conservative National Congressional Club.  The organization that raised $18 million for co-founder Jesse Helms’ re-election campaign in 1984 will make Kemp’s presidential campaign its top priority next year, executive director Carter Wrenn said. … Charlie Black, Kemp’s campaign manager and a native North Carolinian, said the support of the Helms brain trust is ‘a tremendous boost’ for Kemp. … The club, [was] founded by Helms in 1973 to retire debt from his first Senate campaign the previous year.” [Associated Press, 9/3/87]

 

Congressional Club “Hit Racist Lows” With “Hands” Ad. The News & Record reported, “Many blacks, as well as whites,  believed that Helms and the Congressional Club hit racist lows with the Helms’ campaign ‘hands’ ad in the first Helms/Harvey Gantt Senate race in 1990.” [News & Record, 8/26/01]

 

1990: BLACK ADVISED HELMS CAMPAIGN THAT RAN CONTROVERSIAL “HANDS” AD

 

In 1990, Senator Jesse Helms faced a very tough challenge from former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt, an African American.  With Charles Black again advising him, Helms ran a negative campaign that drew national attention.  In the final weeks of the campaign, Helms unleashed an ad attacking Gantt for supporting racial quotas, even though Gantt was on the record opposing racial quotes.  The ad, titled “Hands,” was widely disseminated on TV throughout the state.  It drew significant national attention, both for its controversial content and tactics, and the consensus that it likely won the race for Helms.

 

Helms And Black Made Infamous Racist Ad, “Hands.” Newsday reported that Helms, “through a series of blistering advertisements unleashed just days before, had beckoned the long-simmering issue of race to the surface of this senatorial contest.  In doing so, Helms had hurled the campaign into its most bitter and acrimonious phase to date, namely by labeling his opponent, falsely, an advocate of racial job quotas and accusing him of conducting a ‘secret campaign’ in the black community. … On the television commercial, the camera zones in on a white man’s hands, crumpling what apparently is a job rejection letter.  The announcer then intones: ‘You needed that job and you were the best qualified.  But they had to give it to a minority because of a racial quota.  Is that really fair?  Harvey Gantt says it is,’ the message continues.  ‘Gantt supports Ted Kennedy’s racial quota law that makes the color of your skin more important than your qualifications.’”  Black, an adviser to the campaign and a consultant for the Congressional Club – Helms’s political machine – insisted the race would come down to turnout: “‘What it’s going to come down to is turnout,’ said Charles Black, chairman of the Republican National Committee and a Helms adviser.  ‘It’s, no question, the biggest challenge at this point.’” [Newsday, 11/4/90]

 

 

Ad Text:

 

“You needed that job and you were the best qualified.  But they had to give it to a minority, because of a racial quota.   Is that really fair?  Harvey Gantt says it is.  Gantt supports Ted Kennedy’s racial quota law, that makes the color of your skin more important than your qualifications.  You’ll vote on this issue next Tuesday.  For racial quotas: Harvey Gantt.  Against racial quotas: Jesse Helms.” [Helms Campaign Ad, 1990]

 

Black Defended The Ad on the 11/5/90 “MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour”:

 

JIM LEHRER: Mr. Black how would you characterize what Jesse Helms has done in the last few days?

 

CHARLIE BLACK: Well there is nothing racial about the campaign. The people of North Carolina don't care what color the candidates are. This has been a classic contest between an orthodox liberal in Harvey Gant a strong conservative in Jesse Helms. They have fought out and openly debated many issues, educations, environment, national defense, spending, taxes and the so called civil rights bill which has been issue in the whole country for the past month.

 

LEHRER: So you don't see anything improper about bringing up the ad that we just saw on quotas, racial quotas?

 

BLACK: Of course not. This has been one of the biggest issues in the country recently. It was Ted Kennedy's Bill. President Bush vetoed it because it required mandatory quotas. It was something that the whole Congress has to vote on and by the way Harvey Gant first attacked Senator Helms on this issue. Senator Helms did not start that fight.

 

 

DNC CHAIR RON BROWN: I'm not hiding behind anything. You are a principal adviser of Jesse Helms. Would you advise him to run that kind of ad, Charlie? Do you approve of that ad, Charlie?

 

BLACK: I advised Jesse Helms to do what he's always done, which is take strong principled positions and then run on them, and that's what he's done. [MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, 11/5/90]

 

THE MEDIA DENOUNCED THE “HANDS” AD

 

Time Magazine: Helms Engaged In “Racial Politics.” Time reported, “The contest between Republican Jesse Helms and his black Democratic challenger Harvey Gantt attracted more national attention than any other Senate election because it posed a primal question: Was Helms’ brand of racial politics finally obsolete?  In electing Helms to a fourth term last week, North Carolina gave a clear answer: not yet, not even in a state regarded as one of the most progressive in the South. … The most effective blow came eight days before the election.  A widely broadcast commercial that was quickly dubbed the ‘white hands’ spot showed the hands of a worker crumpling a letter of rejection. … Said professor Merle Black of Emory University: ‘It was a 1990s version of ‘Wake up, white people,’’ a motto of white supremacists 40 years ago.” [Time, 11/19/90]

 

Richard Cohen: Helms “Donned The Sheet That Could Not Be Seen.” In a Washington Post editorial, Richard Cohen wrote, “Helms was not discussing affirmative action at all -- not in a way that makes sense. Instead, he was attempting to polarize his state along racial lines, something he has done before. A clear opponent of every civil rights bill ever to come down the pike, a racial trouble-izer of the first order (Jesse Jackson is a-coming, he warned his constituents), Helms was in no way discussing affirmative action. Instead, he donned the sheet that could not be seen.” [Washington Post, 11/8/90]

 

Michael Kinsley: Ad Promoted “Simple Racism Against Gantt.” In an essay in Time, Michael Kinsley wrote, “No doubt these ads were intended in part to promote simple racism against Gantt, who is black, and no doubt they succeeded.” [Time, 11/19/90]

 

Boston Globe: Helms Engaging in “Racially Divisive Tactics.” The Boston Globe reported, “Fighting for his political life, Republican Jesse Helms has returned to the racially divisive tactics that characterized his start in politics 40 years ago.” [Boston Globe, 11/4/90]

 

 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Headline. “GOP Deserves Shame For Not Booting Helms.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 11/9/90]

 

Washington Post Columnist Mary McGrory: Helms Wrapped Racism In Quota Issue. In an editorial, Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory wrote, “But money could have made the critical difference in the Senate heartbreaker in North Carolina, where backward-looking Jesse Helms fought Harvey Gantt with three times the money at Gantt’s disposal.  Many bucks went into commercials that brought home the sad truth that the race issue is not dead.  Wrapping the question of reverse discrimination in the semi-respectable plan-brown wrapper of ‘quotas,’ Helms drove back the most attractive, comosed [sic], non-aggrieved black candidate probably ever on the national scene.” [Newsday, 11/9/90]

 

BLACK ADVISED HELMS IN CAMPAIGN AGAINST BLACK CANDIDATE THAT WAS ACUSED OF RACISM

 

Helms On His Opponent: “‘If He Thinks We’re Going To Keep’ Our Mouths ‘Shut Because He’s Black…Then He’s Got A Problem.” In 1990, the Boston Globe reported, “Over the last week, Helms has come out swinging, with most punches aimed at racial targets.  First he accused Gantt of waging a ‘secret’ campaign by running special ads on black radio stations.  Then he dredged up old charges that Gantt used his ‘minority status’ to win a television license, then sold it for a huge profit.  He also is running ads linking Gantt to Rev. Jesse L. Jackson.  When Gantt charged Helms with ‘race-baiting,’ the senator fired back that ‘if he thinks we’re going to keep’ our mouths ‘shut because he’s b lack…then he’s got a problem.’  North Carolina reporters have dogged helms about his negative ads and pointed out inaccuracies.  But analysts say undecided voters may find the racial pitch appealing, especially because it is couched as opposition to quotas rather than over racism.” [Boston Globe, 11/4/90, emphasis added]

 

Black Advised Helms In Campaign That Used “Subtle Color Message.” The New York Times reported, “There have also been allegations from some Democrats, including the state Democratic chairman, E. Lawrence Davis 3d [sic], that the Helms campaign has included ‘a subtle color message’ in some of its advertising and fund-raising literature.  Democrats cite the heavy use of Mr. Gantt’s and Mr. Helms’s photographs in the Helms advertising, the use of phrases like ‘extremely different’ to describe Mr. Gantt, and the frequent references to other blacks.  One Helms television commercial uses footage of Mr. Gantt’s campaign manager, who is black.  One of the Helms campaign’s bumper stickers declares, ‘Jesse – Helms, that is.’  A Helms fund-raising letter, made available by the North Carolina Democratic Party, talks about the joy that a Helms defeat would bring to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, ‘liberal reporters,’ the Soviets and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.”  The same article quoted Black, borrowing some of the buzz words above: “‘North Carolina is basically a state where the majority hold conservative values,’ said Charles Black, a Republican consultant who is advising Senator Helms.  ‘If they understand the difference they’ll go with the conservative.’” [New York Times, 9/23/90, emphasis added]

 

  • Black Defended Helms Against Racism Charges. The New York Times reported, “Charles Black, the chief spokesman for the Republican National Committee, denied that Mr. Helms was injecting race into the campaign.” [New York Times, 11/5/90]

 

Dick Gephardt Compared Helms Race To David Duke’s Campaign. The Associated Press reported, “‘The campaign that Jesse Helms is running is not a lot different than the campaign that David Duke ran in Louisiana,’ said House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-MO.  Duke is a former Ku Klux Klan leader who lost in Louisiana’s Senate race in October.  ‘The message…clearly has racial overtones.  It is clearly designed to appeal to people’s prejudice,’ Gephardt said on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’” [Associated Press, 11/5/90]

 

Amid Charges of Racism, Black Defended Campaign As “A Conservative Won Over A Liberal.” USA Today reported, “Gantt backers attributed their loss to a racially tinged ad campaign that underscored the economic vulnerabilities of middle-class voters and the anti-tax, anti-government sentiments of wealthier ones.  GOP officials defended Helms’ campaign.  ‘In North Carolina, the story was simply that a conservative won over a liberal,’ said Republican National Committee spokesman Charles Black.  But some observers saw Helms as part of a Southern conservative fringe – along with Alabama Gov. Guy Hunt, a Republican who was also re-elected, and Louisiana state Rep. David Duke – that relied on tactics born in a deep South many thought had vanished.” [USA Today, 11/8/90, emphasis added]

 

Helms Used “Race As A Campaign Theme,” Sent Anti-Jesse Jackson Mail. The Washington Post reported, “More than any other incumbent senator, Helms represents the old South.  ‘He’s a Republican version of George Wallace,’ said Emory University political scientists Merle Black.  And like the former Alabama governor, Helms has demonstrated a consistent willingness to use race as a campaign theme.  This history extends from the 1960s when he denounced as ‘humbug’ the civil rights chant of freedom now’ to the warnings in his current direct mail that black civil rights leader Jesse L. Jackson ‘will soon have thousands of Rainbow Coalition ‘activists’ roaming the streets of virtually every small town.’” [Washington Post, 10/5/90, emphasis added]

 

With Black Advising Him, Helms Ran Commercials Playing On Race And Homophobia. The New York Times reported, “After putting Mr. Helms on the defensive on issues like education and the environment, Mr. Gantt has suddenly found himself on the receiving end of a vintage Helms attack.  The new Helms commercials accuse Mr. Gantt of running a ‘secret campaign’ in homosexual communities and of being committed to mandatory gay rights laws’ including ‘requiring local schools to hire gay teachers.’ … A similar commercial being broadcast on radio accuses Mr. Gantt of running another ‘secret campaign’ aimed at black radio stations.  ‘Why doesn’t Harvey Gantt run his ad on all radio stations, so everyone can hear it, instead of just on black radio stations?’ the announcer asks.  ‘Doesn’t Harvey Gantt want everyone to vote?’” [New York Times, 10/31/90, emphasis added]

 

Helms Falsely Accused Black Candidate Of Using Affirmative Action Program. The Washington Post reported, “At the core of the Helms attack has been the charge that a partnership that included Gantt made use of a Federal Communications Commission racial preference program to obtain a television license,” however “the racial preference program played no part in the FCC’s final decision, according to William Johnson, deputy administrator of the mass media division.”  When it was brought to light that two Helms advisers had advised other clients of theirs “to use the same FCC racial preference rules,” Black came to their defense, arguing that the two Helms advisers didn’t have “a financial interests in the radio station license application” in question, unlike the black candidate he and Helms had attacked. [Washington Post, 11/4/90]

 

UNC Political Scientist: Helms Ads “Tied To The Racial Issues.” Newsday reported, “And in a race awash in irony – a man who got his political start working for a segregationist candidate struggling against one who could become the first black U.S. senator in North Carolina since Reconstruction – hardball it has been.  ‘It’s been an onslaught, really,’ marveled Thad Beyle, a political scientist at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.  In fact, he said, ‘A lot of people who thought Harvey Gantt might sneak this one away [from Helms] are now sort of re-evaluating it…Helms’ ads have been so constant and so consistently tied to the racial issue that, frankly, they’re just hard to blunt.’” [Newsday, 11/4/90]

 

Black-Run Helms Campaign Compared To That Of David Duke. The New York Times reported, “Mr. Helms has transformed his neck-and-neck battle with Mr. Gantt, who is seeking to become the South’s first black Senator since Reconstruction, with a barrage of racially explicit advertisements and campaign speeches.  Much of the message differs little from Mr. Duke’s campaign theme that blacks are getting preferential treatment at the expense of more qualified whites. … In speeches, he has accented other racial messages, like an accusation that Mr. Gantt is waging his own racial campaign by advertising on black radio stations.  ‘Everything’s a smear campaign,’ to Mr. Gantt, Mr. Helms told reporters last week.  ‘He just can’t take it.’” [New York Times, 11/5/90]

 

Newsweek: Helms Ally Used Racial Slur And Made Anti-Semitic Comment. In 1990, Newsweek reported that Kinston, North Carolina, businessman and Jesse Helms supporter C.W. Palmer said, “He’d give it away to the hippies, the Jews, the niggers.”  Palmer was referring to “what black senatorial candidate Harvey Gantt would have done with tax dollars.” [Newsweek, 11/19/90]

 

BLACK AND HELMS FORMED CONSERVATIVE GROUP

 

Black Approached Helms About Forming NCPAC. The New York Times reported, “Another development of the mid-1970’s [sic] was the emergence of political-action groups dedicated to replacing liberals with conservatives.  The Conservative Caucus, for instance, was born in a memorandum written to Jesse Helms by a political aide, South Carolinian John Carbaugh.  Howard Phillips, then working in Helms’s office, became its director.  At about the same time, two disillusioned young political organizers, John T. (Terry) Dolan and Charles Black, approached Helms with a concept for a national conservative campaign-financing organization.  Helms sent a confidential memo to key people on the right and Nickpack was born.  In 1980, Nickpack was the organizing force that helped defeat four liberal Democratic Senators: Birch Bayh, John Culver, Frank Church and George McGovern.” [New York Times, 2/8/81]

 

Black Led NCPAC In Late 1970s. In 1977, the Washington Post reported that Black was “now head of the National Conservative Political Action Committee.”  In 1985, the Post reported that “Black and [partner Roger Stone] were the founders of the National Conservative Political Action Committee in 1975, with [Terry] Dolan.” [Washington Post, 3/6/77; Washington Post, 4/7/85]

 

  • Senator Jesse Helms Was “Prime Mover” of NCPAC. In 1980, the Washington Post reported quoted Terry Dolan, then chairman of NPAC: “Helms was ‘the prime mover. He gave us credibility.’  A huge stockpile of lists and names in Viguerie’s and Helms’ possession were fed into the NCPAC operation.  ‘Helms just went to his magic computer,’ says Dolan.  ‘It is a perfect list for anti-abortion, anti-ERA, anti-gun control and pro-Human Events (magazine).’” [Washington Post, 8/10/80] 

 

BLACK’S CAMPIAGNING HAS TARGETED GAYS AND BLACK HAS MADE CONTROVERSIAL GAY COMMENTS

 

Black Said Gay Rights has no Place in GOP. In 1992, Judy Woodruff reported that, “Campaign official Charles Black and Pat Buchanan have both said in the last 24 hours, ‘Those who favor rights for homosexuals have no place in the Republican Party.” [MacNeil/Lehrer Newshours, 8/19/92]

 

Black Linked Opponent to Gay Stripper. The Washington Post reported, “Black, who served as campaign strategist for [Phil] Gramm’s successful fight for a Texas Senate seat against Democrat Lloyd Doggett in the recent election, recalled: ‘Doggett got the endorsement of the big gay PAC in San Antonio.  That wasn’t unusual, but then we got onto the fact that the gays had a male strip show at some bar and Doggett takes that money.  That became a matter of his judgment, so we rolled it out there.’” [Washington Post, 4/7/85, emphasis added]

 

  • 1989: Black Reminisced About Good Old Days When You Could Say Anything In An Ad. In 1989, the Washington Post reported, “‘In terms of being able to distort or mislead people, you’re never running in the clear,’ said Republican consultant Charlie Black, one of the few who think the standards of truthfulness have become tighter. ‘Back in the 1970s, you could say all kinds of outrageous things.  Now, in almost any state you go into, you’ve got at least one, maybe four or five state newspapers that will call your hand.  Some of these state capital press corps are tougher than the national guys.” [Washington Post, 1/17/89]

 

 

 

John McCain: Playing Election year politics with the housing crisis

 

“I will not play election-year politics with the housing crisis.”

– John McCain, California Housing Speech, 3/25/08

 

But that’s exactly what McCain has done.  After months of ignoring the economy and the growing housing crisis, in late March McCain finally admitted there was a problem but refused to provide a plan for the federal government to address it.  Instead, he blamed homeowners for acting irresponsibly and landing in one of the most serious economic crises since the Great Depression.  The pushback against McCain was loud and clear – Americans didn’t like what they heard.  With negative news stories focusing on McCain’s non-plan to address the housing crisis, McCain has don’t exactly what he said he wouldn’t – he played election year politics by changing his policy and trying to pull the wool over the eyes of American families.  On April 10, McCain gave a second speech on housing, changing course in response to the negative reaction to his non-plan to deal with the crisis.  The differences in his rhetoric are stark:

 

McCain can’t have it both ways.  Does he oppose government intervention for irresponsible homeowners who landed themselves in this situation, as he said in March, or does he support the federal government stepping in to help preserve the American dream?

 

March 24: McCain’s Top Economic Aide Warms Up “Tough Love” Message

 

Top McCain Economic Adviser: No Assistance To Those Who Failed In Assessing Credit Risks. In an editorial published in the Washington Post, McCain’s top economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, wrote that one of the principles McCain will apply in addressing the mortgage crisis would be that “No taxpayer dollars should bail out real estate speculators or financial market participants who failed to do due diligence in assessing credit risks.” [Washington Post, 3/24/08, emphasis added]

 

March 25: McCain Rejects Assistance For Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

 

On March 25, 2008, McCain gave what was billed as a major speech on the economy and the subprime mortgage crisis, ending months of McCain ignoring the issues outright.  In his speech, McCain argued against federal assistance for homeowners facing foreclosure, saying families that acted “irresponsibly” should not be rewarded.  While other public figures called for compassion and assistance to help struggling families maintain their piece of the American dream, McCain decided to blame the victims, calling homeowners facing foreclosure “irresponsible”:

 

“I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.” [McCain Housing Speech, 3/25/08, emphasis added]

 

“Any assistance must be temporary and must not reward people who were irresponsible at the expense of those who weren't.” [McCain Housing Speech, 3/25/08, emphasis added]

 

Amazingly, McCain claimed that homeowners should rely on the lenders, those responsible for the mortgage meltdown and the current crisis, to come up with solutions:

 

“We should also convene a meeting of the nation's top mortgage lenders. Working together, they should pledge to provide maximum support and help to their cash-strapped, but credit worthy customers. They should pledge to do everything possible to keep families in their homes and businesses growing.” [McCain Housing Speech, 3/25/08]

 

Ironically, McCain also declared that he would stick to his guns on the issue and would not change his position, boldly declaring:

 

I will not play election year politics with the housing crisis.” [McCain Housing Speech, 3/25/08]

 

March 25: McCain Gives Bear Stearns Bailout Stamp Of Approval

 

The same day as McCain’s housing speech, he gave his stamp of approval to the Federal Reserve’s bailout of Wall Street giant Bear Stearns

 

March 25: McCain Repeats Rhetoric On Wall Street Bailouts, But Says Bear Stearns Bailout OK. The Seattle Times reported that McCain criticized government bailouts, but “said the Federal Reserve’s bailout of Bear Stearns met his criteria.” [Seattle Times, 3/26/08]

 

  • New York Times: McCain Shows Double Standard On Bailout. The New York Times editorialized, “And then there is the double standard. He [McCain] seemed less concerned about the government helping reckless bankers, endorsing its role in preventing the bankruptcy of Bear Stearns.”  While he supported a government bailout of Bear Stearns, McCain warned against helping “undeserving” homeowners. [New York Times, 3/27/08]

 

March 26- 27: Media Slams McCain’s Housing Speech

 

New York Times Headline: “Unlike Rivals, McCain Rejects Broad U.S. Aid On Mortgages.” The New York Times reported, “Drawing a sharp distinction between himself and the two Democratic presidential candidates, Senator John McCain of Arizona warned Tuesday against vigorous government action to solve the deepening mortgage crisis and the market turmoil it has caused, saying that ‘it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.’” [New York Times, 3/26/08]

 

  • McCain Blamed Homeowners. According to the New York Times, “But in a departure from Democrats, who have focused on the lending industry’s role in the crisis, Mr. McCain suggested that some homeowners had also engaged in dangerous practices, including borrowing too much in hopes that a rising market would cover their mortgages. [New York Times, 3/26/08]

 

  • McCain’s Plan Offered Less Assistance Than Bush’s. The New York Times reported, “Overall, the approach Mr. McCain suggested is even more cautious about federal intervention than that of President Bush. The Bush administration is looking to lower down payment requirements, at least temporarily.  McCain said that he opposed reducing the down payment required for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration, a step mean to revitalize slumping house sales.” [New York Times, 3/26/08]

 

McCain Rejected “Activist Approaches” To Mortgage Crisis, Placed Blame On Homeowners. The Los Angeles Times reported, “John McCain said Tuesday that he understood Americans’ anger about the mortgage foreclosure crisis and was open to ideas for addressing the problem,  but he rejected the sort of activist approaches proposed by his Democratic rivals for the presidency. … McCain – who has been trying to shore up his economic credentials – placed some of the blame on homeowners themselves, while also scolding ‘complacent’ lenders.” [Los Angeles Times, 3/26/08, emphasis added]

 

Boston Globe Describes McCain Plan as “Tough Love” For Struggling Families. The Boston Globe reported, “John McCain offered some small-government tough love yesterday in his first major speech on the economy after returning from a tour abroad.” [Boston Globe, 3/26/08]

 

McCain Said Mortgage Lenders, Not Government, Should Help Homeowners. The Sacramento Bee reported, “Sen. John McCain, R. Ariz., on Tuesday called for mortgage lenders to help struggling homeowners stay in their homes but said government’s role should be temporary and limited.  ‘It is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether it’s big banks or small b orrowers,’ McCain said in a speech in Santa Ana.”  [Sacramento Bee, 3/26/08]

 

McCain Opposes Plan For Mortgage Guarantees. The Seattle Times reported, “McCain advisers said the candidate frowns on legislation being prepared by Democrats that would have the government provide up to $400 billion in guarantees for mortgages that lenders agree to modify.  Regarding direct federal assistance to homeowners, McCain drew a sharp contrast with his Democratic rivals.  Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., on Monday proposed a $30 billion federal fund to help communities aid pressed homeowners.  Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., proposed a similar $10 billion fund.  McCain adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin rejected the type of foreclosure moratorium Clinton has pushed, saying it doesn’t ‘address why someone is in foreclosure.’  ‘As harsh as it may sound, that may be an appropriate outcome in some cases,’ he said.” [Seattle Times, 3/26/08]

 

New York Times Editorial: McCain Proposes “The Last Thing The Nation Needs.” The New York Times editorialized, “With foreclosures surging, the last thing the nation needs is another government-hosted meeting where mortgage lenders pledge once again to do their utmost to help distressed borrowers stay in their homes – and then go back to the business of foreclosure.  Yet, a meeting and a round of pledges is exactly what Senator John McCain called for on Tuesday, as if the country had not been down that fruitless road already.  The real core of his speech was his argument against government action to help dig distressed homeowners – or the country – out of the mortgage mess.  Mr. McCain’s talk therapy will not ease, let alone end, the worst foreclosure crisis since the Depression or the financial crisis that has erupted in its wake.  But worse yet is what it says about the presumptive Republican nominee’s view of the economy and the government’s responsibility to protect and help its citizens.” [New York Times, 3/27/08]

 

  • McCain “Mean-Spirited And Economically Naïve.” The New York Times editorialized that McCain’s “suggestion that federal aid might wrongly reward ‘undeserving’ homeowners sounded both mean-spirited and economically naïve.” [New York Times, 3/27/08]

 

McCain: Open To Assistance But Little Patience For The “Irresponsible.” The Washington Post reported, “McCain said he remained open to a wide range of solutions to the present financial turmoil, including government assistance, while making clear that his patience for a bailout would be very short.  ‘Any assistance must be temporary and must not reward people who were irresponsible at the expense of those who weren’t,’ he said.” [Washington Post, 3/26/08, emphasis added]

 

March 27: Plain Dealer Said McCain Played Election Year Politics With Its Endorsement

 

McCain Played Election Year Politics With Housing Crisis In Ohio. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported, “Despite his criticism this week of government intervention in the mortgage and foreclosure crisis, Republican presidential candidate John McCain sounded friendlier toward struggling homeowners last month when he campaigned in Ohio.  ‘I think there is some tough love here, but I think there’s got to be some love as well,’ McCain said in a Feb. 7 phone interview with Plain Dealer editors.  The presumptive Republican nominee, who described himself as a ‘Roosevelt Republican’ during the interview, said he was willing to ‘provide more relief’ to homeowners who can’t afford increases in mortgages because of their adjustable interest rates.  That’s a different tone from the rhetoric he used Tuesday during a speech in which he suggested homeowners facing foreclosure have only themselves to blame.” [Plain Dealer, 3/28/08]

 

  • Plain Dealer Said McCain Was Seeking Endorsement Before Primary. The Plain Dealer reported, “But seeking the Plain Dealer endorsement leading up to Ohio’s March 4 primary, McCain struck a more sympathetic tone. Northeast Ohio had the sixth largest foreclosure in the nation last year, according to a recent analysis, and three other metro areas in the state were in the top 20.” [Plain Dealer, 3/28/08]

 

  • McCain Told Plain Dealer: “I Would Be More Than Happy To Work Out Ways” To Help People In Mortgage Crisis. In an interview with the Plain Dealer’s editorial board on February 7, McCain said, “When I say pare down government… I’m not talking about cutting back on the essentials of government and the part of government that is necessary to help our economy and people in need…I would be more than happy to work out ways so that we could quickly, and there’s I think two million was the last number I saw, of homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes, that they could get relief from doing so.” [Plain Dealer, 2/7/08]

 

March 31: NY Daily News Reveals McCain Aides Lobby For “Shady Lender”

 

New York Daily News Revealed Green and Berman Lobbied for Ameriquest. On March 31, the Daily News reported, “When Sen. John McCain addressed the nation’s burgeoning mortgage mess last week, he insisted it was time for a little ‘straight talk.’  ‘I will not play election-year politics with the housing crisis,’ the GOP presidential hopeful insisted while unveiling his plan, which many have since described as friendlier to the mortgage industry than the Democrats’ proposals.  What McCain did not say – which some believe smacks of politics – is that two of his top advisers were recently lobbyists for a notorious lender in the mortgage meltdown.  John Green, the senator’s chief liaison to Congress, and Wayne Berman, his national finance co-chairman, billed more than $720,000 in lobbying fees from 2005 through last year to Ameriquest Mortgage through their lobbying firm, disclosure forms reviewed by the Daily News show.” [Daily News, 3/31/08]

 

April 2: Concern About McCain Economic Advisers Continues

 

Washington Post Sheds Light On Gramm’s Role Leading To Housing Crisis. The Washington Post reported on the influence of currently lobbyist and former Texas Senator Phil Gramm on McCain’s economic policies.  The Post highlighted “Gramm’s aggressive efforts when he was chairman of the Senate Banking Committee to deregulate the banking and financial services industry.  That culminated in passage in 1999 of a sweeping financial services law that tore down the Depression-era Glass-Steagall wall separating regulated commercial banks from largely unregulated investment banks.  And little regulation was put in place to replace it. … To many liberal economists, Gramm’s efforts set the stage for the current crisis.  Lending by noncommercial banks has soared, to about 70 percent of total lending.  Investment banks, including Bear Stearns, grew too large to be allowed to fail.” [Washington Post, 4/2/08]

 

April 3: CBS/NYT And Gallup Polls Show Housing At Top Of Americans’ Agenda

 

CBS/NYT Poll Shows Housing Crisis Is Top Economic Issue. A CBS/New York Times poll released on April 3 revealed that 14 percent of Americans “named housing and the home mortgage crises” as the most important economic problem facing the country. [CBS News, 4/3/08]

 

Gallup Poll Shows Majority Of Americans Favor Federal Help For Mortgage Crisis. A Gallup poll released on April 3 showed “that 6 in 10 Americans oppose the federal government taking steps to help prevent major Wall Street investment companies from failing,” but that “In sharp contrast to their opposition o helping Wall Street investment companies, Americans – by a margin of 56% to 42% - support having the federal government take steps to help prevent people from losing their homes b because they can’t pay their mortgages.”  [Gallup, 4/3/08]

 

April 10: McCain Plays Election Year Politics, Backtracks On Housing Plan

 

After two weeks of criticism about his non-plan for addressing the housing crisis, McCain did exactly what he said he would not – he played election year politics and changed his position.  While he had previously warned against federal government intervention to aid homeowners he called “irresponsible,” McCain sang a very different tune on April 10, arguing for extensive government intervention:

 

“But let me make it clear that in these challenging times, I am committed to using all the resources of this government and great nation to create opportunity and make sure that every deserving American has a good job and can achieve their American dream.” [McCain Housing Speech, 4/10/08, emphasis added]

 

Aside from a general reversal on the role of the federal government, McCain also flip-flopped on the details of allowing homeowners to trade in their mortgage:

 

“I believe a more robust, timely and targeted effort is my HOME plan.  It offers every deserving American family or homeowner the opportunity to trade a burdensome mortgage for a manageable loan that reflects the market value of their home.” [McCain Housing Speech, 4/10/08, emphasis added]

 

April 10-11: McCain Called Out For Change Of Tone

 

Wall Street Journal: McCain Rejects Prior Approach And Calls For “Aggressive Federal Government Role.” The Wall Street Journal reported, “John McCain called for an aggressive federal government role aimed at stabilizing the housing market, rejecting a largely hands-off approach he outlined two weeks ago. … Most significantly, he urged the federal government to guarantee new mortgages for homeowners at risk of foreclosure.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/11/08]

 

  • WSJ: “McCain’s New Housing Approach Represents A Major Shift.” The Wall Street Journal reported, “Sen. McCain’s new housing approach represents a major shift from the one he laid out in his speech two weeks ago, when he emphasized his opposition to any sort of government bailout for people who made bad decisions.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/11/08]

 

New York Times Headline: “McCain Reverses Himself on Mortgage Position.” The New York Times reported, “Senator John McCain, who drew criticism last month after he warned against broad government intervention to solve the deepening mortgage crisis, pivoted Thursday and called for the federal government to aid some homeowners in danger of losing their homes, by helping them to refinance and get federally guaranteed 30-year mortgages.”  McCain “had been painted as uncaring by Democrats, and drew murmurs of concern from some Republicans” over his hands off approach outlined on March 25.  “Since then, he has gone out of his way to try to signal that he understand that times are tough and that people are hurting.  His speech in Brooklyn – which is to be followed by what aides are billing as a major economic address next week – was a shift in tone, and part of a new effort to communicate that as president he would act to help Americans in financial distress. … In both tone and substance, Mr. McCain’s speech was a departure from the remarks he made last month in California.” [New York Times, 4/11/08, emphasis added]

 

Los Angeles Times: “A Shift In Tone From McCain’s Admonition Two Weeks Ago.” The Los Angeles Times reported, “The proposals marked a shift in tone from McCain’s admonition two weeks ago against adopting a mortgage plan that would be a ‘multibillion-dollar bailout for big banks and speculators.’” [Los Angeles Times, 4/11/08]  

 

Facing Criticism On Housing Plan, McCain Changes His Tune. The Washington Post reported, “Two weeks after drawing criticism for saying he favored only a limited federal role to help deal with the home mortgage crisis, Republican presidential candidate John McCain sought to assure Americans he is prepared to use the government where necessary to help ease the impact on working families of a declining economy. … McCain proposed a federal program that would require individual homeowners to seek help from the federal government and, if they qualified, enable them to restructure mortgages and stay in their homes.” [Washington Post, 4/11/08]

 

McCain Proposed Allowing Subprime Borrowers To Trade In Loans. American Banker reported, “Sen. John McCain – who just two weeks ago resisted broader intervention to stem the housing crisis, changed tack Thursday, proposing a plan that would ask the government to insure delinquent subprime loans.  The Republican presidential nominee called for the creation of a ‘HOME plan’ that would let subprime borrowers trade in their loans for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration.  His plan is similar in concept to rival proposals from the Bush administration and Democratic leaders, both of which have already drawn fire from congressional Republicans who fear it would expose taxpayers to significant losses.  Like those plans, Sen. McCain’s would ask lenders to take a haircut by writing down the mortgages below current market values.” [American Banker, 4/10/08]

 

American Banker: “McCain’s Views On The Housing Crisis Appear To Be Evolving Quickly.” American Banker reported, “Sen. McCain’s views on the housing crisis appear to be evolving quickly.  In a speech two weeks ago in California, he outlined his views on the housing crisis for the first time.  Though focusing on the need to help ‘deserving homeowners,’ he offered few details and declared that ‘it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.’  Thursday’s speech, though appeared aimed at showing that Sen. McCain now thinks a solution is needed beyond what other Republicans have offered.” [American Banker, 4/10/08]

 

Conservatives Attack McCain For Shift. The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder reported that conservatives are not happy with McCain’s new take on the housing crisis: “‘Hey, remember when I praised McCain’s housing stance,’ asks Michelle Malkin today.  ‘Well, forget it.’  The conservative commentator does not like McCain’s proposal today in which the federal government takes in and guarantees qualified subprime mortgages.  It strikes her as much more activist than the principles he staked out two weeks ago.  Indeed, it strikes just about everyone as more activist than the principles he staked out two weeks ago.” [Atlantic, 4/10/08]

 

 

 

Advisers

 

 

Arthur Culvahouse

 

McCain Tapped Lobbyist Arthur Culvahouse To Run V.P. Search. The Hill reported, “Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has tapped a former Reagan administration official to head his campaign’s search for a vice presidential nominee.  Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) told the Hill that Arthur Culvahouse, who was Reagan’s White House Counsel from March 1987 to January 1989, will be helping McCain vet candidates and develop a list. … Culvahouse is a partner at O’Melveny & Myers and works in the law firm’s Washington, DC office. … The Senate Office of Public Records does not list him as a current lobbyist though he did lobby for Lockheed Martin in 1999 and Fannie Mae in 2005.” [The Hill, 5/23/08]

 

  • Culvahouse De-Registered As A Lobbyist Only One-Month Before McCain Announced His Appointment. The Hill reported, “Last month, O’Melveny & Myers submitted a document to the Senate records office stating that Culvahouse no longer lobbies for the Civil Justice Reform Group, which has pressed Congress to pass tort reform.” [The Hill, 5/23/08]

 

Culvahouse Lobbied To Get Lockheed Martin Federal Funding. Senate Lobbying Disclosure records show that lobbying for Lockheed Martin in 1999, Culvahouse lobbied the U.S. House and Senate about S. 469, the Commercial Space Transportation Cost Reduction Act.  According to the bill’s Congressional Research Service summary, Title I of the legislation would have established “the U.S. Commercial Space Transportation Vehicle Industry Loan Guarantee program to provide loan guarantees to support the private development of multiple qualified U.S. commercial space transportation vehicle providers with launch costs significantly below current levels.” [S. 469, 106th Congress]

 

Culvahouse Lobbied To Make It “Difficult, If Not Impossible,” To Bring Class-Action Suits Against Big Tobacco & Gun Makers. The New York Times reported, “The House of Representatives approved legislation today that would make it difficult, if not impossible, to bring large class-action lawsuits against tobacco companies, gun makers and a wide variety of other business. … The organizations pushing for the legislation include some of the nation’s most significant business interests, including the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Chemical Manufacturers Association, DaimlerChyrsler and General Motors, the International Mass Retail Association, Pfizer, Philip Morris, and Procter & Gamble.  Lobbyists working for the measure have included Jack Quinn, a former White House counsel in the Clinton Administration, and Arthur Culvahouse Jr., a former White House counsel to President Ronald Reagan.” [New York Times, 9/24/99, emphasis added]

 

McSame: Culvahouse Was Appointed By Bush To Intelligence Panel

 

2006: Bush Appointed Culvahouse To Intelligence Oversight Board Along With Other Bush Loyalists. In April 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported, “For more than half of President Bush’s firm term, the Intelligence Oversight Board had no members  because Bush did not appoint anyone to it. … Since October [2005], Bush has named a completely new oversight board, headed by Stephen Friedman, a New York investment banker who was previously an economic adviser to the president and who also had service on PFIAB under Clinton.  Other members are Arthur Culvahouse, a Washington lawyer and former Reagan White House counsel; David Jeremiah, a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff a now a Washington defense industry consultant; and Don Evans, Bush longtime friend and a former commerce secretary.” [Chicago Tribune, 4/3/06]

 

McExtremeist: Culvahouse Was SCOTUS Nominee Robert Bork’s “Handler,” And Regretted Not Adequately Preparing Him

 

Culvahouse Said His “Biggest Regret” Was Not Adequately Preparing Bork For Supreme Court Nomination. The Contra Costa Times reported, “Former Reagan White House Counsel Arthur Culvahouse, Bork’s handler, has said his biggest regret from those years is his failure to prepare the nominee for the partisan hostility he experienced.” [Contra Costa Times, 10/16/05]

 

  • McCain Voted to Confirm Robert Bork. On October 23, 1987, McCain voted to confirm Robert H. Bork, of the District of Columbia, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. [Vote #348, 10/23/87]

 

  • McCain Supported Nomination of Robert Bork McCain said, “I believe Robert Bork is well qualified in all four respects and observed Judge Bork in his capacity as solicitor general and federal court of appeals judge,” said McCain. He criticized what he called “the tactics of distortion, hysteria and politicized paranoia that many of the special interests have used and exploited to oppose this man.” [Associated Press, 10/2/1987]

 

Frank Donatelli

 

Two days after securing enough delegates to clinch the Republican nomination for president, John McCain installed lobbyist Frank Donatelli as the new deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee, where he will serve as the chief liaison between the Republican Party and the McCain Campaign.  Donatelli took a leave of absence as a lobbyist at the high-power Washington lobbying firm of McGuire Woods to run McCain’s effort at the RNC.  Previously, Donatelli was a lobbyist at another high-profile firm, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.  According to his official firm bio, Donatelli also assisted in the controversial Florida recount on behalf of Bush-Cheney in 2000. 

 

McCain Tapped Lobbyist Frank Donatelli To Run His Efforts At RNC. McCain tapped lobbyist Frank Donatelli to become deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee.  The New York Times reported Donatelli will “act as the main liaison between the committee and the McCain campaign.”  At the time of his appointment, Donatelli was a lobbyist at McGuire Woods and previously served as a lobbyist at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.  His clients have included AT&T, Exxon Mobil, PhRMA, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Verizon. [New York Times, 3/7/08; McGuire Woods, accessed 5/12/08; Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 5/12/08]

 

Donatelli Lobbied For Ethiopia

 

Donatelli Enlisted to Improve Ethiopia’s Relationship with U.S. In a September 2005 letter sent to Ambassador Kassahun Ayele of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Donatelli set forth his obligations under their contract, namely to provide “government relations and related public communications services to assist and work with Ethiopia in Washington, D.C., in promoting and strengthening Ethiopia’s relations with the United States and, in general, providing such other appropriate advice and assistance as will serve to achieve these purposes.” [FARA Database, accessed 3/18/08, Letter signed by Frank Donatelli on 9/6/05]

 

  • Donatelli Lobbied For Ethiopia During Period Human Rights Watch Cited Government Brutality And Corruption. In 2005, the year Donatelli signed on to lobby for the government of Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch observed, “The aftermath of Ethiopia’s landmark May 2005 parliamentary elections has laid bare the deeply entrenched patterns of political repression, human rights abuse and impunity that characterize the day-to-day reality of governance in much of the country. This dispiriting reality has come as a shock to many international observers who had viewed the electoral process with a great deal of optimism. The run-up to the May elections witnessed displays of openness and genuine political competition unprecedented in Ethiopia’s long history. But many Ethiopians experienced these limited openings in a context still dominated by heavy-handed government efforts to suppress and punish any form of political dissent. Worse, the aftermath of the May elections has been marred by seemingly intractable controversy and displays of government brutality that threaten to reverse the gains yielded by the electoral process.” [Human Rights Watch, 1/18/06, emphasis added]

 

Donatelli’s Other Clients

 

Frank Donatelli has represented special interest clients in the oil, pharmaceutical, telecom and other industries, including:

 

American Airlines

AT&T

Exxon Mobil

PhRMA

Pfizer

Republic of Korea

Verizon

Knoll Pharmaceutical Co.

National Basketball Association

National Hockey League

Nehemiah Corp.

Pegasus Capital Advisors

Samsung Electronics

Time Warner

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Dominion Resources

Eastman Chemical

Inova Health System

Maersk Inc.

CSX

 

 

Donatelli has also represented a number of local governments and authorities.  Lobbyist work for these clients typically focuses around securing congressional earmarks, which McCain says he opposes.  Donatelli’s clients have included:

 

Cities of Richmond & Lynchburg, VA

City of Alexandria, VA Sanitation Authority

City of Galax, VA

City of Hampton, VA

City of Staunton, VA

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission

 

Carly Fiorina

 

As a candidate who’s confessed to knowing very little about economics, one would think McCain would surround himself with top-notch economic advisors and successful businessmen and women who can give keen advice on his self-admitted weakness. Instead, McCain has surrounded himself with economic advisors like Carly Fiorina the public “face” of his economic team. Ms. Fiorina is the poster child of how not to run a company and corporate failure. She was fired as CEO from Hewlett Packard for failing to meet any of the objectives for which she was hired. She engineered a merger with Compaq that has been described in financial circles as ‘a total flop’ a ‘disaster’ and left the company in a worse financial position.  She strong-armed reluctant investors into approving the merger, leading to $750,000 SEC fine for a key investor and partner. She fired at least 18,000 Hewlett Packard employees and once bragged that one of her regrets was not firing more people more quickly. What’s worse, in the context of tough times for HP, Fiorina received a lavish golden parachute worth at least $42 million. While McCain says on the campaign trail Americans ought to be offended by lavish CEO pay and golden parachutes, it apparently doesn’t apply to his own corporate advisors. Recently, speaking on behalf of the McCain campaign, Fiorina suggested that the Iraq War has nothing to do with the current economic crisis, and that John McCain is not out of touch despite being the last major presidential candidate of both parties to come up with a plan to address the housing crisis.

“I wonder what it feels like to walk into a room and know always that you are the smartest person there.” -- Fiorina Staffer on Carly Fiorina [Fortune, 2/7/05]

 

Controversial Former CEO To Head RNC Victory Fund, Advise McCain

 

Fiorina the Public “Face” of the McCain Economic Team. Gramm, as a former Senate colleague, has an older, deeper connection to McCain, but Fiorina may soon be more closely identified with him. Since McCain installed her last month at the Republican National Committee, the once-high-flying chief executive has held conference calls, made near-daily television appearances and become the face of McCain's economic team. [Washington Post, 1/2/08]

 

Fiorina Tapped To Head the RNC Victory Fund, Work Closely With McCain. According to National Journal’s CongressDaily, “Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard and Frank Donatelli, a lobbyist and former White House political director under President Reagan, will work closely with the McCain campaign. Fiorina will oversee the RNC Victory fund, the entity that historically has raised money for voter-turnout and party-building efforts to support the party's presidential nominee and other GOP candidates nationwide.” [National Journal, Congress Daily 3/7/08]

Fiorina Fired By HP, Tenure Mired By Scandal, Failure, Backstabbing And Embarrassment

February 2005: Fiorina Fired By Hewlett Packard Board. “Carly Fiorina’s nearly six-year reign at Hewlett-Packard Co. ended abruptly Wednesday as board members forced her out, disappointed by her inability to transform a plodding technology giant dominated by printer sales into a more nimble innovator. H-P’s stock, which has gone nowhere for two years and is down two-thirds from its peak in 2000, rose almost 7 percent after earlier soaring almost 11 percent on the news of her ouster.” [AP, 2/9/05]

  • Fiorina’s “Rocky” Tenure at Hewlett Packard Marked by Scandal. “But until recently, Fiorina's claim to fame was 5 1/2 rocky years at Hewlett-Packard, where she battled the company's founding families to push forward with a $19 billion purchase of Compaq Computer in 2002, then failed to create the profitable computer giant she had promised. In February 2005, she was publicly ousted by HP's board, but not before she ordered the first of a series of leak investigations that would spin into a highly publicized scandal.” [Washington Post, 4/2/08]

Board: Fiorina Fired for Failing To Achieve Objectives. “Board members said they fired Fiorina, one of corporate America's highest ranking female executives, because she failed to execute a planned strategy of slashing costs and boosting revenue as quickly as directors had hoped.”She made a lot of changes, including the merger with Compaq, layoffs, and reorganizations. A lot of employees resented her leadership,” said  CBSNews.com Technology Analyst Larry Magid.”  [CBS/AP 2/9/05]

Out of Touch, Fiorina Described Her Relations With HP Board as ‘Excellent’ A Month Before She Was Fired. “Asked to describe her relationship with her board of directors, the embattled Hewlett-Packard chief executive, Carly Fiorina, replied with a single word: “Excellent.” Perhaps she was in denial, or just out of the loop, but Fiorina's confrontational tenure as chief executive of the world's second-largest computer company was unraveling.”[International Herald Tribune 2/12/05]

  • 2007: Fiorina “Still Mystified” By Loss of Board Support. “Fiorina professes still to be mystified by her loss of board support. According to Keyworth, the answer is simple: ‘Fiorina had a vision, and she did a phenomenal job acquiring Compaq and combining the assets. But we had to make the assets deliver. We had an execution problem. The stock took a big hit. She was a better saleswoman than a manager.’” [The New Yorker, 2/19/07]

 

THEN: Secretive Handling of Compaq Merger Deal A Factor That Doomed Fiorina. “Meanwhile, she thinks back on the post-bubble days of 2001, when the Compaq acquisition was booting up, and argues that drastic action at HP was essential. The critical problem was buckets of red ink spilling from computers. And significantly, says Fiorina, ‘neither the market nor the organization understood the difficulty HP was truly in.’ She wishes now she had found some way to be more ‘transparent’ then about HP's problems. That would have prepared people for the merger. But candor, she maintains, would have also further damaged the company, hurting employees' confidence, sales efforts, and probably the stock price. So she kept quiet. This backward look, of course, can be viewed as somewhat suspect (or even ‘self-serving,’ as one institutional investor puts it), in the sense that it argues Fiorina then had to do something dramatic, like a huge merger.’” [Fortune, 2/7/05]

 

  • NOW: Fiorina Said Capital Markets Need More “Transparency and Accountability.” “Capital markets work best when there is transparency and accountability, and we need more of both. We need to simplify the mortgage application process so people can understand it. Because managers did not fully understand a set of complex financial instruments, initial losses in the market spawned a more serious crisis of confidence.” [RNC Victory Chair Fiorina Statement on McCain Housing Industry Remarks 3/25/08]

 

Fiorina More Style Than Substance, A Marie Antoinette at the Head of HP. “In the midst of all the competitive pressures bearing down on her, and in the struggle of managing the unwieldy company she created, Carly Fiorina sometimes talks as if she sees a vision all her own. She hauls it out in the opening lines of internal speeches, articulating her goal of making HP ‘the world's leading technology company.’ The ambition is a curiosity rouser because it implies that she has firmly in mind what company right now holds that title. But that turns out not to be true…But then, you wonder, if she doesn't know who the leader is now, how would she know whom HP has to pass and when to claim victory?” [Fortune, 2/7/05]

 

Centerpiece of Fiorina’s Tenure Described As “Total Flop” And “Disastrous”; HP Left “Adrift”

Fiorina’s biggest initiative while CEO of HP was the merger of her company with computer giant Compaq. The merger was widely criticized as a failure for making not delivering what Fiorina promised.  It failed to yield to make HP more competitive, as promised, and didn’t deliver for shareholders.

Merger Failed To Produce for Shareholders, Make HP More Competitive. First, under the only lens that matters, did the famed merger that Fiorina engineered between HP and Compaq produce value for HP's shareholders? Second, with that merger nearly three years past, is HP in shape to thrive in its brutally competitive world? The answers are no and doubtful…This was a big bet that didn't pay off, that didn't even come close to attaining what Fiorina and HP's board said was in store.” [Fortune, 02/07/05]

  • Even Before Compaq Merger, Fiorina’s Tenure at HP a Series of Disappointments. “She has had to warn repeatedly of disappointing results. In the nine months to July, HP saw its net profit fall by 82%, to $506m. The company has slashed costs, announced 6,000 job cuts and asked staff to volunteer for a temporary 10% pay cut. Although there had been some speculation that Ms Fiorina would be replaced, the takeover of Compaq shows that she has-at least for the time being-still got the backing of her board.” [Economist, 9/4/01]

Centerpiece of Fiorina’s Tenure Described as “Total Flop.” “With hindsight, it's hard to see how Carly Fiorina, America's pre-eminent female executive, who was fired as CEO of Hewlett-Packard last week, could have survived. The centerpiece of her career - a $ 24 billion merger with Compaq - was a flop; HP's board was threatening to strip her of day-to-day responsibilities at the firm; As one of only eight women heading Fortune 500 companies, the HP/Compaq deal was Fiorina's fatal error: not just because the strategy was flawed - two years on it has not achieved its goal of improving cost efficiencies in HP's PC business - but also because she alienated too many people in the process of pursuing that goal.” [London Observer 2/13/05]

  • HP/Compaq Merger Described as ‘Disastrous”; HP ‘Adrift.’ “Since the merger, HP has lost market share and failed to revive its profit margins. It lost the number one position in personal-computer market share last year to Dell. While the share price of Dell has soared over the past 18 months, HP's has floundered. Indeed, the merger was so disastrous that Fiorina fought off three attempts to spin off HP's highly profitable printer business and cut the PC business adrift. After her departure last week, shares in the company rose nearly 10 per cent on that prospect.” [London Observer 2/13/05]

Fiorina’s Personality and Management Cited for Failure. “Fiorina's personality and management style ultimately led to her demise. She used hardball tactics to suppress the opposition of Walter Hewlett, the company's largest shareholder and the son of its co-founder William Hewlett, to the 2002 Compaq merger…Last year, when the company's struggling corporate computer division failed to meet its sales growth targets, she abruptly fired three top executives in what many people, both inside and outside the company, saw as a public hanging.” [International Herald Tribune 2/12/05]

Hewlett Alleged Merger Would Result in Even More Job Losses. “HP has said the merger would result in 15,000 layoffs. But Hewlett said in his filing that the company's management knew that it risked losing 24,000 jobs. Hewlett also referred to an internal company memo that notes that profits for the merged operation for 2002 and 2003 may be “significantly below” the projections company executives have put before the public.” [Washington Post, 3/29/02]

Legality of Merger Challenged, Coercion, Insider Deals Alleged.  Partner Fined By SEC

Without the votes to win the merger vote, Fiorina and HP CFO personally intervened. Deutsche Bank felt they might lose future business with HP if they voted against the deal. The strong-arm tactics resulted in a lawsuit from Walter Hewlett, a director on the board, and son of the founder and a $750,000 SEC fine for Deutsche Bank.

Dissident Director, Co-Founder Son Walter Hewlett Sued Hewlett Packard over “Illegal Merger. “Walter Hewlett sued Hewlett Packard Co.  yesterday, accusing the company of illegally strong-arming an important investor to vote in favor of its takeover of Compaq Computer Comp. The lawsuit, filed in Delaware Chancery Court, focuses on the company's interactions with Deutsche Asset Management, a unit of Deutsche Bank, which is HP's 11th-largest institutional shareholder, with a 1.31 percent stake.” [Washington Post, 3/29/02]

  • Last Minute Switch Gave HP Merger Victory. “In an unusual move against a company by one of its own directors, Hewlett claimed the investment arm of Deutsche Bank originally voted 25 million shares against the deal, but switched 17 million at the last minute after HP threatened to take future business away.” “On March 19, the last day of voting, executives at Deutsche Bank, who had originally opposed the merger, changed their minds and voted in favor. That last-minute reversal was what gave HP the narrow margin it needed to announce victory, according to sources familiar with the preliminary tallies. The difference between the “yes” and “no” votes is believed to be between 0.5 percent and 3 percent.” [Washington Post, 3/29/02: AP, 3/28/02]

Alleged that Management Crossed Line to ‘Coercion.’ “Walter Hewlett alleged in the suit that HP officials pressured the company by leading it to believe that its business with HP would be in danger if it voted against the merger. On March 15, HP secured a $ 4 billion line of credit with Deutsche Bank and several other institutions. “The allegation is that management crossed the line from persuasion to a form of coercion,” said University of Delaware professor Charles Elson, who specializes in corporate governance issues.” [Washington Post, 3/29/02]

  • In Leaked Voicemail Fiorina Told HP CFO, They Would Have to do ‘Something Extraordinary,’ to Win Merger Vote. “It also underscores a festering problem at HP involving leaks -- a dilemma dramatized this week by the unauthorized release of a controversial voice mail from HP Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina to Bob Wayman, the company's chief financial officer. In the voice mail, Fiorina had told Wayman that they had to do “something extraordinary” for two major HP investors to win last month's proxy vote on the company's planned merger with Compaq.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 4/1/2/02]
  • Fiorina Referred Specifically To Deutsche Bank in Voicemail. “Fiorina referred to Deutsche Bank and another shareholder, Northern Trust, in the voice mail, telling Wayman: “We may have to do something extraordinary for those two to bring 'em over the line here.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 4/12/02]

Deutsche Bank Forced To Pay $750,000 To SEC for Conflict Of Interest Related to Merger. “A Deutsche Bank AG unit agreed today to pay $750,000 to settle charges that it neglected to inform clients about a conflict of interest when it voted their shares in favor of Hewlett-Packard Co.'s acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp. Deutsche Bank's asset-management division initially had made up its mind to oppose the merger in 2002, but colleagues at the investment-banking division asked it to reconsider, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which brought the charges. The asset-management side agreed to meet with HP's chief executive Carly Fiorina and chief financial officer Bob Wayman, and after the conference announced that it had switched sides.” [Washington Post, 8/9/03]

 

Tumultuous Tenure Marked By Backstabbing, Embarrassing Corporate Leaks

 

A few days before a scheduled HP board retreat in January 2005, and one month before Carly was fired, fellow board members George Keyworth and Patricia Dunn called Fiorina to express concern about HP’s performance, stock price and press. Days after the board retreat, a reporter from the Wall Street Journal Pui-Wing Tam called to confirm details that he (Tam) had learned about the retreat, including assertion that Fiorina had lost the confidence of the board, and that she would soon be stripped of responsibilities. This was news to Fiorina, who described her relationship with the board as ‘excellent.’

 

Fiorina’s Tenure Marked by Leaks, Backstabbing, Embarrassing Revelations. On a trip to Davos, Fiorina learned that she had lost the confidence of the board, that her responsibilities were to be stripped, and that the Wall Street Journal had gained access to private corporate information. “It is hard to convey how violated I felt,” Fiorina wrote in “Tough Choices,” her autobiography. “Until a board makes a decision, its deliberations are con-fi-dential. Whoever had done this had broken a bond of trust with me and every other board member. . . . Trust is a business imperative. No board or management team can operate effectively without it.” [The New Yorker, 2/19/07]

 

  • Fiorina Demanded A Confession. “The next day, Fiorina convened a conference call with all the board members except (Patricia) Dunn(an HP board member), who was on vacation in Indonesia, and demanded a confession from any director who had spoken to (Pui-Wing) Tam(a reporter with the Wall Street Journal) or any other reporter. One board member, Lawrence T. Babbio, Jr., a vice-chairman of Verizon, was so distressed by the leak that he urged Fiorina to ask for the resignation of every director, re-nominating only those she felt could be trusted. Instead, she asked the board's nominating and governance committee to order an investigation by the company's outside counsel, Lawrence Sonsini, to identify the leaker.” [The New Yorker, 2/19/07]

 

HP Board Member Tom Perkins: “Leaks Don't Happen in Stable, Happy Companies.” “They're a steam valve. People talk. They're a symptom of something else.” In this case, they indicated dissatisfaction with Fiorina's leadership. In what Fiorina should have recognized as an alarming turn, the nominating and governance committee also asked Sonsini to poll directors about the effectiveness of the board and Hewlett-Packard's leadership.” [The New Yorker, 2/19/07]

 

In Leaked Voicemail Fiorina Told HP CEO, They Would Have to do ‘Something Extraordinary,’ to Win Merger Vote. “It also underscores a festering problem at HP involving leaks -- a dilemma dramatized this week by the unauthorized release of a controversial voice mail from HP Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina to Bob Wayman, the company's chief financial officer. In the voice mail, Fiorina had told Wayman that they had to do “something extraordinary” for two major HP investors to win last month's proxy vote on the company's planned merger with Compaq.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 4/1/2/02]

 

McCain: Americans Should Be Offended by Lavish CEO Pay, Golden Parachutes

 

McCain Said Americans Ought to Offended By CEO Pay and Golden Parachutes. “Americans are also right to be offended when the extravagant salaries and severance deals of CEO's – in some cases, the very same CEO's who helped to bring on these market troubles – bear no relation to the success of the company or the wishes of shareholders.” [McCain Economy Speech, 4/15/08]

 

Despite Being Forced Out, Severance Packaged Reportedly More than $42 Million.  “Ex-Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will get a severance package worth about $21.4 million, but stands to reap another $21 million after she was forced out by the computer maker's board last week, a newspaper reported Saturday. The additional amount reflects the estimated value of her Hewlett stock and options as well as her pension, which were not included in her severance package, the New York Times reported.” [CNNMoney.com 2/12/05]

 

  • $14 Million for Severance, an Additional $7.4 Million “Bonus.” “She will receive $14 million in severance pay and a $7.4 million bonus for 2004, according to terms of the agreement submitted Friday in regulatory filings -- even though Wednesday the board singled out her failure to accelerate the company's strategy, the newspaper reported.” [CNNMoney.com 2/12/05]

 

  • Additional $21 Million in Stock Options and Pension Pay Not Reflected in ‘Severance Package’ “But more than $21.1 million in additional compensation was not reflected in the severance package, the report said. [CNNMoney.com 2/12/05]

 

  • More Details: “This includes options granted in 2003 now worth about $1 million, restricted grants of about 826,000 shares that, coupled with her other Hewlett holdings, have a current market value of $18.2 million, and a pension that compensation specialists said could be worth at least $2 million, according to the newspaper.” [CNNMoney.com 2/12/05]

 

Hewlett Packard Sued By Shareholders for Lavish Fiorina Severance Package. “A group of Hewlett-Packard Co. shareholders are suing the company, alleging its board broke its own rules by awarding more than $42 million in cash, stock and other benefits to Carleton “Carly” Fiorina after she was dumped as CEO last year. The complaint, filed late Monday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., depicts the payments to Fiorina as a blatant violation of a board policy adopted in 2003 so the company's severance payments would be limited to 2.99 times an executive's combined salary and annual bonus.” [AP, 3/8/06]

 

  • Severance Package Came in the Context of Tough Times at Hewlett Packard, Job-Cuts. “The suit threatens to put HP in the uncomfortable position of defending the lucrative package given to Fiorina as its new CEO, Mark Hurd, strives to cut more than 15,000 jobs to help boost the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company's profits.” [AP, 3/8/06]

 

Fiorina Fired At Least 18,000 HP Employees

 

Millionaire Fiorina Called the Outsourcing of American Jobs ‘Right Sourcing.’ “Labor unions have battled "offshoring," which Fiorina calls "right- shoring," for decades, he said.”  [San Francisco Chronicle, 1/9/04]

 

Fiorina Defended the Outsourcing of American Jobs. “During their presentation, Barrett and Fiorina had to defend the tech industry for its growing reliance on overseas tech workers.IBM, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and others have moved many jobs offshore, including customer service call center operators and even engineers. Barrett was asked if the practice is boosting the strength of other countries.”[Investors Business Daily, 1/8/04]

Promoting Outsourcing, Fiorina Said US Cant Be Distracted by ‘Short Term Employment Concerns.’  “She said the country cannot afford to be distracted by short-term financial and employment concerns. "The biggest barrier (to solutions) is our nation's attention span," she said.” [Technews.com, 1/8/04]

Fiorina Laid Off Nearly 18,000 HP Workers During ‘Restructuring.’ “Hewlett-Packard, based in Palo Alto, Calif., had a $ 903 million loss on revenue of $ 56.6 billion for its fiscal year that ended last Oct 31. According to a summary by Hoover's Inc., an Austin, Texas, provider of business information, Hewlett-Packard has undergone extensive restructuring under Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina. The company announced earlier this year that it planned to cut 17,900 people by October because of a weak economy and its merger with Compaq.” [Omaha-World Herald 9/29/03]

Fiorina Suggests Her Biggest Mistake Was Not Firing More People More Quickly. “Fiorina does not agree, naturally, that there's been a brain drain (at HP). In fact, she believes that one lesson she's learned while running HP is that she should have moved more quickly in ejecting certain people. Smartened up now, she says, “I would have done them all faster. Every person that I've asked to leave, whether it's been clear publicly or not, I would have done faster.”  [Fortune, 2/7/05]

Hewlett Alleged Merger Would Result in Even More Job Losses. “HP has said the merger would result in 15,000 layoffs. But Hewlett said in his filing that the company's management knew that it risked losing 24,000 jobs. Hewlett also referred to an internal company memo that notes that profits for the merged operation for 2002 and 2003 may be “significantly below” the projections company executives have put before the public.” [Washington Post, 3/29/02]

Fiorina: No Job God Given Right. “Fiorina's statement that "there is no job that is America's God-given right anymore" triggered particularly strong reaction. The pair spoke in Washington representing the Computer Systems Policy Project, a group of eight chief executives from the nation's top information technology firms.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 1/9/04]

 

Fiorina Comments on Offshoring Enraged Workers Groups. “Comments made in Washington on Tuesday by Carly Fiorina, CEO of Palo Alto information technology giant Hewlett-Packard, and Craig Barrett, chief executive of Santa Clara chipmaker Intel Corp., drew an unusually strong reaction from workers, who suggested the pair forfeit their own highly paid jobs to Chinese or Russian executives working for a quarter of their pay.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 1/9/04]

Enraged Workers E-Mailed Chronicle to Complain About Fiorina’s Insensitive Comments. “But with unemployment at 7.2 percent in Santa Clara County in November, the latest figure available, Fiorina's statement hit a sore spot.  "I am curious how Ms. Fiorina would feel about her job being outsourced to China or India," Sean Ryan of Alameda, where the county unemployment rate is 6.1 percent, wrote in a representative e-mail to The Chronicle. "I am certain that there are many extremely bright, ambitious and successful executive types in those countries who would be able to do her job just as well if not better than she can at a cost savings to HP shareholders of millions of dollars per year." [San Francisco Chronicle, 1/9/04]

During an Appearance in Milwaukee Wisconsin, McCain Advisor and Former CEO of HP Fiorina Admitted Keeping HP Profits Overseas Even Though it Hurt US Economy.  [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFBJUmbvq78]

 

Hewlett Packard Held $14 Billion in Profit Overseas to Avoid Paying Taxes. “By the end of its 2003 fiscal year, Hewlett-Packard Co. had "indefinitely" deferred taxation on $14.4 billion of foreign earnings, according to SEC filings, a move that helped lower its effective tax rate from the statutory corporate income tax rate of 35 percent to 12 percent. [Washington Post, 1/2/04]

 

Fiorina: McCain’s Economic Bad Idea Bear

 

Fiorina Said Iraq Had Nothing to Do with Economic Malaise

 

Fiorina Suggested Iraq War Had Nothing To Do With Current Economic Crisis. During an Appearance on the Joe Scarborough Show, Fiorina suggest the war in Iraq had nothing to do with our current economic crisis. “There's no question that the Iraq War is costing us a lot of money,” Fiorina replied. “But it's also the case that the housing crisis has nothing to do with the Iraq War. High fuel prices have nothing to do with the Iraq War, per se. And high food prices, in particular, have nothing to do with the Iraq War. ... It's not fair ... to try and make the Iraq War the cause of our current economic difficulties.” [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 4/7/08]

 

  • Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has blamed the Iraq war for sending the United States into a recession. “On Wednesday, he told a London think tank that the war caused the credit crunch and the housing crisis that are propelling the current economic downturn. Testifying before the Senate's Joint Economic Committee the following day, he said our involvement in Iraq has long been “weakening the American economy” and “a day of reckoning” has finally arrived.” [Mother Jones, 2/29/08]

 

  • 9 in 0 Americans Believe the Iraq War Has Contributed to U.S. Economic Problems. In a New York Times/CBS poll released today, 89 percent of those surveyed believe the cost of the war has contributed “a lot” or “some” to U.S. economic problems. [New York Times, 4/4/08]

 

Out of Touch, McCain Last Major Candidate to Address Housing Crisis

 

New York Times Headline: “Unlike Rivals, McCain Rejects Broad U.S. Aid On Mortgages.” The New York Times reported, “Drawing a sharp distinction between himself and the two Democratic presidential candidates, Senator John McCain of Arizona warned Tuesday against vigorous government action to solve the deepening mortgage crisis and the market turmoil it has caused, saying that ‘it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.’” [New York Times, 3/26/08]

 

March 2008: Fiorina Defended McCain’s Lack of Response To Housing Crisis, Warned Against “Overreact[ing].”  Fiorina: “However, I do also think that John McCain, by virtue, frankly, of his experience with the economy, understands that sometimes in a period of crisis we can overreact, we can do too much. And when too much is done, we create the next generation of problems for the next generation of taxpayers to have to deal with. And so, I think he's wanted to be judicious in his response. I think he's wanted to see what the effect of the vast array of stimulus measures that have already been taken -- what the effect of those are before we continue to throw stuff out into the marketplace.” [McCain Campaign Teleconference 3/27/08]

 

  • Then: McCain: “I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.” [McCain Housing Speech, 3/25/08, emphasis added]  McCain, “Any assistance must be temporary and must not reward people who were irresponsible at the expense of those who weren't.” [McCain Housing Speech, 3/25/08, emphasis added]

 

  • Now: “I believe a more robust, timely and targeted effort is my HOME plan.  It offers every deserving American family or homeowner the opportunity to trade a burdensome mortgage for a manageable loan that reflects the market value of their home.” [McCain Housing Speech, 4/10/08, emphasis added]

 

Fiorina Suggested McCain was ‘Not Late’ To Respond To Worsening Housing Crisis, Despite Being the Last Major Candidate to Do So.  Fiorina: “No, I don't think that's fair to say he was late. Although, having been on the campaign trail with him in that same period, I'll tell you that he got questions on this, of course, as you would expect, in virtually every town hall meeting that I ever sat in with him.”  [McCain Campaign Teleconference 3/27/08]

 

Fiorina Says McCain Supports Privatizing Social Security

 

Fiorina Said McCain Supported ‘Private Accounts for Reforming Social Security. During an appearance on the Bill Bennet Show, Fiorina said McCain was supportive of Social Security privatization. “Well, I know that he has been very favorably inclined to the report that came out a little bit ago, the Republican party made a number of suggestions which he embraced. He has on other occasions said that he supports private accounts as one of the ways to reform the system. But I think he, and I think he will continue to be supportive of those.” [Audio: http://thinkprogress.org/2008/04/17/mccain-social-security/]

 

Under Fiorina, HP Spent Over $13 Million In Lobbying Fees

 

Under Carly Fiorina’s stewardship, Hewlett Packard Spent Over $13.5 Million On Lobbying. From 1999 to 2005, the years Fiorina ran Hewlett Packard, the company paid between $13,542,879 and $13,702,863 in lobbying expenses and fees.  During this period, HP paid for the services of lobbyists on staff, as well as for the services of 12 separate lobbying firms. 

 

Lobbying Firm

Year

Amount Paid / Expenses

Angus & Nickerson

2005

$20,000

Internal – HP

2005

$740,000

Hill & Knowlton

2005

$0 - $19,998

KPMG

2005

$20,000 - $29,999

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips

2005

$120,000

Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti

2005

$165,000

Perennial Strategy Group

2005

$0 - $19,998

Quinn Gillespie & Associates

2005

$180,000

Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins & Brain

2004

$175,000

Bockorny Group

2004

$100,000

Internal – HP

2004

$940,000

Hill & Knowlton

2004

$0 - $19,998

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips

2004

$120,000

Perennial Strategy Group

2004

$80,000

Quinn Gillespie & Associates

2004

$600,000

Washington Council Ernst & Young

2004

$160,000

Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins & Brain

2003

$200,000

Internal – HP

2003

$660,000

Hill & Knowlton

2003

$0 - $19,998

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips

2003

$60,000

Perennial Strategy Group

2003

$40,000

Quinn Gillespie & Associates

2003

$600,0000

Washington Council Ernst & Young

2003

$160,000

Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins & Brain

2002

$200,000

Internal – HP

2002

$620,000

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips

2002

$0 - $19,998

Washington Council Ernst & Young

2002

$120,000

Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins & Brain

2001

$200,000

Internal – HP

2001

$480,000

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips

2001

$40,000

Washington Council Ernst & Young

2001

$120,000

Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins & Brain

2000

$140,000

Internal – HP

2000

$460,000

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips

2000

$20,000 - $29,999

Miller & Chevalier

2000

$0 - $19,998

Washington Council Ernst & Young

2000

$60,000

Washington Counsel

2000

$40,000

Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins & Brain

1999

$100,000

Internal – HP

1999

$282,879

Miller & Chevalier

1999

$0 - $19,998

Washington Counsel

1999

$120,000

 

 

Phil Gramm

 

Gramm Hailed 1999 Deregulation Bill

 

“We have a new century coming, and we have an opportunity to dominate that century the same way we dominated this century.  Glass-Steagall, in the midst of the Great Depression, came at a time when the thinking was that the government was the answer.  In this era of economic prosperity, we have decided that freedom is the answer.”

  • Phil Gramm, on passage of his massive deregulation bill [New York Times, 11/5/99]

 

Critics Predicted Gramm’s Bill Would Lead To Current Housing & Credit Crisis

 

“The opponents of the measure gloomily predicted that by unshackling banks and enabling them to move more freely into new kinds of financial activities, the new law could lead to an economic crisis down the road when the marketplace is no longer growing briskly.”

  • New York Times, 11/5/99

 

Gramm’s Legislation Deregulating Financial Markets Led To Current Housing Crisis

 

Washington Post: Gramm Blamed For Sub-Prime Crisis. The Washington Post reported on the influence of lobbyist and former Texas Senator Phil Gramm on McCain’s economic policies.  The Washington Post reported, “Gramm’s aggressive efforts when he was chairman of the Senate Banking Committee to deregulate the banking and financial services industry.  That culminated in passage in 1999 of a sweeping financial services law that tore down the Depression-era Glass-Steagall wall separating regulated commercial banks from largely unregulated investment banks.  And little regulation was put in place to replace it. … To many liberal economists, Gramm’s efforts set the stage for the current crisis.  Lending by noncommercial banks has soared, to about 70 percent of total lending.  Investment banks, including Bear Stearns, grew too large to be allowed to fail.” [Washington Post, 4/2/08, emphasis added]

 

Mother Jones: Gramm “Pulled A Sly Maneuver In the Senate That Helped Create Today’s Subprime Meltdown.” Writing in Mother Jones, David Corn reported, “Who’s to blame for the biggest financial catastrophe of our time?  There are plenty of culprits, but one candidate for lead perp is former Sen. Phil Gramm.  Eight years ago, as part of a decades-long anti-regulatory crusade, Gramm pulled a sly legislative maneuver that greased the way to the multibillion-dollar subprime meltdown.” [Mother Jones, 5/28/08]

 

2000 Legislation Written By Gramm & Industry Lobbyists Set Stage For Mortgage Meltdown. Writing in Mother Jones, David Corn reported that “Gramm slipped a 262-page measure” into an omnibus spending bill in December 2000 that would prevent what he called “overregulation” of credit default swaps.  “Credit default swaps are essentially insurance policies covering the losses on securities in the event of a default.  Financial institutions buy them to protect themselves if an investment they hold goes south.  It’s like bookies trading bets, with banks and hedge funds gambling on whether an investment (say, a pile of subprime mortgages bundled into a security) will succeed or fail.  Because of the swap-related provisions of Gramm’s bill – which were supported by Fed chairman Alan Greenspan and Treasury secretary Larry Summers – a $62 trillion market (nearly four times the size of the entire US stock market) remained utterly unregulated, meaning no one made sure the banks and hedge funds had the assets to cover the losses they guaranteed. … These unregulated swaps have been at ‘the heart of the subprime meltdown,’ says [former head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission division of trading and markets Michael] Greenberger.” [Mother Jones, 5/28/08]

 

Gramm Aggressively Pushed To Give Big Financial Firms Free Reign

 

Gramm Undertook “Aggressive Efforts” To Deregulate “Banking And Financial Services Industry” As Powerful Committee Chairman. The Washington Post reported, “More to the point may be Gramm's aggressive efforts when he was chairman of the Senate Banking Committee to deregulate the banking and financial services industry. That culminated in passage in 1999 of a sweeping financial services law that tore down the Depression-era Glass-Steagall wall separating regulated commercial banks from largely unregulated investment banks. And little regulation was put in to replace it.” [Washington Post, 4/2/08, emphasis added]

 

New York Time’s Paul Krugman: Gramm Is “Fervent Advocate Of Financial Deregulation.” New York Time’s Paul Krugman wrote, McCain’s “chief economic adviser is former Senator Phil Gramm, a fervent advocate of financial deregulation.” [New York Times, 3/24/08, emphasis added]

 

Gramm “Pushed For Deregulation Of The Financial Markets.” The Houston Chronicle reported, “As chairman and ranking Republican of the Senate Banking Committee, Gramm has pushed for deregulation of the financial markets and electricity markets.  This spring, he almost singlehandedly killed an Enron-related amendment drafted by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.  The provision would have prevented energy traders – such as Enron’s online business, now owned by UBS – from masking profits.” [Houston Chronicle, 10/8/02]

 

McCain Shares Gramm’s Dangerous Views On Deregulation, Looks At Gramm As His Economic “Mentor”

 

McCain: “I have A Long Voting Record In Support Of Deregulation.” The St. Petersburg Times quoted McCain at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing as having said, “I have a long voting record in support of deregulation.” [St. Petersburg Times, 6/5/03]

 

McCain Supports Deregulation Whenever Possible. The Journal of Commerce reported, “A McCain aide notes in the past he has supported deregulation of other industries.  ‘Any time you can responsibly deregulate, Sen. McCain wants to deregulate,’ the aide said.” [Journal of Commerce, 1/6/97]

 

McCain: “I Would Rely On” Gramm. During the January 24 debate in Florida, John McCain said, “I as president, as every other president, rely primarily on my secretary of the Treasury, on my Council of Economic Advisers, on the head of that.  I would rely on the circle that I have developed over many years of people like Jack Kemp, Phil Gramm, Warren Rudman, Pete Peterson, and [think tank] The Concorde Group.” [New York Post, 1/26/08, emphasis added]

 

McCain: Gramm Is “Smartest” Politician. John McCain said the following about Phil Gramm to the Houston Chronicle: “He’s probably the smartest – not just economist, but politician – there is.” [Houston Chronicle, 2/25/08]

 

McCain Praised Gramm’s Strategic Advice. The Houston Chronicle reported, “In an interview with the Chronicle, McCain called his friend’s ability to frame issues and come up with clever campaign tactics ‘just remarkable.’” [Houston Chronicle, 2/25/08]

 

McCain Said Gramm Was His “Mentor” On Economic Issues. New York Times business and economics columnist David Leonhardt wrote, “Mr. McCain begins the story of his economic education in 1982, when the country was in recession and he was first elected to the House.  Once in Congress, he worked with Jack F. Kemp and Phil Gramm, who conservatives who were also in the House then, and Martin Feldstein, a Harvard economist who was an aide to President Ronald Reagan, to pass tax cuts and spending restraints.  Mr. McCain said that Mr. Gramm – ‘a guy who taught economics for 12 years at Texas A&M’…– had been an especially important mentor. [New York Times, 1/26/08, emphasis added]

 

McCain’s Choice Of Gramm To Shape His Housing Policy Sends A Clear Message

 

McCain Relies On Phil Gramm To Shape Domestic Policies.  Phil Gramm has shaped McCain’s policies on taxes, the economy, and healthcare.  According to CNN, Gramm is “McCain’s chief economic adviser … and is the ultimate pure play in free market faith,” and his healthcare plan “bears the Gramm imprint.” [CNN, 2/19/08]

 

  • Olbermann: McCain Team Confirmed Gramm Helped Shape Housing Policy. Keith Olbermann reported, “The McCain campaign confirmed that Gramm had input on the speech and that McCain consulted Gramm specifically on the housing issues.” [MSNBC, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” 5/27/08]

 

American Banker: Bankers Looking To Gramm For Clues On McCain’s Policy. American Banker reported, “The financial services platform of Republican presidential candidate John McCain is largely a mystery, but bankers are looking to a familiar face in his entourage for some hints: former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm.  As the Arizona senator trumpets other issues on the campaign trail, such as Iraq and government spending, his financial policies have been left to an extensive team of economists that includes Mr. Gramm, who also co-chairs his campaign.  The Texas Republican’s involvement in the campaign – and potential choice as Treasury secretary – is seen as a critical clue as to how Sen. McCain would handle the housing crisis … Wayne Abernathy, a former aide to Mr. Gramm on the Banking Committee and now the American Bankers Association’s executive director of regulatory affairs, said the two senators’ philosophical alignment, as well as Sen. McCain’s policies while chairing the Commerce Committee, reflect a preference for market rather than government solutions.” [American Banker, 3/11/08, emphasis added]

 

  • American Banker: Gramm’s Role In McCain Campaign “Should Give Comfort To Bankers.” American Banker reported, “Mr. Gramm, a principal author of the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which broke down the walls between banking, insurance, and securities, left Congress in late 2002 to become vice chairman of UBS Warburg. … Observers say that Mr. Gramm’s connection with the campaign should give comfort to bankers unsure of how Sen. McCain would view financial services issues.” [American Banker, 3/11/08, emphasis added]

 

Salon: McCain’s “Do-Nothing Approach” To Housing Crisis Influenced By Gramm. Describing Senator Gramm, Salon.com reported, “So there at the shoulder of the Arizona maverick is perched yet another special-interest shill, in this instance not merely an errand boy for various dictators but the vice chairman of a Swiss bank whispering advice on how to cope with our economic woes.  Or how not to cope, as in McCain’s do-nothing approach to the foreclosure crisis, which displayed the strong influence of the financial lobby on his campaign.  Undoubtedly Gramm is promoting the agenda of those who subsidize him, as he has done ever since he entered politics as a servant of oil interests in his home state.” [Salon.com, 5/30/08, emphasis added]

 

Mother Jones: Despite Setting Stage For Housing Crisis, Gramm Embraced By McCain As Adviser. Writing in Mother Jones, David Corn reported, “Yet has Gramm been banished from the corridors of power?  Reviled as the villain who bankrupted Middle America?  Hardly.  Now a well-paid executive at a Swiss bank, Gramm cochairs Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign and advises the Republican candidate on economic matters.  He’s b een mentioned as a possible Treasury secretary should McCain win.  That’s right: A guy who helped screw up the global financial system could end up in charge of US economic policy.  Talk about a market failure. … Sen. John McCain has relied on him for policy advice, especially, according to the campaign, on housing matters.” [Mother Jones, 5/28/08, emphasis added]

 

Fortune: McCain’s “Current Positions Are Vintage Gramm.” According to Fortune, “But economic conservatives should take heart.  McCain’s chief economic adviser – and perhaps his closest political friend – is the ultimate pure play in the free market, former Texas Senator Phil Gramm.  If McCain follows Gramm’s counsel, and most of his current positions are vintage Gramm indeed, his policies as president would represent not just a sharp departure from the Bush years, but an assault on government growth that Republicans have boasted about, but failed to achieve, for decades.” [Fortune, 2/19/08]

 

Gramm Has Consistently Dismissed Idea That Predatory Lending Is A Problem

 

McCain Voted Against Protections For Victims Of Predatory Lending. In 2005, John McCain voted against a Durbin Predatory Lending amendment to the bankruptcy bill that would prohibit high cost mortgage lenders from collecting on their claims in bankruptcy court if they extend credit in violation of the Truth in Lending Act. [Vote #22, 3/3/05, 40-58]

 

McCain Opposed Effort To Discourage Predatory Lending Practices. In 2001, John McCain voted to kill a Durbin substitute amendment that would revise the bankruptcy laws to make it easier for courts to move debtors from Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code, which allows most debts to be discharged, to Chapter 13, which requires a reorganization of debts under a repayment plan. It also would discourage predatory lending practices, include additional consumer disclosure requirements for credit card companies, and state the sense of the Senate that the homestead exemption should be capped at $100,000. [Vote #27, 3/14/01, 64-35]

 

Gramm Rejected “Predatory Lending,” Instead Blaming “Predatory Borrowers.” In 2001, American Banker reported, “When Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm paid a visit to a Credit Union National Association conference here last week, he was treated more like a conquering hero than a lawmaker.  As if he were not popular enough with attendees after stopping legislation a few years ago that would have imposed community reinvestment requirements on credit unions, his remarks chiding privacy advocates and supporting bankruptcy reform elicited enthusiastic applause and a few whistles. … And he slammed those who, he said, take advantage of the current bankruptcy system.  ‘In Washington the buzzword today is predatory lending, but there are predatory borrowers,’ Sen. Gramm said.  ‘Something is very wrong in America when we have prosperity at unprecedented levels, when we have 18 years of virtually uninterrupted prosperity, and yet when bankruptcies are at an all-time high.’” [American Banker, 3/5/01, emphasis added]

 

Gramm Questioned Whether Predatory Lending Actually Existed. According to American Banker, “On predatory lending, Gov. Bush would likely take a more moderate tack than Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm, a fellow Texan, who has questioned whether such practices exist.” [American Banker, 9/15/00]

 

Associated Press: Gramm Helped Kill Legislation Aimed At Eliminating Predatory Lending. The Associated Press reported, “In 1999, Democrats, inspired by a groundbreaking antipredatory lending law in North Carolina, sought a federal equivalent.  Predatory loans are typically described as those that involve excessive fees and high interest rates.  Generally such abuses occur in the market for subprime loans, those for people with weak credit records or high debt in relation to their income.  Republicans, who controlled Congress, blocked the antipredatory legislation, arguing it would interfere with legitimate lending.  ‘Don’t apologize when you make a loan above the prime rate to someone that has a marginal credit rating,’ Texas Republican Phil Gramm, then chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, told a group of bankers in 2000.” [Associated Press, 3/19/08, emphasis added]

 

  • American Banker: Gramm Told Bankers Not To “Bow To Pressure To Change Their Practices.” According to American Banker, appearing at the American Bankers Association national convention, “Sen. Gramm said that election-year politics has also stirred rhetoric on predatory lending and privacy and that bankers should not bow to the pressure to change their practices.” [American Banker, 9/20/00]

 

As Senate And Federal Reserve Worked To Address Predatory Lending, Gramm Refused To Schedule Hearings. The Houston Chronicle reported, “Heartbreaking tales of lost homes, lost savings and unethical loan officers dominated Senate hearings last week into unethical practices in the high-risk mortgage industry.  Four people told members of the Senate Banking Committee that their own naivete allowed deceptive lenders to stick them with high-interest loans, exorbitant fees, unnecessary insurance and discouraging penalties for repayment.  The practices, known as ‘predatory lending,’ typically target elderly, minority or uneducated borrowers with tarnished credit histories.  Committee chairman Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., is preparing legislation to curb unscrupulous lending and seeks to build support through hearings. … The Federal Reserve Board also is considering expanding consumer protections against unethical lenders.  Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, chairman of the committee until Democrats took over the Senate in June, had declined to schedule hearings, saying predatory lending had not been legally defined.  He briefly attended Thursday’s hearing, urging senators to act cautiously on any legislative proposals.” [Houston Chronicle, 7/29/01, emphasis added]

 

  • Gramm Said No Action Needed To Address Predatory Lending. The Washington Post reported, “Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.), who chaired the committee until control of the Senate changed hands last month, has said he thinks existing law is sufficient if properly enforced and as chairman had no plans to hold hearings on the issue [predatory lending legislation].” [Washington Post, 6/29/01]

 

Gramm Described As An “Advocate Of Every Predatory And Rapacious Element” In Financial Sector. University of Texas economist James K. Galbraith said, “Phil Gramm’s career was as the most aggressive advocate of every predatory and rapacious element that the financial sector has.”  Galbraith continued, “He’s a sorcerer’s apprentice of instability and disaster in the financial system.” [Washington Post, 4/2/08]

 

Gramm Hoped To Remove Predatory Lending Protection In 2001. In 2001, American Banker reported, “Sen. Gramm also said he hopes to remove a predatory lending amendment from bankruptcy overhaul legislation that would make companies that purchase high-cost loans from bankrupt originators liable if the loans are found to violate existing fair-lending laws.” [American Banker, 4/4/01]

 

American Banker: Gramm Opposed “Problematic” Anti- Predatory Lending Measure. According to American Banker, in 2001, Senator Chuck Schumer planned an amendment “that would transfer liability for fair-lending law violations to companies that purchase loans from bankrupt high-cost lenders.”  Gramm said “that he would not support a bill with Sen. Schumer’s anti-predatory lending amendment intact  but said he was confident that it, and other problematic amendments, would be dropped during negotiations between House and Senate leaders” [American Banker, 3/16/01]

 

Gramm, “A Staunch Ally” Of The Mortgage Industry, Said Predatory Lending Legislation Unneeded. The Daily Deal reported, “There’s been plenty of talk lately about how predatory lending hurts minorities and the elderly. … Despite all the attention focused on the issue, none of the five bills introduced during this session of Congress came anywhere near passage.  The industry has a staunch ally in Texas Republican Sen. Phil Gramm, who believes no new laws are needed. … In August, Gramm delivered a major blow to consumer groups, indicating that he would not favor addressing predatory lending again until the phrase is better defined and lawmakers can gauge how widespread abusive practices really are.” [Daily Deal, 10/5/00]

 

Predatory Lending Legislation “Ran Into Opposition From Sen. Phil Gramm.” The Omaha World Herald reported, “Bills to restrict predatory lending were introduced in Congress this year but ran into opposition from Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, who says he is waiting for a clear definition of predatory lending.” [Omaha World Herald, 11/19/00]

 

American Banker Headline: “Gramm Takes Stand Against Predator Bills.” American Banker reported, “Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm on Wednesday came out against a slew of bills designed to curb predatory lending,” as he “concluded that the term ‘predatory lending’ has not been defined, and that no organized data on the abusive practice exists.” [American Banker, 8/24/00]

 

  • National Community Reinvestment Coalition CEO Questioned Gramm’s Position. John Taylor, president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, said, “The presence of predatory lending is as plain as the nose on Sen. Gramm’s face.” He added, “Scientists have been studying gravity for several hundred years.  The fact that they have not really been able to understand it does not mean that it doesn’t exist.” [American Banker, 8/24/00]

 

Gramm Objected To The Term “Predatory Lenders.National Mortgage News reported, “Senate banking Committee chairman Phil Gramm, R., Texas, objected to the terms ‘unscrupulous and predatory lenders’ and he warned that the sponsors really want Congress to outlaw loans to marginal borrowers.” [National Mortgage News, 3/29/99]

 

Phil Gramm Was Responsible For “Enron Loophole” That Led To Enron Crisis

 

Senate Deregulated Energy Trading In 2000 After “Heavy Lobbying” By Enron. The New York Times reported, “Congress is making another modest attempt to tighten regulation of derivatives markets after the bankruptcy of the Enron Corporation, which used derivatives in part to keep debt off its balance sheet.  Derivatives are financial contracts that promise payments from one party to another and that have a value derived from changes in the price of an underlying security, index or commodity. … After heavy lobbying by the banking industry – and Enron – derivatives regulation was instead loosened in December 2000 when Congress passed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act.  The bill exempted or excluded O.T.C. derivatives from regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.”  O.T.C. derivatives are “energy and commodity derivatives…traded over the counter and not on any exchange.” [New York Times, 3/13/02, emphasis added]

 

  • Phil Gramm Co-Sponsored Legislation Deregulating The Energy Industry. The Village Voice reported, “In June 2000, Senator Gramm co-sponsored the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, a measure aimed at deregulating certain kinds of futures trading, but not energy futures. That bill never made it to the floor, and thus quietly died.  Six months later, on December 15, Gramm curiously turned up as co-sponsor of a bill with the same name, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which did deregulate energy futures and which, without undergoing the usual committee hearings and preliminary votes, was immediately attached as a rider to an 11,000-page appropriations bill.  It passed and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton six days later.  Few lawmakers had likely perused the rider carefully, if they even knew it was there.” [Village Voice, 1/15/02, emphasis added]

 

  • Deregulation Bill Included In Appropriations Deal Between Congressional Republicans And White House. CQ Weekly reported, “The deal, finally sealed on the afternoon of Dec. 15, was written into the conference report for the fiscal 2001 appropriations bill (HR 4577) covering the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. That evening the House voted to adopt the sweeping package, 292-60; the Senate had agreed to automatically clear it on a voice vote, effectively bringing the 106th Congress to an anticlimactic end. … One policy rider that survived was an overhaul (HR 4541) of the Commodity Exchange Act to permit the trading of single stock futures, and to clarify the rules for a type of over-the-counter derivative known as a swap.” [CQ Weekly, 12/15/00]

 

Public Citizen: “Gramm Helped Muscle” Deregulation Bill To Help Enron, Resulting In California Crisis. In a 2001 report, Public Citizen concluded, “In December 2000, Phil Gramm helped muscle a bill through Congress without a committee hearing that deregulated energy commodity trading.  This act allowed Enron to operate an unregulated power auction – EnronOnline – that quickly gained control over a significant share of California’s electricity and natural gas market. … From June 2000 through December 2000 – prior to the bill passage – California experienced significant prices spokes but only one Stage 3 emergency (requiring ‘rolling blackouts.’)  After passage of Gramm’s energy commodity deregulation bill in December 2000, Stage 3 emergencies increased from one to 38 until federal regulators helped end the crisis by imposing price controls in June 2001.  Phil Gramm’s legislation, for which Enron was the primary lobbyist, allowed Enron’s unregulated energy trading subsidiary to manipulate supply in such a way as to threaten millions of California households and businesses with power outages for the sole purpose of increasing the company’s profits.” [Public Citizen, 12/21/01, emphasis original]

 

  • Gramm’s Deregulation Bill Led To Enron Collapse. According to a Public Citizen report, federal regulators stepped in to clean up the mess created by Gramm’s deregulation bill: “When federal regulators finally imposed strict, round-the-clock price controls over the entire Western electricity market on June 19, 2001, companies operating power auctions (like Enron) no longer had the ability to charge excessive prices and no longer had incentive to manipulate supply. While price controls clearly saved California, Enron suffered because it could no longer manipulate the market and price-gouge consumers.  With no significant asset ownership to offset its losses, Enron’s unregulated power auction quickly accumulated massive debts.  At the same time, the curtailed revenue flow made it more difficult for executives and members of the Board to conceal the firm’s accounting gimmicks.  Amid the turmoil, CEO Jeff Skillings resigned in August.  But shareholders and federal regulators did not learn of the severity of Enron’s financial trouble until November 2001.” [Public Citizen, 12/21/01]

 

Years Before Sen. Gramm’s Legislation, His Wife Helped Draft Similar Deregulation And Was Rewarded With Enron Board Position. According to the Dallas Morning News, Senator Gramm’s wife “joined Enron five weeks after stepping down as chairwoman of the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where she served from 1988 to January 1993.  While at the commission, she helped draft language exempting regulatory oversight of the kind of energy trading that helped Enron’s explosive growth in the 1990s.  Three months after she stepped down, the commission adopted the new regulations.” [Dallas Morning News, 1/27/02, emphasis added]

 

Gramm And His Wife Had Close Ties To Enron

 

Gramm And His Wife Dubbed “Mr. And Mrs. Enron.” The Dallas Morning News reported, “Critics say the Gramms’ high-powered positions raise questions about improper influence.  The financial newspaper Barron’s tagged the couple with the label ‘Mr. and Mrs. Enron.’” [Dallas Morning News, 1/27/02]

 

Gramm Took Over $100,000 From Enron, More Than All But One Other Senator. Between 1986 and 2000, Senator Gramm took at least $100,850 in political contributions from Enron.  According to the Dallas Morning News, Enron “contributed $97,350 to the Texas Republican’s campaigns since 1989, the most of any senator apart from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas.”  Data from CQ Moneyline, which tracks political contributions prior to 1989, showed that Gramm also received $3,500 in Enron donations from 1986 to 1988. [Dallas Morning News, 1/18/02; CQ Moneyline, accessed 6/2/08]

 

As Far Back As 1990, Gramm Was Looking Out For Enron’s Interests. According to San Antonio Express News columnist Jan Jarboe Russell, Gramm “pushed deregulation bills through the U.S. Senate.  Sometimes in his legislative zeal, Gramm even mentioned Enron by name – in 1990, for instance, Gramm supported a tax credit for natural gas drilling by citing Enron’s desire for tax relief.  Naturally Gramm was rewarded for his commitment to free enterprise with large campaign contributions from Enron.  According to the Center for Responsive politics, in 10 years, Enron donated more than $100,000 to Gramm’s political campaigns.” [San Antonio Express-News, 10/27/02]

 

Gramm’s New Employer Took Over Enron’s Energy Trading Operations. The Dallas Morning News reported, “Sen. Phil Gramm bade farewell to public service on Monday, announcing he’s becoming an investment banker when he leaves the Senate in three months.  The Texas Republican said he had signed with one of the world’s largest investment banks, UBS Warburg, to be its vice chairman and serve on its policy board. … UBS Warburg is part of a sprawling Swiss-based financial services conglomerate with nearly 70,000 employees in 50 countries.  In January, it took over the energy trading operations of Enron Corp. – the bankrupt Houston energy firm where Mr. Gramm’s wife, Dr. Wendy Gramm, had been a director.” [Dallas Morning News, 10/8/02, emphasis added]

 

San Antonio Express-News Columnist: Gramms And Enron May Have Had “Quid Pro Quo,” But Definitely Helped Cause Scandal. In an editorial in the San Antonio Express-News, Jan Jarboe Russell wrote, “Whether there was an official quid pro quo between U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, his wife, Wendy, and the peerless promoters who once ran the Enron Corp. is a matter between the Gramms, Enron and heaven’s own accountants.  It’s safe to say, however, that without the help of the Gramms, Enron would not have been so successful at keeping the government completely out of its affairs until A.) California consumers were hit with skyrocketing electricity bills and B.) Enron imploded from within.” [San Antonio Express-News, 10/27/02]

 

Gramm Was Close With Enron Chairman Ken Lay

 

Ken Lay Personally Gave Gramm $10,500. According to CQ Moneyline, Enron chairman was one of Gramm’s biggest political benefactors, contributing $10,500 to Gramm’s political campaigns. [CQ Moneyline, accessed 6/2/08]

 

1996: Ken Lay Was Regional Chairman Of Gramm’s Failed Presidential Campaign. According to the Center for Public Integrity, Enron CEO Ken Lay and his wife were regional chairs of the 1996 Gramm presidential campaign. [Center for Public Integrity, accessed 6/3/08]

 

1996: Ken Lay Was Texas Finance Committee Chairman For Gramm’s Failed Presidential Campaign.  According to the Sunday Oregonian, “Lay chaired the Texas finance committee for Sen. Phil Gramm’s 1996 presidential bid.” [Sunday Oregonian, 6/22/97]

 

 

  • Fortune: Lay Was “Major Contributor” For Gramm’s Presidential Bid. Fortune reported that Ken Lay “was a major contributor and fundraiser for former President George Bush, and for the failed presidential campaign of Texas Senator Phil Gramm, whose wife, former Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Wendy Gramm, sits on Enron’s board.” [Fortune, 8/5/96]

 

1992: Ken Lay Was Chairman Of Gramm’s Senate Re-Election Campaign. According to the Texas Observer, Enron CEO Ken Lay was the chairman of Phil Gramm’s 1992 re-election campaign. [Texas Observer, 5/30/08]

 

Gramm Called Longtime “Friend” Lay A “Renaissance Man” And Complimented His Business Sense. Business Week reported, “But Lay is no country bumpkin: Texas Senator Phil Gramm, a longtime Republican friend for whom Lay has worked as a fund-raiser, says there’s ‘an element of the Renaissance man,’ about the well-read Lay, noting that he’s ‘as comfortable talking about the ancient Greeks as he is the competitive selling of electric power.’  Gramm also credits Lay, who has a PhD in economics, with an ability to separate the important from the trivial.  ‘He has the ability to step back from an issue and see the big picture, something that I don’t see in a lot of people in business,’ says Gramm.” [Business Week, 6/9/97, emphasis added]

 

Gramm’s Wife Helped Lead To Enron Crisis & Served On Enron’s Board As It Failed

 

Gramm’s Wife Sat On Enron Board And Served On Audit And Compliance Committee. According to the Dallas Morning News, Gramm’s wife not only sat on Enron’s board, she was also “a member of the board’s audit and compliance committee.” [Dallas Morning News, 1/27/02]

 

Gramm’s Wife Was Responsible For Working With Enron Auditors To Maintain The Company’s Books. The Dallas Morning News reported, “As a member of Enron’s audit committee, Dr. Gramm carried the burden of helping keep the company’s books clean.  ‘This is not an honorary position that doesn’t require work,’ said corporate-governance expert Curtis Verschoor.  ‘An audit committee director has a hard-working responsibility, and if you don’t take it seriously, you could get your company – or get yourself – in trouble,’ said Dr. Verschoor, a senior research professor with DePaul University’s school of accounting and author of a book on corporate director responsibilities.  Indeed, the Securities and Exchange Commission is so strict that it requires a corporation’s outside auditors to work directly for the board of directors’ audit committee. … Because of the special responsibilities borne by corporate audit committees, some outside experts question how Enron’s panel – and the board – could have been in the dark about so many questionable dealings.  ‘If you’ve asked the right questions, why then you’re protected,’ governance expert Dr. Verschoor said of the audit committee.  ‘It seems hard to believe that if they did their job they wouldn’t have known more and been able to prevent what happened – but it’s possible.’” [Dallas Morning News, 1/18/02, emphasis added]

 

Senate Investigators Subpoenaed Gramm’s Wife’s Papers About Enron Oversight. The Dallas Morning News reported, “A Senate investigations subcommittee has subpoenaed Dr. Gramm’s papers about oversight of Enron’s accounts and [Arthur] Andersen.” [Dallas Morning News, 1/18/02]

 

Gramm’s Wife Named In Enron Lawsuits. The Dallas Morning News reported, “Wendy Gramm, a research scholar on regulatory matters who has a doctorate in economics, has served on the Enron board’s audit and compliance committee since 1993.  Several Enron shareholder lawsuits alleging securities fraud and insider trading have named her as a defendant.  The lawsuits seek tens of billions of dollars in damages from Enron’s board, management and accountants, Arthur Andersen LLP.” [Dallas Morning News, 1/23/02, emphasis added]

 

Houston Chronicle Columnist: Gramm’s Wife “Helped Make Enron Possible.” Houston Chronicle columnist Rick Casey wrote, “Wendy Gramm isn’t going to prison.  There’s no reason to think she’ll be charged with a crime, despite her considerable involvement with Enron.  First, she helped make Enron possible.  As chairwoman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the first Bush administration, she oversaw a reregulation scheme that legalized Enron’s creative cowboy approach to energy trading.  Second, as an Enron board member sitting on its audit committee, she had at least theoretical responsibility for its inventive accounting practices.” [Houston Chronicle, 2/6/04]

 

Outside Experts Questioned Whether Gramm’s Wife Neglected Enron Duties. The Dallas Morning News reported, “Some critics have wondered whether the three foreigners on Enron’s six-member audit committee have the knowledge of U.S. accounting and securities rules to qualify for that duty [ensuring the company’s accounting practices are in line with the law].  But there are no such doubts about Dr. Gramm’s credentials.  ‘Somebody who headed up the CFTC would know something about the commodities industry and understand something about how complex these derivatives can be, and could sit down and study them,’ said Duke University Law School professor James D. Cox, who specializes in securities law.  ‘The real question is did she, or did she take just a glossy summary?’  Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission changed the rules for corporate audit committees to crack down on ‘glossy summaries’ or otherwise cursory reviews.” [Dallas Morning News, 1/18/02]

 

Gramm’s Wife Cashed Out Her Enron Stock, Earned Hundreds Of Thousands. According to the Dallas Morning News, Wendy Gramm’s serve on Enron’s  board “brought her more than $276,000 in stock profits before she cashed out in 1998, and hundreds of thousands more in compensation since then.” [Dallas Morning News, 1/18/02]

 

Even After Her Involvement In Enron, Gramm’s Wife Opposed New Rules To Prevent Future Scandals. Houston Chronicle columnist Rick Casey wrote, “In the wake of Enron and other corporate scandals, the Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed a new rule that would attempt to open up corporate boards just a crack to more independent board members.  The notion is that self-perpetuating boards tend to become captive to management and to self-serving instincts. … [Wendy] Gramm, on the other hand, thinks they go too far.  Writing from her post as director of the regulatory studies program at the Mercatus Center (a free market think tank at George Mason University that received $50,000 from Enron before its collapse), she joins the group of corporate CEOs and corporate lawyers that oppose the change.  As always, Gramm puts her faith in markets rather than regulation, even a regulation that simply and weakly attempts to open up board nominations.  ‘Boards who consistently operate at variance with shareholder interests…will see the values of their firm’s shares fall, other things equal,’ she writes, adding that this will result either in takeover or bankruptcy.  ‘Indeed the recent spate of corporate scandals has, if anything, provided vivid testimony as to how quickly and efficiently this market process works in practice,’ she concludes with no evident sense of self-irony.  Those of you who lost your life savings in Enron stock (after Gramm cashed hers out for $300,000) can appreciate the quickness and efficiency of the current system.” [Houston Chronicle, 2/6/04, emphasis added]

 

Salon: Wendy “Gramm Thinks The System Works Just Fine.” Salon reported, “Wendy Gramm, a member of the Enron audit committee that approved Fastow’s shady partnerships, filed one of the reported record 12,000 public comments on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposal to tweak the rules for choosing corporate boards of directors.  The SEC proposal grew out of a consensus that, thank to a Soviet-style election system that effectively sidelines shareholders, directors were neglecting their legal duty to investors to oversee managers, creating a climate conducive to corporate scandals.  For example, the failure of Enron’s board of directors in general, and its audit committee, in particular, led to the company’s stunning bankruptcy, vaporizing stockholdings once valued at $90 billion.  You’d expect Wendy Gramm, now head of the Regulatory Studies Program at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, to recognize that the Enron board’s extraordinary failure indicated a dire need for reform.  You’d be dead wrong.  Gramm thinks the system works just fine.  After all, she pocketed an estimated $2 million as an Enron director.” [Salon.com, 1/28/04]

 

Phil Gramm Worked To Kill Legislation To Address Problems Highlighted By Enron

 

Gramm “Almost Singlehandedly Killed” Legislation Preventing Companies Like Enron From Masking Profits. The Houston Chronicle reported, “This spring he [Gramm] almost singlehandedly killed an Enron-related amendment drafted by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.  The provision would have prevented energy traders – such as Enron’s online business, now owned by UBS – from masking profits.  Feinstein’s amendment to the Senate energy bill would have required energy traders to reveal wholesale prices.  The idea was to prevent the conditions that led to huge spikes in the cost of electricity during California’s energy crisis last year.”  [Houston Chronicle, 10/8/02; S. 517, Vote #61, 4/10/2002]

 

McCain Has Repeatedly Heaped Praise On Gramm

 

McCain Said Gramm Was “One Of The Smartest People In The World On Economics.” While speaking with Dave Davies of the Philadelphia Daily News, McCain said Phil Gramm was, “one of the smartest people in the world on economics.” [Philadelphia Daily News, 7/1/08]

 

McCain Said He Would Rely On Phil Gramm “To A Much Larger Degree Than Any ‘Formal’ Organization.” During a Republican Debate in Florida, John McCain said, “You remember back in 1982 when Phil Gramm -- Phil Gramm and Warren Rudman and Gramm-Latta and all of those people got the first real tax cuts done, the real -- first real restraints in taxes. I was there. You were there. And I rely on those people to a much larger degree than any, quote, ‘formal’ organization, although the secretary of Treasury is obviously one of the key and important posts that I would have.” [MSNBC, Republican Debate at Florida Atlantic University, 1/24/08]

 

McCain Said “There’s Nobody That I Know That’s Stronger” On Economics Than Phil Gramm.  During a campaign event in Florence, South Carolina, McCain said, “Could I mention to you the presence of my dear and beloved friend from many, many years ago, the first time I came here really seriously was as chairman of his presidential campaign.  I love him dearly, on issues of economics and others, family values, there’s nobody that I know that’s stronger than my friend, the former senator from the state of Texas, Phil Gramm.” [McCain GOTV Event in Florence, South Carolina, 1/18/08]

 

McCain: “Senator Gramm Has One Of The Most Honorable Records Of Anyone Who Has Served In The United States.”  MSNBC’s “Countdown” featured a video clip where McCain was asked if Phil Gramm had ever personally lobbied his office.  McCain said, “Senator Gramm has one of the most honorable records of anyone who has served in the United States and, of course, he has never lobbied me.” [MSNBC, “Countdown,” 5/28/08]

 

McCain: “I’m Proud To Have The Support Of People Like Phil Gramm… That’s For A Reason.” During an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, McCain said, “I’m proud of my fiscal record. I’m proud of the efforts to cut spending. I’m proud to have the support of people like Phil Gramm, Jack Kemp and Marty Feldstein and the strongest fiscal conservatives in our party that are all supporting me. That’s for a reason.” [CNN, “Sunday Morning,” 1/20/08]

 

McCain Said Phil Gramm As “One Of The Reasons” He Won In New Hampshire.  During an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, McCain said, “Well look, people who examine my record, people who see me with Jack Kemp, people who see me with Phil Gramm, people see me with Senator Tom Coburn and all those strong economic and respected conservatives, that’s one of the reasons why we just won this race and why we won in New Hampshire.” [CNN, “Sunday Morning,” 1/20/08]

 

McCain Said He And Phil Gramm Came To Power With “One Common Goal.” During a town hall meeting in Waco, Texas, John McCain said, “I’ve been involved in issues of the economy for many, many years. In fact, I was one of those along with Phil Gramm and Jack Kemp and a number of us who, when we came into power, inflation was at 10%, interest rates were at 20%, unemployment was at 10%, I believe, as I recall. I mean the economic conditions when President Reagan came into power were incredible and we went about with one common goal and that was to fix our economy and based on conservative fiscal principles...” [McCain Town Hall in Waco, Texas, 3/3/08; emphasis added]

 

WSJ: Phil Gramm “Would Almost Certainly Be Treasury Secretary In A McCain Administration.” In a Wall Street Journal column, editorial board member Stephen Moore wrote, “On a broader range of economic issues, though, Mr. McCain readily departs from Reaganomics. His philosophy is best described as a work in progress. He is refreshingly blunt when he tell me: “I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.” OK, so who does he turn to for advice? His answer is reassuring. His foremost economic guru is former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm (who would almost certainly be Treasury Secretary in a McCain administration).” [Moore, Wall Street Journal, 11/26/05]

 

Douglas Holtz-Eakin

 

Holtz Eakin Admitted Bush Tax Cuts Are “Easily Two to Three Times” The Cost of War. When Asked by NPR host how to characterize the costs of the war and the size of the tax cut, Mr. Eakin elaborated: “From a narrow budget perspective, the war adds, say, on the order of a hundred billion dollars to the federal budget, probably a little bit less. The tax cuts, they're easily twice, maybe three times that, depending on the year in which take place. So it's real clear that the tax cuts are bigger than the war costs, from a straight budget perspective.”[NPR, Fresh Air 1/26/06]

 

  • Yet McCain Said He Would Not Let Democrats Roll Back Bush Tax Cuts. According to the Phoenix Business Journal, at an Americans for Prosperity Summit in Michigan, McCain said he would not “…let the Democrats roll back the Bush tax cuts.”  He added, “I believe we should protect the American family against tax increases by requiring a three-fifths majority in Congress to raise taxes…But I will cut middle class taxes and keep them low the right way – by also cutting spending so we don’t add to the debt we leave to our children.” [Phoenix Business Journal, 1/14/08]

 

  • And McCain Voted To Extend Bush Tax Cuts for the Super Rich. In 2006, McCain voted to extend tax cuts supported by the president that were set to expire between 2005 and 2010. “The Senate voted 53-47…in favor of extending the president’s investor tax cuts on dividends and capital gains. Joining in this breakthrough vote was John McCain, the senator who voted against these tax cuts when they were introduced in 2003. This is an important shift for the GOP presidential frontrunner[.]” McCain’s vote was described as “a sharp reversal of his anti-tax-cut posture,” though he defended the shift, saying, “it was a gimmick,” reasoning that “the tax cuts were temporary and then had to be made permanent.” [Senate vote #10, H.R. 4297, 2/2/06, passed 66-31; New York Times, 2/21/06; Washington Times, 3/6/06; NBC News, 4/2/06]

 

  • McCain Said Nation Could Afford Tax Cuts and Spending on the War. According to the Miami Herald, “…the so-called ‘Bush tax cuts.’ McCain voted against them in 2003, noting that cutting so many taxes in a time of war and increased spending would widen the budget deficit and hurt the economy.  The deficit widened. The economy is getting worse. But McCain now says the tax cuts should stay. The reason: Eliminating a tax cut is a tax increase, he says.  Asked about his former logic -- whether the nation could afford tax cuts and spending on the war -- McCain said: ‘Sure, with a healthy economy, absolutely.’” [Miami Herald, 1/24/08]

 

Holtz-Eakin Claimed McCain Wouldn’t “Play Election Year Politics With Mortgage Crisis” John McCain will not play election-year politics with the mortgage crisis. In evaluating any proposal, he will apply four principles: (1) No taxpayer dollars should bail out real estate speculators or financial market participants who failed to do due diligence in assessing credit risks. (2) Any financial assistance should be accompanied by reforms that ensure that we never face this problem again. (3) Too little equity -- small down payments by home buyers and too little capital at our financial institutions -- was a source of the housing and credit problem that must be reversed. (4) Where government assistance is merited, lenders and homeowners should make financial sacrifices to qualify. [Washington Post, 3/24/08]

 

But Just A few Weeks later…

 

  • Wall Street Journal: McCain Rejects Prior Approach And Calls For "Aggressive Federal Government Role." The Wall Street Journal reported, "John McCain called for an aggressive federal government role aimed at stabilizing the housing market, rejecting a largely hands-off approach he outlined two weeks ago. … Most significantly, he urged the federal government to guarantee new mortgages for homeowners at risk of foreclosure." [Wall Street Journal, 4/11/08]

 

  • WSJ: "McCain's New Housing Approach Represents A Major Shift." The Wall Street Journal reported, "Sen. McCain's new housing approach represents a major shift from the one he laid out in his speech two weeks ago, when he emphasized his opposition to any sort of government bailout for people who made bad decisions." [Wall Street Journal, 4/11/08]

 

 

 

Tracking The Attacks

 

McCain’s Attacks Of Obama’s Positions

 

John McCain is a career politician who takes advantage of every opportunity to attack Barack Obama.  John McCain knows his records is indistinguishable from President Bush’s, so he resorts to his only other option: dirty politics.  Below is list of McCain’s criticisms of Barack Obama.

 

Cuba

 

“An Unconditional Summit Meeting With Raul Castro Is Exactly The Wrong Approach.” McCain campaign spokes man Tucker Bounds said, “Senator Obama's promises of unilateral concessions to Cuba's dictators even in advance of an unconditional summit meeting with Raul Castro is exactly the wrong approach to free the people of Cuba.” Mr. Bounds has also said, “Senator Obama's reckless judgment, and his pandering on trade will set back relations between the United States and Latin America for decades. That's not a new day the people of North and South America want to wake up to.” [Boston Globe, 5/24/08; Associated Press 5/23/08]

 

 

Earmarks     

 

McCain: “I'm Disappointed, Again, That Senator Obama Became Part Of The Same Old System.” During a campaign event in Miami, Florida, John McCain criticized Obama’s earmarks.  He said, “I'm disappointed, again, that Senator Obama became part of the same old system as he did, not only authorizing pork barrel projects, but seeking additional earmarks, which he has to the tune of tens of millions of dollars in the short time that he's been a member of the United States Senate. So they don't get it.  They don't get it that the American people are fed up.” [McCain Campaign Event in Miami, Florida, 6/6/08]

 

McCain Criticized Obama For Requesting Earmarks.  McCain said, “It also has a confidence impact, a confidence impact that the American people see their tax dollars being frittered away in wasteful and unnecessary spending. Which by the way, Senator Obama has engaged in heavily, and Senator Clinton has engaged in heavily.” [This Week, 2/17/08]

 

McCain Criticized Obama’s Earmarks. Responding to a report by Taxpayers for Common Sense, McCain said, “And the senator from Illinois, who says that he wants transparency in government, will not reveal the number of earmarks that he received in 2006 and 2005. Is that transparency in government? I don’t think so. I don’t think so!” [FOX News, 2/14/08]

 

 

Economy

 

McCain: “You Work Hard In Small Businesses… And The Federal Government Shouldn’t Make Your Work Any Harder.” During a speech in front of the National Small Business Summit, John McCain said, “He proposes to eliminate the secret ballot for union votes, and to raise the minimum wage and then index it, which is a sure way to add to your costs and to slow the creation of new jobs. You work hard in small businesses to grow and to create new jobs and opportunities for others — and the federal government shouldn’t make your work any harder.” [McCain Remarks at the National Small Business Summit, 6/10/08]

 

“He Doesn’t Understand The American Economy.” McCain campaign spokes man Tucker Bounds said, “Again, Senator Obama said he would raise taxes on hardworking families during an economic downturn, which makes it clear that he doesn’t understand the American economy. His inconsistencies raised many more questions about Barack Obama’s strength than they answered, and American families cannot afford leadership that can’t deliver.” [Fox News, 4/27/08]

 

 

Education

 

Barack Obama Has Never Spearheaded Education Reforms.  McCain campaign spokes man Tucker Bounds said, “While in the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama has never spearheaded education reforms, which, despite his lofty rhetoric, demonstrates his weak leadership on an issue that is critical to the economic strength of our country.” He added, “It's no coincidence that a leading education magazine noted that Senator Obama has made no significant mark on education policy.” [Rocky Mountain News, 5/29/08]

 

Energy/Environment

 

McCain Criticized Obama For Backing The Bush/Cheney Energy Bill.  During a speech in New Orleans, McCain said, “Senator Obama voted for the same policies that created the problem. In fact, he voted for the energy bill promoted by President Bush and Vice President Cheney, which gave even more breaks to the oil industry. I opposed it because I know we won't achieve energy independence by repeating the mistakes of the last half century.” [McCain speech in New Orleans, 6/5/08]

 

McCain: “I Know Of No Record That Senator Obama Has On Any Aspect Of This Issue.” While speaking about his cap and trade proposal, John McCain said, “I would just like to point out that since 2001, I have been heavily engaged in this issue. I know of no legislative action or any proposal -- serious proposal made by Senator Obama on this issue… I know of no record that Senator Obama has on any aspect of this issue -- any involvement, any legislation. So I'd like to see him -- I'd love to see him come up with a plan of his own, and I'll be glad to examine it.  But I am committed -- I am committed to this issue, and have a clear record. So people, I think, can have confidence of my continued commitment as president of the United States. And I'm sure they will.” [McCain Campaign Event in Miami, Florida, 6/6/08]

 

 

Foreign Policy        

 

McCain: “Americans Ought To Be Concerned About [Obama’s] Judgment.” While campaigning in New Orleans, Louisiana, John McCain said, “Americans ought to be concerned about the judgment of a presidential candidate who says he's ready to talk, in person and without conditions, with tyrants from Havana to Pyongyang, but hasn't traveled to Iraq to meet with General Petraeus, and see for himself the progress he threatens to reverse.” [Associated Press, 6/3/08]

 

 

Iran

 

McCain Said Meeting With Iranian Leaders Would Confer “International Legitimacy” And “Could Strengthen Him.” During remarks at the National Restaurant Association’s meeting in Chicago, Illinois, McCain said, “An unconditional summit meeting with the next American president would confer both international legitimacy on the Iranian president and could strengthen him domestically when he is unpopular among the Iranian people.” [McCain remarks to the National Restaurant Association, 5/19/08]

 

McCain Said Obama “Shows A Lack Of Experience And A Lack Of Judgment.” During a campaign event in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, McCain said, “Just a week or so ago, the president of Iran said that Israel was a, quote, "stinking corpse," and reiterated his nation's policy and dedication to the extinction of the state of Israel. My friends, they are developing nuclear weapons.  Also, what is totally unsatisfactory is that the Iranians are making -- are manufacturing and shipping into Iraq the most lethal explosive devices that are killing young Americans. That's not acceptable.  And Senator Obama wants to sit down without any precondition across the table and negotiate with this individual. My friends, that's not right, and that's naive.  And that shows a lack of experience and a lack of judgment.” [McCain Event in Baton Rouge Louisiana, 6/4/08]

 

McCain: “It Shows A Naiveté And A Lack Of Experience.” John McCain criticized Senator Obama’s stance on Iran.  He said, “Senator Obama repeatedly stated his commitment to meeting with the President of Iran. He was specifically asked and said he would meet without any preconditions with the President of Iran because he thought it was good to have face-to-face conversations with our adversaries. I mean, he said it. I didn't say it. And it shows a naiveté and a lack of experience that Americans will make a judgment about.” [Globe and Mail, 6/5/08]

 

McCain: “It Is Reckless To Suggest That Unconditional Meetings Will Advance Our Interests.” During a speech in front of the National Rifle Association, McCain said, “I welcome a debate about protecting America. No issue is more important. Senator Obama claimed all I had to offer was the "naive and irresponsible belief" that tough talk would cause Iran to give up its nuclear program. He should have known better.  I have some news for Senator Obama. Talking, not even with soaring rhetoric, unconditional -- in unconditional meetings with the man who calls Israel a stinking corpse and arms terrorists who kill Americans, will not convince Iran to give up its nuclear program. It is reckless. It is reckless to suggest that unconditional meetings will advance our interests.” [CNN, “The Situation Room,” 5/16/08]

 

McCain Said Obama’s Stance On Iraq Would Increase Iranian Influence.  While speaking with reporters in Florida, John McCain said, “By advocating what would basically be defeat in Iraq, I believe that Iranian influence would be thereby increased, posing a greater threat to the state of Israel.” [Palm Beach Post, 6/7/08]

 

 

Iraq   

 

McCain Criticized Obama For Never Meeting With General Petraeus.  During a campaign event in Miami, Florida, John McCain said, “Senator Obama, incredibly, has yet to acknowledge that it is succeeding, and, even more incredibly, has never seized an opportunity to asked for a meeting with General Petraeus… if we do and had done what Senator Obama advocated, then the benefits, the failure would have meant chaos and genocide in the region. It would have meant that we'd have told the Iranians that their influence can increase. It would have meant chaos and more conflict in the region, and we would have been back.” [McCain Campaign Event in Miami, Florida, 6/6/08]

 

McCain: “That Is A Profound Misunderstanding, A Profound Misunderstanding, Of What's Happened In Iraq.”  During a town hall meeting in Reno, Nevada, John McCain said, “My friends, that is a profound misunderstanding, a profound misunderstanding, of what's happened in Iraq and what's at stake in Iraq, because if we set a date for withdrawal, which Senator Obama wants to do, there will be chaos. There will be genocide. There will be increased Iranian influence there, and we will have to go back with further sacrifice of American blood and treasure. I will never let that happen as President of the United States. I will never surrender in Iraq. I will not let that happen.” [McCain Town Hall in Reno, Nevada, 5/28/08]

 

McCain: “Obama Has Been To Iraq Once -- A Little Over Two Years Ago.” According to CNN, “Sen. John McCain strongly criticized Sen. Barack Obama Wednesday for not visiting Iraq in more than two years and for turning down the Arizona senator's suggestion that the two should make a joint trip to the country.  ‘Sen. Obama has been to Iraq once -- a little over two years ago he went and he has never seized the opportunity except in a hearing to meet with Gen. [David] Petraeus,’ McCain said at a campaign event in Reno, Nevada. ‘My friends, this is about leadership and learning.’” [CNN, 5/28/08]

 

McCain: “To Promise A Withdrawal Of Our Forces From Iraq… Is The Height Of Irresponsibility.” During a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention in Kansas City, McCain said, “I do not believe that anyone should make promises as a candidate for President that they cannot keep if elected. To promise a withdrawal of our forces from Iraq, regardless of the calamitous consequences to the Iraqi people, our most vital interests, and the future of the Middle East, is the height of irresponsibility. It is a failure of leadership.” [McCain Speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, 4/7/08]

 

McCain: “I Have Some News. Al Qaeda Is In Iraq.  It's Called Al Qaeda In Iraq.” Attempting to exploit comments made by Senator Obama, McCain said, “I have some news. Al Qaeda is in Iraq.  It’s called al Qaeda in Iraq. And, my friends, they wouldn't -- if we left, they wouldn't be establishing a base. They wouldn't be establishing a base. They would be taking a country, and I'm not going to allow that to happen, my friends. I will not surrender.” [CNN, “Anderson Cooper 260,” 2/27/08]

 

 

Public Financing

 

McCain: “Please Keep Your Word To The American People On The Commitment You Made In Writing.” While speaking to reporters in Dallas, McCain said, “He's always talking in his speeches about how we need to keep our word with the American people. Please keep your word to the American people on the commitment you made in writing.” [Reuters, 4/11/08]

 

McCain Pressured Obama To Accept Public Financing. In a series of speeches, McCain pressed Barack Obama to accept public financing for the general election. McCain said, “I think the American people would expect him to hold to that commitment, especially if we want to bring about change.” In response to Obama’s op-ed, McCain said, “That’s Washington doublespeak, I committed to public financing. He committed to public financing. It’s not any more complicated than that. I’ll keep my word, and I want him to keep his.” [Associated Press, 2/20/08]

 

McCain Campaign Attempted To Lure Obama Into Accepting Public Financing. John McCain’s presidential campaign attempted to lure Obama into restating his earlier pledge to accept public financing if the GOP candidate did. A McCain adviser said, “It’s not a game to McCain. Mr. Obama gave his word, and he either places value on that or he’s just fooling voters.” [New York Times, 2/15/08]

 

 

Social Security

 

McCain: “He Proposes To Eliminate The Social Security Earnings Cap.” During a speech in front of the National Small Business Summit, John McCain said, “He proposes to eliminate the Social Security earnings cap, and thereby to increase the tax on employers.” [McCain Remarks at the National Small Business Summit, 6/10/08]

 

 

Special Interests

 

McCain: “I Think It Suggests A Bit Of A Contradiction.” After being asked about Obama’s association with former Countrywide CEO Jim Johnson, John McCain said, “I think it suggests a bit of a contradiction talking about how his campaign is going to be not associated with people like that. Clearly he is very much associated with that.” [Fox News, 6/9/08]

 

 

Southwestern Issues

 

McCain: “He Has No Experience Or Background On Any Of The Vital Issues To The People Of New Mexico.” During a campaign event in New Mexico, McCain said, “There'll be a stark contrast between myself and Senator Obama. State like New Mexico, he has no experience or background on any of the vital issues to the people of New Mexico, whether it be water, land, federal issues, or native Americans. And so I look forward to debating here and campaigning here as I have many times in the past.” [CNN, “American Morning,” 5/27/08]

 

 

Scope Of Government

 

McCain: “Senator Obama Seems To Want To Go Back To The Failed Policies Of The '60s And '70s.” During a campaign event in Miami, Florida, John McCain said, “[I]t's going to require the right kind of change, not the wrong kind of change.  Senator Obama seems to want to go back to the failed policies of the '60s and '70s -- bigger government, higher taxes, more government programs. I don't think that's the right way to go, and I look forward to debating. [McCain Campaign Event in Miami, Florida, 6/6/08]

 

 

McCain: “They Will Promise A New Approach To Governing, But Offer Only The Policies Of A Political Orthodoxy That Insists The Solution To Government’s Failures Is To Simply Make It Bigger.” According to the Wall Street Journal, “McCain’s victory speech had some tart rejoinders aimed at Obama’s campaign themes. ‘They will promise a new approach to governing, but offer only the policies of a political orthodoxy that insists the solution to government’s failures is to simply make it bigger,’ McCain said.” [Wall Street Journal, Washington Wire, 2/12/08]

 

 

Taxes

 

McCain: “Spend, Spend. Tax, Spend. He's Got A Proposal That Would Raise Taxes By $1.4 Trillion.” During an appearance on NBC Nightly News, John McCain said, “spend, spend. Tax, spend. He's got a proposal that would raise taxes by $1.4 trillion over five--or over five years--raise spending, excuse me, raise spending by $1.4 trillion over five years, and no way to pay for his programs. That would put us further in debt.” [NBC Nightly News, 6/9/08]    

 

McCain Said Obama Offered “The Single Largest Tax Increase Since The Second World.” During a speech in front of the National Small Business Summit, John McCain said, “No matter which of us wins in November, there will be change in Washington. The question is what kind of change? Will we enact the single largest tax increase since the Second World War as my opponent proposes, or will we keep taxes low for families and employers? This election offers Americans a very distinct choice about what kind of change we will have.” [McCain Remarks at the National Small Business Summit, 6/10/08]

 

McCain: “They Would Take From Us More Of The Wealth We Have Earned To Build Those Dreams.” During a speech in Alexandria, Virginia, McCain said of Senators Clinton and Obama, “They will appeal to our dreams of a better future for ourselves and our families and our country, but they take from us more of the wealth we have earned to build those dreams and assure us that government is better able than we are to make decisions about our future for us.” [McCain Speech in Alexandria, Virginia, 2/12/08]

 

McCain: “Senator Obama’s Plans Would Add To The Difficulties Of Small Business.” During a speech in front of the National Small Business Summit, John McCain said, “Senator Obama’s plans would add to the difficulties of small business in other ways, too. Currently, there are the 21.6 million sole proprietorships filing under the individual income tax. When Senator Obama talks about raising income tax rates on those making over 250,000 dollars — that includes these businesses as well.  [McCain Remarks at the National Small Business Summit, 6/10/08]

 

McCain: “Under Senator Obama’s Tax Plan, Americans Of Every Background Would See Their Taxes Rise.” During a speech in front of the National Small Business Summit, John McCain said, “Under Senator Obama’s tax plan, Americans of every background would see their taxes rise — seniors, parents, small business owners, and just about everyone who has even a modest investment in the market.” [McCain Remarks at the National Small Business Summit, 6/10/08]

 

Gas Tax:

 

McCain: “Senator Obama Repeated His Opposition To Giving Low-Income Americans A Tax Break.” While speaking in Coral Gables, Florida, John McCain criticized Senator Obama by saying, “I noticed again today that Senator Obama repeated his opposition to giving low-income Americans a tax break, a little bit of relief so they can travel a little further and a little longer, and maybe have a little bit of money left over to enjoy some other things in their lives.” [Associated Press, 4/28/08]

 

 

Trade

 

McCain: “Senator Obama Has A Habit Of Talking Down The Value Of Our Exports And Trade Agreements.” During a speech in front of the National Small Business Summit, John McCain said, “Unfortunately, Senator Obama has a habit of talking down the value of our exports and trade agreements. He even proposed a unilateral re-negotiation of NAFTA — our agreement with Canada and Mexico that accounts for 33 percent of American exports. But we have a sharp disagreement here that I look forward to debating.” [McCain Remarks at the National Small Business Summit, 6/10/08]

 

McCain’s Low Blows

                                                                               

McCain’s campaign flaunts the illusion that it is determined to run a friendly, principled campaign.  While promising a “respectful campaign,” McCain’s campaign routinely engages in the very smear tactics it publicly decries.  Whether it’s linking Obama to Hamas to questioning his patriotism, McCain and his surrogates are failing to live up to their self-imposed standards.

 

“In this day and age, my friend, everything is fair game.”

 

-- John McCain [MSNBC, “Hardball,” 7/21/04]

 

Holier Than Thou: McCain Pretends To Be Above The Fray        

 

Cindy McCain: “None Of This Negative Stuff Though, You Won’t See It Come Out Of Our Side At All.” During an appearance on NBC’s Today Show, Cindy McCain said, “I believe we’re going to see a great debate, which the American public deserves, more importantly.  None of this negative stuff though, you won’t see it come out of our side at all.  My husband is absolutely opposed to any negative campaigning at all.” [NBC, “Today Show,” 5/8/08; emphasis added]

 

McCain: “I Will Do Everything That I Can To Make Sure That This Campaign Is Respectful.” Pledging to run a respectful campaign, McCain said, “I've pledged to conduct my campaign in an honorable fashion… I will do everything that I can to make sure that this campaign is respectful, but I can't be a referee, and I can't judge every piece that's run and be the judge of it.” [Arizona Republic, 6/7/08]

 

McCain: “I Want To Have A Respectful Campaign. That's What Americans Really Want.” During an interview with Bill O’Reilly, McCain said, “I want to have a respectful campaign. That's what Americans really want.”  He added, “I will run a campaign that I can look back on and say, as I did in 2000 and I have every other race that I've ever been in, that I'm - that was an honorable campaign. That's what I'm going to do.” [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 5/8/08]

 

McCain: “I’m Gonna Run A Respectful Campaign.” During an appearance on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, McCain said, “I’m gonna run a respectful campaign.  Americans are sick and tired of the kind of campaigns that they’ve seen.  I will run a respectful campaign, my friend.” [Comedy Central, The Daily Show, 5/7/08

 

McCain: The American People Are “Tired Of The Impugning People's Character And Integrity.” While taking questions from reporters at the annual meeting of the Newspaper Association of America, McCain said, “Americans want a respectful campaign.  They're tired of the 527s. They're tired of the attacks. They're tired of the impugning people's character and integrity. They want a respectful campaign. And I am of the firm belief that they'll get it and they can get it, if the American demand it and reject a lot of this negative stuff that goes on.” [Transcript of the Annual Meeting of the Newspaper Association of America, 4/14/08]

 

Rick Davis: It’s Critical That “That We All Follow John's Lead And Run A Respectful Campaign.”  A public internal campaign memo written by Rick Davis stated, “It is critical, as we prepare to face off with whomever the Democrats select as their nominee, that we all follow John's lead and run a respectful campaign focused on the issues and values that are important to the American people.  Throughout the primary election we saw John McCain reject the type of politics that degrade our civics, and this will not change as he prepares to run head-to-head against the Democratic nominee.” [RealClearPolitics, 3/12/08]

 

McCain Said It Would Bother Him A “Great Deal” If He Benefitted From Latent Prejudice.  While taking questions from reporters at the annual meeting of the Newspaper Association of America, McCain was asked, “Does it bother you at all that you might actually benefit from latent prejudice in the country?”  He said, “No. That would bother me a lot. That would bother me a great deal.” [Transcript of the Annual Meeting of the Newspaper Association of America, 4/14/08]

 

McCain Vowed Attacks On Obama Will “Never Happen Again… We Just Have To Have Stronger Control Of Our Campaign.”  After Bill Cunningham invoked Barack Obama’s middle name, Hussein, McCain said those types of attacks “will never happen again.”  McCain added, “The moral of the story is we just have to have stronger control of our campaign. … There is no excuse for what happened today.” [Fox News, 2/27/08]

 

McCain: “I Will Treat Them With Respect.”  After the controversy surrounding Bill Cunningham’s remarks concerning Senator Obama’s middle name, McCain said, “I have repeatedly stated of my respect for Senator Obama and Senator Clinton, that I will treat them with respect, I will call them Senator, we will have respectful debate. I regret any comments that may be made about these two individuals who are honorable Americans. We just have strong philosophical differences.” [NPR, “Morning Edition,” 2/27/08]

 

 

McCain And The GOP Attack Dogs

 

“If I am the nominee of the party, I will obviously assure everyone within my party that this has got to be a respectful debate.”

 

-- John McCain [London Times, 2/29/08]

 

Looks Like His Party Missed The Memo…

 

The Tennessee GOP Produced A Video Lambasting Barack Obama’s Wife.  The Tennessee Republican Party produced a web video mocking Michelle Obama’s statement that “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country” despite the fact that she has since clarified her remarks.  The Associated Press wrote, “The four-minute video posted on YouTube is built around the remark, replaying it six times and interspersing it with commentary by Tennesseans, identified mostly by their first names, on why they are proud of America.” [Associated Press, 5/16/08]

 

The Tennessee GOP Issues A Statement Referring To Obama By His Middle Name And Pictured In Traditional Somali Attire.  The Tennessee Republican Party issued a press release, “that said Obama was anti-Israel and was supported by anti-Semites like Louis Farrakhan, founder of the Nation of Islam. The release uses Obama's middle name, Hussein, and includes the widely distributed photo of Obama in native Somali garb on a trip to Africa in 2006.” [International Herald Tribune, 2/29/08]

 

The North Carolina Republican Party Produced An Offensive Ad Regarding Reverend Wright.  The Raleigh News & Observer wrote, “The North Carolina Republican Party says it will air an ad linking two Democratic candidates for governor to Barack Obama's controversial former minister, despite objections from Sen. John McCain.  The ad shows video of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and then slams Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and state Treasurer Richard Moore.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 4/23/08]

 

McCain Was Unconvincing In His Efforts To Halt The North Carolina GOP’s Anti-Obama Ad.  Despite McCain’s claims that, “I've done everything that I can to repudiate and to see that this kind of campaigning does not continue,” the North Carolina Republican Party insisted on running an anti-Obama advertisement.  When asked if the state party's unwillingness to heed his call raised questions about his leadership, McCain replied: “I don't know exactly how to respond to that.” [NBC, Today Show, 4/25/08]

 

McCain Supporter Used Obama’s Middle Name, Referred To Obama As A Hack, Chicago-Style Politician.  Radio talk show host Bill Cunningham delivered remarks before John McCain took the stage at an event in Cincinnati.  Cunningham used Obama’s middle name, Hussein, three times and called him a “hack Chicago politician from the Daley political machine.” [New York Times, 2/27/08]

 

Cunningham Said McCain’s Campaign Told Him To Deliver “Red Meat” To Supporters.  While appearing on Hannity & Colmes, Bill Cunningham said McCain’s staff had told him to deliver “red meat” to supporters.  Cunningham said, “his people told me to give the faithful red meat, give them red, raw meat.” [Fox News, 2/25/08]

 

 

Same Game, Different Name

 

Swift Boater: “We Will Attack Obama Viciously.” As reported in the Washington Post, “‘We will attack Obama viciously on all fair issues, whether they are national security, whether they are taxes or the economy,’ promised Chris LaCivita, one of the Republican strategists behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that attacked Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry in 2004. LaCivita added: ‘At the end of the day, every individual has a right to participate in the political process whether John McCain likes it or not. It's their constitutional right.’” [Washington Post, 5/14/08]

 

The RNC Is Planning A $19.5 Million Campaign Trying To Paint Obama As Out Of Touch.  According to the International Herald Tribune, “The Republican National Committee is planning a $19.5 million advertising campaign to portray Obama, 46, as out of touch with the country and too inexperienced to be commander in chief, seeking to put him on the defensive before he can use his financial advantage against McCain, party officials said.” [International Herald Tribune, 5/12/08]

 

McCain Adviser: “It's Going To Be Swift Boat Times Five.” According to Newsweek, “ [A] McCain adviser, who asked for anonymity discussing internal campaign strategy, bluntly warned: ‘It's going to be Swift Boat times five on both sides … The candidates will both do their best publicly to mute it. But in a close race, I don't see how to shut that down.’” [Newsweek, 5/19/08]

 

GOP Attack Dog Said “I'm Kinda Like In A Candy Store In This Election.” Floyd Brown, who helped produce the infamous “Willie Horton” ad against Michael Dukakis, is reportedly gearing up for a dirty campaign against Obama.  He said, “There's plenty of stuff out there… I'm kinda like in a candy store in this election.” [Newsweek, 5/19/08]

 

 

Bipartisanship

 

McCain: “He Has Never Taken The Hard But Right Course Of Risking His Own Interests For Yours.” McCain gave a speech in New Orleans, Louisiana in which he criticized Obama.  He said, “Both Senator Obama and I promise we will end Washington's stagnant, unproductive partisanship. But one of us has a record of working to do that and one of us doesn't. Americans have seen me put aside partisan and personal interests to move this country forward. They haven't seen Senator Obama do the same. For all his fine words and all his promise, he has never taken the hard but right course of risking his own interests for yours; of standing against the partisan rancor on his side to stand up for our country. He is an impressive man, who makes a great first impression. But he hasn't been willing to make the tough calls; to challenge his party; to risk criticism from his supporters to bring real change to Washington. I have.” [McCain Speech in New Orleans, Louisiana, 6/3/08]

 

“Obama Has Repeatedly Shown That He Can’t Stand Up To The Left-Wing Interests In His Party.” The McCain campaign released a statement saying, “Are we to believe Senator Obama has the strength to take recommendations from General Patraeus, who has advised against immediate withdrawal, when Obama has repeatedly shown that he can’t stand up to the left-wing interests in his party?” [Fox News, 4/27/08]

 

Elitism

 

McCain: “I Don’t Agree With Senator Obama That They Cling To Their Religion.” During a townhall meeting, John McCain said, “We`re going to the small towns in Pennsylvania, and I`m going to tell them, I don`t agree with Senator Obama that they cling to their religion and the Constitution because they are bitter.” [MSNBC, “Race for the White House,” 6/11/08] 

 

“It Shows An Elitism And Condescension Towards Hard-Working Americans.” Responding to remarks made by Obama in San Francisco, McCain spokesman Steve Schmidt said, “This is a remarkable statement and extremely revealing. It shows an elitism and condescension towards hard-working Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking. It is hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with the average Americans.” [CNN, “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” 4/11/08]

 

McCain Adviser: “The Perception Of Obama Is A Cultural Leftist. He Disses Religion…” According to U.S. News & World Report, “But McCain pegs Obama as too inexperienced to be commander in chief and too liberal for mainstream America. ‘The perception of Obama is a cultural leftist. He disses religion, and there's a chasm between his world experience’ and that of Middle Americans, says a McCain adviser, referring to the flap over Obama's comments about Pennsylvania voters being ‘bitter.’” [U.S. News & World Report, 6/16/08]

 

McCain Repeatedly Referred To Obama As An Elitist.  During an appearance on NBC’s “Today Show,” McCain said, “I would hope that Senator Obama would repudiate and apologize for his remarks concerning the heartland of America, where some kind--where his elitist remarks indicated that people who are hard-working, dedicated people who harbor traditional values and principles and value their religion and the--and the Second Amendment of the Constitution would not be treated in an elitist fashion. I hope he'll apologize for that.” [NBC, Today Show, 4/25/08]

 

 

Experience

 

McCain Said Obama Lacked “Experience, Knowledge And Judgment.” While attacking Obama aboard his campaign bus, John McCain said, “There's a huge difference there, and it's got to do with experience, knowledge and judgment -- none of which Senator Obama has.” McCain strategist Steve Schmidt added, “Inexperience and poor judgment in the president of the United States makes the world a more dangerous place.” [Washington Post, 5/21/08]

 

 

Flip-Flopping

 

McCain: “I Can't React To Every Comment That Senator Obama Makes Because It Probably Will Change.” During a campaign event in Miami, Florida, John McCain said, “I can't react to every comment that Senator Obama makes because it probably will change, as it did on sitting down and talking with -- unconditionally with Ahmadinejad and other dictators.” [McCain Campaign Event in Miami, Florida, 6/6/08]

 

 

Hamas

 

McCain: “If Senator Obama Is Favored By Hamas, I Think People Can Make Judgments Accordingly.” During a conference call with bloggers, McCain said, “I think it's very clear who Hamas wants to be the next president of the United States. If Senator Obama is favored by Hamas, I think people can make judgments accordingly.” [CNN, The Situation Room, 4/25/08]

 

McCain’s Campaign Sent An E-Mail Linking Obama To Hamas.  In an e-mail distributed by John McCain’s campaign, Christian Ferry, McCain’s Deputy Campaign Manager, wrote, “Barack Obama's foreign policy plans have even won him praise from Hamas leaders.”  He added, “We need change in America, but not the kind of change that wins kind words from Hamas, surrenders in Iraq and will hold unconditional talks with Iranian President Ahmadinejad.” [McCain Campaign E-Mail To Supporters, 4/18/08] 

 

 

Hope 

 

McCain Criticized Obama’s Message of Hope. During his victory speech after primary victories in Virginia, Maryland, and DC, McCain criticized Obama’s message of hope. “To encourage a country with only rhetoric rather than sound and proven ideas that trust in the strength and courage of free people is not a promise of hope,” McCain said. “It is a platitude.” [TIME, 2/13/08]

 

McCain’s Victory Speech Written to Focus on “Emptiness of Obama’s Inspirational Appeal.” According to TIME, “McCain’s victory speech [after the Potomac Primaries] had been written to focus on what he termed the emptiness of Obama’s inspirational appeal. ‘To encourage a country with only rhetoric rather than sound and proven ideas that trust in the strength and courage of free people is not a promise of hope,’ McCain said. ‘It is a platitude.’ … McCain closed his speech with one of Obama’s most famous lines. ‘I am fired up and ready to go,’ he told the cheering crowd. It was, for McCain, a statement of hope as much as fact.” [TIME, 2/13/08]

 

McCain: “I Have Seen Men’s Hopes Tested In Hard And Cruel Ways That Few Will Ever Experience.” According to the Wall Street Journal, “Then he took a long verbal tour of Obama’s signature theme. ‘Hope, my friends, is a powerful thing,’ McCain said, ‘I have seen men’s hopes tested in hard and cruel ways that few will ever experience.’ He went on: ‘To encourage a country with only rhetoric rather than sound and proven ideas that trust in the strength and courage of free people is not a promise of hope. It is a platitude.’” [Wall Street Journal, Washington Wire, 2/12/08]

 

 

Iran

 

Tucker Bounds: “If Barack Obama Does Not Have The Judgment And Experience To Even Identify Our Enemies, How Can We Expect Him To Stand Up To Them?” Preceding Senator Obama’s speech to AIPAC, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds released a statement that said, “In September 2007, over three quarters of the United States Senate joined together in a bipartisan fashion to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization. Barack Obama opposed this legislation, deciding that playing partisan primary politics was more important than our nation's security… If Barack Obama does not have the judgment and experience to even identify our enemies, how can we expect him to stand up to them?” [McCain Campaign Release, 6/4/08]

McCain: “Why Does Barack Obama Want To Sit Down With A State Sponsor Of Terrorism?” While speaking with reporters in Columbus, Ohio, McCain said, “This does bring up an issue that we will be discussing with the American people and that is why does Barack Obama, Senator Obama, want to sit down with a state sponsor of terrorism?” [Boston Globe, 5/16/08]

 

 

Jimmy Carter          

 

McCain: “It Seems To Me He's Running For Jimmy Carter's Second.” During an interview on NBC Nightly News, John McCain said, “Senator Obama says that I'm running for a Bush's third term. It seems to me he's running for Jimmy Carter's second.” [NBC Nightly News, 6/9/08]

 

McCain: “I’m All For Recycling -- But It's Better Applied To Paper And Plastic Than To The Failed Policies Of The 1970s.” During an energy speech in Houston, Texas, John McCain said, “So what does Senator Obama support in energy policy? Well, for starters he supported the energy bill of 2005 -- a grab-bag of corporate favors that I opposed. And now he supports new taxes on energy producers. He wants a windfall profits tax on oil, to go along with the new taxes he also plans for coal and natural gas. If the plan sounds familiar, it's because that was President Jimmy Carter's big idea too -- and a lot of good it did us. Now as then, all a windfall profits tax will accomplish is to increase our dependence on foreign oil, and hinder exactly the kind of domestic exploration and production we need. I'm all for recycling -- but it's better applied to paper and plastic than to the failed policies of the 1970's.” [McCain Energy Speech in Houston, Texas via CQ, 6/17/08]

 

Judges

 

McCain: “These Vague Words… Sound Like An Activist Judge Wrote Them.” During a speech on his judicial philosophy, John McCain criticized Senator Obama.  He said, “Senator Obama and Senator Clinton, it turned out that not even John Roberts was quite good enough for them. Senator Obama in particular likes to talk up his background as a lecturer on law, and also as someone who can work across the aisle to get things done. But when Judge Roberts was nominated, it seemed to bring out more the lecturer in Senator Obama than it did the guy who can get things done… [A]s Senator Obama explained it -- and I quote -- should share "one's deepest values, one's core concerns, one's broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one's empathy."

These vague words attempt to justify judicial activism -- come to think of it, they sound like an activist judge wrote them.” [Remarks By John McCain on Judicial Philosophy, 5/6/08]

 

 

Michelle Obama   

 

Cindy McCain: “I Don't Know About You, If You Heard Those Words Earlier. I'm Very Proud Of My Country.”  While speaking at a campaign event, Cindy McCain took a shot at Michelle Obama by saying, “I'm proud of my country. I don't know about you, if you heard those words earlier. I'm very proud of my country.”  Explaining the remark, she added, “Well, really all it was about is I always have been and will always be extremely proud of my country. I've led a very fortunate life. It was nothing more than that.” [NBC Nightly News, 2/19/08]

 

 

Taxes

 

McCain: Obama Is “Totally Insensitive To The Hopes And Dreams And Ambitions Of A 100 Million Americans.” In response to Senator Barack Obama’s proposal to increase capital gains taxes,  McCain said, “That means he has no understand of the economy and that he is totally insensitive to the hopes and dreams and ambitions of a 100 million Americans who will be affected by his almost doubling of the capital gains tax.” [Time Magazine, 4/27/08]

 

 

Terrorism

 

McCain Adviser: “Senator Obama Is A Perfect Manifestation Of A September 10th Mindset.” McCain adviser and lobbyist Randy Schuenemann said, “We have seen that Senator Obama is a perfect manifestation of a September 10th mindset… He brings the attitude, the failures of judgment, the weakness and the misunderstanding of the nature of our adversaries.” [Reuters, 6/17/08]

 

 

Changing The Definition Of “Experienced”

 

“Senator Obama does not have the experience or the knowledge or the judgment to address this nation’s national security challenges.”

-- John McCain [Reuters, 6/4/08]

 

McCain Said Military Service Doesn’t Make Someone Better Equipped To Be President

 

McCain Said Military Service “Absolutely” Didn’t Make Someone Better Equipped To Be President.   During an interview with National Journal, John McCain was asked if “military service inherently makes somebody better equipped to be commander-in-chief.” McCain said, “Absolutely not. History shows that some of our greatest leaders have had little or no military experience- Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Harry Truman was in the artillery in World War I, which was magnificent. Ronald Reagan did most of his active duty in the studio lots in California. It might be a nice thing, but I absolutely don’t believe that it’s necessary.  [National Journal, 2/15/03; emphasis added]

 

McCain: “I’ve Never Believed That Lack Of Military Service Disqualifies One From Occupying” The Oval Office.   In an address to the American Legion in 1999, John McCain said, “I believe that military service is the most honorable endeavor an American may undertake. But I’ve never believed that lack of military service disqualifies one from occupying positions of political leadership or as Commander and Chief. In America, the people are sovereign, and they decide who is and is not qualified to lead us.” [McCain Speech to the American Legion, 9/7/99]

 

McCain Defended Bush Charges That He Lacked Experience

 

McCain On Bush: “I Think It’s Well Remembered That He Was Involved In Government For A Long Time.” During a joint appearance on CNN, John McCain praised Governor Bush’s experience.  He said, “I think it’s well remembered that he was involved in government for a long time, including with the previous White House’s administration.” [CNN, “Inside Politics,” 8/10/00; emphasis added]

 

  • When Inaugurated, President Bush Had Been Involved In Government For 6 Years. George W. Bush was elected governor of Texas in 1994.  He had been involved in government for 6 years at the time of his inauguration as President of the United States.  [Associated Press, 6/3/00]

 

  • On Inauguration Day, Obama Will Have Been Involved In Government For 12 Years. Barack Obama, who entered the Illinois State Legislature in 1996 and has served in the U.S. Senate since January 2005, will have been involved in government for 12 years in January 2009.  [ABC News, 2/25/08]

 

McCain Defended Bush Against Charges That He Lacked Experience.  According to the Houston Chronicle, McCain “defended Bush against the Gore campaign’s assertion that the Texas governor lacks the experience to be president. ‘There was another governor of another big state that Democrats said was not experienced enough to be president of the United States. And his name was Ronald Reagan.’” [Houston Chronicle, 10/31/00]

 

McCain: “The Latest Sort Of Desperation Tactic Is To Say That George Bush Is Not Experienced Enough.”  During a campaign appearance in Burbank, California, McCain defended Bush against criticism alleging he lacked the necessary experience to be President.  “The latest sort of desperation tactic is to say that George Bush is not experienced enough to be president,” he said.  “I promise you I know that this man is fully prepared and fully confident and will fulfill the responsibilities of the office of President of the United States.” [Scripps Howard, 10/30/00]

 

 

Afghanistan

 

“… in the long term, we may muddle through in Afghanistan.”

-- John McCain, 11/5/03

 

McCain Last Visited Afghanistan In December 2006.  McCain visited Afghanistan on December 15, 2006 as part of a Congressional Delegation.  McCain did not visit Afghanistan on a subsequent trip to the Middle East in March of 2008, when he visited Iraq, Israel and Jordan.  [Associated Press, 12/16/06, 3/21/08] 

 

McCain Looked Past Afghanistan, Focused On Iraq

 

January 2002: McCain: “Next Up, Baghdad!”  According to the Associated Press, “America needs to attack Iraq after Afghanistan and topple Saddam Hussein, senior U.S. senators visiting this aircraft carrier said on Wednesday.

‘Next up Baghdad!’ Senator John McCain yelled out while visiting the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier's flight bridge to watch warplanes launch toward Afghanistan … ‘I think Iraq is going to have to be considered’ as a target after Afghanistan, McCain told The Associated Press” [Associated Press, 1/9/02]

 

  • 2001: McCain Looked Past Afghanistan To On Iraq. During an appearance on CNN’s “Newsnight with Aaron Brown,” John McCain said, “[O]nce we take care of the problem in Afghanistan and irradicate al Qaeda, and either kill or capture bin Laden, then we have to move to the next country. I thought Condoleezza Rice's comments about Saddam Hussein and Iraq over the weekend were very important, because once we take care of it, then we have the next challenge. As far as Afghanistan itself is concerned, remarkable success.” [CNN, “Newsnight with Aaron Brown,” 11/23/01]

 

  • 2001: McCain: “Of Course, The Next Step Is Iraq, And We Have To Address That Issue.” While discussing the war in Afghanistan during an appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” McCain said, “We have Mr. bin Laden taken care of, when the terrorist cells are eradicated in Afghanistan, there is a government of some kind of coalition, of some kind of minimal viability in Afghanistan. And then we have to consider the other states that harbor terrorists and are a threat to our survival. And of course, the next step is Iraq, and we have to address that issue.” [CNN, “Larry King Live,” 10/29/01]

 

  • 2002: McCain: “We're Going To Get The Al-Qaeda, And We're Going To Get Saddam Huss--Whoops. Whoops A Freudian Slip!” While discussing the war in Afghanistan during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” John McCain said, “American troops on the ground. That puts mer--more Americans in harm's way. But this is an evolutionary kind of thing. We learned a lesson from Tora Bora. Now we're going to have boots on the ground. We may have more tragically, we may have more American casualties, but we're going to get the al-Qaeda, and we're going to get Saddam Huss--whoops. Whoops a Freudian slip!” [MSNBC, “Hardball,” 3/5/02; emphasis added]

 

2001: McCain Said Iraq Was “Well Known To Have Supported Terrorists.”  During an appearance on CBS’s “The Early Show,” John McCain hinted at the possibility of expanding military operations beyond Afghanistan.  He said, “Iraq or Syria, Sudan, Iran--all of those countries is well known to have s--not only have supported terrorists, but supported organizations that have already inflicted death and damage to American people and assets.” [CBS, “The Early Show,” 10/9/01]

 

2001: McCain Said Saddam Hussein Was “Harboring And Assisting Terrorist Organizations.”  During an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” John McCain was asked about expanding military operations beyond Afghanistan.  He said, “I think that that possibility cannot be ruled out. A lot of it is up to those countries themselves. If they continue to harbor terrorism and to, in the case of Saddam Hussein, continue to try to develop weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them, but particularly harboring and assisting terrorist organizations who intend to destroy the United States of America and everything we believe in, then clearly the options are there… [T]he president keeps emphasizing that all nations who harbor terrorists and all nations who continue to carry out the activities, such as Saddam Hussein is involved in, are going to have to either dramatically change the way that they're doing business, or they will be subject to a US response.” [ABC, “Good Morning America,” 10/9/01]

 

2001: McCain: “If Saddam Hussein Continues To Develop Weapons Of Mass Destruction… We Have To Give Him His Choice.” During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” John McCain speculated about a possible war with Iraq.  He said, “I think the real crunch is going to come after Afghanistan is settled, and then we have to address the other countries, including Iraq… If Saddam Hussein continues to develop weapons of mass destruction, the means to deliver them, there are ties to terrorist organizations, then we have to give him his choice.” [NBC, “Meet the Press,” 10/21/01]

 

2001: McCain Outlined Reasons For War With Iraq.  During an appearance on ABC’s “Nightline,” John McCain said, “[T]here was a meeting between Iraqi intelligence and Mohamed Atta in Prague, according to Czech government sources. There has been significant involvement on the part of the Iraqis and Saddam Hussein in the acts of terror that have been committed in the past. And he is out of compliance with an agreement that he made as a result of the cease-fire that ended the Persian Gulf conflict. And at least we can demand a return of the inspectors as--as an opening in this--in this scenario that's going to play out, I think, in the next several months.” [ABC, “Nightline,” 11/28/01]

 

2001: McCain Began Making the Case For War With Iraq.  During an appearance on ABC’s “Nightline,” John McCain said, “I think we have to consider other--other military options, and that's something that I think is going to be part of an overall strategy when we get to that point. But, look, there was recently two defectors who talked about Saddam Hussein's high priority that he places on--on--on biological weapons of mass destruction. We're--we're seeing what a little--not a little, but what anthrax can do in--in its--in its rather restricted version. There is no doubt as to his avid pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. That, coupled with his relations with terrorist organizations, I think, is a case that the administration will be making as we move step by step down this road.” [ABC, “Nightline,” 11/28/01]

 

2001: McCain: “Saddam Hussein Poses A Clear And Present Danger To The Security Of The United States Of America.” During a 2001 appearance on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” John McCain said, “I think that if those of us that signed that letter are convinced of one thing, and this is really what it's all about, Saddam Hussein poses a clear and present danger to the security of the United States of America. His acquisition of weapons of mass destruction, clearly his willingness to use them and his continued contacts with terrorist organizations and assistance to them all argue and validate the president's statements from the beginning that those countries that harbor terrorists will be held responsible.” [MSNBC, “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” 12/6/01]

 

McCain Dismissed Effectiveness Of Prolonged Military Role In Afghanistan 

 

McCain: I’m Not As Concerned With Afghanistan, We May “Muddle” Through Afghanistan.  After a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington D.C., McCain was asked about the deteriorating scenario in Afghanistan.  He said, “There has been a rise in al Qaeda activity along the border. There has been some increase in U.S. casualties. I am concerned about it, but I'm not as concerned as I am about Iraq today, obviously, or I'd be talking about Afghanistan. But I believe that if Karzai can make the progress that he is making, that -- in the long term, we may muddle through in Afghanistan.” [McCain Speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, 11/5/03; emphasis added]

 

  • McCain: “We Can Take [Troops] From Other Places” To Put In Iraq. While McCain was discussing the possibility of sending more troops into Iraq during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” Chris Matthews asked, “Do we have them? We have them to send?” McCain said, “Of course we have them. One-tenth of our armed forces are now in Iraq. We can take them from other places, at least for the short term. But, we got to do it now. Time is critical.” [MSNBC, “Hardball,” 9/3/03]

 

FOUR DAYS AFTER 9/11: McCain: I Don’t Envision Occupying Afghanistan Because “I Just Don't Think It Would Be Profitable.” During an appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” John McCain said, “I don't see us ever trying to occupy Afghanistan the way the Russians and the British have tried. I don't envision that scenario, because I just don't think it would be profitable and I think we might suffer the same fate. But I think we may be in and out of that country. That's one of the military options.” [CNN, “Larry King Live,” 9/15/01]

 

McCain Said Occupying Iraq Or Afghanistan “Wouldn’t Solve The Problem” And “Would Not Be Worth It.”  During an appearance on CNN’s “Crossfire,” McCain discussed the possibility of war with Afghanistan or Iraq.  He said, “I don't know of any military person or anyone who would contemplate an occupation of any of these countries. That's just not -- that's not something that would… First of all, that wouldn't solve the problem. And second of all, the expense and effort would not be worth it. We could do it in the other ways, I believe.” [CNN, “Crossfire,” 9/19/01]

 

McCain Said An Occupation Of Afghanistan Would Be “Just The Height Of Foolishness.” During an appearance on ­­CNN , John McCain said, “I think we go in, carry out operations, whether it be search and destroy for bin Laden or his network. But a permanent occupation of that country or even semi-permanent would be just the height of foolishness and strategically would make no sense.” [CNN, 10/9/01]

 

McCain: “I Think The United States' Presence Can Be Minimal.” During an appearance on CNN’s “Wolf Blitzer Reports,” John McCain was asked about the possibility of a long-term U.S. presence in Afghanistan.  He said, “I don't think that is absolutely necessary. A United States presence in the form of AID and many other programs is necessary. I think this is an ideal situation for the United Nations, but particularly an ideal situation for the Turks. They're respected. They're a healthy military organization. They can bring in other countries that are in the region as well as Europeans. And I think the United States' presence can be minimal.” [CNN, “Wolf Blitzer Reports,” 12/7/01]

 

McCain: “Nobody In Afghanistan Threatens The United States Of America.” During an appearance on Fox News Network’s “Hannity & Colmes,” McCain said, “Think we should have had a larger peacekeeping force.

But nobody in Afghanistan threatens the United States of America and nobody is running terrorist training camps to orchestrate attacks on the United States of America.” [Fox News, “Hannity & Colmes,” 4/10/03]

 

Focus On Iraq Diverted Resources From Afghanistan

 

2008: Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Said Not Enough Was Being Done In Afghanistan Because Of Iraq.  Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen said, “A quick word about Afghanistan -- I am deeply concerned … In this economy of force operation, we do what we can. But doing what we can in Afghanistan is not doing all that we should… Requirements exist there that we simply cannot fill and won't likely be able to fill until conditions improve in Iraq.” [Senate Armed Services Committee hearing via the Political Transcript Wire, 4/10/08]

 

  • 2007: Admiral Mullen: “It Is Simply A Matter Of Resources… In Afghanistan, We Do What We Can. In Iraq, We Do What We Must.” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen said, “the war in Afghanistan is, by design and necessity, an economy-of-force operation. There's no getting around that. Our main focus militarily in the region and in the world right now is rightly and firmly in Iraq … It is simply a matter of resources, of capacity. In Afghanistan, we do what we can. In Iraq, we do what we must.” [House Armed Services Committee hearing via Federal News Service, 12/11/07]

 

  • 2008: Admiral Mullen: “With The Bulk Of Our Ground Forces Deployed To Iraq… We Cannot Now Meet Extra Force Requirements In Places Like Afghanistan.” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen said, “With the bulk of our ground forces deployed to Iraq, we've been unable to prepare for or deploy for other contingencies in other places … we cannot now meet extra force requirements in places like Afghanistan.” [Senate Armed Services Committee hearing via the Political Transcript Wire, 4/10/08]

 

Terrorism Expert: “Certainly Iraq Has Been A Distraction.” During an appearance on CNN, Dr. Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre For Political Violence and Terrorism Research, discussed U.S. Involvement in Iraq.  Don Lemon said, “You also, it is your contention as well that Osama bin Laden hasn't been caught because of the resources devoted to Iraq.”  Gunaratna replied, “Certainly Iraq has been a distraction. If more intelligence assets, more elite forces, were concentrated on that border area, I believe that the United States would have had much more success.” [CNN, 9/11/07]

 

McCain Dismissed Importance Of Capturing Bin Laden Despite U.S. Still Being A Target

 

McCain Now Promises To “Bring Him To Justice, And I Will Follow Him To The Gates Of Hell.” During a Republican Presidential Debate in May 2007, John McCain said, “On the subject of Osama bin Laden, he's responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans. He's now orchestrating other attacks on the United States of America. We will do whatever is necessary. We will track him down. We will capture him. We will bring him to justice, and I will follow him to the gates of hell.” [MSNBC, GOP Debate at the Reagan Library, 5/3/07]

 

  • 2002: McCain Said That Capturing Osama Bin Laden Isn’t “That Important.” When asked about President Bush’s failure to capture  Osama bin Laden, John McCain said, “[S]ymbolically, he has great importance. But the realities on the ground are that his ability to inflict any kind of damage on the United States of America has been dramatically diminished thanks to our really wonderful military successes in the region. But Senator Daschle is right. Symbolically, he means a great deal. But in reality, I don't think it's--it's--in the overall scheme of things it's that important.” [CBS, “Face the Nation,” 3/3/02; emphasis added]

 

McCain Said Osama Bin Laden Had Been Reduced To A “Minimal Threat.”  During an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” John McCain said, “We, for all intents and purposes, reduced bin Laden from being a substantial threat to being an minimal threat. He'll never be completely eliminated until he is eliminated.” [CBS, “Face the Nation,” 3/3/02]

 

  • McCain Said Bin Laden Would Continue To Threaten The U.S. If He Was Left Alone. McCain said, “If we leave Iraq, if you leave Zarqawi, Bin Laden, all of these other terrorists, they're not going to just (be) satisfied with Iraq. They're coming after us.” [Concord Monitor, 4/8/06]

 

9/12/01: McCain Would Be “Reluctant” To Assassinate Osama Bin Laden.  The day after the attacks of September 11th, John McCain appeared on CNBC to discuss potential recourse against the perpetrators.  McCain said, “I'm not opposed to attempting to decapitate him, but I would be very reluctant to send in a specific assassin.  when we decided it was a matter of national policy, and I believe it was an executive order, John, that we would not assassinate leaders is because of the practical aspect of we assassinate and then they send people to assassinate our leaders, which in an open, free society may be somewhat easier.”  [CNBC, 9/12/01]

 

McCain Voted Against Needed Resources For Afghanistan

 

McCain Voted Against Combating Opium & Heroine Production In Afghanistan.  In 2006, McCain voted to table an amendment that would add $700 million in emergency funding to combat opium and heroin production and trade, and help prevent proceeds from being used for terrorist activities in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq.  The motion to table failed 45-51.  [HR 5631, Vote #237, 9/7/06]

 

McCain Voted Against A $400 Million Increase In Afghanistan Reconstruction Funding.  In 2003, McCain voted to table an amendment that would decrease the amount in the bill for Iraqi reconstruction by $600 million and increase the amount available to the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps by $50 million, increase funding for Afghanistan by $400 million, and increase the amount available for Liberia by $150 million.  The motion to table passed 55-43.  [S 1689, Vote #399, 10/17/03]

 

McCain Voted Against Acceleration Reconstruction In Afghanistan.  In 2003, McCain voted to table an amendment that would limit the use of reconstruction funds for certain programs and projects and reduce reconstruction funding by $1.65 billion and reallocate the funds to other purposes such as destroying conventional weapons in Iraq and accelerating reconstruction in Afghanistan.  The motion to table passed 51-47.  [S 1689, Vote #396, 10/17/03]

 

McCain Voted Against Requiring A Cost Estimate of War In Afghanistan.  In 2003, McCain voted to table an amendment that would require the president to submit to Congress a cost estimate for fiscal 2004 military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan not covered by the underlying bill.  The motion to table passed 53-41.  [HR 2658, Vote #278, 7/16/03]

 

McCain Thought The Job Was Done.

 

McCain: “The Facts On The Ground Are We Went To Afghanistan And We Prevailed There.” During a McCain appearance on  CNN’s “Wolf Blitzer Reports,” Blitzer asked, “[W]hat do you say to those critics who argue that the whole Iraq war was simply a distraction, it distracted the U.S. from the real national security threat, the war on terror, Osama bin Laden, and al Qaeda?” McCain said, “I'd say, first of all, the facts on the ground are we went to Afghanistan and we prevailed there. Second, Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, he used weapons of mass destruction, and there's no doubt in my mind, if he were still in power, he'd be still trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction.” [CNN, “Wolf Blitzer Reports,” 4/1/04]

 

McCain Said The War In Afghanistan “Kind Of Winds Down.” During an appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” Larry King asked, “When is this war in Afghanistan over?” McCain said, “I think it kind of winds down. I think that as we continued to move against remaining al Qaeda areas and Taliban areas, and I think gradually that we will reduce our presence.” [CNN, “Larry King Live,” 1/11/02]

 

McCain Said Afghanistan Was A “Remarkable Success.”  During an appearance on CNN, John McCain said, “[C]ould I add, it was in Afghanistan, as well, there were many people who predicted that Afghanistan would not be a success. So far, it's a remarkable success.” [CNN, 3/2/05]

 

McCain Said Afghanistan Was A “Remarkable Success,” And “We Have To Move To The Next Country.” During an appearance on CNN’s “Newsnight,” John McCain said, “I think we have a tendency, perhaps, to be surprised when ever an American is killed, but I think, or injured. But I think, more importantly, that once we take care of the problem in Afghanistan and irradicate al Qaeda, and either kill or capture bin Laden, then we have to move to the next country. I thought Condoleezza Rice's comments about Saddam Hussein and Iraq over the weekend were very important, because once we take care of it, then we have the next challenge. As far as Afghanistan itself is concerned, remarkable success.” [CNN, “Newsnight,” 11/23/01]

 

Situation In Afghanistan Has Worsened Without Troops And Resources

 

2008: Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Said Afghanistan Violence Increased. When asked about the “current state of play in Afghanistan,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen said, “Taliban is resurgent. They lost an awful lot of battles last year on the field. And in losing in that regard last year, they're moving to more violent techniques, which brings on the IEDs, the suicide bombers, to create that kind of violence. Where we were a year ago versus where we are right now - it's more violent.” [Roll Call, 5/19/08]

 

2008: CNN: “Hundreds Of Taliban Fighters Have Taken Over Several Villages.”  According to CNN.com, “Hundreds of Taliban fighters have taken over several villages in the same southern Afghanistan province where about 400 Taliban militants recently escaped from prison, local officials and police said… Reports varied on how many villages were taken. Taliban fighters have taken at least 5 villages and could have taken as many as 13, locals said.” [CNN.com, 6/16/08]

 

2008: “Things Are Getting Worse By The Day, By The Minute.” Norine MacDonald, President of the Senlis Council, an International Security and Development think tank, said, “Hundreds of people are moving out to get away from the fighting… Things are getting worse by the day, by the minute.”  She added, “They can just put down their guns and blend in. NATO may have to decide to bomb and that could bring civilian casualties.”  [CNN.com, 6/16/08]

 

The War In Afghanistan Has “Degenerated Into Messy Warfare In One Of The Most Lawless Regions Of The World.” In a piece describing the war in Afghanistan, the London Independent wrote, “In 2006, the US asked the British to try to wrest back control of Helmand province. What had begun five years before in the centre and north of the country as a high-minded, light-touch exercise in peace-keeping and rebuilding has now degenerated into messy warfare in one of the most lawless regions of the world. Just holding the line against the resurgent Taliban is increasingly regarded as success.” [London Independent, 6/10/08]

 

Australian Defense Minister Said 10,000 More Soldiers Needed In Afghanistan.  According to the Chicago Tribune, “Australian Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said that 10,000 more soldiers are needed in Afghanistan to quell a resurgent Taliban, and Europe's unwillingness to commit more troops is likely to leave the task to Washington. He said progress in the country would remain too slow without additional forces to take more ground and secure it.” [Chicago Tribune, 6/6/08]

 

 

 

 

 

Banking & Housing

 

McCain’s Housing Policy Shaped By Mortgage Industry Lobbyists

 

When Senator McCain finally weighed in on the housing crisis in late March 2008 after months silence, he declared it was not the government’s role to intervene and assist struggling families.  McCain even went so far as to blame the same families losing their homes.  Examining his statements, it is easy to understand where he came up with such controversial ideas.  The likely scenario is that he took the advice of his “chief economic adviser,” former Texas Senator and UBS lobbyist Phil Gramm.  Gramm is famous for having de-regulated the banking industry in the late 1990s, a move that many say led to the current sub-prime housing crisis, and who dismissed claims about predatory lenders, instead insisting the problem lay with “predatory borrowers.”  It is also likely that McCain took advice from his senior aide John Green and National Finance Co-Chairman Wayne Berman, both of whom have lobbied for Ameriquest, which Consumer Affairs identified in 2006 as “the nation’s largest subprime lender.”  McCain was publicly lambasted for his position, and he soon abandoned the policy advocated by his lobbyist advisers, making an about-face rarely seen in a matter of just a few weeks.

 

Phil Gramm Paved The Way For Sub-Prime Crisis, Now Advises McCain

 

Gramm Blamed For Current Sub-Prime Housing Crisis

 

Mother Jones: Gramm “Pulled A Sly Maneuver In the Senate That Helped Create Today’s Subprime Meltdown.” Writing in Mother Jones, David Corn reported, “Who’s to blame for the biggest financial catastrophe of our time?  There are plenty of culprits, but one candidate for lead perp is former Sen. Phil Gramm.  Eight years ago, as part of a decades-long anti-regulatory crusade, Gramm pulled a sly legislative maneuver that greased the way to the multibillion-dollar subprime meltdown.” [Mother Jones, 5/28/08]

 

Washington Post: Gramm  Blamed For Sub-Prime Crisis. The Washington Post reported on the influence of currently lobbyist and former Texas Senator Phil Gramm on McCain’s economic policies.  The Washington Post highlighted “Gramm’s aggressive efforts when he was chairman of the Senate Banking Committee to deregulate the banking and financial services industry.  That culminated in passage in 1999 of a sweeping financial services law that tore down the Depression-era Glass-Steagall wall separating regulated commercial banks from largely unregulated investment banks.  And little regulation was put in place to replace it. … To many liberal economists, Gramm’s efforts set the stage for the current crisis.  Lending by noncommercial banks has soared, to about 70 percent of total lending.  Investment banks, including Bear Stearns, grew too large to be allowed to fail.” [Washington Post, 4/2/08]

 

2000 Legislation Written By Gramm & Industry Lobbyists Set Stage For Mortgage Meltdown. Writing in Mother Jones, David Corn reported that “Gramm slipped a 262-page measure” into an omnibus spending bill in December 2000 that would prevent what he called “overregulation” of credit default swaps.  “Credit default swaps are essentially insurance policies covering the losses on securities in the event of a default.  Financial institutions buy them to protect themselves if an investment they hold goes south.  It’s like bookies trading bets, with banks and hedge funds gambling on whether an investment (say, a pile of subprime mortgages bundled into a security) will succeed or fail.  Because of the swap-related provisions of Gramm’s bill – which were supported by Fed chairman Alan Greenspan and Treasury secretary Larry Summers – a $62 trillion market (nearly four times the size of the entire US stock market) remained utterly unregulated, meaning no one made sure the banks and hedge funds had the assets to cover the losses they guaranteed. … These unregulated swaps have been at ‘the heart of the subprime meltdown,’ says [former head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission division of trading and markets Michael] Greenberger.” [Mother Jones, 5/28/08]

 

McCain’s Choice Of Gramm To Help Shape Housing Policy Sends A Clear Message

 

McCain Relies On Phil Gramm To Shape Domestic Policies.  Phil Gramm has shaped McCain’s policies on taxes, the economy, and healthcare.  According to CNN, Gramm is “McCain’s chief economic adviser… and is the ultimate pure play in free market faith,” and his healthcare plan “bears the Gramm imprint.” [CNN, 2/19/08]

 

  • Olbermann: McCain Campaign Confirmed Gramm Helped Shape Housing Policy. Keith Olbermann reported, “The McCain campaign confirmed that Gramm had input on the speech and that McCain consulted Gramm specifically on the housing issues.” [MSNBC, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” 5/27/08]

 

Salon: McCain’s “Do-Nothing Approach” To Housing Crisis Influenced By Gramm. Salon.com reported, “So there at the shoulder of the Arizona maverick is perched yet another special-interest shill, in this instance not merely an errand boy for various dictators but the vice chairman of a Swiss bank whispering advice on how to cope with our economic woes.  Or how not to cope, as in McCain’s do-nothing approach to the foreclosure crisis, which displayed the strong influence of the financial lobby on his campaign.  Undoubtedly Gramm is promoting the agenda of those who subsidize him, as he has done ever since he entered politics as a servant of oil interests in his home state.” [Salon.com, 5/30/08, emphasis added]

 

  • Gramm’s Advice, Not His Banking And Lobbying Ties, May Be Most Harmful To McCain. com reported, “But if Gramm’s role as a banker and lobbyist is embarrassing to McCain, the greater harm is likely to be done by his economic advice. He and McCain have  been friends since they were young congressional ‘foot soldiers in the Reagan revolution,’ as both like to say, and he is often touted (or was until lately) as a likely candidate for Treasury secretary should McCain win the White House.” [Salon.com, 5/30/08]

 

Mother Jones: Despite Setting Stage For Housing Crisis, Gramm Embraced By McCain As Adviser. Writing in Mother Jones, David Corn reported, “Yet has Gramm been banished from the corridors of power?  Reviled as the villain who bankrupted Middle America?  Hardly.  Now a well-paid executive at a Swiss bank, Gramm cochairs Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign and advises the Republican candidate on economic matters.  He’s b een mentioned as a possible Treasury secretary should McCain win.  That’s right: A guy who helped screw up the global financial system could end up in charge of US economic policy.  Talk about a market failure. … Sen. John McCain has relied on him for policy advice, especially, according to the campaign, on housing matters.” [Mother Jones, 5/28/08, emphasis added]

 

Fortune: McCain’s “Current Positions Are Vintage Gramm.” According to Fortune, “But economic conservatives should take heart.  McCain’s chief economic adviser – and perhaps his closest political friend – is the ultimate pure play in the free market, former Texas Senator Phil Gramm.  If McCain follows Gramm’s counsel, and most of his current positions are vintage Gramm indeed, his policies as president would represent not just a sharp departure from the Bush years, but an assault on government growth that Republicans have boasted about, but failed to achieve, for decades.” [Fortune, 2/19/08]

 

American Banker: Bankers Looking To Gramm For Clues On McCain’s Policy. American Banker reported, “The financial services platform of Republican presidential candidate John McCain is largely a mystery, but bankers are looking to a familiar face in his entourage for some hints: former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm.  As the Arizona senator trumpets other issues on the campaign trail, such as Iraq and government spending, his financial policies have been left to an extensive team of economists that includes Mr. Gramm, who also co-chairs his campaign.  The Texas Republican’s involvement in the campaign – and potential choice as Treasury secretary – is seen as a critical clue as to how Sen. McCain would handle the housing crisis if he wins the White House in November. … Wayne Abernathy, a former aide to Mr. Gramm on the Banking Committee and now the American Bankers Association’s executive director of regulatory affairs, said the two senators’ philosophical alignment, as well as Sen. McCain’s policies while chairing the Commerce Committee, reflect a preference for market rather than government solutions.” [American Banker, 3/11/08, emphasis added]

 

  • American Banker: Gramm’s Role In McCain Campaign “Should Give Comfort To Bankers.” American Banker reported, “Mr. Gramm, a principal author of the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which broke down the walls between banking, insurance, and securities, left Congress in late 2002 to become vice chairman of UBS Warburg. … Observers say that Mr. Gramm’s connection with the campaign should give comfort to bankers unsure of how Sen. McCain would view financial services issues.” [American Banker, 3/11/08, emphasis added]

 

Gramm Left Congress To Lobby For A Major European Bank With A Stake In Sub-Prime Mortgages

 

Gramm Helped Deregulate the Financial Services Industry in the 1990s and Now Sits In the Corporate Suites of Swiss Banking Giant UBS. The Washington Post reported, “The spiraling crisis in the credit and housing markets has kept Gramm in focus, fairly or not. His employer, UBS, revealed yesterday that investment losses tied to the U.S. housing market reached $37 billion over the last six months. For the last three months, UBS posted a $12 billion loss.” [Washington Post, 4/2/08, emphasis added]

 

Gramm Walked Out of Congress And Right Into Lobbying. Politico reported, “A year after the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repealed the old regulations, Swiss Bank UBS gobbled up brokerage house Paine Weber. Two years later, Gramm settled in as a vice chairman of UBS’s new investment banking arm.  Later, he became a major player in its government affairs operation. According to federal lobbying disclosure records, Gramm lobbied Congress, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department about banking and mortgage issues in 2005 and 2006.” [Politico, 3/28/08, emphasis added]

 

Gramm Walked Out of Congress And Right Into Lobbying. Politico reported, “A year after the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repealed the old regulations, Swiss Bank UBS gobbled up brokerage house Paine Weber. Two years later, Gramm settled in as a vice chairman of UBS’s new investment banking arm.  Later, he became a major player in its government affairs operation. According to federal lobbying disclosure records, Gramm lobbied Congress, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department about banking and mortgage issues in 2005 and 2006.” [Politico, 3/28/08, emphasis added]

 

Gramm Lobbied On Mortgage Issues While Industry Was Pressing “To Roll Back” Rules Addressing Predatory Lending Tactics. Politico reported, “According to federal lobbying disclosure records, Gramm lobbied Congress, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department about banking and mortgage issues in 2005 and 2006. During those years, the mortgage industry pressed Congress to roll back strong state rules that sought to stem the rise of predatory tactics used by lenders and brokers to place homeowners in high-cost mortgages. For his work, Gramm and two other lobbyists collected $750,000 in fees from UBS’s American subsidiary. In the past year, UBS has written down more then $18 billion in exposure to subprime loans and other risky securities and is considering cutting as many as 8,000 jobs.” [Politico 3/28/08]

 

  • UBS Was At Center Of Sub-Prime Crisis. In January 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported, “UBS posted the biggest loss ever by a bank Wednesday after raising fourth-quarter write-downs on securities infected by U.S. sub-prime mortgages to $14 billion. Europe’s largest bank by assets said it had a net loss of 12.5 billion Swiss francs, or about $11.5 billion, for the quarter, almost double the estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.” [Los Angeles Times, 1/31/08]

 

  • UBS Struggled With Sub-Prime Fall Out. The Los Angeles Times reported, “UBS may cut as many as 8,000 jobs as it grapples with the biggest credit write-downs of any European bank and an $11.4 billion first-quarter loss.” [Los Angeles Times, 5/5/08, emphasis added]

 

  • UBS Sued For Sub-Prime “Mis-Selling.” The Sunday Times reported, “One of Germany’s biggest financial institutions is to sue UBS, the Swiss banking giant, claiming it was mis-sold hundreds of millions of pounds worth of sub-prime securities. … Sources familiar with the situation say HSH Nordbank, which has assets of €207 billion (£155.8 billion) and is the world’s largest provider of shipping finance, is to take legal action against UBS to recover up to €500m that was lost in a vehicle, set up six years ago, called North Street 4.” [Sunday Times, 2/24/08]

 

  • UBS Admitted “Blind Ambition” Responsible For Its Subprime Problems. The New York Times reported, “The Swiss banking giant UBS, which has written off more debt from the subprime crisis than any other bank, conceded in a report that a blind drive for revenue led it to make more risks than it should have.” [New York Times, 4/22/08]

 

Olbermann: Gramm Advised McCain On Economic Issues While “Being Paid By UBS To Lobby” About The Mortgage Crisis. Keith Olbermann reported, “Gramm officially joined the McCain campaign on March 12th, 2007.  But as early as October 2006, Real Clear Politics reported that McCain was already relying on Gramm for fundraising help.  McCain’s top political operative at that time saying, Gramm, quote, ‘obviously gives us advice on economic issues.’  At the same time he was giving that advice, disclosure forms reviewed by COUNTDOWN show that Gramm was simultaneously being paid by UBS to lobby the United States Senate about the mortgage crisis, opposing government regulation, helping to kill a 2006 anti-predatory lending bill that would have tighten [sic] consumer protections and might have mitigated the current crisis.  As recently as December 31st of last year, still working for Swiss bankers specifically to help kill the Emergency Home Ownership and Mortgage Equity Protection Act and the Helping Families Save their Homes in Bankruptcy Act, a bill that would have let bankruptcy judges adjust mortgage terms so American families facing foreclosure could repay their loans and keep their homes. [MSNBC, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” 5/27/08]

 

Gramm’s Employer Warned Bankers To Stay Out Of U.S. To Avoid Indictment. The Financial Times reported, “UBS has told members of its former private banking team responsible for rich US clients not to travel to America.  The Swiss bank has also made lawyers available to the more than 50 bankers involved, many of whom have left UBS since it decided last November to wind down its cross-border private banking business for US customers.  The move follows the recent indictment of one of the unit’s former senior executives, Bradley Birkenfeld, who US authorities have accused of helping a billionaire client evade taxes.  Mr. Birkenfeld has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers have made no public statement on the matter. … The Financial Times has learnt [sic] Mr. Birkenfeld has been able to provide only two names to the US authorities, which may be fewer than investigators hoped for.  One, Igor Olenicoff, a US real estate tycoon, reached a legal settlement with the US DoJ last December and is co-perating ith the authorities, people with knowledge of the situation said.” [Financial Times, 5/27/08]

 

  • Man Named By Birkenfeld Involved In Predatory Lending. In 2005, the Orange County Business Journal reported, “And Olen has upped its exposure to the subprime mortgage industry, which lends to borrowers with imperfect credit. Along with Ameriquest’s Argent as a tenant on Main Street, Olen last year signed an 80,000-square-foot lease with subprime startup Residential Mortgage Assistance Enterprise LLC.  Residential Mortgage is taking a big chunk of a 130,000 square-foot building Olen is building in Brea.  Subprime lenders have boomed along with rising home prices in recent years.  But they’re vulnerable to shifts in the housing market and a move away from risky debt by investors.” [Orange County Business Journal, 1/31/05]

 

Gramm Has Consistency Dismissed Idea That Predatory Lending Is A Problem

 

Gramm Rejected “Predatory Lending,” Instead Blaming “Predatory Borrowers.” In 2001, American Banker reported, “When Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm paid a visit to a Credit Union National Association conference here last week, he was treated more like a conquering hero than a lawmaker.  As if he were not popular enough with attendees after stopping legislation a few years ago that would have imposed community reinvestment requirements on credit unions, his remarks chiding privacy advocates and supporting bankruptcy reform elicited enthusiastic applause and a few whistles. … And he slammed those who, he said, take advantage of the current bankruptcy system.  ‘In Washington the buzzword today is predatory lending, but there are predatory borrowers,’ Sen. Gramm said.  ‘Something is very wrong in America when we have prosperity at unprecedented levels, when we have 18 years of virtually uninterrupted prosperity, and yet when bankruptcies are at an all-time high.’” [American Banker, 3/5/01, emphasis added]

 

Associated Press: Gramm Helped Kill Anti-Predatory Lending Legislation. The Associated Press reported, “In 1999, Democrats, inspired by a groundbreaking antipredatory lending law in North Carolina, sought a federal equivalent.  Predatory loans are typically described as those that involve excessive fees and high interest rates.  Generally such abuses occur in the market for subprime loans, those for people with weak credit records or high debt in relation to their income.  Republicans, who controlled Congress, blocked the antipredatory legislation, arguing it would interfere with legitimate lending.  ‘Don’t apologize when you make a loan above the prime rate to someone that has a marginal credit rating,’ Texas Republican Phil Gramm, then chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, told a group of bankers in 2000.  ‘In the name of predatory lending, we could end up denying people with moderate income and limited credit ratings the opportunity to borrow money.” [Associated Press, 3/19/08]

 

  • Gramm Told Bankers Not To “Bow To Pressure To Change Their Practices.” According to American Banker, appearing at the American Bankers Association national convention, “Sen. Gramm said that election-year politics has also stirred rhetoric on predatory lending and privacy and that bankers should not bow to the pressure to change their practices.” [American Banker, 9/20/00]

 

As Senate And Federal Reserve Worked To Address Predatory Lending, Gramm Refused To Schedule Hearings. The Houston Chronicle reported, “Heartbreaking tales of lost homes, lost savings and unethical loan officers dominated Senate hearings last week into unethical practices in the high-risk mortgage industry.  Four people told members of the Senate Banking Committee that their own naivete allowed deceptive lenders to stick them with high-interest loans, exorbitant fees, unnecessary insurance and discouraging penalties for repayment.  The practices, known as ‘predatory lending,’ typically target elderly, minority or uneducated borrowers with tarnished credit histories.  Committee chairman Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., is preparing legislation to curb unscrupulous lending and seeks to build support through hearings. … The Federal Reserve Board also is considering expanding consumer protections against unethical lenders.  Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, chairman of the committee until Democrats took over the Senate in June, had declined to schedule hearings, saying predatory lending had not been legally defined.  He briefly attended Thursday’s hearing, urging senators to act cautiously on any legislative proposals.” [Houston Chronicle, 7/29/01, emphasis added]

 

  • Gramm Said No Action Needed TO Address Predatory Lending. The Washington Post reported, “Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.), who chaired the committee until control of the Senate changed hands last month, has said he thinks existing law is sufficient if properly enforced and as chairman had no plans to hold hearings on the issue [predatory lending legislation].” [Washington Post, 6/29/01]

 

Gramm Called “Advocate Of Every Predatory And Rapacious Element” In Financial Sector. University of Texas economist James K. Galbraith said, “Phil Gramm’s career was as the most aggressive advocate of every predatory and rapacious element that the financial sector has.”  Galbraith continued, “He’s a sorcerer’s apprentice of instability and disaster in the financial system.” [Washington Post, 4/2/08]

 

Jesse Jackson Inferred Gramm’s View On Predatory Lending Was Racist. American Banker reported, “Much like Democrats in Congress and the consumer groups, the Rev. Jackson cast Sen. Phil Gramm’s 18-month opposition to predatory-lending legislation as obstructionist.  Here, on a more purely political platform, some of the trademark Jackson rhetoric bubbled to the surface.  ‘Those with a Confederate ideology will always look for ways to diminish the government’s role in assisting,’ he said.  ‘They believe in state’s rights over the Union, and ideologically they believe in less regulation, which means that the local bank has more options to discriminate.’” [American Banker, 6/7/01]

 

Gramm Hoped To Remove Predatory Lending Protection In 2001. In 2001, American Banker reported, “Sen. Gramm also said he hopes to remove a predatory lending amendment from bankruptcy overhaul legislation that would make companies that purchase high-cost loans from bankrupt originators liable if the loans are found to violate existing fair-lending laws.” [American Banker, 4/4/01]

 

Gramm Called Anti- Predatory Lending Measure “Problematic.” According to American Banker, in 2001, Senator Chuck Schumer planned an amendment “that would transfer liability for fair-lending law violations to companies that purchase loans from bankrupt high-cost lenders.”  Gramm said “that he would not support a bill with Sen. Schumer’s anti-predatory lending amendment intact  but said he was confident that it, and other problematic amendments, would be dropped during negotiations between House and Senate leaders” [American Banker, 3/16/01]

 

Predatory Lending Legislation “Ran Into Opposition From Sen. Phil Gramm.” The Omaha World Herald reported, “Bills to restrict predatory lending were introduced in Congress this year but ran into opposition from Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, who says he is waiting for a clear definition of predatory lending.” [Omaha World Herald, 11/19/00]

 

Gramm, “A Staunch Ally” Of The Mortgage Industry, Said Predatory Lending Legislation Unneeded. The Daily Deal reported, “There’s been plenty of talk lately about how predatory lending hurts minorities and the elderly. … Despite all the attention focused on the issue, none of the five bills introduced during this session of Congress came anywhere near passage.  The industry has a staunch ally in Texas Republican Sen. Phil Gramm, who believes no new laws are needed. … In August, Gramm delivered a major blow to consumer groups, indicating that he would not favor addressing predatory lending again until the phrase is better defined and lawmakers can gauge how widespread abusive practices really are.” [Daily Deal, 10/5/00]

 

While American Families Struggled, Gramm Questioned Whether Predatory Lending Actually Existed. According to American Banker, “On predatory lending, Gov. Bush would likely take a more moderate tack than Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm, a fellow Texan, who has questioned whether such practices exist.” [American Banker, 9/15/00]

 

American Banker Headline: “Gramm Takes Stand Against Predator Bills.” American Banker reported, “Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm on Wednesday came out against a slew of bills designed to curb predatory lending,” as he “concluded that the term ‘predatory lending’ has not been defined, and that no organized data on the abusive practice exists.” [American Banker, 8/24/00]

 

  • National Community Reinvestment Coalition CEO Called Gramm Out. John Taylor, president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, said, “The presence of predatory lending is as plain as the nose on Sen. Gramm’s face.” He added, “Scientists have been studying gravity for several hundred years.  The fact that they have not really been able to understand it does not mean that it doesn’t exist.” [American Banker, 8/24/00]

Gramm Objected To The Term “Predatory Lenders.National Mortgage News reported, “Senate banking Committee chairman Phil Gramm, R., Texas, objected to the terms ‘unscrupulous and predatory lenders’ and he warned that the sponsors really want Congress to outlaw loans to marginal borrowers.” [National Mortgage News, 3/29/99]

 

Two Top McCain Advisers Lobbied For Nation’s Largest Sub-Prime Lender

 

Ameriquest Paid Green, Berman And Their Firm $640,000 in 2005 and 2006. According to Senate Lobbying Disclosure records, Ameriquest paid McCain Congressional Liaison John Green, McCain National Finance Co-Chairman Wayne Berman and their firm $640,000 to lobby on its behalf in 2005 and 2006. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 3/2008]

 

  • Consumer Affairs: Ameriquest Was “The Nation’s Largest Sub-Prime Lender.” According to Consumer Affairs, in 2006, “Ameriquest, the nation’s largest sub-prime lender, has agreed to pay $325 million to settle a 49-state investigation,” ranking the agreement “as the second-largest predatory lending settlement in history.” [Consumer Affairs, 1/23/06]

 

New York Daily News Revealed Green And Berman Lobbied For Ameriquest. On March 31, the Daily News reported, “When Sen. John McCain addressed the nation’s burgeoning mortgage mess last week, he insisted it was time for a little ‘straight talk.’  ‘I will not play election-year politics with the housing crisis,’ the GOP presidential hopeful insisted while unveiling his plan, which many have since described as friendlier to the mortgage industry than the Democrats’ proposals.  What McCain did not say – which some believe smacks of politics – is that two of his top advisers were recently lobbyists for a notorious lender in the mortgage meltdown.  John Green, the senator’s chief liaison to Congress, and Wayne Berman, his national finance co-chairman, billed more than $720,000 in lobbying fees from 2005 through last year to Ameriquest Mortgage through their lobbying firm, disclosure forms reviewed by the Daily News show.” [Daily News, 3/31/08, emphasis added]

 

After Initially Siding With His Mortgage Industry Lobbyist Advisers, McCain Switched His Position Under Intense Public Scrutiny

 

March 25: McCain Rejected Government Assistance For Struggling Homeowners. In a March 25, 2008, speech, McCain said, “I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.”  McCain continued, “Any assistance must be temporary and must not reward people who were irresponsible at the expense of those who weren’t.” [McCain Housing Speech, 3/25/08, emphasis added]

 

  • New York Times Headline: “Unlike Rivals, McCain Rejects Broad U.S. Aid On Mortgages.” The New York Times reported, “Drawing a sharp distinction between himself and the two Democratic presidential candidates, Senator John McCain of Arizona warned Tuesday against vigorous government action to solve the deepening mortgage crisis and the market turmoil it has caused, saying that ‘it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.’” [New York Times, 3/26/08]

 

  • McCain Rejected “Activist Approaches” To Mortgage Crisis, Placed Blame On Homeowners. The Los Angeles Times reported, “John McCain said Tuesday that he understood Americans’ anger about the mortgage foreclosure crisis and was open to ideas for addressing the problem, but he rejected the sort of activist approaches proposed by his Democratic rivals for the presidency. … McCain – who has been trying to shore up his economic credentials – placed some of the blame on homeowners themselves, while also scolding ‘complacent’ lenders.” [Los Angeles Times, 3/26/08, emphasis added]

 

  • McCain Opposes Plan For Mortgage Guarantees. The Seattle Times reported, “McCain advisers said the candidate frowns on legislation being prepared by Democrats that would have the government provide up to $400 billion in guarantees for mortgages that lenders agree to modify. … McCain adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin rejected the type of foreclosure moratorium Clinton has pushed, saying it doesn’t ‘address why someone is in foreclosure.’ ‘As harsh as it may sound, that may be an appropriate outcome in some cases,’ he said.” [Seattle Times, 3/26/08]

 

  • NYT Editorial: McCain “Mean-Spirited And Economically Naïve.” The New York Times editorialized that McCain’s “suggestion that federal aid might wrongly reward ‘undeserving’ homeowners sounded both mean-spirited and economically naïve.” [New York Times, 3/27/08]

 

April 10: McCain Bowed To Pressure And Began To Abandon Industry Lobbyists’ Position. In an April 10 speech, McCain said, “But let me make it clear that in these challenging times, I am committed to using all the resources of this government and great nation to create opportunity and make sure that every deserving American has a good job and can achieve their American dream.”  He continued, “I believe a more robust, timely and targeted effort is my HOME plan.  It offers every deserving American family or homeowner the opportunity to trade a burdensome mortgage for a manageable loan that reflects the market value of their home.”   [McCain Housing Speech, 4/10/08, emphasis added]

 

  • WSJ: “McCain’s New Housing Approach Represents A Major Shift.” The Wall Street Journal reported, “Sen. McCain’s new housing approach represents a major shift from the one he laid out in his speech two weeks ago, when he emphasized his opposition to any sort of government bailout for people who made bad decisions.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/11/08]

 

  • New York Times Headline: “McCain Reverses Himself on Mortgage Position.” The New York Times reported, “Senator John McCain, who drew criticism last month after he warned against broad government intervention to solve the deepening mortgage crisis, pivoted Thursday and called for the federal government to aid some homeowners in danger of losing their homes, by helping them to refinance and get federally guaranteed 30-year mortgages. … In both tone and substance, Mr. McCain’s speech was a departure from the remarks he made last month in California.” [New York Times, 4/11/08, emphasis added]

 

April 15: Facing Continuing Pressure, McCain Completely Rejects Industry Lobbyists’ View. In a speech on April 15, McCain said, “We have a responsibility to act – and if I am elected president I intend to act quickly and decisively. … These reforms must wait on the next election, but to help our workers and our economy we must also act in the here and now.”  McCain also said, “our government will offer these Americans direct and immediate help.” [McCain Economy Speech, 4/15/08, emphasis added]

 

Subprime Crisis Similar to McCain’s Role in Savings & Loan Scandal?

 

McCain’s Links with Savings & Loans Crisis Compared to Sub-Prime Mortgage Collapse.  Alternet News wrote: “Sen. McCain has a long legislative record and a scandalous relationship with the S&L crisis that is ripe for comparison to the sub-prime mortgage meltdown -- there is a lot of fodder for attack. Picking the right issues and using them at the right time has a lot to do with beating Sen. McCain in the fall.” [Alternet News, 2/11/08]

 

  • The Senate Ethics Committee Investigated McCain, One of the “Keating Five,” in 1991.  Five Senators, including McCain, “were investigated by the Senate ethics committee in 1991.  The inquiry centered on whether the five pressured federal regulators on behalf of Charles H Keating Jr., a Phoenix financier, and his Lincoln Savings and Loan Association.  Each senator had received campaign contributions from Keating…Lincoln’s collapse cost taxpayers $3.4 billion, and investors, many who were retirees, lost an estimated $285 million on high-risk bonds.”  McCain had a “long-standing relationship with Keating” which included “use of a Keating vacation home and airplane while McCain was in the House of Representatives.” [Arizona Republic, 1/10/07]

 

  • McCain’s “Darkest Hour” Was His Involvement With the Infamous Keating Five Scandal.  The Washington Post referred to Senator McCain’s “darkest hour” as the “Keating Five” scandal.  The Arizona Republic reported on a recent book released by Ex-Sen. Dennis DeConcini, one of the “Keating Five,” in which he “depicts” McCain as “having backstabbed him” and the other Senators during the investigation by leaking information to the media. He also “asserts that McCain gained leniency” because of the “close relationship” he had with the attorney heading the investigation.” [Washington Post, 6/8/07; Arizona Republic, 1/10/07]

 

  • Senate Ethics Committee Said McCain Used “Poor Judgment” With Regard to Charles Keating.  According to the Associated Press, McCain and four other senators were accused two decades ago of trying to influence banking regulators on behalf of Charles Keating, a savings and loan financier later convicted of securities fraud. The Senate Ethics Committee said McCain had used “poor judgment” but also said his actions “were not improper” and warranted no penalty.  McCain was faced with the favoritism question after the online Web site, the Drudge Report, said his aides and advisers had been trying to dissuade the newspaper from publishing a story.  [Associated Press, 12/20/07]

 

  • Keating Was Longtime Friend, Associate, and Major Fundraiser for McCain.  According to Slate Magazine, Charles Keating was “…was more than a constituent to McCain--he was a longtime friend and associate.” Apparently, McCain met Keating at a Navy League dinner in 1981, and the two became friends, especially since Keating shared a naval background with McCain.  Keating fundraised for McCain’s 1982 and 1984 congressional campaigns, as well as his 1986 Senate campaign.  According to Slate, “By 1987, McCain campaigns had received $112,000 from Keating, his relatives, and his employees--the most received by any of the Keating Five.” [Slate Magazine, 2/18/00]

 

  • McCain Failed To Disclose That He Made At Least 9 Trips At Keating’s Expense.  According to Slate Magazine, “After McCain’s election to the House in 1982, he and his family made at least nine trips at Keating’s expense, three of which were to Keating’s Bahamas retreat. McCain did not disclose the trips (as he was required to under House rules) until the [Keating Five] scandal broke in 1989.”  After the scandal broke, and the trips were disclosed, McCain paid Keating $13, 433 for the flights. [Slate Magazine, 2/18/00]

 

Bankruptcy

 

McCain Voted for Strict New Bankruptcy Reform Overhaul.  In 2005, McCain voted for passage of a bill that would create a means test tied to the median incomes of individual states to determine whether personal bankruptcy filers were able to repay some or all of their debts. Those deemed able to pay would be pushed into Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which would result in a court-ordered repayment plan; those with insufficient assets would be allowed to file under Chapter 7, which would erase debts after the forfeiture of certain assets. The bill would exempt disabled veterans from the means test if their debts were incurred primarily when they were on active duty or performing homeland defense duties. It also would make a number of debts non-dischargeable, including student loans, child support, alimony and luxury payments over $500 made within three months of a bankruptcy filing. The bill passed 74-25.  [S 256, Vote #44, 3/10/05]

 

McCain Voted Against Protecting Low-Income Americans from Strict New Bankruptcy Reform Law.  In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would clarify that the means test would not apply to debtors whose incomes fell below the median.  The amendment failed 42-58.  [S 256, Vote #31, 3/09/05]

 

McCain Voted Against Banning Anti-Abortion Activists and Other Violent Protesters to File for Bankruptcy as a Way to Avoid Paying Court-Ordered Fines or Judgments.  In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would prohibit violent protesters, such as anti-abortion activists, from escaping court-ordered fines or judgments by filing for bankruptcy protection. It would bar such debtors from discharging debts, such as damages, court fines, penalties, citations or attorney fees, incurred from acts of violence or potential acts of violence. The amendment failed 46-53.  [S 256, Vote #28, 3/08/05]

 

  • Senate Republicans Voted to Allow Violent Anti-Abortion Protestors to Avoid Fines Through Bankruptcy. In 2005, Senate Republicans voted to allow violent protestors, including anti-abortion activists, to escape court-ordered fines or judgments by filing for bankruptcy protection. The proposal “grew out of a 1994 federal law that bans the use of force, threats or blockades to keep patients out of abortion clinics. The law allows clinics to sue protesters who block clinic doors, but some protesters have filed for bankruptcy to escape paying court-imposed fines.” [S 256, Vote 28, 3/8/05; New York Times, 3/08/05]

 

McCain Voted to Invoke Cloture on Strict New Bankruptcy Reform Law.  In 2005, McCain for a motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill that would revise bankruptcy laws to make it easier for courts to move debtors from Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code, which allows most debts to be discharged, to Chapter 13, which requires a reorganization of debts under a repayment.  The motion passed 69-31.  [S 256, Vote #29, 3/08/05]

 

McCain Voted Against Exempting Victims of Identity Theft From Bankruptcy Means Test.  In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would exempt identity theft victims from the bill’s means test provisions and amend the bankruptcy code to include definitions of identity theft and identity theft victims. The amendment failed 37-61.  [S 256, Vote #21, 3/03/05]

 

McCain Voted to Allow Debtors to Transfer More Than $125,000 in Assets Into an Asset Protection Trust Within the 10-Year Period Prior to Filing Bankruptcy.  In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would prohibit debtors from transferring more than $125,000 in assets into an asset protection trust within the 10-year period prior to filing bankruptcy.  The amendment failed 39-56.  [S 256, Vote #23, 3/03/05]

 

McCain Voted Against Creating $75,000 Homestead Exemption For Seniors in Bankruptcy Bill.  In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would create a federal homestead exemption of $75,000 for debtors over the age of 62.  The amendment failed 40-59.  [S 256, Vote #14, 3/02/05]

 

McCain Voted Against Exempting High Medical Bills from Bankruptcy Means Test.  In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would exempt debtors from the means test if their financial troubles were caused by medical expenses. The amendment failed 39-58.  [S 256, Vote #16, 3/02/05]

 

  • McCain Voted Against a Homestead Exemption Of at Least $150,000 if an Individual's Bankruptcy Stems From Medical Expenses.  In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would provide a homestead exemption of at least $150,000 of the equity in the property the debtor uses as a primary residence if the bankruptcy stems from medical expenses.  The amendment failed 39-58.  [S 256, Vote #17, 3/02/05]

 

  • McCain Voted Against Exempting a Family Member's Exorbitant Medical Expenses From Bankruptcy Means Test.  In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would exempt from the means test individuals who have incurred substantial medical debt on behalf of dependent or non-dependent family members, such as a parent or grandparent, or who have experienced a reduction in employment status while caring for such a family member. The amendment failed 37-60.  [S 256, Vote #18, 3/02/05]

 

McCain Voted Against Exempting Veterans and Active Military from Strict Bankruptcy Means Test.  In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would exempt members of the armed forces, veterans and spouses of service members who die in military service from application of the bill’s means test provisions. It also would allow such individuals to claim a minimum homestead exemption of $75,000 or choose the exemption in the state in which they file, whichever is higher. The amendment failed 38-58.  [S 256, Vote #13, 3/01/05]

 

  • Senate Republicans Voted Against Exempting All Military from Bankruptcy Means Test. In March 2005, Senate Republicans voted against exempting all military personnel and veterans from means testing in bankruptcy cases. "Many men and women in the military are making extraordinary sacrifices," Sen. Dick Durbin said. "It's unfair that they should come home to face this new harsh bankruptcy law." The means testing was intended to determine whether people would need to repay their debts or whether they could see their debts canceled. Instead of supporting Durbin’s proposal, Republicans chose to provide special accommodations for some military members and veterans. [S 256, Vote #13, 3/01/05; AP, 3/1/05]

 

Miscellaneous Banking Votes

 

McCain Voted To Allow Credit Card Issuers To Terminate Credit To Customers Based On Inabilities To Pay Off Balances.  In 1998, McCain voted to table an amendment that would prohibit credit card issuers from charging fee or terminating account based solely on customer's failure to incur finance charges.  The motion failed 47-52.  [S 1301, Vote #273, 9/17/98]

 

McCain Voted To Increase Interest Rates On Government Commodity Credit Corporation Loans To Farmers.  In 1996, McCain voted against an amendment to strike from the bill a provision increasing by 1 percentage point the interest rate on Commodity Credit Corporation loans.  The amendment failed 37-59.  [S 1541, Vote #11, 2/07/96]

 

 

John McCain: Playing Election year politics with the housing crisis

 

“I will not play election-year politics with the housing crisis.”

– John McCain, California Housing Speech, 3/25/08

 

But that’s exactly what McCain has done.  After months of ignoring the economy and the growing housing crisis, in late March McCain finally admitted there was a problem but refused to provide a plan for the federal government to address it.  Instead, he blamed homeowners for acting irresponsibly and landing in one of the most serious economic crises since the Great Depression.  The pushback against McCain was loud and clear – Americans didn’t like what they heard.  With negative news stories focusing on McCain’s non-plan to address the housing crisis, McCain has don’t exactly what he said he wouldn’t – he played election year politics by changing his policy and trying to pull the wool over the eyes of American families.  On April 10, McCain gave a second speech on housing, changing course in response to the negative reaction to his non-plan to deal with the crisis.  The differences in his rhetoric are stark:

 

McCain can’t have it both ways.  Does he oppose government intervention for irresponsible homeowners who landed themselves in this situation, as he said in March, or does he support the federal government stepping in to help preserve the American dream?

 

March 24: McCain’s Top Economic Aide Warms Up “Tough Love” Message

 

Top McCain Economic Adviser: No Assistance To Those Who Failed In Assessing Credit Risks. In an editorial published in the Washington Post, McCain’s top economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, wrote that one of the principles McCain will apply in addressing the mortgage crisis would be that “No taxpayer dollars should bail out real estate speculators or financial market participants who failed to do due diligence in assessing credit risks.” [Washington Post, 3/24/08, emphasis added]

 

March 25: McCain Rejects Assistance For Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

 

On March 25, 2008, McCain gave what was billed as a major speech on the economy and the subprime mortgage crisis, ending months of McCain ignoring the issues outright.  In his speech, McCain argued against federal assistance for homeowners facing foreclosure, saying families that acted “irresponsibly” should not be rewarded.  While other public figures called for compassion and assistance to help struggling families maintain their piece of the American dream, McCain decided to blame the victims, calling homeowners facing foreclosure “irresponsible”:

 

“I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.” [McCain Housing Speech, 3/25/08, emphasis added]

 

“Any assistance must be temporary and must not reward people who were irresponsible at the expense of those who weren't.” [McCain Housing Speech, 3/25/08, emphasis added]

 

Amazingly, McCain claimed that homeowners should rely on the lenders, those responsible for the mortgage meltdown and the current crisis, to come up with solutions:

 

“We should also convene a meeting of the nation's top mortgage lenders. Working together, they should pledge to provide maximum support and help to their cash-strapped, but credit worthy customers. They should pledge to do everything possible to keep families in their homes and businesses growing.” [McCain Housing Speech, 3/25/08]

 

Ironically, McCain also declared that he would stick to his guns on the issue and would not change his position, boldly declaring:

 

I will not play election year politics with the housing crisis.” [McCain Housing Speech, 3/25/08]

 

March 25: McCain Gives Bear Stearns Bailout Stamp Of Approval

 

The same day as McCain’s housing speech, he gave his stamp of approval to the Federal Reserve’s bailout of Wall Street giant Bear Stearns

 

March 25: McCain Repeats Rhetoric On Wall Street Bailouts, But Says Bear Stearns Bailout OK. The Seattle Times reported that McCain criticized government bailouts, but “said the Federal Reserve’s bailout of Bear Stearns met his criteria.” [Seattle Times, 3/26/08]

 

  • New York Times: McCain Shows Double Standard On Bailout. The New York Times editorialized, “And then there is the double standard. He [McCain] seemed less concerned about the government helping reckless bankers, endorsing its role in preventing the bankruptcy of Bear Stearns.”  While he supported a government bailout of Bear Stearns, McCain warned against helping “undeserving” homeowners. [New York Times, 3/27/08]

 

March 26- 27: Media Slams McCain’s Housing Speech

 

New York Times Headline: “Unlike Rivals, McCain Rejects Broad U.S. Aid On Mortgages.” The New York Times reported, “Drawing a sharp distinction between himself and the two Democratic presidential candidates, Senator John McCain of Arizona warned Tuesday against vigorous government action to solve the deepening mortgage crisis and the market turmoil it has caused, saying that ‘it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.’” [New York Times, 3/26/08]

 

  • McCain Blamed Homeowners. According to the New York Times, “But in a departure from Democrats, who have focused on the lending industry’s role in the crisis, Mr. McCain suggested that some homeowners had also engaged in dangerous practices, including borrowing too much in hopes that a rising market would cover their mortgages. [New York Times, 3/26/08]

 

  • McCain’s Plan Offered Less Assistance Than Bush’s. The New York Times reported, “Overall, the approach Mr. McCain suggested is even more cautious about federal intervention than that of President Bush. The Bush administration is looking to lower down payment requirements, at least temporarily.  McCain said that he opposed reducing the down payment required for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration, a step mean to revitalize slumping house sales.” [New York Times, 3/26/08]

 

McCain Rejected “Activist Approaches” To Mortgage Crisis, Placed Blame On Homeowners. The Los Angeles Times reported, “John McCain said Tuesday that he understood Americans’ anger about the mortgage foreclosure crisis and was open to ideas for addressing the problem,  but he rejected the sort of activist approaches proposed by his Democratic rivals for the presidency. … McCain – who has been trying to shore up his economic credentials – placed some of the blame on homeowners themselves, while also scolding ‘complacent’ lenders.” [Los Angeles Times, 3/26/08, emphasis added]

 

Boston Globe Describes McCain Plan as “Tough Love” For Struggling Families. The Boston Globe reported, “John McCain offered some small-government tough love yesterday in his first major speech on the economy after returning from a tour abroad.” [Boston Globe, 3/26/08]

 

McCain Said Mortgage Lenders, Not Government, Should Help Homeowners. The Sacramento Bee reported, “Sen. John McCain, R. Ariz., on Tuesday called for mortgage lenders to help struggling homeowners stay in their homes but said government’s role should be temporary and limited.  ‘It is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether it’s big banks or small b orrowers,’ McCain said in a speech in Santa Ana.”  [Sacramento Bee, 3/26/08]

 

McCain Opposes Plan For Mortgage Guarantees. The Seattle Times reported, “McCain advisers said the candidate frowns on legislation being prepared by Democrats that would have the government provide up to $400 billion in guarantees for mortgages that lenders agree to modify.  Regarding direct federal assistance to homeowners, McCain drew a sharp contrast with his Democratic rivals.  Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., on Monday proposed a $30 billion federal fund to help communities aid pressed homeowners.  Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., proposed a similar $10 billion fund.  McCain adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin rejected the type of foreclosure moratorium Clinton has pushed, saying it doesn’t ‘address why someone is in foreclosure.’  ‘As harsh as it may sound, that may be an appropriate outcome in some cases,’ he said.” [Seattle Times, 3/26/08]

 

New York Times Editorial: McCain Proposes “The Last Thing The Nation Needs.” The New York Times editorialized, “With foreclosures surging, the last thing the nation needs is another government-hosted meeting where mortgage lenders pledge once again to do their utmost to help distressed borrowers stay in their homes – and then go back to the business of foreclosure.  Yet, a meeting and a round of pledges is exactly what Senator John McCain called for on Tuesday, as if the country had not been down that fruitless road already.  The real core of his speech was his argument against government action to help dig distressed homeowners – or the country – out of the mortgage mess.  Mr. McCain’s talk therapy will not ease, let alone end, the worst foreclosure crisis since the Depression or the financial crisis that has erupted in its wake.  But worse yet is what it says about the presumptive Republican nominee’s view of the economy and the government’s responsibility to protect and help its citizens.” [New York Times, 3/27/08]

 

  • McCain “Mean-Spirited And Economically Naïve.” The New York Times editorialized that McCain’s “suggestion that federal aid might wrongly reward ‘undeserving’ homeowners sounded both mean-spirited and economically naïve.” [New York Times, 3/27/08]

 

McCain: Open To Assistance But Little Patience For The “Irresponsible.” The Washington Post reported, “McCain said he remained open to a wide range of solutions to the present financial turmoil, including government assistance, while making clear that his patience for a bailout would be very short.  ‘Any assistance must be temporary and must not reward people who were irresponsible at the expense of those who weren’t,’ he said.” [Washington Post, 3/26/08, emphasis added]

 

March 27: Plain Dealer Said McCain Played Election Year Politics With Its Endorsement

 

McCain Played Election Year Politics With Housing Crisis In Ohio. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported, “Despite his criticism this week of government intervention in the mortgage and foreclosure crisis, Republican presidential candidate John McCain sounded friendlier toward struggling homeowners last month when he campaigned in Ohio.  ‘I think there is some tough love here, but I think there’s got to be some love as well,’ McCain said in a Feb. 7 phone interview with Plain Dealer editors.  The presumptive Republican nominee, who described himself as a ‘Roosevelt Republican’ during the interview, said he was willing to ‘provide more relief’ to homeowners who can’t afford increases in mortgages because of their adjustable interest rates.  That’s a different tone from the rhetoric he used Tuesday during a speech in which he suggested homeowners facing foreclosure have only themselves to blame.” [Plain Dealer, 3/28/08]

 

  • Plain Dealer Said McCain Was Seeking Endorsement Before Primary. The Plain Dealer reported, “But seeking the Plain Dealer endorsement leading up to Ohio’s March 4 primary, McCain struck a more sympathetic tone. Northeast Ohio had the sixth largest foreclosure in the nation last year, according to a recent analysis, and three other metro areas in the state were in the top 20.” [Plain Dealer, 3/28/08]

 

  • McCain Told Plain Dealer: “I Would Be More Than Happy To Work Out Ways” To Help People In Mortgage Crisis. In an interview with the Plain Dealer’s editorial board on February 7, McCain said, “When I say pare down government… I’m not talking about cutting back on the essentials of government and the part of government that is necessary to help our economy and people in need…I would be more than happy to work out ways so that we could quickly, and there’s I think two million was the last number I saw, of homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes, that they could get relief from doing so.” [Plain Dealer, 2/7/08]

 

March 31: NY Daily News Reveals McCain Aides Lobby For “Shady Lender”

 

New York Daily News Revealed Green and Berman Lobbied for Ameriquest. On March 31, the Daily News reported, “When Sen. John McCain addressed the nation’s burgeoning mortgage mess last week, he insisted it was time for a little ‘straight talk.’  ‘I will not play election-year politics with the housing crisis,’ the GOP presidential hopeful insisted while unveiling his plan, which many have since described as friendlier to the mortgage industry than the Democrats’ proposals.  What McCain did not say – which some believe smacks of politics – is that two of his top advisers were recently lobbyists for a notorious lender in the mortgage meltdown.  John Green, the senator’s chief liaison to Congress, and Wayne Berman, his national finance co-chairman, billed more than $720,000 in lobbying fees from 2005 through last year to Ameriquest Mortgage through their lobbying firm, disclosure forms reviewed by the Daily News show.” [Daily News, 3/31/08]

 

April 2: Concern About McCain Economic Advisers Continues

 

Washington Post Sheds Light On Gramm’s Role Leading To Housing Crisis. The Washington Post reported on the influence of currently lobbyist and former Texas Senator Phil Gramm on McCain’s economic policies.  The Post highlighted “Gramm’s aggressive efforts when he was chairman of the Senate Banking Committee to deregulate the banking and financial services industry.  That culminated in passage in 1999 of a sweeping financial services law that tore down the Depression-era Glass-Steagall wall separating regulated commercial banks from largely unregulated investment banks.  And little regulation was put in place to replace it. … To many liberal economists, Gramm’s efforts set the stage for the current crisis.  Lending by noncommercial banks has soared, to about 70 percent of total lending.  Investment banks, including Bear Stearns, grew too large to be allowed to fail.” [Washington Post, 4/2/08]

 

April 3: CBS/NYT And Gallup Polls Show Housing At Top Of Americans’ Agenda

 

CBS/NYT Poll Shows Housing Crisis Is Top Economic Issue. A CBS/New York Times poll released on April 3 revealed that 14 percent of Americans “named housing and the home mortgage crises” as the most important economic problem facing the country. [CBS News, 4/3/08]

 

Gallup Poll Shows Majority Of Americans Favor Federal Help For Mortgage Crisis. A Gallup poll released on April 3 showed “that 6 in 10 Americans oppose the federal government taking steps to help prevent major Wall Street investment companies from failing,” but that “In sharp contrast to their opposition o helping Wall Street investment companies, Americans – by a margin of 56% to 42% - support having the federal government take steps to help prevent people from losing their homes b because they can’t pay their mortgages.”  [Gallup, 4/3/08]

 

April 10: McCain Plays Election Year Politics, Backtracks On Housing Plan

 

After two weeks of criticism about his non-plan for addressing the housing crisis, McCain did exactly what he said he would not – he played election year politics and changed his position.  While he had previously warned against federal government intervention to aid homeowners he called “irresponsible,” McCain sang a very different tune on April 10, arguing for extensive government intervention:

 

“But let me make it clear that in these challenging times, I am committed to using all the resources of this government and great nation to create opportunity and make sure that every deserving American has a good job and can achieve their American dream.” [McCain Housing Speech, 4/10/08, emphasis added]

 

Aside from a general reversal on the role of the federal government, McCain also flip-flopped on the details of allowing homeowners to trade in their mortgage:

 

“I believe a more robust, timely and targeted effort is my HOME plan.  It offers every deserving American family or homeowner the opportunity to trade a burdensome mortgage for a manageable loan that reflects the market value of their home.” [McCain Housing Speech, 4/10/08, emphasis added]

 

April 10-11: McCain Called Out For Change Of Tone

 

Wall Street Journal: McCain Rejects Prior Approach And Calls For “Aggressive Federal Government Role.” The Wall Street Journal reported, “John McCain called for an aggressive federal government role aimed at stabilizing the housing market, rejecting a largely hands-off approach he outlined two weeks ago. … Most significantly, he urged the federal government to guarantee new mortgages for homeowners at risk of foreclosure.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/11/08]

 

  • WSJ: “McCain’s New Housing Approach Represents A Major Shift.” The Wall Street Journal reported, “Sen. McCain’s new housing approach represents a major shift from the one he laid out in his speech two weeks ago, when he emphasized his opposition to any sort of government bailout for people who made bad decisions.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/11/08]

 

New York Times Headline: “McCain Reverses Himself on Mortgage Position.” The New York Times reported, “Senator John McCain, who drew criticism last month after he warned against broad government intervention to solve the deepening mortgage crisis, pivoted Thursday and called for the federal government to aid some homeowners in danger of losing their homes, by helping them to refinance and get federally guaranteed 30-year mortgages.”  McCain “had been painted as uncaring by Democrats, and drew murmurs of concern from some Republicans” over his hands off approach outlined on March 25.  “Since then, he has gone out of his way to try to signal that he understand that times are tough and that people are hurting.  His speech in Brooklyn – which is to be followed by what aides are billing as a major economic address next week – was a shift in tone, and part of a new effort to communicate that as president he would act to help Americans in financial distress. … In both tone and substance, Mr. McCain’s speech was a departure from the remarks he made last month in California.” [New York Times, 4/11/08, emphasis added]

 

Los Angeles Times: “A Shift In Tone From McCain’s Admonition Two Weeks Ago.” The Los Angeles Times reported, “The proposals marked a shift in tone from McCain’s admonition two weeks ago against adopting a mortgage plan that would be a ‘multibillion-dollar bailout for big banks and speculators.’” [Los Angeles Times, 4/11/08]  

 

Facing Criticism On Housing Plan, McCain Changes His Tune. The Washington Post reported, “Two weeks after drawing criticism for saying he favored only a limited federal role to help deal with the home mortgage crisis, Republican presidential candidate John McCain sought to assure Americans he is prepared to use the government where necessary to help ease the impact on working families of a declining economy. … McCain proposed a federal program that would require individual homeowners to seek help from the federal government and, if they qualified, enable them to restructure mortgages and stay in their homes.” [Washington Post, 4/11/08]

 

McCain Proposed Allowing Subprime Borrowers To Trade In Loans. American Banker reported, “Sen. John McCain – who just two weeks ago resisted broader intervention to stem the housing crisis, changed tack Thursday, proposing a plan that would ask the government to insure delinquent subprime loans.  The Republican presidential nominee called for the creation of a ‘HOME plan’ that would let subprime borrowers trade in their loans for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration.  His plan is similar in concept to rival proposals from the Bush administration and Democratic leaders, both of which have already drawn fire from congressional Republicans who fear it would expose taxpayers to significant losses.  Like those plans, Sen. McCain’s would ask lenders to take a haircut by writing down the mortgages below current market values.” [American Banker, 4/10/08]

 

American Banker: “McCain’s Views On The Housing Crisis Appear To Be Evolving Quickly.” American Banker reported, “Sen. McCain’s views on the housing crisis appear to be evolving quickly.  In a speech two weeks ago in California, he outlined his views on the housing crisis for the first time.  Though focusing on the need to help ‘deserving homeowners,’ he offered few details and declared that ‘it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.’  Thursday’s speech, though appeared aimed at showing that Sen. McCain now thinks a solution is needed beyond what other Republicans have offered.” [American Banker, 4/10/08]

 

Conservatives Attack McCain For Shift. The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder reported that conservatives are not happy with McCain’s new take on the housing crisis: “‘Hey, remember when I praised McCain’s housing stance,’ asks Michelle Malkin today.  ‘Well, forget it.’  The conservative commentator does not like McCain’s proposal today in which the federal government takes in and guarantees qualified subprime mortgages.  It strikes her as much more activist than the principles he staked out two weeks ago.  Indeed, it strikes just about everyone as more activist than the principles he staked out two weeks ago.” [Atlantic, 4/10/08]

 

April 15: McCain Complete 180 Degree Turn On Housing Crisis

 

After beginning to shift his harsh position on the housing crisis the previous week, McCain completed his 180 degree turn on the housing crisis during an April 15 speech in which he advocated a completely different policy than he did during his March 25 speech:

 

“We have a responsibility to act – and if I am elected president I intend to act quickly and decisively.” [McCain Economy Speech, 4/15/08, emphasis added]

 

“These reforms must wait on the next election, but to help our workers and our economy we must also act in the here and now.” [McCain Economy Speech, 4/15/08, emphasis added]

 

“Under the HOME plan I have proposed, our government will offer these Americans direct and immediate help that can make all the difference: If you can’t make your payments, and you’re in danger of foreclosure, you will be able to go to any Post Office and pick upa  form for a new HOME loan.” [McCain Economy Speech, 4/15/08, emphasis added]

 

 

 

 

Budget & Appropriations

 

After years of indoctrination, the press has branded John McCain as a “Pork-Buster” and “Deficit Hawk” while leaving his record thoroughly unexamined.  McCain consistently criticizes those who attempt to secure federal money for their districts, however he took similar actions for companies in Arizona.  And finally, despite his tough talk regarding pork-barrel spending; completely eliminating earmarks would decrease government spending by a mere $16.8 billion, which is a far cry from a cure-all solution to the federal deficit.  The press’s portrayal of McCain as a watchdog of the federal budget makes a compelling storyline, but unfortunately for McCain, it is a work of fiction.

 

       
 
Top Hits:

  • McCain’s tax & budget proposals will dramatically worsen the federal deficit.
  • Amid Keating Five scandal, McCain pressured the Pentagon to award a wasteful federal contract to an Arizona defense contractor.
  • McCain claims to despise earmarks, yet he employs dozens of lobbyists who have made millions pushing for “pork-barrel projects.”
  • McCain’s claims to be fiscally conservative are patently false.  He routinely votes for proposals that will worsen the federal deficit by cutting taxes without cutting spending.
  • McCain said he would like to have line-item veto, but the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional.

 

 
   
Accomplishments:

  • McCain is an established opponent of wasteful spending, and has very few blemishes on his long record.
  • By occasionally opposing irresponsible Republican initiatives, McCain has honed his reputation as a “maverick” who will buck the party establishment in order to do what’s right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McCain defines earmarks strictly to deflect criticism of his own pork-laden legislative activity, but uses a broad definition to stretch his ability to cut the budget via “wasteful spending” practices.  McCain can’t have it both ways – his defense for opposing the Everglades restoration funding caught him in the middle of his own double-talk. 

 

MCCAIN OPPOSED EVERGLADES FUNDING BECAUSE OF INCLUSION IN WATER BILL…

 

McCain Claimed He Voted Against Everglades Restoration Because It Was Part of Water Resources Development Act; Called for “Standalone Appropriation.”  The Palm Beach Post reported on McCain’s defense of his opposition to the water bill, “McCain said he would support spending billions to restore the Everglades but opposed the $23 billion Water Resources Development Act last year because it included projects he considered wasteful, including a ‘Lower Mississippi River Museum and Riverfront Interpretive Site.’  ‘I'd love to see a standalone (Everglades) appropriation on the floor of the Senate that at least matches what the governor and legislature has done here in the state of Florida," said McCain.” [Palm Beach Post, 6/7/08]

 

…BUT MCCAIN TOOK CREDIT FOR ARIZONA RESTORATION PROJECT INSERTED IN PREVIOUS WATER BILLS

 

New York Times: McCain Got $56 Million for Project. In 2000, the New York Times reported, “Senator Robert C. Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, and a number of Republicans who have been criticized by Mr. McCain said he had also advanced his own wasteful projects in Arizona, including a $56 million authorization for an environmental and habitat restoration project along the Salt River.” [New York Times, 2/18/00]

 

Union Leader: McCain Got $56 Million for Project. In a 2000 editorial, the Union Leader’s editorial page editor wrote that McCain “collected more than $56 million for the Rio Salado environmental and habitat restoration project along the Salt River in Arizona.” [Union Leader, 1/12/00]

 

  • McCain Claimed Credit for Project In 2000 Press Release. In a press release issued by his presidential campaign, McCain included securing an authorization for the Rio Salado Environmental Restoration Project in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1999 in a list of “more than twenty initiatives either sponsored or co-sponsored by Senator John McCain” that were signed into law during the 106th Congress or were awaiting the president’s signature.  Water projects, such as this project championed by McCain, cannot receive earmarks until they are authorized in the WRDA Bill. [Presidential Campaign Press Materials, 11/23/99]

 

McCain’s $56 Million Project Was Flood Control Project – Common Among Earmarks. An examination of S. 507, the Water Resources Development Act of 1999, shows that the project pushed for by McCain was described as follows: “Rio Salado (Salt River), Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona – The project for flood control and environmental restoration, Rio Salado (Salt River), Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona: Report of the Chief of Engineers dated August 20, 1998, at a total cost of $88,048,000, with an estimated Federal cost of $56,355,000 and an estimated non-Federal cost of $31,693,000.” [S. 507, Water Resources Development Act of 1999, accessed 4/8/08]

 

  • Fiscal Year 2000 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill Contained Earmark for Salt River. In the Fiscal Year 2000 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill, the Appropriations Committee “provided funds to conduct reconnaissance level reviews of two additional reaches of the Salt River in Phoenix, Arizona.  These reaches, extending to the east and west of the Rio Salado, Arizona, project as currently proposed, are to be studied for environmental restoration and related purposes.” [Fiscal Year 2000 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill, accessed 4/7/08]

 

  • Fiscal Year 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Contained $1.097 Million Earmark for West Salt River. The Fiscal Year 2003 Omnibus Appropriations bill contained an earmark for “$1,097,000 for the South/Central Arizona Investigations program, including $300,000 for the West Salt River Valley Water Management Study.” [Fiscal Year 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, accessed 4/7/08]

 

  • Fiscal Year 2006 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill Included Earmarks for Salt River. The Fiscal Year 2006 Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill contained earmarks for the Salt River: “$109,000 is available to complete the final report of phase II of the central Arizona salinity study and $250,000 for the West Salt River Management Study.” [Fiscal Year 2006 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill, accessed 4/7/08]

 

MCCAIN PLEDGED TO ELIMINATE ALL “EARMARKS” AND “PORK-BARREL” PROJECTS

 

McCain Pledged To Eliminate Earmarks and Pork-Barrel Spending.  During an interview on CNN, McCain proclaimed, “I wanna eliminate this wasteful and outrageous earmark and pork-barrel spending.” [CNN, “Newsroom,” 3/13/08]

 

McCain Pledged To Veto “Every Single Bill” That “Has An Earmark or Pork Barrel Project.”  During a town hall meeting in Houston, Texas, McCain said, “I will veto, I will veto every single bill that comes across my desk as President of the United States, that has an earmark or pork barrel project on it.” [McCain Town Hall Meeting in Houston, Texas, 3/4/08]

 

McCain: “I Will Not Sign A Bill With Earmarks In It, Any Earmarks In It.” During a speech in Washington, D.C., McCain proclaimed, “I will not sign a bill with earmarks in it, any earmarks in it.” [McCain Speech in Washington, D.C., 2/7/08; emphasis added]

 

McCain Pledge To Veto “Every Single Bill” Containing Pork-Barrel Projects.  During an appearance on ABC’s This Week, McCain said, “I’ll veto every single bill that comes across my desk and make the authors of those pork-barrel projects famous.” [ABC, “This Week,” 8/5/07]

 

McCain: “The First Pork-Barrel Bill That Crosses My Desk, I’m Going To Veto It.” During a Republican Presidential debate in Simi Valley, California, McCain said, “The first pork-barrel bill that crosses my desk, I’m going to veto it and make the authors of those pork-barrel items famous all over America. We’re going to stop it.” [MSNBC, Republican Debate in Simi Valley, California, 5/3/07]

 

MCCAIN EXAGGERATES EARMARKS, ACCORDING TO THE EXPERTS

 

INDEPENDENT ESTIMATES OF FY2008 EARMARKS:

 

Organization

Estimated Value of FY 2008 Earmarks

Taxpayers for Common Sense

$14.8 Billion

OMB

$16.87 Billion

Citizens Against Government Waste?

$17.2 Billion

Washington Post, 4/16/08

$18 Billion

The Economist, 4/19/08

$18 Billion

Wall Street Journal

$16.8 Billion

 

McCain: “I Disagree With The Experts.”  During an interview on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell said to McCain, “You’ve added up and you’ve talked about some $300 billion in savings, pork barrel savings.  Independent experts say that your tax cuts would cost at least $100 billion more than you say, and that the savings would not materialize.”  McCain replied, “I disagree with the experts.  I disagree.  I disagree.  I disagree with the experts.  I have experts of my own.” [MSNBC, 4/16/08]

 

McCain: Eliminating Earmarks Could Save $100 Billion. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, “On Wednesday, McCain said eliminating congressional ‘earmarks’ for specific projects in the budget could mean $100 billion in savings -- $35 billion in recent spending bills, $65 billion still in the budget from earlier projects.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4/17/08, emphasis added]

 

McCain Claimed The Budget Included $100 Billion Worth Of Earmarks.  During an appearance on ABC’s This Week, McCain said, “Here’s $100 billion right here for you, George. Two years in a row, last two years, the president of the United States has signed in a law, two big-spending, pork-barrel-laden bills worth $35 billion. That increases the budget, the baseline of the budget. In the years before that, $65 billion. You do away with those, there’s $100 billion right there, before you look at any agency of government.” [ABC, “This Week,” 4/20/08]

 

McCain Claimed There Were $35 Billion Of Earmarks In 2007.  During an interview on CNN’s American Morning, McCain said, “I will have every Town Hall across this country talk about earmark and pork barrel spending. I’ll make it clear what $35 billion dollars in earmark/pork barrel projects last year meant to the American people which was a thousand dollar tax credit for every child in America...” [CNN, “American Morning,” 3/14/08]

 

McCain: “I Am Here To Cut Hundreds Of Billions Of Dollars Out Of Wasteful And Unnecessary Spending.” During an appearance on ABC’s This Week, “I am here (ph) to cut hundreds of billions of dollars out of wasteful and unnecessary spending in America, whether they be ethanol subsidies, whether they be sugar price supports, whether they be payments to the wealthiest farmers, whether they be the loopholes that are out there worth I don’t know how many billions and billions of dollars.” [ABC, “This Week,” 4/20/08]

 

1991: $4.6 Million for Construction of Arizona Road

 

New York Times: McCain Got $3 Million for Road Project. In 2000, the New York Times reported, “Senator Robert C. Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, and a number of Republicans who have been criticized by M r. McCain said he had also advanced his own wasteful projects in Arizona, including…$3 million for the Turquoise Trail, a joint effort of the Navajo and Hopi tribes.” [New York Times, 2/18/00]

 

McCain Got Multi-Million Dollar Earmark for Arizona Road. In 1991, States News Service reported, “Last year, however, McCain asked a key lawmaker to help secure funding for construction of Arizona’s Turquoise Trail road between Navajo and Hopi Indian reservations.  Congress appropriated $4.6 million for the road after McCain sought help from Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on transportation.”  In 2000, the Union Leader’s editorial page editor reported that the earmark was for $3 million. [States News Service, 6/13/91; Union Leader, 1/12/00]

 

  • McCain Wrote Letter Asking For Funding. According to States News Service, McCain wrote the following in a letter to Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Lautenberg: “The Turquoise Trail (will) promote the Black Mesa Region of both reservations by providing a reliable and critically-needed link between communities and employment centers.” The letter was written in July 1990.  [States News Service, 6/13/91]

 

  • McCain Spokesman Defended Earmark. When questioned about the contradiction between McCain’s anti-pork rhetoric and his solicitation of the earmark for the Turquoise Trail, McCain spokesman Scott Celley “said McCain’s support for the Turquoise Trail last year ‘is irrelevant…What matters is the federal government has some $300 billion in deficits this year, and Congress has shown an inability to get a grip on spending.’” [States News Service, 6/13/91]

 

Arizona Republic Pointed To Earmark as Contradicting “Maverick” Image. In 2008, the Arizona Republic cited McCain’s 1991 earmark for the Turquoise Trail as one of “8 incidents that complicate” McCain’s image as a maverick.  “1991: McCain’s crusade against pork-barrel spending hits a bump after it is revealed McCain wrote a letter in July 1990 to the chairman of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee seeking money for an Arizona road called the Turquoise Trail.” [Arizona Republic, 4/6/08]

 

$56 Million for Arizona Flood Control Project

 

New York Times: McCain Got $56 Million for Project. In 2000, the New York Times reported, “Senator Robert C. Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, and a number of Republicans who have been criticized by Mr. McCain said he had also advanced his own wasteful projects in Arizona, including a $56 million authorization for an environmental and habitat restoration project along the Salt River.” [New York Times, 2/18/00]

 

Union Leader: McCain Got $56 Million for Project. In a 2000 editorial, the Union Leader’s editorial page editor wrote that McCain “collected more than $56 million for the Rio Salado environmental and habitat restoration project along the Salt River in Arizona.” [Union Leader, 1/12/00]

 

McCain Claimed Credit for Project In 2000 Press Release. In a 2000 press release issued by his presidential campaign, McCain included securing an authorization for the Rio Salado Environmental Restoration Project in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1999 in a list of “more than twenty initiatives either sponsored or co-sponsored by Senator John McCain” that were signed into law during the 106th Congress or were awaiting the president’s signature.  Water projects, such as this project championed by McCain, cannot receive earmarks until they are authorized in the WRDA Bill. [Presidential Campaign Press Materials, 11/23/99]

 

McCain’s $56 Million Project Was Flood Control Project – Common Among Earmarks. An examination of S. 507, the Water Resources Development Act of 1999, shows that the project pushed for by McCain was described as follows: “Rio Salado (Salt River), Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona – The project for flood control and environmental restoration, Rio Salado (Salt River), Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona: Report of the Chief of Engineers dated August 20, 1998, at a total cost of $88,048,000, with an estimated Federal cost of $56,355,000 and an estimated non-Federal cost of $31,693,000.” [S. 507, Water Resources Development Act of 1999, accessed 4/8/08]

 

  • Fiscal Year 2000 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill Contained Earmark for Salt River. In the Fiscal Year 2000 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill, the Appropriations Committee “provided funds to conduct reconnaissance level reviews of two additional reaches of the Salt River in Phoenix, Arizona. These reaches, extending to the east and west of the Rio Salado, Arizona, project as currently proposed, are to be studied for environmental restoration and related purposes.” [Fiscal Year 2000 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill, accessed 4/7/08]

 

  • Fiscal Year 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Contained $1.097 Million Earmark for West Salt River. The Fiscal Year 2003 Omnibus Appropriations bill contained an earmark for “$1,097,000 for the South/Central Arizona Investigations program, including $300,000 for the West Salt River Valley Water Management Study.” [Fiscal Year 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, accessed 4/7/08]

 

  • Fiscal Year 2006 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill Included Earmarks for Salt River. The Fiscal Year 2006 Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill contained earmarks for the Salt River: “$109,000 is available to complete the final report of phase II of the central Arizona salinity study and $250,000 for the West Salt River Management Study.” [Fiscal Year 2006 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill, accessed 4/7/08]

 

Millions For Tucson Environmental “Conflict Resolution” Center

 

New York Times: McCain Got $4.2 Million for Tucson Center. In 2000, the New York Times reported, “Senator Robert C. Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, and a number of Republicans who have been criticized by Mr. McCain said he had also advanced his own wasteful projects in Arizona, including…$4.2 million to create a national mediation center in Tucson.” [New York Times, 2/12/00]

 

  • McCain Sponsored Legislation To Create And Fund New Program at Tucson Center. In 1998, McCain passed S. 399, the Environmental Policy and Conflict Resolution Act of 1997, through the House and Senate, and the bill was signed into law. The legislation authorized $4,250,000 for Fiscal Year 1998 and $1,250,000 each year for Fiscal Years 1999 through 2002.  The Center is housed at the Morris K. Udall Foundation in Tucson, Arizona. [ 399, Environmental Policy and Conflict Resolution Act of 1997; Morris K. Udall Foundation, accessed 4/7/08]

 

Hundreds of Million for the Central Arizona Project (CAP)

 

1987: McCain Helped Secure $237 Million for CAP in FY 1988. In June 1987, the States News Service reported that McCain and other members of the Arizona Congressional Delegation “emerged from three days of intensive, closed-door negotiations Thursday to announce an agreement with environmental groups” to save hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for the Central Arizona Project.  In September 1987, the States News Service reported, “The Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday approved spending $237 million for the Central Arizona Project in fiscal 1988…Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said in a press release, ‘This action indicates strong support for the CAP and portends favorable consideration by the full House and Senate.’”  In 1987, the States News Service [Sates News Service, 6/18/87; States News Service, 9/15/87]

 

McCain Helped Make Arizona’s “Annual Pitch to Congress” for Funding. In 1987, States News Service reported, “Gov. Evan Mecham and Arizona’s congressional delegation delivered the state’s annual pitch to Congress Tuesday for continued federal funding of the Central Arizona Project.  In his first appearance before Congress since being elected last November, Mecham urged two budget subcommittees to approve the Reagan administration’s record $275.8 million fiscal 1988 funding request for the massive water development project.  Joining the Republican governor were Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Arizona Reps. Morris K. Udall, Jim Kolbe, Jon Kyl and Jay Rhodes, and former Reps. John Rhodes, Jr., and Eldon Rudd.” [States News Service, 3/31/87, emphasis added]

 

Mercado Development

 

Arizona Trend: McCain Got Funding for Mercado Development. In 1989, the Arizona Trend reported that “McCain…got federal funding for the Mercado development in Phoenix.” [Arizona Trend, 3/1989]

 

  • Mercado Project was Failed Phoenix Development Pushed by Jailed Governor Symington. According to the Associated Press, the Mercado was “a Phoenix complex of offices, shops and restaurants resembling ancient Indian buildings in Mexico.” The project, which was only partly occupied and didn’t make any money, was spearheaded by Governor Fife Symington, a real estate developer.  While in office, Symington went bankrupt.  The Mercado was financed by six union pension funds, but “The unions foreclosed on the loan in 1991, and were awarded an $11.4 million by a judge.”  [Associated Press, 9/20/95]

 

Orbital Sciences Corporation

 

McCain Helped A Phoenix Space Lab Secure A $25 Million Grant From The Federal Government.   While they were busy fighting off charges from the Keating Five scandal, Arizona Senators Dennis DeConcini and John McCain helped secure a $25 million federal contract for a space science lab in Phoenix.  Senator DeConcini said, “There was the ability to sell it, to float it politically, that this was a good investment for America. I'm glad to have John McCain as a colleague to work for a $25 million contract because it was not just good for Arizona, because it was good for small business and good for the nation, a partnership of the private sector and the federal government.”  [MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, 1/22/90]

 

McCain “Talked Tough” To Secure Money From The Department of Defense.  Senator Dennis DeConcini said, “Did we do anything wrong by interceding? Well, that's what I do for you, ladies and gentlemen. That's my job. Maybe you didn't know it, but that's what I do. That's what I did for McDonnell-Douglas. They came to me and said, you know, Sec. Cheney is only going to procure the grand total of 60 Apache helicopters; we think they ought to procure a lot more. What did we do? Sen. McCain and three Congressmen, including your Congressman here, went to see Mr. Cheney at his office with no staff. We sat down and we talked, we talked tough.” [MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, 1/22/90]

 

McCain Helped Arizona Companies To Distract Arizonans From The Keating Scandal.  “These are not happy times for DeConcini and McCain. They are both under a cloud. They are both under investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee. And they are both scrambling to convince Arizona that what they did to help the Orbital Science Corporation and other companies in Arizona like McDonnell-Douglas and Hughes Aircraft was nothing more, nothing less, than what they tried to do for Charles Keating and his scandal ridden Lincoln Savings & Loan Association, and that was to protect Arizona jobs.” [MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, 1/22/90]

 

With McCain’s Help, A Key Component To ‘Star Wars’ Was Produced In Arizona.  “Orbital Sciences Corp. of Fairfax completed the first in a series of eight lightweight projectile missions for the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization.  The LEAP-1 mission launch occurred Feb. 18 from the Army's White Sands Missile Range, the company said in a statement.  Orbital Sciences said the vehicle used in the mission was designed, produced and integrated by Orbital's Space Data Division, based in Chandler, Ariz., and consists of an internally guided booster, a payload module bus, a target module and other associated hardware.” [Washington Post, 2/24/92]

 

McCain’s Earmark Helped Save Local Arizona Jobs.  Orbital Sciences Corporation, which was in dire trouble in 1990, benefitted greatly from a defense contract valued at approximately $20 million.  According to the Washington Post, “the company's Chandler, Arizona based Space Data Division has won contracts totaling $ 20 million from the Army, Air Force, Strategic Defense Initiative Organization and Titan Corp. covering suborbital launches.” [Washington Post, 8/2/90]

 

  • McCain Said He Has “Never Believed” Defense Contracts Should Create Jobs. According to the Associated Press, “McCain said jobs were not the key issue.  ‘I’ve never believed that defense programs, that the major reason for them should be to create jobs,’ he told reporters in Phoenix. ‘I’ve always felt that the best thing to do is to create the best weapons system we can at minimum cost to taxpayers.” [Associated Press, 2/4/08]

 

McCain’s Pet Project Was a Waste of Taxpayers’ Money

McCain’s Pet Project Was Plagued By Problems and Delays.  Tests of the Aries rocket, manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporations in Chandler, Arizona, were delayed due to “technical problems’ with the rocket.  According to the New York Times, “The scheduled launching early this morning was delayed when a telemetry unit needed to monitor the rocket's flight performance appeared to malfunction.”  They added, “An earlier scheduled launching of the rocket on Aug. 23 was called off because a nearly identical rocket had to be destroyed three days earlier when it veered off course. That problem was traced to a computer programmer's error.” [New York Times, 9/3/91]

 

The Pentagon Was Forced To Destroy A $10 Million Rocket After It Veered Off Course.  The Pentagon was forced to destroy a $10 million Aries missile after it veered off course in a test of the Strategic Defense Initiative.  “The rocket was manufactured by the Chandler, Ariz., Space Data Division of Orbital Sciences Corporation. One of its Prospector rockets was destroyed after experiencing guidance problems in a commercial launch last June.” [Christian Science Monitor, 8/21/91]

 

Nogales Wastewater Treatment Facilities

 

1992: McCain Requested $5 Million for Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Washington Post reported, “It turns out, McCain may not have always been so averse to earmarks.”  The Post located a “1992 letter in which McCain privately pressed the Republican administration of President Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush, to secure a $5 million earmark for a wastewater project in Arizona after Congress had rejected the request in its own spending bill.  Spurned by his colleagues, McCain took his case to the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  ‘I would like to request that EPA either re-program $5 million out of existing funds or earmark the amount from an appropriate account,’ McCain wrote in his Oct. 9, 1992 letter to then-EPA Administrator William K. Reilly, calling the earmark ‘crucial to protecting the public health and environment.’  Reilly wrote back a few months later – in the final days of the first Bush administration – saying his agency had ‘no options with which to fund this project.’” [Washington Post, 12/31/07]

 

  • McCain Made Kyl Do The Dirty Work. After 15 years of trying, Senators McCain and Kyl wrote another letter to the EPA in October of 2007. According to the Petersburg Times, “Again the EPA left it out, so Kyl — not McCain — put an earmark in the 2008 omnibus spending bill.” [Congressional Quarterly/St. Petersburg Times, accessed on 2/13/08]

 

Arizona Law Center

 

McCain Proposed $10 Million for Law Center in Arizona. In December 2005, McCain introduced S. 2136, the William H. Rehnquist Center Act of 2005.  The legislation would provide $10 million over five years to establish the William H. Rehnquist Center on Constitutional Structures and Judicial Independence at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.  The legislation was not voted upon. [S. 2136, William H. Rehnquist Center Act of 2005]

 

$14.3 Million for Luke Air Force Base

 

Roll Call Headline: “McCain Breaks Own Pork Rule.” In 2003, Roll Call reported, “McCain pushed for, and got, $14.3 million for Arizona’s Luke Air Force Base inserted into the just-completed fiscal 2004 military construction appropriations conference report.”  Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman, who has battled with McCain for years over earmarks, said, “We don’t discriminate. … If he asked for it, we put it in.” [Roll Call, 11/6/03]

 

McCain’s False Hopes

 

McCain Said “Line-Item Veto Is The Best Tool” For Controlling Government Spending.  During an MSNBC Republican Presidential Debate, McCain was asked what specific programs he would cut if he won the presidency, to which he responded, “Line-item veto is the best tool. President Reagan sought it, and we need it very badly.” [MSNBC, 5/3/07]

 

  • The Supreme Court Declared The Line-Item Veto Unconstitutional In 1998.  According to CNN, “The line-item veto is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court decided Thursday, ruling that Congress did not have the authority to hand that power to the president.”  Justice Stevens wrote, “the procedures authorized by the line-item veto act are not authorized by the Constitution.” [CNN, 6/25/98]

 

Budgetary Irresponsibility

                                                                     

McCain Said He Would Proceed With Tax Cuts Even If Spending Isn’t Cut.  During an appearance on ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos asked McCain, “If Congress does not give you the spending cuts you say you can get, will you hold off on signing the tax cuts?”  McCain said, “No, of course not, because we want to increase people’s taxes during a recession?” [ABC, “This Week,” 4/20/08]

 

McCain Voted For Budget Plan With $1.35 Trillion in Tax Cuts.  In 2001, McCain voted for the adoption of the conference report on the concurrent resolution to adopt a 10-year budget plan that calls for approximately $1.35 trillion in tax cuts through fiscal 2011, including a $100 billion stimulus package. The agreement would cap discretionary spending at $661.3 billion. Discretionary spending allocations would total $325.1 billion for defense and $336.2 billion for non-defense.  The report passed 53-47.    [H.Con.Res.83, Vote #98, 5/10/01]

 

McCain Voted for Initial FY 2006 Budget Resolution; Included Even More Tax Cuts Than The President Requested. In 2005, McCain voted for the Senate version of the $2.57 trillion FY 2006 Budget. The bill included $134 billion in tax cuts, even more than the President requested, partially by extending capital gains and dividend tax cuts, while it called for about $17 billion in mandatory spending cuts over five years. The budget also included parliamentary language that would make it easier to open ANWR to oil exploration and drilling. [SCR 18, Vote #81, 3/17/05]

 

  • McCain Voted Against Requiring A 60-Member Vote For Any New Tax Cut Or Deficit-Increasing Measures.  In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would make the consideration of new tax cuts or net mandatory spending that would increase the deficit subject to a 60-vote point of order unless Congress had restored the solvency of Social Security for 75 years.  The amendment failed 45-55.  [SCR 18, Vote #47, 3/15/05]

 

  • McCain Voted Against Reducing Deficit.  In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would, in addition to increase funding for first responders, but would also reduce the federal deficit by $1.6 billion, which would be offset by a $3.2 billion reduction in tax reconciliation provisions.  The amendment failed 46-54.  [SCR 18, Vote #50, 3/15/05]

 

McCain Voted For Sham Budget Resolution that Claimed It Would Reduce Deficit.  In 2006, McCain voted for the budget resolution that Senate Republicans claimed would reduce the deficit.  The cumulative deficit over five years was already forecasted to be $1.14 trillion with this budget—before lawmakers added another $16 billion for appropriations to help the package win approval. Under the Republican five-year budget, the U.S. debt would reach nearly $12 trillion in 2011.  According to the Washington Post, with no brakes on spending and no plans to raise revenues, the “federal debt is now raising at an unprecedented clip.”  [S.Con.Res.83, Vote #74, 3/16/06; Washington Post, 3/17/06]

  • McCain Admitted “Did Not Face Up To Reality,” But Voted For It Anyway.  Prior to voting for a Republican budget supported by the president, McCain criticized its accumulation of spending proposals, saying, “we’re not yet ready to face up to the realities of having to make some tough decisions.” After making the statement, McCain, “eyeing a run for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, joined the majority leader in voting for the budget resolution, which passed 51 to 49.” The budget proposal supported by McCain and the republicans was a “$2.8-trillion annual budget that would boost funding for a number of politically popular domestic programs” including “guidelines for future legislation and “a new effort to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling, a measure long sought by President Bush.” [Los Angeles Times, 3/17/06]

 

 

 

McCain’s Earmark Doubletalk

 

Fuzzy Earmark Math

 

Senator McCain’s economic message has focused on his opposition to earmarks and pork-barrel projects.  He has repeatedly framed this opposition as the solution to trimming the federal budget and as being sufficient to offset the massive revenue cuts he has proposed, primarily through billions of dollars in corporate tax cuts for America’s largest corporations.   However, it has become clear that McCain uses fuzzy math for his plan to make sense.  Estimates of the value of the earmarks for Fiscal Year 2008 range from $14.8 billion to $18 billion, far less than the $200 billion McCain’s top economic adviser has estimated his plan would cost.  Any way you cut it, the math just doesn’t add up.

 

Organization

Estimated Value of FY 2008 Earmarks

Taxpayers for Common Sense

$14.8 Billion

OMB

$16.87 Billion

Citizens Against Government Waste?

$17.2 Billion

Washington Post, 4/16/08

$18 Billion

The Economist, 4/19/08

$18 Billion

 

Holtz-Eakin: McCain Proposals Will Cost $200 Billion Per Year. The Washington Post reported, “McCain advisers acknowledged that the costs to the Treasury would be substantial. Full repeal of the AMT would cost $1.6 trillion over 10 years, assuming the extension of Bush's tax cuts. A summer gasoline tax holiday would cost the Treasury roughly $9 billion. The corporate tax cuts would cost $100 billion a year, said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain's senior policy adviser.  In all, Holtz-Eakin said, McCain's proposals would cost about $200 billion a year in tax revenue but would be offset by ending congressional earmarks, growth in the economy and other savings.” [Washington Post, 4/16/08, emphasis added]

 

McCain: Eliminating Earmarks Could Save $100 Billion Per Year. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, “On Wednesday, McCain said eliminating congressional ‘earmarks’ for specific projects in the budget could mean $100 billion in savings -- $35 billion in recent spending bills, $65 billion still in the budget from earlier projects.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4/17/08, emphasis added]

 

McCain Said Earmarks Are $35  Billion, Nearly Double Highest Estimates. The Tribune-Star reported, “If elected, McCain said he would reduce wasteful spending by eliminating earmarks in the federal budget.  ‘The first earmarked bill that comes across my desk as president of the United States, I will veto it.  We will not have that anymore,’ he said.  He said there are $35 billion of earmarked projects in the federal budget, ‘so instead of having a $230 million bridge [to a sparsely populated island] in Alaska, we could have a $1,000 tax credit for every child in America.’” [Tribune-Star, 2/23/08, emphasis added]

 

McCain Pledged To Veto All Earmarks

 

McCain On Earmarks: We Will Not Have That Anymore. According to the Tribune-Star, McCain said, “The first earmarked bill that comes across my desk as president of the United States, I will veto it.  We will not have that anymore.” [Tribune-Star, 2/23/08]

 

McCain Pledged To Veto All Earmarks. The Seattle Times reported, “A frequent critic of congressional earmarks inserted into spending bills, McCain vowed during his Westin speech to veto every single one of them.” [Seattle Times, 2/9/08]

 

To Make His Plan Work, McCain Adopted Unworkable Definition of Earmarks

 

It is clear that McCain’s economic plan is flawed because eliminating earmarks would not come close to off-setting his proposal for massive new corporate welfare.  To make his plan work, McCain adopted the broadest definition of earmarks that would include spending not typically thought of as pork-barrel spending.  He has since dug his economic plan into a deeper hole by backtracking from his previous pledge to veto ALL earmarks.  

 

Holtz-Eakin: McCain Will Use Broad Definition of Earmarks. Appearing on MSNBC on April 16, McCain referred to $65 billion in earmarks he would cut that are already on the books.  According to Think Progress, “McCain does not identify the $65 billion in earmarks.  In a conference call with reporters yesterday, McCain economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said that McCain’s plan to eliminate earmarks uses the Congressional Research Services’ (CRS) definition of the term.” [MSNBC, 4/16/08; Think Progress, 4/17/08, emphasis added]

 

  • Analysis Shows McCain’s Plan Would Eliminate Aid To Israel And Other U.S. Allies. According to Center for American Progress Action Fund Senior Fellow Scott Lilly, “McCain's Director of Economic Policy, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, explained to reporters on a conference call following McCain's speech at Carnegie Mellon University yesterday that the senator was able to produce $60 billion a year in annual savings from elimination of ‘earmarks’ by using the Congressional Research Service's definition of the term. CRS counts all funding for Israel as well as nearly three-quarters of the entire Foreign Operations Appropriations bill as an earmark. McCain proposed to use the $60 billion savings to offset a series of proposed tax cuts. The funding for Israel wouldn't be the only casualty of the McCain proposal. It would also eliminate more than $1.8 billion in annual funding for Egypt, nearly half a billion dollars for Jordan, and tens of millions from countries such as Haiti, Kosovo, and the Philippines.” [Center for American Progress Action Fund, 4/16/08, emphasis added]

 

McCain Makes Exception To Earmark Pledge. The Politico’s Ben Smith reported, “John McCain will make an exception for at least one category of spending in his pledge to ‘veto every bill with earmarks’: aid to Israel.  Think Progress pointed out earlier that military and other assistance to Israel is included in definition McCain’s aides say they’re using of the term, to the tune of about $2.9 billion, about 5% of the total, depending on how you count.” [Politico, 4/16/08, emphasis added]

 

McCain Will Freeze Discretionary Funding To Reconcile Flawed Earmark Plan

 

McCain Will Freeze Discretionary Funding. In his April 15 speech on the economy, McCain said, “As president, I will also order a prompt and thorough review of the budgets of every federal program, department, and agency. While that top to bottom review is underway, we will institute a one-year pause in discretionary spending increases with the necessary exemption of military spending and veterans benefits.  ‘Discretionary spending’ is a term people throw around a lot in Washington, while actual discretion is seldom exercised. Instead, every program comes with a built-in assumption that it should go on forever, and its budget increase forever. My administration will change that way of thinking.” [McCain Economic Speech, 4/15/08]

 

Wall Street Journal: McCain Wants to Cut 20% of Discretionary Spending. The Wall Street Journal reported, “The bottom line: he wants to cut some $160 billion in discretionary spending out of a budget that totals a bit over $800 billion, said his chief economic adviser, Doug Holtz-Eakin. Only a tiny portion of that is earmarks. If McCain gets his way, the government would eliminate 20% of all discretionary spending. Discretionary spending includes everything but entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, which are automatically funded each year and not part of this calculation.  It’s a huge bite that would affect a wide range of programs, none of which the campaign has detailed. ... The $160 billion total comes from two pots detailed by the campaign on Tuesday. The first piece is $95 billion that ‘began life as an earmark.’ If Congress spends $1 million on an earmarked bridge, that $1 million will go back into the budget the next year. It may then be spent on any given federal program, including totally legitimate spending that has been properly authorized through normal budget procedures. But the money never would have been in the budget baseline in the first place were it not for the original earmark, Holtz-Eakin said.  In fact, there was only $18.3 billion per year for earmarks in the fiscal 2008 budget, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group. McCain says he will cut an additional $65 billion from spending after a review of discretionary spending. He has not specified a single program that might be affected.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/16/08, emphasis added]

 

  • But, In 2005, Holtz-Eakin Said A Focus On Discretionary Spending Could Lead To “A Long-Term Budget Problem.” In an 2005 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Holtz Eakin said, “The president's budget, you can see the strategy is to focus on discretionary spending. You take off the table defense appropriations. You take off the table homeland security appropriations. You're down to something that looks like 17 percent of the budget. The near-term strategy is to control that.  The punch line is that if that is successful, you arrive five years from now with the mandatory programs (Social Security, Medicare and other automatic benefit programs) interacting with the retirement of the Baby Boomers and health care costs, and there's your problem. The near-term strategy, even if successful, leaves you with a long-term budget problem.”

 

 

 

 

 

Campaign Finance Reform and Ethics

 

Senator McCain likes to tout his ‘record of reform’ on the campaign trail. The problem is there isn’t much reform to go along with the rhetoric. Like other Senators, McCain is guilty of arranging, providing, or enabling the type of favors to special interests he rails against on the campaign trail. Just as McCain did regulatory favors for Charles Keating during the Keating five scandal, so too did McCain do favors for Vicki Iseman and her client. McCain’s actions on behalf of Ms. Iseman are the ‘regulatory equivalent of an earmark.’ Besides doing favors for lobbyists, McCain takes their money, and employs them on his campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McCain: Special Interest Hypocrite

 

McCain Claims the Special Interests Don’t Get Favors from Him

 

McCain Claims the Special Interests Don’t Give him Money. Speaking in New Hampshire, McCain absurdly claimed he is the only one the special interests don’t funnel campaign money to.  “Everyone says they’re against the special interests - I’m the only one the special interests don’t give any money to.” [McCain Town Hall Meeting, New London, New Hampshire, 11/18/07, http://youtube.com/watch?v=xLfSpYULGXY]

 

McCain Said He Had “Never Done Any Favors For Anybody – Lobbyist Or Special Interest Group.” According to the Associated Press, in December 2007, McCain said, “I’ve never done any favors for anybody — lobbyist or special interest group — that’s a clear, 24-year record.” [Associated Press via WST News, 12/20/07]

 

In Response to Keating Five Incident, McCain Wrote in Book About Not Intervening in Federal Decisions. In his book Worth the Fighting For, McCain wrote, “Learning from my unhappy experience, I have refrained from ever intervening in the regulatory decisions of the federal government if such intervention could be construed, rightly or wrongly, as done solely or primarily for the benefit of a major financial supporter of my campaign.” [Worth the Fighting For, Chapter 8, pp. 159-160]

 

The Problem Is, It just Isn’t True

 

According to the New York Times, McCain Did Exactly what Iseman Asked. “When news organizations reported that Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s client, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement.”  [New York Times, 2/21/08]

 

McCain’s Action On Iseman’s Behalf ‘The Regulatory Equivalent of an Earmark.’ “Here’s the potential trouble for McCain: intervening with the FCC to force a vote on a lobbyist’s behalf is a lot like a self-dealing lawmaker earmarking money on a lobbyist’s behalf. In fact, what McCain admits to doing on Iseman’s behalf can be thought of as the regulatory equivalent of an earmark. [The Atlantic, 3/21/08]

 

McCain Promised Never To Fly Directly To Phoenix, Did It Anyway on Corporate Jets. “Mr. McCain promised, for example, never to fly directly from Washington to Phoenix, his hometown, to avoid the impression of self-interest because he sponsored a law that opened the route nearly a decade ago. But like other lawmakers, he often flew on the corporate jets of business executives seeking his support, including the media moguls Rupert Murdoch, Michael R. Bloomberg and Lowell W. Paxson, Ms. Iseman’s client. (Last year he voted to end the practice.)”  [New York Times, 2/21/08]

 

McCain: Double Talk on Lobbyists. Bad In DC, But OK for His Presidential Campaign

 

In Washington, McCain Has Voted For Bans on Gifts And Donations from Lobbyists…

 

  • McCain Voted to Ban PAC and Lobbyist Contributions. In 1994, McCain voted for an amendment to prohibit Members of Congress from accepting contributions from political action committees and lobbyists. The amendment passed 66-29. [S.1935, Vote #104, 5/5/1994]

 

  • McCain Voted to Ban All Gifts. In 1994, McCain voted to ban a senator, senator’s spouse, or staff member from accepting any gifts from anyone but friends and relatives. The amendment passed 90-3. [S. 1935, Vote #102, 5/5/1994] 

 

  • McCain Voted for Campaign Finance Bill Restricting Donations from Lobbyists. In 1993, McCain voted for campaign finance legislation that restricted donations from lobbyists. The legislation passed 60-38. [S. 3, Vote #158, 6/17/1993]

 

But Now That He’s Running For President, Lobbyists and Their PACS are OK.

 

McCain Accepted At Least $689,704 from the Lobbying Industry.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain accepted at least $689,704 from the lobbying industry.  [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 1/18/08]

 

  • McCain’s Campaign Relies on 59 Lobbyist Fundraisers. McCain has more lobbyists raising money for him than any other candidate. [Public Citizen, Accessed January 30, 2008; ABC News, January 29, 2008]

 

  • McCain Fundraising Event Claimed 24 Lobbyist Co-Chairmen. 24 Washington lobbyists were listed as co-chairmen of a recent McCain fundraiser at the Charlie Palmer Steakhouse in Washington, D.C. [ABC News, January 29, 2008]

 

  • McCain has Taken At Least $1,163,727 from the Telephone Utility and Telecom Services Industries – More than Any Other Senator. Senator McCain has taken at least $1,163,727 in campaign contributions from the telephone utility and telecom service industries, more than any other Senator. [Analysis of Center for Responsive Politics data]

 

  • McCain has Taken Hundreds-of-Thousands from Top Telecom Companies. McCain has taken at least $146,950 from America’s six largest telecommunications companies alone – Verizon, AT&T, Sprint-Nextel, Comcast, Bell South and Qwest. [Analysis of CQ Moneyline data, 1985-2007; Fortune, 7/26/06]

 

  • McCain Took Over $55,000 from Communications Industry Special Interest PACs in 2007 Alone. In 2007 alone, McCain took over $55,000 from special interests representing the communications and telecommunications industries for his presidential campaign.  As a member of the powerful Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, McCain regulates and oversees these industries.  [FEC, accessed 2/1/08]

 

  • McCain Accepted At Least $704,796 from Insurance Industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain accepted at least $704,796 from the insurance industry.  [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 1/18/08]

 

  • McCain Accepted At Least $447,962 from Oil & Gas Industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain has accepted at least $447,962 from the oil and gas industry.  [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 1/08/08]

 

  • McCain Accepted At Least $443,869 from Defense Industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain has accepted at least $443,869 from the defense industry.  [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 1/18/08]

 

  • McCain Accepted At Least $265,093 from the Pharmaceutical Industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain has accepted at least $265,093 from the pharmaceutical industry.  [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 1/18/08]

 

Empty Rhetoric: McCain Supported Swiss Cheese Ethics Legislation

 

McCain Introduced Legislation To Regulate 527s, Allowed For 501(c) Loophole. On April 5, 2006,

McCain introduced the 527 Reform Act of 2006, which was referred to committee. The bill was written to include 527s into the scope of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. The bill specifies that nothing within it should be construed “as affecting the determination of whether a group organized under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is a political committee[.]” [109th Congress, S. 2511, 4/5/06; thomas.loc.gov, 4/13/06]

 

  • McCain-Supported House Bill Would Limit 527s And Eliminate Restrictions On Coordination Between Parties And Candidates – To The Benefit Of The Republican 2008 Nominee. McCain supported a bill passed in the House that would “sharply limit contributions to nonprofit advocacy groups” that operate under the “527” IRS tax code. “The measure would cap individual contributions to so-called 527 groups, which draw their name from a provision in the tax code, to $25,000 a year for activities intended to mobilize voters behind issues, as opposed to specific candidates.” The bill that House Republicans and McCain agreed upon would “eliminate restrictions on coordination between national parties and federal candidates, a change in the law that would be of great benefit to the winner of the 2008 GOP presidential primary.” The change in the law “would be a boon to McCain’s campaign, if he wins his party’s nomination,” according to both Republican and Democratic campaign finance experts. [New York Times, 4/6/06; The Hill, 4/6/06]

 

McCain Proposed Strict 527 Reforms And Prepared Them For Constitutional Challenge. McCain “has unveiled a proposal to limit donations to 527 organizations to $25,000 per person each year, or $50,000 each election cycle, that if enacted could be a huge blow to the groups’ hopes of being a force in the 2006 elections. Those groups raised and spent more than $500 million in the previous cycle…In addition to the $50,000 cap on donations, McCain’s proposal also would require 527 organizations to use ‘hard money’ raised under federal campaign limits to pay for certain campaign activities. McCain also included a provision allowing a speedy judicial review of the proposal if it becomes law and is challenged on constitutional grounds.” [Roll Call, 3/14/06]

 

McCain Sided With Conservative Lobbying Group Against Reporting Requirements For Grassroots Advocacy. Conservative grassroots activists, including Grover Norquist, formed LobbySense, a non-profit group aimed to “take on lobbying reform proposals that call for increased disclosure for the lobbying activities of certain grassroot groups, coalitions and associations,” championed by McCain. The spokesperson for LobbySense, Kerri Houston said that “her group is lobbying McCain’s office to consider redrafting their legislation to reflect the groups concerns,” and McCain seemed to have agreed with their opposition. Facing increasing opposition from groups such as LobbySense, “McCain, a leader in the push for the grassroots advocacy reporting] legislation, said he was ambivalent about the reporting requirement for citizen advocacy groups. ‘I don’t want it to take down the whole legislation,’ he said.” [White House Bulletin, 2/22/06; Los Angeles Times, 3/8/06]

 

McCain’s Lobbying Reform Bill Proposed Disclosure Of Grass-Roots Lobbying Activities, Travel And Gift Restrictions, But Fell Short Of Feingold’s Proposed Reforms. “Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona proposed greater disclosure of lobbyists’ activities, including for the first time those of grass-roots lobbying firms. His bill also mandates tighter restrictions on travel, gifts, and other favors lobbyists give lawmakers. Former members would have to wait two years instead of one before lobbying lawmakers.  Rep. Christopher Shays (R) of Connecticut has introduced similar legislation in the House. Though Senator McCain and Sen. Russ Feingold (D) of Wisconsin worked together on campaign-finance reform, they have taken different paths on lobbying. Senator Feingold’s bill on lobbying and ethics reform, introduced in July, is more restrictive than McCain’s.” [Christian Science Monitor, 1/9/06]

 

McCain Voted Against Landmark Ethics Bill. In 2007, McCain voted against the final version of S. 1, the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which required disclosure of bundled campaign contributions over $15,000 in a six-month period, institute a two-year waiting period for former senators to become lobbyists, require quarterly lobbying disclosure reports, deny congressional pensions to members who’ve committed certain felonies, require senators and candidates to pay for charter planes, and alter House and Senate rules.  McCain was one of only 14 Senators (all Republicans) to oppose the legislation.  Senators Obama and Clinton both voted for it.  The legislation passed 83-14. [S. 1, Vote #294, 8/2/2007]

 

  • McCain Voted to Stall Ethics and Lobbying Reform Bill. In 2007, McCain voted to stall S. 1, the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act. He voted against a motion to invoke cloture and thus end debate on Majority Leader Reid’s substitute amendment that would prohibit senators and staff from accepting gifts and meals, extend the waiting period for former senators to lobby, prohibit lobbyist-funded travel and require privately funded trips to be vetted by the Ethics Committee.  Senators Obama and Clinton both voted to move the legislation forward.  The motion to invoke cloture failed 51-46. [S. 1, Vote #16, 1/17/2007]

 

  • After Voting to Stall Bill, McCain Voted for Senate Version. The day after he voted to stall the Senate ethics and lobbying reform bill, McCain voted to pass the Senate version. Senators Obama and Clinton also back the bill.  The legislation passed 96-2. [S. 1, Vote #19, 1/18/2007]

 

McCain Opposed Efforts to Crack Down on Gifts

 

McCain Voted Against Expanding Lobbyist Gift and Meal Ban. In 2006, McCain voted to kill an amendment that would have expanded the definition of a lobbyist, as it relates to the gift and meal ban, to include not only an organization or person required to register as a lobbyist, but any employee of a registered lobbyist.  Senators Obama and Clinton both voted in favor of the amendment.  The motion to kill the amendment passed 68-30. [S 2349, Vote #80, 3/29/2006]

 

McCain Skipped Vote on Banning Lobbyist-Paid Gifts and Meals. In 1995, McCain skipped a vote on an amendment banning Members of Congress from accepting, meals, gifts and entertainment from lobbyists.  Republicans offered a motion to kill the amendment.  The motion to kill the amendment passed 52-39. [S. 2, Vote #2, 1/5/1995]

 

McCain Voted Against Bringing Gift Legislation to a Vote. In 1994, McCain voted against moving S. 349, the Lobbying Disclosure Act, forward for a vote before the Senate.  He voted against a motion to invoke cloture and end debate.  The motion failed 52-46. [S. 349, Vote #322, 10/6/1994]

 

  • McCain Switched Vote Next Day. The day after voting against invoking cloture, McCain voted to end debate on S. 349. The motion failed 55-42. [S. 349, Vote #325, 10/7/1994]

 

McCain Voted to Allow Campaign and Official Funds for Personal Use

 

McCain Opposed a Provision Prohibiting Members of Congress and Staff from Converting Frequent Flyer Miles from Official Travel to Personal Use. In 1995, McCain voted to kill an amendment that would have barred Members of Congress or their staffs from using frequent flyer miles accrued while on official travel for personal use.  The motion to kill the amendment passed 54-45. [S. 2, Vote #10, 1/10/1995]

 

McCain Led Effort to Allow Campaign Funds for Personal Use. In 1994, McCain introduced a motion to kill a Democratic amendment prohibiting the use of campaign contributions for personal purposes, including a salary for the candidate. McCain’s motion to kill the amendment passed 64-35. S. 2, Vote #9, 1/10/1995]

 

McCain Voted to Maintain the Financial Influence of Lobbyists on Politics

 

McCain Led Effort to Maintain Lobbyist Donations. In 2001, McCain made a motion to kill an amendment that would ban members of the House and Senate from accepting contributions from a registered lobbyist, lobbyist employee or lobbyist PAC while Congress is in session.  McCain’s motion to kill this amendment passed 74-25. [S 27, Vote #40, 3/20/2001]

 

McCain Skipped Vote on Banning Lobbyists and Lobbyist PACs from Soliciting Contributions. In 1995, McCain skipped a vote on an amendment that would have prohibited a lobbyist or a lobbyist’s PAC from contributing or soliciting contributions for a Member of Congress, a candidate for Congress, the president or a candidate for president for 12 months before and after a lobbying contact with their office.  McCain skipped the vote on a motion to kill the amendment.  The motion to kill passed 74-17. [S. 2, Vote #3, 1/6/1995]

 

McCain Voted to Allow Federal Funds to be Used for Lobbying

 

McCain Skipped Vote on University Lobbying with Federal Funds. In 2007, McCain skipped a vote on an amendment to ban colleges and universities from using federal funds to finance lobbying and to bar the use of student aid funding to hire a registered lobbyist or pay any person for securing an earmark. Senator Obama also missed the vote.  Senator Clinton voted for the amendment.  The amendment passed 93-0. [S. 1642, Vote #274, 7/24/2007]

 

McCain Voted to Allow Federal Merchant Marine Funds to Hire Lobbyists. In 1996, McCain voted to allow ship owners to use federal merchant marine program payments to hire a lobbyist or to support a political candidate.  McCain voted to kill the amendment that would prohibit such activity.  The motion to kill the amendment passed 50-48. [HR 1350, Vote #299, 9/24/1996]

 

McCain Voted Against Stronger Disclosure Rules

 

McCain Voted to Weaken New Lobbying Disclosure Rules. In 2007, McCain voted for an amendment to the ethics and lobbying overhaul legislation that eliminated requirements for grassroots lobbying organizations to disclose their fundraising activities.  Both Senators Obama and Clinton voted against the amendment.  The amendment passed 55-43. [S 1, Vote #17, 1/18/2007]

 

McCain Voted Against Tougher Lobbying Restrictions. In 2006, McCain voted against an amendment to the Honest Leadership Act that would have implemented tougher lobbying rules.  The amendment would have prohibited sitting members of Congress and senior legislative and executive branch aides from negotiating for private sector employment that would present or appear to present a conflict of interest.  It would also provide criminal penalties for false filings under the Lobby Disclosure Act, require lobbyists to certify quarterly that they did not violate Senate gift rules and require trip sponsors to certify that the trip complies with new rules.  It would prohibit all gifts from lobbyists, including meals, and would only allow privately funded travel paid for by groups not affiliated with any organization that lobbied Congress.  The amendment failed 44-55. [S 2349, Vote #35, 3/8/2006]

 

McCain Voted to Allow Non-Profits to Provide Privately Paid Travel

 

McCain Voted to Allow 501(C)3 Organizations to Pay for Member Travel. In 2007, McCain voted for an amendment that would permit travel by Members of Congress hosted by 501(C)3 organizations.  Both Senators Obama and Clinton opposed the amendment.  The amendment passed 51-46. [S. 1, Vote #14, 1/17/2007]

 

McCain Voted to Allow Senators to Keep Taking Special Interest Payments for Giving Speeches

 

McCain Voted Against Ban on Senators Accepting Speaking Fees. In 1989, McCain voted against a measure that would prohibit senators from accepting honoraria, or speaking fees, while serving in the Senate.  The fees were seen as a corrupting influence and a way for outside groups to influence Members of Congress.  McCain voted against a substitute amendment that would ban senators from accepting honoraria and raise their salaries by almost 40 percent (from $89,500 to $125,000 in 1991).  Given the large amount many Members of Congress collected in speaking fees, many saw this as a net pay increase despite the salary increase.  The substitute amendment passed 56-43.  [H.R. 3660, Vote #308, 11/17/1989; New York Times, 11/18/1989; The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, 11/17/1989]

 

Other Ethics Votes

 

McCain Voted Against 2006 Ethics Bill. In 2006, McCain voted against S. 2349, the Lobbying Transparency and Accountability Act, which would have made it harder to add earmarks in conference, instituted a two-year ban on lobbying for former Members of Congress and key executive staffers, required lobbyists to file quarterly electronic reports and prohibit lobbyists from buying meals or drinks for senators or their staffs.  The legislation was a watered-down version of the original.  It was opposed by three Democrats (Obama, Feingold and Kerry) and five Republicans.  The legislation passed 90-8. [S. 2349, Vote #82, 3/29/2006]

 

McCain Voted to Block 2006 Ethics Bill. In 2006, McCain voted against invoking cloture on S. 2349, the Lobbying Transparency and Accountability Act, which would have made it harder to add earmarks in conference, instituted two-year ban on lobbying for former Members of Congress and key executive staffers, required lobbyists to file quarterly electronic reports and prohibit lobbyists from buying meals or drinks for senators or their staffs.  The legislation was a watered-down version of the original.  It was opposed by six Democrats (Obama, Feingold, Dayton, Kerry, Kohl, Lieberman) and ten Republicans. The motion was agreed to 81-16. [S 2349, Vote #79, 3/28/2006]

 

McCain Voted Against Putting Funds Toward Public Financing of Campaigns. In 1993, McCain voted against a proposal to use new revenue derived from the elimination of lobbyist tax deductions for the public financing of campaigns.  Opponents of the proposal claimed they wanted to use the revenue for deficit reduction.  McCain voted for a motion to kill the amendment.  The motion to kill failed 48-50. [S. 3, Vote #126, 5/26/1993]

 

  • McCain Again Opposed Public Financing. In 1993, McCain again voted against public financing for campaigns, voting against a measure that would use new revenue from the elimination of the lobbying tax deduction for both deficit reduction and for campaigns. McCain voted to kill the amendment.  The motion to kill failed 43-47. [S. 3, Vote #138, 6/8/1993] 

 

McCain Voted Against Banning Honoraria and Increasing Senate Pay. In 1991, McCain voted against an amendment that would provide senators with the same salary as members of the House - $125,000 per year – while banning honoraria and limiting outside income to 15 percent of a senator’s salary.  The amendment passed 53-45. [HR 2506, Vote #133, 7/17/1991]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crime and Guns

 

Senator John McCain is no friend to the brave law enforcement officers and first responders who keep us safe.  He has a consistent record of opposing funding for critical law enforcement and first responder programs and has repeatedly chosen to protect tax breaks for millionaires instead of providing adequate funding to local law enforcement agencies to keep our families safe and secure. 

 

When it comes to gun control, McCain has an incredibly inconsistent record.  He has altered his position based on political expediency, claiming to support further gun control after the tragic shooting at Columbine, but voting against closing loopholes exempting gun shows from performing background checks less than a month later.  McCain’s inconsistency continues during his 2008 presidential run, as he finds himself in need of support from the far right.  He pandered to the right during the Republican primary, even saying there should be “no gun control” after the Virginia Tech Massacre and naming a long-time lobbyist for the National Rifle Association to his campaign leadership team.

Key Points:

  • McCain has a long record of voting against funding to put more police officers on the streets
  • McCain has changed his position on gun control and school violence
  • McCain pandered to gun lobby by hiring the NRA’s long-time lobbyist as a member of his leadership team
  • McCain opposes hate crime legislation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McCain Not So Cozy With The Gun Lobby

 

McCain Received “C” Grade From NRA. According to the Washington Times, the NRA gave McCain a “C” grade for his voting record on gun issues. [Washington Times, 4/19/08]

 

NRA Executive Director: “McCain Still Has Some Work To Do To Give Them A Comfort Level.” The Hill reported, “If Sen. John McCain expects the support of gun owners in this year’s presidential race, the Arizona Republican must make an effort to overcome some decisions the National Rifle Association (NRA) has found troubling.  ‘John McCain still has some work to do to give them a comfort level,’ Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA, said during an interview with The Hill.  ‘Truth be told, he’s not there yet.’  Cox said McCain and the anti-gun control group have endured some ‘high-profile disagreements’ in the last several years that have left many gun owners concerned about his candidacy.” [The Hill, 4/9/08]

 

NRA Has Never Contributed To McCain. According to CQ Moneyline, the NRA Political Victory Fund has never contributed to McCain, either for his House, Senate or Presidential campaigns. [CQ Moneyline, accessed 5/5/08]

 

McCain Scolded NRA Official For Remarks About President Clinton. The Virginian-Pilot reported, “The Straight Talk Express is parked somewhere, waiting but its captain, Sen. John McCain, is out there still talking straight.  As he did the other day on MSNBC’s ‘Hardball’ in scolding the GOP Establishment for failing to repudiate Wane LaPierre’s remarks about President Clinton and the death of Ricky Byrdsong, a former coach at Northwestern University who was killed by a gunman.  LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, said: ‘The key question for the president is, has he looked into the eyes of Ricky Byrdsong’s family, because that blood is on his hands.’  If the president had prosecuted lawbreakers, he would have prevented the death, LaPierre said.” [Virginian-Pilot, 3/30/00]

 

2008 Campaign: McCain Panders To The Gun Lobby

 

NRA Spokesman: McCain Has Had “A Stellar Voting Record” With A Few Disagreements. The Wall Street Journal reported, “The candidate will address these issues directly on May 16, when he speaks at the NRA’s annual meeting.  ‘He’s had a stellar voting record with us,’ said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam, ‘but we’ve also had a couple of high-profile disagreements.’” [Wall Street Journal, 5/6/08]

 

McCain Called Gun Owners The “Core Of Modern America.” Appearing at the NRA’s “Celebrating of American Values” in September 2007, McCain said, “My friends, gun owners are not extremists; you are the core of modern America.”  He continued, “The Second Amendment is unique in the world and at the core of our constitutional freedoms.  It guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms.  To argue anything else is to reject the clear meaning of our founding fathers.”  He added, “But the clear meaning of the Second Amendment has not stopped those who want to punish firearms owners and those who make and sell firearms for the actions of criminals.” [Associated Press, 9/21/07]

 

McCain Signed Brief To Supreme Court In Favor Of Overturning D.C. Gun Ban. According to The Hill, “As the Supreme Court considers the landmark Washington, D.C., gun ban, McCain was one of 55 lawmakers to sign a ‘friend of the court’ amicus brief” in favor of overturning the ban. [The Hill, 4/9/08]

 

  • McCain Issued Strong Statement On D.C. Gun Ban. On March 18, 2008, McCain issued the following statement highlighting his support for the Supreme Court to overturn the D.C. gun ban: “Today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on District of Columbia v. Heller, a landmark case for all Americans who believe as I do that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. I am proud to have joined in an amicus brief to the Court calling for a ruling in keeping with the clear intent of our Founding Fathers, which ensures the Second Amendment rights of the residents of District of Columbia are reaffirmed.” [com, 3/18/08]

 

McCain Hired Long-Time NRA Lobbyist For Top Campaign Post. McCain hired John Green, founder of Ogilvy Government Relations (formerly the Federalist Group, to be his liaison to Congress and a top members of his leadership team.  Green has lobbied for the National Rifle Association (NRA) for at least the past nine years.  Senate Lobbying Disclosure records show that since 1999, the NRA has paid Green and his firm $2,680,000 to lobby on its behalf.  Green has lobbied on appropriations; firearms regulation; repealing the DC gun ban; relaxing concealed firearms regulations; protecting firearms and ammunition manufacturers from lawsuits seeking to hold them liable for the criminal acts of a third party; background checks; and other issues important to the gun lobby. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure records, 1999-2007, accessed 3/2008]

 

Asked About The Virginia Tech Massacre, McCain Stood By Opposition To Assault Weapons Ban. Asked by Andrea Mitchell if he had “rethought your support for guns and your opposition to the assault weapons ban when you look at some of the things that have happened in the intervening years,” McCain said: “No.  I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment […] I remain so.” [MSNBC, “MSNBC Live,” 4/16/08]

 

McCain Defended Second Amendment Rights On The Campaign Trail. Appearing at a campaign event in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin, on February 15, 2008, McCain said, “I think this is a constitutional right.  I think it’s a very important constitutional right – the Second Amendment.  And I would hope that the United States Supreme Court would uphold every individual’s Second Amendment rights, that is the right to own a weapon.  And so I can understand why so many of us have weighed in and I’m one of those who did as well.  I think it’s a fundamental question of constitutional rights.” [Town Hall Meeting, Osh Kosh, WI, 2/15/08]

 

McCain Reiterated His Pro-Second Amendment Record. “I am a strong supporter and believer, and have a record of voting in favor of preserving the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which is the right of all citizens to keep and bear arms and that's my record.” [Town Hall Meeting, Houston, TX 3/4/08]

 

 

McCain Has Taken Extreme Positions On Guns During His 2008 Campaign:

 

McCain Opposes Blaming Gun Manufacturers For Crimes. According to his campaign website, “John McCain opposes backdoor attempts to restrict Second Amendment rights by holding gun manufacturers liable for crimes committed by third parties using a firearm, and has voted to protect gun manufacturers from such inappropriate liability aimed at bankrupting the entire gun industry.” [JohnMcCain.com, accessed 5/5/08]

 

McCain Opposes Restrictions On Assault Weapons. According to his campaign website, “John McCain opposes restrictions on so-called "assault rifles" and voted consistently against such bans. Most recently he opposed an amendment to extend a ban on 19 specific firearms, and others with similar characteristics.” [JohnMcCain.com, accessed 5/5/08]

 

McCain Opposes Banning Types Of Ammunition. According to his campaign website, “John McCain believes that every firearms owner has a responsibility to learn how to safely use and store the firearm they have chosen, whether for target shooting, hunting, or personal protection. He has supported legislation requiring gun manufacturers to include gun safety devices such as trigger locks in product packaging.” [JohnMcCain.com, accessed 5/5/08]

 

Even Though He Has Supported Waiting Periods In The Past, McCain Claims He Opposes Them Now. McCain has sponsored legislation implementing waiting periods for purchases at gun shows.  But according to his campaign website, “John McCain has opposed ‘waiting periods’ for law abiding citizen’s purchase of firearms.” [JohnMcCain.com, accessed 5/5/08; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 6/10/02]

 

McCain Opposes Firearm Confiscation After An Emergency. According to his campaign website, “John McCain opposes the confiscation of firearms from private citizens, particularly during times of crisis or emergency. He voted in favor of an amendment sponsored by Senator David Vitter prohibiting such confiscation.” [JohnMcCain.com, accessed 5/5/08]

 

 

McCain Angered Gun Lobby With Support For Gun Show Checks

 

NRA Opposed McCain On Gun Show Background Checks. USA Today reported, “Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s chief executive officer, said he also opposed a McCain plan for background checks at gun shows, arguing ‘red tape’ would have shut down all such shows.” [USA Today, 5/2/08]

 

McCain Angered NRA By Twice Co-Sponsoring Gun Show Legislation. The New York Sun reported, “For much of Senator McCain’s career, he accumulated a pro-gun record, but the Arizona lawmaker twice co-sponsored legislation that would regulate gun shows more strictly, which the NRA opposed.” [New York Sun, 4/5/07]

 

Fort Worth Star Telegram: “McCain Was Outspoken In Support Of Checking Backgrounds Of Buyers At Gun Shows.” The Fort Worth Star Telegram reported, “McCain was outspoken in support of checking backgrounds of buyers at gun shows, noting instances of terrorist suspects obtaining weapons at gun shows.  He cited the case of a Pakistani man, Muhammad Asrar, arrested in Alice, who was subsequently charged with weapons violations but has not been linked to terrorism.” [Fort Worth Star Telegram, 3/3/04]

 

McCain And Lieberman Pushed Effort To Close Gun Show Loophole NRA Said Didn’t Exist. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported, “The bill considered to have the strongest chance is sponsored by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn. … The McCain-Lieberman bill would impose the Brady requirement of a 72-hour check but, after three years, would allow states to apply for a waiver allowing them to require that checks be done in 24 hours.  The 24-hour limit is the only one the gun lobby has said it would accept.    Gun-control groups are hoping McCain and Lieberman will offer their legislation as an amendment to some other bill on the Senate floor, bypassing the committee process. … The National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America staunchly oppose any legislation.  ‘We don’t think there is a loophole,’ said Pratt, of Gun Owners of America.  ‘The loophole they refer to is the Second Amendment.’  The paperwork and enforcement penalties of the McCain-Lieberman bill would discourage gun owners from holding shows, opponents say. … ‘Clearly the intent is to restrict gun sales and cause the collapse of gun shows,’ said Arulanandam, of the National Rifle Association.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 6/10/02]

 

Helen Thomas: McCain “A Powerful New Voice” For Gun-Control Advocates. In a syndicated column, Helen Thomas wrote, “Gun-control advocates have a powerful new voice in the Senate who is seeking to close a loophole that allows weapons to be sold at gun shows without background checks.  Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who cited cases in which suspected terrorists were caught with weapons bought at U.S. gun shows, says he will try to ‘force Senate consideration’ early next year of the measure.  Former President Clinton tried but failed to curb such sales. … The National Rifle Association is bristling over the revival of a campaign for some gun control.  James Jay Baker, the NRA’s chief lobbyist, accused McCain of trying ‘to bootstrap on the Sept. 11 tragedy.’ … McCain has never been a strong gun-control advocate.  In fact, he voted against the 1993 gun-control law, which requires a background check for all prospective purchasers of guns sold by licensed dealers.  But his spokesman said McCain believes that ‘the rights of gun owners come with responsibilities.’” [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 12/5/01]

 

NRA Official: “I Can’t Figure Out Why He’s Doing What He’s Doing.” The Deseret News reported, “Gun owners nationwide, more than 80 million of them, are on the side of the National Rifle Association and its fight to keep guns in the hands of honest citizens, Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, told a small gathering at the Outdoor Writers Association Conference here Tuesday.  However, one prominent American, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., isn’t one of them, he noted.  ‘I’ve worked with McCain for 24 years, and I can’t figure out why he’s doing what he’s doing,’ LaPierre said.  McCain, along with Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., supports a proposal to require background checks at all gun shows, whether private or public.  ‘It pretends to be a check at gun shows, but really what it would do is shut down most gun shows,’ LaPierre said.  ‘If you want to show your gun there, you’ll have to register with the feds and they’ll keep the records forever.  The definition is so broad (the gun show) could be in the living room of your house.’  One woman asked if McCain’s behavior, which she described as suddenly ‘anti-gun/anti-military,’ wasn’t due to a stroke, which she said could change someone’s personality.  ‘You have as much insight as to what’s going on with John McCain as we do,’ LaPierre told her.  ‘I can’t figure out why he’s doing it.’” [Deseret News, 6/6/01]

 

NRA Official Questioned If McCain Was Involved In “Anti-Freedom Offensive.” According to the Associated Press, NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre questioned McCain after sponsoring the gun-show bill.  “Whether it’s the First Amendment or the Second Amendment, is it possible that John McCain is willing to take the point in an anti-freedom offensive?” LaPierre asked. [Associated Press State & Local Wire, 5/21/01]

 

2000: McCain Featured in CO and OR Ads to Close Gun-Show Loophole. In 2000, McCain was featured in a $1 million ad campaign in Colorado and Oregon by Americans for Gun Safety, urging state residents to vote for ballot initiatives requiring unlicensed dealers at gun shows to perform criminal background checks, checks that are required for all sales by federally licensed dealers.  In the ad, McCain said: “I’m John McCain with some straight talk.  Convicted felons have been able to buy and sell thousands of guns at gun shows because of a loophole in the law.  Many were later used in crimes.  That’s wrong.  Here in Colorado, Amendment 22 will close this dangerous loophole by requiring criminal background checks by unlicensed dealers at gun shows.  I believe law-abiding citizens have the right to own guns.  But with rights come responsibilities.  Close the loophole.  Vote Yes on Amendment 22.” [Americans for Gun Safety, accessed 3/26/08]

 

  • Oregon Ad Text. MCCAIN: “I’m John McCain with some straight talk. Convicted felons have been able to buy and sell thousands of guns at gun shows because of a loophole in the law -- many were later used in crimes. That's wrong! Here in Oregon, Measure 5 will close this dangerous loophole by requiring criminal background checks by unlicensed dealers at gun shows. I believe law-abiding citizens have the right to own guns. But with rights come responsibilities. Close the loophole. Vote Yes on 5!” [Americans for Gun Safety Ad, 2000]

 

  • Colorado Ad Text. MCCAIN: “I’m John McCain with some straight talk. Convicted felons have been able to buy and sell thousands of guns at gun shows because of a loophole in the law -- many were later used in crimes. That's wrong. Here in Colorado, Amendment 22 will close this dangerous loophole by requiring criminal background checks by unlicensed dealers at gun shows. I believe law-abiding citizens have the right to own guns. But with rights come responsibilities. Close the loophole. Vote Yes on 22.” [Americans for Gun Safety Ad, 2000]

 

McCain Appeared In Movie Theater Gun Safety Ads. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that McCain participated “in a public service campaign that put McCain’s face on 2,500 movie theaters across the country.  In the 30-second spots that aired earlier this year, McCain urges parents to keep their guns locked and asks students to tell a parent or a teacher if someone is talking about using a gun.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 6/24/01]

 

  • Movie Theater Advertisement’s Text. MCCAIN: “In this great country, owning a gun is a right that carries responsibilities. Yet every year, over 40,000 kids bring guns to school. As adults, we owe it to our children to be responsible by keeping our guns locked up. And kids, if someone is talking about using a gun, do the right thing. Tell a parent or teacher. Because what you do today may save a friend's life tomorrow. And to learn more, go online to the Americans for Gun Safety Foundation.” (On screen: Americans for Gun Safety Foundation, com) [Americans for Gun Safety Foundation ad, 2001]

 

NRA’s Chief Lobbyist “Distressed” By McCain. The Associated Press reported, “Gun control advocates have powerful new ammunition as they try to close a loophole that can allow criminals to purchase weapons: Sen. John McCain.  McCain, R-Ariz., is sponsoring legislation with Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., calling for criminal  background checks for purchasers at gun shows where at least 75 firearms are for sale. … Jim Baker, the National Rifle Association’s chief lobbyist, said the NRA will strongly oppose the measure.  He also said he’s distressed by McCain’s support of it.  ‘That’s one vote less than we have, obviously.  We’ve come to enjoy the senator’s support over the years.  We’re disappointed,’ he said.’” [Associated Press State & Local Wire, 5/15/01]

 

Arizonan On NRA Board: McCain “Has Done An About-Face On Gun Control.” The Tucson Citizen reported, “John McCain and Joseph Lieberman have joined forces in the U.S. Senate to close the so-called gun show ‘loophole.’ … ‘It won’t endear him to certain members of the Republican Party,’ said Margaret Kenski, a Tucson-based Republican pollster.  ‘It certainly won’t endear him to the NRA.’  A Tucsonan who serves on the national board of directors of the National Rifle Association confirmed that assessment.  ‘We have enough senators from New York and New Hampshire and Massachusetts who are anti-freedom, and to hear that coming from a person who represents Arizona really concerns me,’ said the NRA’s Todd Rathner.  McCain, a Vietnam veteran who will begin appearing on 2,500 movie screens in 210 cities Friday to remind parents to keep their firearms away from children, has done an about-face on gun control, Rathner contends.  ‘He’s given numerous speeches at local events where he said that he ran on a Second Amendment platform and a pro-freedom platform, and I think he’s abandoning that, and it’s pretty disappointing,’ he said.’” [Tucson Citizen, 5/15/01, emphasis added]

 

1999: Post-Columbine, McCain said People Should be Subject to Background Checks at Gun Shows.  During an interview with Salon.com reporter Jake Tapper shortly after the Columbine massacre, McCain said, “It’s obvious that at a gun show people should be subject to background checks. I don’t get it why in stores you get a background check, but you go three blocks down, there’s no background checks.”  McCain said that a loophole which existed to exempt gun shows from background checks “should be closed.” [Salon.com, 5/14/99]

 

  • McCain Voted Against Closing Loophole to Exempt Gun Shows From Background Checks.  Despite his statement in a Salon.com article that a loophole exempting gun shows from conducting background checks should be closed, McCain voted, a day after his interview, to kill an amendment offered by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, which would have closed that very loophole. [Salon.com, 5/14/1999]

 

  • McCain Changed his Mind Again, “Signaled” he Support Closing Gun Show Background Check Exemption Loophole.  McCain changed his mind three times about whether or not to support actions to close a loophole that exempted gun shows from requiring background checks for gun buyers.  First McCain said he thought the loophole should be closed, then he voted to kill legislation that would have closed the loop hole, and then he signaled that “he’d support legislation to close the loophole.” [Salon.com, 5/14/1999]

 

McCain Angered Gun Lobby With Campaign Finance Reform

 

NRA Angry At McCain Over Campaign Finance Law. The Hill reported, “Specifically, McCain played a leading role in crafting the campaign finance reform law that bears his name and that also angered many lobbying groups.  The NRA was one of the most outspoken.  At the group’s national convention in 2001, NRA President Wayne LaPierre vocalized that dismay.  ‘Is it possible that John McCain thinks you have too much freedom?’ LaPierre asked,  before adding: ‘I don’t know what’s happening to John McCain.’” [The Hill, 4/9/08]

 

NRA Plotted To Defy McCain-Feingold. The Houston Chronicle reported, “To bypass reforms authored by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Russ Feingold, D-Wis., the NRA will start small.  Its commercial-free broadcast is available nationwide to the approximately 400,000 subscribers of Sirius Satellite Radio and to anyone logging onto the NRA News Web site.  Neither side has provided details of the financial arrangement.  ‘I vowed from the very start after the McCain-Feingold bill passed, we would not be silenced,’ [NRA President Wayne] LaPierre said.  ‘It’s an act of defiance – I readily admit that.  But it’s an act of defiance under the law.’” [Houston Chronicle, 6/18/04]

 

NRA Filed Lawsuit Against McCain-Feingold Within Hours. President Bush signed the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill into law on March 27, 2002.  The San Diego Union-Tribune reported, “Within hours, the National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, seeking to block its enforcement.” [San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/28/02]

 

McCain Called Out NRA For Opposing Campaign Finance Reform. The Associated Press reported, “Sen. John McCain defended his hallmark campaign finance reform legislation against criticism from the National Rifle Association that it impinges on freedom of speech.  The NRA and other lobbying groups oppose the legislation because ‘they will lose their influence and access if they are required to restrain the amount of money they’re able to contribute,’ McCain, R-Ariz., said Sunday on ABC’s ‘This Week.’  ‘And that’s really what this is all about.’” [Associated Press State & Local Wire, 5/20/01]

 

NRA Criticized McCain-Feingold. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, “The NRA’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, said the bill was designed to protect politicians from criticism before an election.  ‘It’s an American tradition that citizens…get to say anything we want any time we want about these politicians,’ LaPierre told ABC.  ‘Under the McCain-Feingold bill, if we speak out, what we’ll have to fear is federal investigation by the FBI and a federal prison sentence. … What that bill is for citizens is a Big Brother with a baseball hat.’” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5/21/01]

 

McCain Voted Against Funding for Law Enforcement

 

2007: McCain Skipped Vote to Provide Funding for COPS Programs. In 2007, McCain missed the vote on an amendment that that would have allowed for a $1.15 billion increase in funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services program in Fiscal Year 2008. It would be offset by an assumed reduction in domestic discretionary spending and/or administrative expenses.  Senators Obama and Clinton both voted for the amendment.  The amendment passed 65-33.  [SCR 21, Vote #110, 3/23/2007]

 

2006: McCain Voted Against $16.5 Billion in Funding for State and Local First Responders. In 2006, McCain voted against providing an additional $16.5 billion for state and local first responder grant programs to be paid for by reducing some of the Bush tax cuts for people making more than $1 million per year.  Both Senators Obama and Clinton voted in favor of the funding.  The motion failed 38-62. [H.R. 5441, Vote #197, 7/12/2006]

 

2005: McCain Voted Against Additional Law Enforcement Funding. In 2005, McCain voted against increasing funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program by $1 billion, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by $10 million, and the Office of Violence Against Women by $9 million.  Both Senators Obama and Clinton voted in favor of the additional funding.  The motion failed 41-56. [H.R. 2862, Vote #226, 9/13/2005]

 

2005: McCain Voted Against Additional Funding for First Responders. In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would increase funding for first responder programs by $1.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2006 and reduce the federal deficit by $1.6 billion.  It would be offset by a $3.2 billion reduction in the Bush tax cuts that disproportionately favored the wealthy.  Both Senators Obama and Clinton voted in favor of the amendment.  The amendment failed 46-54. [S.C.R. 18, Vote #50, 3/15/2005]

 

2004: McCain Sided with Millionaire Tax Breaks Over First Responder Funding. In 2004, McCain voted against increasing funding for police, firefighters and other state and local emergency personnel by $15.8 billion, to be offset by reducing the Bush tax cuts for people making more than $1 million.  Senator Clinton missed the vote.  The motion failed 41-53. [H.R. 4567, Vote #170, 9/9/2004]

 

2004: McCain Voted Against Firefighter Assistance Grants. In 2004, McCain voted against increasing funding for firefighter assistance grants by $150 million.  Senator Clinton voted in favor of the funding.  The motion failed 50-45. [H.R. 4567, Vote #175, 9/14/2004]

 

2004: McCain Voted Against Reserve Fund for Law Enforcement and First Responder Funding. In 2004, McCain voted against an amendment to create a reserve fund that would allow up to $11.2 billion in additional funding in Fiscal Year 2005 for law enforcement and first responder grants, as well as for education, veterans’ medical care, global HIV/AIDS, surface transportation, medical research and Homeland Security Department programs.  The spending would be offset by revenue increases.  Senator Clinton voted for the amendment.  The amendment failed 43-53. [S.C.R. 95, Vote #48, 3/11/2004]

 

2003: McCain Voted Against Increasing Spending on COPS Program by $1 Billion. In 2003, McCain voted against increasing spending on the Community-Oriented Policing Services programs by $1 billion in Fiscal Year 2004 and put $1 billion toward deficit reduction. The spending would be offset by a $2 billion reduction in tax cuts.  The amendment failed 48-52. [SCR 23, Vote #78, 3/21/2003]

 

1999: McCain Skipped Close Vote to Extend COPS Program. In 1999, McCain skipped the vote on an amendment to extend the COPS program from Fiscal Year 2000 to Fiscal Year 2005 and authorize $1.15 billion annually for 2001-2005.  The amendment would have authorized $600 million annually to fund up to 50,000 police officers, including hiring new officers.  It also would have authorized $350 million annually for new law enforcement technology.  The amendment failed 48-50. [S. 254, Vote #139, 5/20/1999]

 

1999: McCain Voted Against Extending COPS Program. In 1999, McCain voted against expanding the COPS program for two years to help hire 25,000 new police officers.  The amendment also would have increased penalties for drug sales to children and for sales near schools, and increased penalties for transferring handguns and assault weapons to juveniles.  The motion to kill the amendment passed 54-44. [S. 254, Vote #109, 5/12/1999]

 

1996: McCain Voted Against Extending Violent Crime Reduction Trust Fund. In 1996, McCain voted against extending the Violent Crime Reduction Trust Fund by an additional two years.  McCain cast the deciding vote.  The motion to kill the amendment passed 51-49. [S.C.R. 57, Vote #123, 5/22/1996]

 

1996: McCain Voted Against Cops on the Beat Program. In 1996, McCain voted against providing $1.8 billion for the Cops on the Beat program in Fiscal Year 1996.  The program aimed to put 100,000 police officers on the street and was established by the Crime Control Act of 1994.  The cost would be offset by reducing law enforcement block grants in the bill.  The motion to kill the amendment passed 52-48. [H.R. 3019, Vote #31, 3/13/1996]

 

 

McCain Changed Position on Gun Control and School Violence

 

1999: McCain Called for Further Gun Control After Columbine. After the Columbine massacre, Senator McCain “reversed himself on a top-tier gun control issue,” sponsoring a bill “to require criminal background checks on all public firearms sales, including those at gun shows.” At the time McCain said, “Clearly, there were people who were taking advantage of this loophole, and obviously, Columbine had an effect on me.” [CQ Weekly, 9/6/02]

 

1999: Post-Columbine, McCain said People Should be Subject to Background Checks at Gun Shows.  During an interview with Salon.com reporter Jake Tapper shortly after the Columbine massacre, McCain said, “It’s obvious that at a gun show people should be subject to background checks. I don’t get it why in stores you get a background check, but you go three blocks down, there’s no background checks.”  McCain said that a loophole which existed to exempt gun shows from background checks “should be closed.” [Salon.com, 5/14/99]

 

  • McCain Voted Against Closing Loophole to Exempt Gun Shows From Background Checks.  Despite his statement in a Salon.com article that a loophole exempting gun shows from conducting background checks should be closed, McCain voted, a day after his interview, to kill an amendment offered by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, which would have closed that very loophole. [Salon.com, 5/14/1999]

 

  • McCain Changed his Mind Again, “Signaled” he Support Closing Gun Show Background Check Exemption Loophole.  McCain changed his mind three times about whether or not to support actions to close a loophole that exempted gun shows from requiring background checks for gun buyers.  First McCain said he thought the loophole should be closed, then he voted to kill legislation that would have closed the loop hole, and then he signaled that “he’d support legislation to close the loophole.” [Salon.com, 5/14/1999]

 

2000: One Year After Columbine, McCain Missed Skipped Vote on Gun Violence in Schools. In 2000, McCain skipped two separate votes to express the sense of the Senate that “before April 20, 2000, Congress shall make schools safe for learning by implementing policies that will reduce the threat of gun violence in schools.”  Each time, the amendment was rejected 49-49.  McCain would have been the deciding vote. [S. 1134, Vote #28, 3/2/00; S 1134, Vote #27, 3/2/2000]

 

2000: McCain Featured in CO and OR Ads to Close Gun-Show Loophole. In 2000, McCain was featured in a $1 million ad campaign in Colorado and Oregon by Americans for Gun Safety, urging state residents to vote for ballot initiatives requiring unlicensed dealers at gun shows to perform criminal background checks, checks that are required for all sales by federally licensed dealers.  In the ad, McCain said: “I’m John McCain with some straight talk.  Convicted felons have been able to buy and sell thousands of guns at gun shows because of a loophole in the law.  Many were later used in crimes.  That’s wrong.  Here in Colorado, Amendment 22 will close this dangerous loophole by requiring criminal background checks by unlicensed dealers at gun shows.  I believe law-abiding citizens have the right to own guns.  But with rights come responsibilities.  Close the loophole.  Vote Yes on Amendment 22.” [Americans for Gun Safety, accessed 3/26/08]

 

2007: After Virginia Tech Massacre, McCain said there Should be “No Gun Control.” Republican presidential candidate John McCain declared Wednesday he believes in “no gun control,” making the strongest affirmation of support for gun rights in the GOP field since the Virginia Tech massacre. And “when asked whether ammunition clips sold to the public should be limited in size, said, ‘I don’t think that’s necessary at all.’” [AP, 4/19/2007]

 

Top McCain Advisor Lobbies for NRA

 

McCain Advisor John Green has been Paid $2.68 Million since 1999 to Lobby for the NRA. John Green, founder of Ogilvy Government Relations (formerly the Federalist Group) and a member of McCain’s leadership team, has lobbied for the National Rifle Association (NRA) for at least the past nine years.  Senate Lobbying Disclosure records show that since 1999, the NRA has paid Green and his firm $2,680,000 to lobby on its behalf.  Green has lobbied on appropriations; firearms regulation; repealing the DC gun ban; relaxing concealed firearms regulations; protecting firearms and ammunition manufacturers from lawsuits seeking to hold them liable for the criminal acts of a third party; background checks; and other issues important to the gun lobby. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure records, 1999-2007, accessed 3/2008]

 

McCain Opposes Hate Crime Legislation

 

McCain Voted Against Classifying Crimes Motivated by Gender, Sexual Orientation or Disability as Hate Crimes. In 2004, McCain voted against an amendment that would broaden the categories covered by hate crimes to include crimes motivated by the victim’s gender, sexual orientation or disability. The amendment passed 65-33. [S 2400, Vote #114, 6/15/2004]

 

McCain Opposed Expanding the Federal Hate Crimes LawIn 2000, McCain voted against broadening the categories covered by hate crimes to include gender, sexual orientation and disability. By broadening the categories covered, it would become easier for the federal government to assist in the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes. The amendment passed 57-42. [S 2549, Vote #136, 6/20/2000]

 

 

Defense

 

McCain’s overzealous foreign policy views fuel his support for nearly every defense program that comes in front of the senate.  In fact, the only types of defense legislation that seem to receive a “nay” vote from McCain are bills that would introduce accountability and fiscal responsibility into the equation.  Americans deserve a president who looks beyond the size of our military and focuses on the effectiveness of our national defenses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McCain Believes In Increasing The Role of The Military

 

McCain Believes U.S. Should Be ‘The Police of the World.’  In regards to McCain’s justification of the “100 years in Iraq” statement, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote that, “The charitable view of this is that McCain is talking benignly of a military-police-of-the-world type of role for American troops. There are not many people in the streets complaining about our bases in Germany. But those bases were established after a “good war.” Iraq is an invasion and occupation built on falsehoods, if not lies. It took a while, but Americans have figured that out.”  [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2/19/08]

 

McCain Said U.S. Could Have Military Presence “Anywhere In The World.”  When asked if he regretted his “100 years” comment, McCain answered, “The U.S. could have a military presence anywhere in the world for a long period of time.” [Good Morning America, 2/20/08]

 

 

McCain Claimed He Would Increase The Size Of The Military While Cutting Billions From Spending

 

McCain: “I Am Cutting Billions And Billions Out Of Defense Spending Which Are Not Earmarks.” During an appearance on ABC’s This Week, McCain said, “I am cutting billions and billions out of defense spending which are not earmarks. The $400 million ship that they had to scrap that was supposed to cost $140 million. The $30 billion, I believe it is, add-on for a system in the Army that’s going up $30 billion and we still haven’t got any result from it. The $50 million contract to some buddy of Air Force generals. I mean, there are so many billions out there just in defense. [ABC, “This Week,” 4/20/08]

 

HOWEVER:

 

McCain: “We Must Increase The Size Of Our Military.” According to CNN, McCain said, “We must increase the size of our military, and much more so than we have done to date. It is an urgent priority. Obviously, that's going to require greater numbers of Americans to serve than have recently showed a willingness to do. We can issue appeals to Americans to accept their responsibilities to the country, as previous generations have. We could institute a draft, but that's neither necessary nor desirable.” [CNN. “Ballot Bowl,” 4/5/08]

 

McCain Said “We’ve Got Plenty Of Money” To Pay For A Larger Military.  During an interview with the Air Force Times, McCain said, “my priorities are to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps. I'm not as worried about the Navy and the Air Force.”  He added, “We've got plenty of money to pay for it.” McCain claimed he could pay for increases in personnel by reforming weapons acquisitions.  [Air Force Times, 10/29/07]

 

Since 2002, McCain Has Supported Increasing The Defense Budget From $393 Billion To $696 Billion.  Despite citing waste within the budget for the Department of Defense, McCain has voted to increase the Department of Defense’s budget authorization from approximately $393 billion in FY 2002 to $696 billion in FY 2008:

 

  • McCain Voted For The 2003 Defense Authorization Bill.  In 2002, McCain voted for passage of the Defense Authorization bill for fiscal year 2003.  The bill included approximately $393 billion for defense-related programs for fiscal 2003, including $8.2 billion for shipbuilding, up to $7.8 billion for ballistic missile defense and a military pay raise of 4.1 percent. It also would set aside $10 billion to fund operating costs for the war on terrorism and would allow the president to decide whether $814 million is designated for missile defense or counter-terrorism. [S 2514, Vote #165, 6/27/02]

 

  • McCain Voted For The 2004 Defense Authorization Bill.  In 2003, McCain voted to adopt the conference report on the defense authorization bill for fiscal year 2004.  The bill included $401.3 billion for defense and national security spending in fiscal 2004.  [HR 1588, Vote #447, 11/12/03]

 

  • McCain Voted For The 2005 Defense Authorization Bill.  In 2004, McCain voted for passage of the Defense Authorization bill for fiscal year 2005.  The bill included $447.2 billion for the Defense Department and for the Energy Department’s national security programs, including $25 billion in emergency funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also would increase the authorized end strength for active-duty Army personnel by 20,000 soldiers in fiscal 2005 and authorize $10.2 billion in missile defense funding.  [S 2400, Vote #146, 6/23/04]

 

  • McCain Voted For The 2006 Defense Authorization Bill.  In 2005 McCain voted for passage of the Defense Authorization bill for fiscal year 2006.  The bill included $491.6 billion for FY 2006 defense spending. It would include a $50 billion bridge supplemental for costs in Iraq and Afghanistan; $109.2 billion for personnel; $78.2 billion for procurement and materiel; $69.8 billion for research, development, testing and evaluation; and $1.6 billion for Energy department non-proliferation programs. [S 1042, Vote #326, 11/15/05]

 

  • McCain Voted For The 2007 Defense Authorization Bill.  In 2006 McCain voted for passage of the Defense Authorization bill for fiscal year 2007.  The bill included $517.7 billion for defense programs in fiscal 2007, including $50 billion for additional "bridge" funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. [S 2766, Vote #186, 6/22/06]

 

  • McCain Failed To Vote Against The 2008 Defense Authorization Bill.  In 2007, McCain failed to vote for the 2008 Defense Authorization bill that included $696.4 billion for defense programs in fiscal 2008, including $189.5 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would authorize $142.8 billion for operations and maintenance; $119.7 billion for military personnel; $23.7 billion for military construction and family housing; and $23.1 billion for the Defense Health Program. [HR 4986, Vote #1, 1/22/08]

 

Defense Acquisitions

 

McCain Failed To Vote To Give Federal Employees The Right To Appeal Decisions To Outsource.  In 2007, McCain failed to vote on an amendment that would require the Defense Department to exclude the costs of health care and retirement benefits from contract bids. It also would give federal employees the right to appeal outsourcing decisions to the Government Accountability Office.  The amendment failed 51-44.  [HR 1585, Vote #358, 10/1/07]

 

McCain Wrote The Law That Allows Defense Contracts To Be Awarded To Foreign Companies.  In 2004, McCain proposed and voted for an amendment to allow the Secretary of Defense to waive the application of any domestic source requirements with respect to items that are grown, reprocessed, reused, produced or manufactured in seven foreign countries that have a “declaration of principles” with the United States.  The amendment passed 54-46.  [S 2400, Vote #135, 6/22/04]

 

McCain Voted Against Encouraging Defense Contracts To Be Executed In The United States.  In 1996, McCain voted to table an amendment requiring defense contractors to indicate on contracts what percentage of the contract would be manufactured in the United States. The amendment would also have required that the Department of Defense treat this as an important factor when awarding contracts.  The motion to table passed 69-21.  [S 1894, Vote # 194, 7/17/96]

 

  • The Air Force Awarded A Potentially $100 Billion Contract To European Airbus.  In 2008, the U.S. Air Force awarded a coveted contract to provide fuel tanker planes to European-owned Airbus over Boeing.  According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “The decision was a major loss for Boeing because the tanker program is worth up to $35 billion and has the potential to grow upward of $100 billion.” [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 3/4/08]

 

  • McCain “Nearly Single Handedly” Killed Boeing’s Chances of Obtaining Tanker Contract.  According to The Oregonian, “It was McCain who cried foul when the Department of Defense awarded Boeing the tanker contract back in 2003. According to the Everett Herald, McCain ‘nearly single-handedly killed the firm’s multi-billion dollar deal’ to lease 100 Boeing air tankers.” [The Oregonian, 3/1/08]

 

  • Boeing Said  Contract Would Support 44,000 American Jobs.  According to MSNBC, “The company said a win would have supported 44,000 new and existing jobs at Boeing and more than 300 suppliers in more than 40 states.” [MSNBC, 3/10/08]

 

McCain Voted Against Cutting $234 Million In Unrequested Navy Aircrafts.  In 1996, McCain voted against saving $234 million on Navy Aircrafts that were not requested by the Pentagon.  The amendment would have cut $234 million for the procurement of six additional F/A-18 C/D Navy fighters not authorized or requested.  Amendment rejected -56.  [S 1894, Vote #197, 7/17/96]

 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

 

McCain Voted To Provide Additional $213 Million For Army Humvees.  In 2005, McCain voted to appropriate $213 million for new Army humvees.  “In addition to more money for the armored Humvees, the Kennedy-Bayh amendment also requires Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld to provide more frequent reports of how many armored Humvees are needed in Iraq and Afghanistan and to update Congress on ways to speed the delivery of new vehicles to Iraq.”  Amendment agreed to 61-39.  [HR 1268 , Vote #108, 4/21/05; Boston Globe, 4/22/05]

 

 

Defense Contractor Accountability

 

McCain Voted Against Stricter Penalties For War Profiteering And Fraud.  In 2004, McCain against the Leahy amendment that would make profiteering on contracts in connection with military or rebuilding activities in Iraq, Afghanistan or other countries punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison and $1 million in fines.  Amendment rejected 46-52.  [S 2400, Vote #120, 6/16/04]

 

McCain Voted To Protect Administration War Profiteering.   In 2003, McCain voted against prohibiting the use of Iraqi reconstruction funds for any contract or financial agreement with an entity that pays deferred compensation to the president, the vice president, or a Cabinet-level official, or any entity in which the president, vice president, or Cabinet-level official holds options to purchase more than 1,000 shares of stock. It would be effective 90 days after the bill’s enactment.  Motion to table passed 65-34.  [S 1689, Vote #386, 10/16/03] 

 

McCain Voted Against Allowing Competition For Defense Contracts.  In 2002, McCain voted to kill a Kennedy amendment that would allow private and public agencies to compete for new Defense Department contracts based on current department standards. It also would codify a contracting prohibition on work currently performed in the public sector unless the agency can show a savings of at least 10 percent.  Motion to table passed 50-49.  [S2514, Vote #162, 6/25/2002]

 

McCain Voted Against Holding Defense Contractors Accountable.  In 2006, McCain voted to table an amendment that would make several changes to federal contracting and procurement laws and call for the suspension and debarment of unethical contractors, disclosure of audit reports by the head of each executive agency outlining unjustified contractor costs, and publication of information regarding federal contractor penalties and violations. It would bar monopoly contracts by requiring competition in contracting, ensure protections for whistleblowers and eliminate the revolving door between federal personnel and contractors.  The motion to table passed         55-43.  [S 2766, Vote #169, 6/14/06]

 

McCain Voted Against Creating A Committee To Investigate Defense Contractors.  In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would have established a Senate committee to investigate awarding and carrying out of contracts to conduct activities in Afghanistan and Iraq and to fight the war on terrorism.  The amendment failed 44-53.  [HR 2862, Vote #228, 9/14/05]

 

McCain Voted Against Investigating Waste, Fraud, and Abuse.  In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would establish a committee to investigate waste, fraud and abuse in the awarding contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for the reconstruction after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The amendment failed 44-54.  [HR 3058, Vote #259, 10/19/05; HR 2862, Vote #228, 9/14/05; S 1042, Vote #316, 11/10/05; S 2766, Vote #176, 6/20/06]]

 

 

Intelligence

 

McCain Voted Against Banning Waterboarding.  In 2008, McCain voted against adoption of a conference report that would prohibit the use of any interrogation treatment not authorized by the U.S. Army Field Manual against any individual in the custody of the intelligence community.  The conference report passed 51-45.  [HR 2082, Vote #22, 2/13/08]

 

McCain Voted Against Declassifying Scowcroft Commission Report.  In 2004, McCain voted to table an amendment that would require the Bush administration to declassify a 2002 report by a commission led by former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft that recommended a stronger director of central intelligence.  The motion to table passed 49-45.  [HR 4567, Vote #180, 9/14/04]

 

McCain Failed To Vote To Prohibit U.S. Businesses From Conducting Business With Sponsors of Terror.  In 2004, McCain failed to vote on a motion to table an amendment that would bar foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies from doing business with countries considered sponsors of terrorism. Motion to table agreed to 47-41.  [S 2845, Vote #194, 9/28/04]

 

McCain Voted Against Investigating Intelligence Failures In Iraq Used As A Pretext To War.   In 2003, McCain voted against establishing a 12-member independent bipartisan commission to examine and report on the role of policy makers in the development and use of intelligence related to the Iraq war. The commission would be required to submit a report to the president and Congress within nine months of its first meeting on its findings and recommendations. The amendment also would authorize $5 million for the commission.  Motion to table passed 67-32.  [S 1689, Vote #395, 10/17/03]

 

McCain Voted Against Investigating Intelligence Failures Leading Up To The War In Iraq.  In 2003, McCain voted to table an amendment that would authorize $5 million for the creation of a 12-member commission to investigate the role of policymakers in the development and use of intelligence leading up to military operations in Iraq, and to investigate whether Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. The motion to table passed 51-45.  [HR 2658, Vote #284, 7/16/03]

 

McCain Voted Against A Report Detailing Executive Branch’s Role In Intelligence Related To Iraq War.  In 2003, McCain voted to table an amendment that would withhold $50 million in intelligence funding from the bill until the president submits a report on the role executive branch policymakers had on the development and use of intelligence relating to the war in Iraq.  The motion to table passed 62-34.  [HR 2658, Vote #287, 7/17/03]

 

McCain Voted Against Requiring President to Release Intelligence Budget Requests.  In 1997, McCain voted against requiring the President’s annual budget submission include, in unclassified form, aggregate appropriations and budget request for all U.S. intelligence and intelligence-related activities in current fiscal year.  Amendment rejected 43-56.  [S 858, Vote #108, 6/19/97]

 

McCain Voted To Spend $100 Million to Look For Extraterrestrial Life.  In 1993, McCain voted to table an amendment that eliminated all funding for the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence program.  The program was expected to cost $100 million over ten years.  The motion to table failed 23-77.  [HR 2491, Vote #276, 9/22/93]

 

McCain Voted Against Requiring Senate Approval of Key CIA Officials.  In 1991, McCain voted against an amendment that required Senate confirmation of the Central Intelligence Agency’s director of operations, deputy director for intelligence and the general counsel.  The motion to table passed 38-59.  [S 1539, Vote #225, 10/16/91]

                                                                                                                       

McCain Voted Against Ensuring The CIA Spends Money Effectively.  In 1989, McCain voted to table an amendment creating an Office of the Inspector General within the CIA.  The Inspector General would monitor spending and enhance the legitimacy of the CIA and protect the President from charges of abuse and misconduct by the CIA or its officers.  The motion to table passed 64-34.  [HR 2748, Vote #289, 11/1/89]

 

McCain Voted Against Requiring The President To Notify Congress of Covert Activities.  In 1988, McCain voted against a bill to require the president to notify Congress of all covert activities. Under “ordinary circumstances,” the president would be required to tell Intelligence committees in advance of a covert operation. But in “rare occasions when time is of the essence,” the president could wait up to 48 hours after a covert activity begins. The bill passed 71-19.  [S 1721, 3/15/88; CQ Almanac]

 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

 

McCain Voted To Provide $200 Million For Intelligence Unit To Find Osama Bin Laden.  In 2006, McCain voted for an amendment that would provide $200 million in emergency funding for an intelligence unit to find Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders, and require the Defense secretary to submit a classified report to Congress on progress after 60 days, and every subsequent 90 days.  The amendment passed 96-0.  [HR 5631, Vote #235, 9/7/06]

 

 

Armed Forces Policy

 

McCain Said The Public Has A Right To View Flag-Draped Coffins Returning From Iraq.  While appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” McCain was asked if the American public had a right to see caskets returning from Iraq.  McCain said, “The public has the right in my view. The media should treat this issue with the utmost sensitivity, and I hope they will. But the most horrific carnage in modern times was World War I, where there was total censorship. Neither the German, nor the British, nor the French people knew what was going on in the trenches on the western front. And there was a huge backlash after that and it caused World War II and even the Cold War, in my view. We cannot hide the realities from the American people, and I would hope that the media would treat it with the sensitivities and the care and concern for the feelings of the families that's necessary.”   When asked if the Pentagon should change its policy, McCain said, “Yes, yes.” [CBS, “Face the Nation,” 4/25/04]

 

McCain Voted Against Allowing The President To Determine The Military’s Policy Toward Homosexuals.  In 1993, McCain opposed an amendment that would strike a provision relating to homosexuality in Armed Forces and substitutes language expressing sense of Congress that Government policy concerning service of homosexuals in Armed Forces should be determined by President, as Commander-in-Chief, based upon advice provided by Defense Secretary and military advisors to President and Secretary.  Amendment rejected 33-63. [S 1298, Vote #250, 9/9/93]

 

McCain Failed To Vote Against The Enlistment Of Rapists And Terrorists Into The Armed Forces.  In 2007, McCain failed to vote on a motion to table an amendment that would bar the use of funds in the bill to enlist individuals in the armed forces who have been convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, arson, hate crime, sexual misconduct, terrorist threatening, kidnapping, abducting or indecent acts with a minor, within five years.  The motion to table passed 53-46.  [HR 3222, Vote #360, 10/2/07]

 

McCain Voted Against Allowing The President To Determine Policy of Gays in the Military.  In 1993, McCain voted against a motion to express the sense of the senate that the policy on gays in the military should be determined by the President.  The amendment failed 33-63.  [S 1298, Vote #250, 9/9/93]

 

McCain Voted To Suspend President Clinton’s Executive Order That Lifted The Ban On Homosexuals In The Military. In 1993, McCain voted with the minority in support of a measure that would suspend all executive orders on homosexuals in the military until a review is completed. Further, all executive orders in this area must be approved by Congress. The motion to table passed 62-37.  [S 5, Vote #9, 2/4/93]

 

ACCOMPLISHMENT:

 

McCain Voted To Allow Women to Fly Combat Missions. In 1991, McCain voted against tabling an amendment allowing women to fly combat missions.  Motion to table failed 30-69.  [S 1507, Vote #167, 7/31/91]

 

 

Consistently Voted To Spend More And More On Defense Spending…

 

McCain Voted for $70B for Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq With No Conditions.  In 2007, McCain voted for a amendment to the Omnibus Appropriations Bill to provide $70 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with no conditions. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president’s position.  The motion passed 70-25.  [Council for a Livable World; CQ Floor Votes; HR 2764, Vote #439, 12/18/07]

 

McCain Voted For $82 Billion In Emergency Supplemental Spending For FY ‘05.  In 2005, McCain voted for $82 billion in emergency supplemental spending for FY05, including funding for military operations, reconstruction and security in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The bill passed 100-0.  [HR 1268, Vote #117, 5/10/05]

 

McCain Voted To Maintain “Firewall” Between Defense And Discretionary Spending.  In 1996, McCain voted to table an amendment that abolished the “firewall” between defense and domestic discretionary spending.  The “firewall” prohibited funding from being taken out of defense spending without a 60 vote majority. The advocates of eliminating the “firewall” argued that it prohibited money from being taken out of the defense budget even in cases of natural disaster.  Motion to table agreed to 57-41.  [SCR 57, Vote #147, 5/23/96]

 

McCain Voted To Spend $1.5 Billion on 21 Peacekeeper Missiles.  In 1985, McCain voted to approve authorization of $1.5 billion to procure 21 MX missiles in fiscal 1985. The joint resolution passed 219-213.  [SJR 71, 3/26/85; CQ Almanac]

 

…WHILE REJECTING PROPOSALS TO MONITOR SPENDING OR GENERATE REVENUE

 

McCain Voted Against Requiring the President To Submit A Budget For Military Operations In Iraq and Afghanistan for the Following Year.  In 2003, McCain voted for the Stevens motion to table the Dorgan amendment which requires the President to submit a budget amendment for FY 2004, which sets forth the cost of U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The motion passed 53-41.  [HR 2658, Vote #278, 7/16/03]

 

McCain Voted Against Requiring the President To Seek Congressional Approval To Spend $20 Billion On Iraq.  In 2003, McCain voted to kill an amendment that would require the President to seek Congressional approval through the appropriations process to spend $20 billion for the reconstruction of Iraq.  The motion passed 49-46.  [S 1689, Vote #398, 10/17/03; Congressional Record, 10/17/03]

 

McCain Voted Against Forcing Bush To Offset Spending for the War In Iraq By Increasing Revenues.  In 2003, McCain voted against an amendment that would express the sense of the Senate that the President should, within 60 days of enactment, submit a proposal to the Senate Finance Committee to raise sufficient revenues to offset the funds spent in this bill for the war in Iraq; and if the President does not submit such a proposal, the Finance Committee should put forward its own proposal.  The motion to table the amendment passed 79-18.  [S. 762, Vote #121, 4/03/03; Hollings Floor Statement, CR page, S4781, 4/3/03]

 

McCain Voted Against Reducing Top Tax Cuts To Pay For $87 Billion Request for Iraq.  In 2003, McCain voted for the Stevens motion to table Biden, et al., amendment, which reduces tax cuts for top income tax rates from 2005-2010 in order to fund $87 billion requested for Iraq.  The motion passed 57-42. [S 1689, Vote #373, 10/2/03]

 

 

Base Closures

 

McCain Voted To Expand Bureaucracy Involved With Base Closures.  In 1990, McCain voted against tabling an amendment that would prohibit the closing of bases as provided by list released by the Defense Secretary in January and directs the Secretary to devise force-structure plan for base closure, for Congress to enact and bars any base closure before September 1991.  The motion to table failed 43-54.  [S 2884, Vote #220, 8/3/90]

 

McCain Voted Against Taking Further Action To Minimize Negative Effects Of Base Closures On Local Communities.  In 1990, McCain voted against an amendment that prohibits closing of bases as provided by the Defense Secretary’s list as of January 1991.  The amendment also requires the secretary to develop force-structure plan for base closure for Congress to enact and bars any base closing before September 1991.  The amendment failed 43-54.  [S 2884, Vote #221, 8/3/90]

 

McCain Voted Against Allowing Judicial Review of Fraudulent Base Closures.  In 1994, McCain voted to table an amendment to allow people affected by base closures to obtain a judicial review if they can show relevant information was fraudulently concealed from the base closure commission.  The motion to table passed 71-27.  [S 2182, Vote #163, 6/23/94]

 

McCain Voted Against Requiring A Report On the Savings of Base Closures.  In 1997, McCain voted against an amendment that required the Defense Secretary to report to Congress on costs and savings of base closures before 1996 and need for additional closures; prohibits funding new BRAC commission until Secretary submits report, or CBO or GAO reviews report, whichever is later; and expresses sense of Senate that Secretary should develop system to quantify actual costs and savings from base closures.  The amendment passed 66-33.  [S 936, Vote #165, 7/9/97]

 

McCain Voted Against Limiting Defense Secretary’s Authority To Close Military Bases.  In 1998, McCain voted against an amendment that aimed to place greater limits on the Secretary of Defense’s ability to close military bases without the consent of Congress.  The amendment failed 48-45.  [S 2057, Vote #174, 6/25/98]

 

McCain Voted Against Limiting Base Closures to Those Overseas.  In 2004, McCain voted against an amendment that would require the 2005 base realignment and closure round to apply only to U.S. military installations located overseas, delaying new U.S. domestic base closings until 2007. It also would require the Defense secretary to submit a detailed plan for reducing overseas bases.  The amendment failed 47-49.  [S 2400, Vote #98, 5/18/04]

 

Missile Defense

 

McCain Voted To Deploy Missile Defense To Combat Threat From Iran.  In 2007, McCain voted for an amendment that would make it official U.S. policy to develop and deploy a defense against the ballistic missile threat from Iran as soon as technologically possible and in conjunction with U.S. allies and other nations.  The amendment passed 90-5.  [HR 1585, Vote #245, 7/12/07]

 

McCain Voted To Implement a National Missile Defense Shield.  In 1998, McCain voted to close debate on a bill that would make it U.S. policy to implement a national missile defense shield. The measure would not establish a specific time frame, but would declare a national policy to deploy a system to protect U.S. territory from a limited number of incoming missiles “as soon as is technologically possible.” Cloture motion rejected 59-41.  [S 1873, Vote #131, 5/13/1998; S 1873, Vote #262, 9/9/98]

 

McCain Voted Against Limiting Funds For Space-Based Laser Program.   In 1997, McCain voted against imposing limits to $28.8 million (as requested by Administration) funds available for space-based laser program, and reducing  program’s authorization by $118 million.  Amendment rejected 43-56.  [S 936, Vote #171, 7/11/97]

 

McCain Voted Against Eliminating An Extra $300 Million From National Missile Defense Spending.  In 1996, McCain voted against lowering the level of national defense spending to the level requested by the president.  It would have lowered the level to the $508 million requested by President Clinton.  Amendment rejected 44-53.  [S 1745, Vote #160, 6/19/96]

 

McCain Voted To Violate ABM Treaty And Spend $48 Billion On Missile Defense System.  In 1995, McCain voted to table an amendment that struck provisions of the bill that require deployment of anti-missile defense systems utilizing multiple sites.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, such a program will cost at least $48 billion to implement.  Motion to table passed 51-49.  [S 1026, Vote #355, 8/3/95]

 

McCain Voted Against Limiting Space-Based ABM Systems.  In 1987, McCain voted against tabling an amendment that struck a provision limiting the development or testing of space-based and other mobile anti-ballistic missile systems. Motion to table agreed to 58-38.  [S. 1174, 9/17/87; CQ Almanac]

 

 

Nuclear Weapons

 

McCain Voted To Spend $36.6 Million On Bunker Buster Nukes.  In 2004, McCain voted against an amendment that prohibited the use of $36.6 million authorized in the underlying bill for two Energy Department programs: a study of Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator “bunker buster” weapons and a Stockpile Services Advanced Concepts Initiative, which includes research into a “low yield” nuclear weapon. The amendment failed 42-55.  [S 2400, Vote #113, 6/15/04]

 

McCain Voted To Spend $6.5 Billion On Nuclear Weapons.  In 2003, McCain voted for an appropriations bill that appropriate $27.4 billion for the Energy Department, the Army Corps of Engineers, water projects, parts of the Interior Department and other independent agencies for fiscal 2004, including $6.5 billion for Energy Department nuclear weapons, and $4.4 billion for Army Corps of Engineers water projects.  The bill passed 92-0.  [HR 2754, Vote #350, 9/16/03

 

McCain Voted For $4.1 Billion In Funding For Nuclear Weapons.  In 1996, McCain voted for an Energy appropriations bill that included $4.1 billion for atomic energy defense weapons activities.  The bill passed 99-0.  [HR 2203, Vote #262, 9/30/97]

 

McCain Voted To Spend $33 Million On Nuclear Weapons Research Instead of Renewable Energy.  In 1994, McCain voted to kill an amendment to transfer $33 million from nuclear weapons research to support renewable energy research.  Motion to table passed 53-45.  [HR 4506, Vote #176, 6/30/94]

 

McCain Voted Against Limiting Nuclear Tests.  In 1988, McCain voted to table an amendment that barred the deployment of multiple-warhead (MIRVed) intercontinental ballistic missiles, MIRVed ballistic missiles of any type, and MIRVed ballistic missiles plus bombers armed with long-range cruise missiles in excess of the number of each of those weapons categories that were deployed on Jan. 25, 1988. The motion to table passed 51-45.  [S 2355, 5/11/88; CQ Almanac]

 

McCain Voted To Allow Manufacturing of Nuclear Weapons At Idaho Falls.  In 1989, McCain voted to table an amendment that prohibited the use of funds in fiscal year 1990 for site preparation for special isotope separation project at Idaho Falls, Idaho, a proposed facility for converting spent nuclear fuel to manufacture nuclear weapons.  Motion to table passed 50-49.  [S 1352, Vote #150, 7/31/89]

 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

 

McCain Voted To Ratify The Threshold Test Ban Treaty.  In 1990, McCain voted for ratification of threshold test ban treaty (TTBT) which limits nuclear weapons tests to yields of no greater than 150 kilotons. Verification protocols allow each nation to use hydrodynamic or seismic methods to monitor the size of explosions.  The resolution of ratification passed 98-0.  [SRS 94, Vote #249, 9/25/90]

 

McCain Voted To Use Diverted Russian Aid To Dismantle Nuclear Weapons In The Former USSR.  In 1994, McCain voted for an amendment to allow the president to use Russian aid from the bill to finance the Nunn-Lugar cooperative threat reduction program, which helps to dismantle nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union.  The amendment passed 56-38.  [HR 4426, Vote #201, 7/15/94]

 

 

 

 

Disaster Relief

 

John McCain has no problem funneling billions of dollars in tax breaks to millionaires and big corporations, but he has repeatedly voted against critical disaster relief to American families hurting in the wake of both natural and man-made disasters.  McCain’s resistance to adequately fund disaster relief efforts shows his poor judgment, his misplaced priorities and a clear lack of compassion for those facing tragedy.   

 

Top Hits:

  • McCain Voted Against measures to aid those affected by 9/11
  • McCain Voted Against aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McCain Failed To Support Efforts To Aid Those Affected by 9/11

 

McCain Skipped Vote to Implement Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.  In 2007, McCain failed to vote to implement recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission, including requiring homeland security grants based mainly on risk while ensuring minimum amounts for each state. It would create a new grant program to support the development of interoperable communications. It also would require all cargo bound for the United States to be scanned for radiation and density before being placed on a ship in a foreign port. The bill would authorize new sanctions on foreign individuals or entities that engage in the improper transport or sales of nuclear weapons materials.  The bill passed 85-8.  [H.R. 1, Vote #284, 7/27/07]

 

McCain Skipped Vote to Implement Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.  In 2007, McCain missed a vote that “would criminalize the recruitment of terrorists and the financial support for families of terrorists, expand the time frame for detaining certain illegal immigrants, allow for the deportation of suspected terrorists whose visas are revoked and increase penalties for phone calls to service members’ families falsely claiming the family member has been killed. The substitute would implement remaining recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission and aviation security screening measures; and authorize more than $4 billion for rail and mass transit security, $3.1 billion for homeland security grant programs, and $3.3 billion for a new emergency grant program to improve communications among first-responders.”  The cloture motion failed 46-49.  [S. 4, Vote #68, 3/9/07]

 

McCain Voted Against Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.  In 2006, McCain voted against an amendment that would implement the recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission, including the screening of all cargo and enabling first-responders to communicate on a common radio spectrum. It also would call for a new direction in Iraq and authorize additional funds for intelligence activities.  The amendment failed 41-57.  [H.R. 4954, Vote #243, 9/13/06]

 

 McCain Voted to Form the 9/11 Commission.  In 2002, McCain voted in favor of an amendment to establish the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States to investigate the facts and circumstances relating to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The commission would be required to report its initial findings and recommendations to the president and to Congress within six months of its first meeting, followed by a second report within one year. [H.R. 5005, Vote #223, 9/24/02]

 

McCain Voted Against Increasing 9/11 Recovery Funds.  In 2001, McCain voted against a Byrd amendment to allocate $7.5 billion in recovery funds to areas hit by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The substitute would provide $317 billion for defense spending in fiscal 2002.   Motion rejected 50-48. [HR 3338, Vote #355, 12/6/01]

 

McCain Voted to Compensate Airlines For Losses After 9/11.  In 2001, McCain voted to compensate airline companies for losses from the September 11th attacks and establish a victim's compensation fund to assist people killed or injured in the attacks or their survivors. Bill passed 96-1.  [S 1450, Vote #284, 9/21/01]

 

  • But, McCain Voted Against Providing Unemployment Benefits to Airline Workers Laid Off After 9/11.  In 2001, McCain voted against an amendment that would provide assistance for employees who are separated from employment as a result of reductions in services by air carriers, and closures of airports, caused by terrorist actions or security measures.  Cloture motion rejected 56-44.  [S 1447, Vote #293, 10/11/01]

 

Other Disasters

 

McCain Criticized Disaster Relief Money for Hawaii Flood Victims, then Apologized. When “Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Democrat of Hawaii, advanced two last-minute amendments seeking an extra $1.9 million for his state,” to endure federal disaster relief funds designated by President Bush, the action “provoke[ed] heated criticism” from McCain. “My constituents live in Arizona,” Mr. McCain said. “A lot of us are getting sick and tired of this -- sick and tired.” Following McCain’s remarks, Democratic Leader Harry Reid noted that the money was for disaster relief and admonished McCain for making “offensive” remarks, which led to an apology from McCain. [New York Times, 5/5/06; www.azcentral.com, 5/5/06]

 

McCain Skipped Vote to Aid North Carolina Farmers after Hurricanes. In 1999, McCain skipped the vote on an amendment to provide $81 million in loan forgiveness for North Carolina farmers who were victims of recent hurricanes.  The amendment passed 88-1. [H.J.R. 82, Vote #371, 11/18/1999]

 

Catastrophic Insurance

 

McCain Does Not Support National Catastrophic Insurance Policy.  Campaigning in Florida, McCain told reporters that he did not support national catastrophe insurance.  According to the Associated Press, at a round table discussion, McCain said that while he supports state efforts, “I do not support a national catastrophic insurance policy. That insurance policy is there, and it’s called FEMA, and it’s called disaster preparedness and it’s called addressing disasters.” Nevertheless, he said of the Federal Emergency Management Agency: “I still do not have confidence that FEMA is capable of handling all of those responsibilities.”  McCain also said, “I believe that this nation and federal government has an obligation to help out in any tragedy or natural disaster…Very badly, we need to fix our ability to bring relief, help and assistance, both short term and long term, to the victims of disaster.”  In response to an Associated Press questionnaire, McCain said that under certain conditions he “would consider a national catastrophe fund” to improve disaster response. [Associated Press, 1/22/08]

 

  • Giuliani FL Chair: McCain “Out Of Touch” With FL Voters on National Catastrophic Relief Fund Issue. According to CBS News, “Giuliani Florida chair and state attorney general Bill McCollum said McCain was ‘ out of touch’  with Florida voters on the issue of having a National Catastrophic Relief Fund to keep insurance costs down for Floridians. The fund is a proposal Giuliani favors but McCain has not supported. Asked if Giuliani agreed with McCollum’s statement, Giuliani said, ‘No, I agree with the assessment that I gave…I am the one who supports it and I think people have a right to evaluate it that way. And have a right to evaluate all these different positions. In some cases we have the same positions, in some we have different positions.’ ” [CBS News, 1/22/08]

 

 

McCain & Katrina

 

            John McCain is stopping in New Orleans’s devastated Lower Ninth Ward on his “Time for Action” Tour.  Yet, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, McCain took absolutely no action to help the victims of this national tragedy.  It even took a critical article in The Hill before McCain visited to personally witness the destruction… making him the 41st senator to do so.

 

All Talk, No Action

 

McCain Acknowledged Public Demand for Oversight. A week after Hurricane Katrina, McCain commented on the public’s demand for accountability.  McCain said, “There’s clearly a mood for aggressive oversight on this issue, because people are demanding it.  It’s a national catastrophe …  I don’t know if it affects the general mood of Congress on every issue, but there’s a strong desire…to find out what went wrong and what went right.” [Dallas Morning News, 9/7/05]

 

  • But, McCain Voted Against a Commission to Examine Government Response to Katrina. In 2005, McCain voted against creating a congressional commission to examine the federal, state and local response to Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Region. Senators Obama and Clinton both voted in favor of creating the commission.  The motion failed 44-54. [H.R. 2862, Vote #229, 9/14/2005]

 

  • McCain Again Voted Against Katrina Commission in 2006. In 2006, McCain again voted against establishing a commission to investigate the response to Hurricane Katrina, including the federal government’s role and the impact of the disaster. Both Senators Obama and Clinton voted in favor of the commission.  The motion failed 44-53. [H.R. 4297, Vote #6, 2/2/2006]

 

  • McCain Voted Against Investigating Waste, Fraud, and Abuse. In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would establish a committee to investigate waste, fraud and abuse in the awarding contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for the reconstruction after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The amendment failed 44-54.  [HR 3058, Vote #259, 10/19/05; HR 2862, Vote #228, 9/14/05; S 1042, Vote #316, 11/10/05; S 2766, Vote #176, 6/20/06]

 

McCain Said Americans Should “Come to the Aid” of Katrina Victims. In his statement following Hurricane Katrina, McCain said, “American citizens have proven time and again how generous and selfless a people we are, and now we have an opportunity to come to the aid of those in need.” [Statement of Sen. John McCain, U.S. Fed News, 9/1/2005]

 

  • But, McCain Voted Against Expanding Unemployment Benefits in Wake of Katrina. In 2005, just two weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, McCain voted against allowing up to 52 weeks of unemployment benefits to an individual as a result of a major disaster under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program. Both Senators Obama and Clinton voted in favor of extending the benefits.  The motion failed 43-52. [H.R. 2862, Vote #234, 9/15/2005]

 

  • McCain Voted Against Granting Katrina Victims Access to Medicaid. In 2005, McCain voted against granting access to Medicaid to victims of Hurricane Katrina for up to five months. The amendment would also provide full federal funding for Medicaid in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama for up to one year and provide $800 million to compensate providers caring for Katrina evacuees.  Both Senators Obama and Clinton voted in favor of assisting the Katrina victims. [S. 1932, Vote #285, 11/3/2005]

 

It’s About Time

 

39 Senators Visited Post-Katrina New Orleans Before McCain.  According to The Hill and the Associated Press, 39 senators had visited Post-Katrina New Orleans before John McCain and Lindsey Graham visited in March of 2006. [The Hill, 3/8/06; Associated Press, 3/10/06]

 

  • McCain Only Visited New Orleans After A Critical Article Was Published In The Hill. On March 8, 2006, The Hill wrote, “Not visiting the sites of one of the nation's worst natural disasters could prove to be a political liability.”  The paper added that McCain was among six senators who were considering running for president who had “found time to visit Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina - key states in the 2008 primary races” but not New Orleans.  The Associated Press noted the report when McCain made his first trip to the region two days later. [The Hill, 3/8/06; Associated Press, 3/10/06]

 

FEMA Wal-Mart

 

McCain: I’ll Fix FEMA by Privatizing It. During a campaign event, John McCain said, “FEMA is broken. I’m gonna give you some straight talk today. There’s some things you don’t wanna hear. FEMA is broken. We’re gonna fix it. What’s one of the ways we’re gonna fix it? We’re gonna go to the business sector, the private enterprise sector that are used to distributing goods and services and supplies to people and we’re gonna hire them. We’re gonna say, ‘You got a distribution system.’ Don’t rely on some federal bureaucrat. Rely on FedEx or Wal-Mart or Home Depot or those people that know where--we’re never gonna have a truck full of ice end up in the state of Maine when we’ve got a crisis in Louisiana. My friends, I’ll fix FEMA.” [Town Hall Meeting, Sun City Center, FL 01/26/08]

 

Pastor Hagee

 

McCain Said he was “Very Proud” to Receive Endorsement of Outspoken Pastor, John Hagee.  On February 27, 2008 McCain traveled to Texas to receive the endorsement of San Antonio televangelist John Hagee.  The Dallas Morning News reported, “Mr. Hagee, a leading figure in the Christian Zionist movement, said he’s confident Mr. McCain can attract wary evangelicals by emphasizing his conservative positions on Israel and abortion.”  McCain said, “All I can tell you is I’m very proud to have pastor Hagee’s support.”  [Dallas Morning News, 2/28/08]

 

  • Hagee: “Hurricane Katrina Was, In Fact, The Judgment Of God Against The City Of New Orleans.” During an appearance on NPR’s Fresh Air, Pastor Hagee said, “I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are--were recipients of the judgment of God for that. The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade on the Monday that the Katrina came, and the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades. So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know that there are people who demure from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the day of judgment, and I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.” [NPR, “Fresh Air,” 9/18/06; emphasis added]

 

  • Hagee: “All Of The City Was Punished Because Of The Sin That Happened There In That City.” During an appearance on NPR’s Fresh Air, Pastor Hagee was asked, “So I know you're very opposed to homosexuality, but you think that the whole city was punished because of things like the forthcoming Gay Pride parade?” Hagee responded by saying, “This is true. All of the city was punished because of the sin that happened there in that city.” [NPR, “Fresh Air,” 9/18/06]

 

  • April 2008: Hagee Reaffirmed His Belief That Hurricane Katrina Was God’s Way Of Punishing New Orleans. During an appearance on The Dennis Prager Show, Hagee said, “It is wrong to say that every natural disaster is the result of sin. It is a result of God’s permissive will.”  He was then asked, “In the case of New Orleans, you do feel that God’s hand was in it because of a sinful city?” Hagee responded by saying, “That it was a city that was planning a sinful conduct, yes.” [The Dennis Prager Show, 4/22/08]

 

Katrina Timeline

 

Saturday, August 27:

 

Federal Emergency Was Declared, DHS And FEMA Given Full Authority To Respond To Katrina.  [White House, 8/27/05]

Sunday, August 28:

 

Katrina Was Upgraded To A Category 5 Hurricane. [CNN, 8/29/05]

Thousands Upon Thousands Of Evacuees Gathered At Superdome With Roughly 36 Hours Worth Of Food. [Times-Picayune, 8/29/08]

 

McCain Appeared On Face The Nation To Promote Progress In The War In Iraq.  On Sunday, August 28th, 2005, McCain appeared on Face the Nation via satellite from Cottonwood, Arizona; just minutes from his vacation home in Sedona.  During the interview, McCain said of the war in Iraq, “I think it's clear that a premature withdrawal would be catastrophic in its consequences… we've made progress in many areas of Iraq.” [CBS, “Face the Nation,” 8/28/05]

 

Monday, August 29:

 

Several Levees Were Breached Throughout New Orleans Which Caused Pumping Stations To Go Down.  [NBC, “Today Show,” 8/29/05; Times-Picayune, 8/30/05]

 

On the Morning Katrina Struck New Orleans, and Hours After the Levee Breach, McCain Was Enjoying Birthday Cake With President Bush. From the White House Website: “President George W. Bush joins Arizona Senator John McCain in a small celebration of McCain’s 69th birthday Monday, Aug. 29, 2005, after the President’s arrival at Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix. The President later spoke about Medicare to 400 guests at the Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort and Country Club in nearby El Mirage. White House photo by Paul Morse” [The White House, Accessed 4/20/08]

 

McCain Appeared On Late Night With Conan O’Brien.  On Monday, August 29th, 2005, John McCain appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien along with actress Amber Tamblyn and the band Alkaline Trio. [Kansas City Star, 8/29/05]

 

Tuesday, August 30:

 

With 80% Of The City Flooded, Mass Looting Occurred Throughout The City With Rescue Efforts Still Underway.  [Associated Press, 8/30/05]

 

Wednesday, August 31:

 

16,000 People Were Still Stranded In The Superdome, With Almost 500 Taken Away By Helicopter For Medical Emergencies. [Los Angeles Times, 9/1/05]

 

 

Thursday, September 1:

 

McCain’s Senate Office Released A “Statement Of Senator John McCain Regarding Hurricane Katrina.” On September 1, 2005, McCain’s office released a statement saying, “U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today extends his condolences to the victims of Hurricane Katrina who are dealing with a natural disaster of epic proportions.  I urge Arizonans and all Americans to reach out to those affected by this tragedy. American citizens have proven time and again how generous and selfless a people we are, and now we have an opportunity to come to the aid of those in need. Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Americans as they struggle to cope with this emergency.” [McCain Senate Release, 9/1/05]

 

Friday, September 16, 2005:

 

“Deficit Hawk” McCain was skeptical of federally-funded reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, yet he insisted his tax cuts for the wealthy are more important than reducing the deficit.

 

McCain Warned Of Excessive Government Spending In Response To Hurricane Katrina.  According to The New Leader, “An objection of a different sort was raised by Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, who is pondering a run for the Presidency in 2008. He maintains conservatives want to "do whatever is necessary to address this national disaster." Then he adds: "We also have to be concerned about future generations of Americans. We're going to end up with the highest deficit, probably, in the history of this country.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9/17/05]

 

  • McCain Said He Would Proceed With Tax Cuts Even If Spending Isn’t Cut.  During an appearance on ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos asked McCain, “If Congress does not give you the spending cuts you say you can get, will you hold off on signing the tax cuts?”  McCain said, “No, of course not, because we want to increase people’s taxes during a recession?” [ABC, “This Week,” 4/20/08]
  •  

McCain Has Opposed Army Corps Of Engineers Funding

 

2005: Months After Katrina, McCain Skipped Vote On Funding Army Corps. In 2005, McCain skipped the vote on the conference report for the Fiscal Year 2006 Energy-Water Appropriations bill.  The funding bill provided $30.5 billion for energy and water development projects, including $5.4 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers and $9.2 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration.  The bill appropriated $6.2 billion for defense environmental cleanup and $450 million for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.  Senator Obama voted for the funding bill, but Senator Clinton also skipped the vote.  The bill passed 84-4. [H.R. 2419, Vote #321, 11/14/2005]

 

2005: McCain Voted Against Bill Funding Energy Programs. In 2005, McCain voted against the Fiscal Year 2006 Energy-Water Appropriations Bill.  The legislation provided $31.2 billion in funds for energy and water development projects, including $5.3 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers and $25 billion for the Department of Energy.  Both Senators Obama and Clinton voted for the funding bill.  The bill passed 92-3. [H.R. 2419, Vote #172, 7/1/2005]

 

2001: McCain One Of Only Two Senators To Vote Against Army Corps Funding. In 2001, McCain was one of only two senators to vote against passage of the FY 2002 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, which provided $4.3 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers.  Four months later, McCain was again one of only two senators to vote against the conference report on the bill.  The conference report passed 96-2. [H.R. 2311, Vote #240, 7/19/2001; H.R. 2311, Vote #320, 11/1/2001]

 

2000: McCain Voted Against Army Corps Funding. In 2000, McCain voted against passage of the conference report on the FY 2001 Energy & Water Appropriations bill, legislation providing $4.5 billion for the civil projects of the Army Corps of Engineers.  The conference report passed 57-37.  [H.R. 4733, Vote #261, 10/2/2000]

 

1996: McCain Voted Against Army Corps Funding. In 1996, McCain voted against passage of the FY 1997 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, which included $3.5 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers.  Nearly two months later, McCain then voted against the conference report.  The bill passed  93-6 and the conference report passed 92-8. [H.R. 3816, Vote #253, 7/30/1996; H.R. 3816, Vote #292, 9/17/1996]

 

1995: McCain Voted Against Army Corps Funding. In 1995, McCain voted against the conference report on the FY 199 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, which provided $3.2 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers.  The conference report passed 89-6. [H.R. 1905, Vote #558, 10/31/1995]

 

1994: McCain Voted Against Army Corps Funding. In 1994, McCain voted against passage of the FY 1995 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, which contained $181.2 million for planning and general investigations of the Army Corps of Engineers; $977.6 million for construction activities of the Army Corps; and $328.1 million for navigation and flood control projects along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. [H.R. 4506, Vote #178, 6/30/1994]

 

1993: McCain Voted To Reduce Army Corps Funding. In 1993, McCain voted in favor of an amendment that would reduce funding for the Army Corps of Engineers in the FY