Sunday, January 27, 2008

John McCain on Meet The Press Transcript

John McCain will never admit that he has flip flopped on the issues. Like in this interview with Tim Russert, he refuses to acknowledge that he is wrong on any issue. At least Mitt Romney will acknowledge his change on the abortion issue. Not only will McCain not admit his contradictions but arrogantly insists that he is what he says he is. Conservatives angrily criticize the Senator for his lack of ideological credentials. McCain counters that he was with Reagan in the beginning, eventhough he didn't always support that President's tax cuts. He has to be on every side of the issues and then brags that he is principled. Amazing:

MR. RUSSERT: Senator McCain, you have said repeatedly, "I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated." Is it a problem for your campaign that the economy is now the most important issue, one that, by your own acknowledgement, you're not well versed on?

SEN. McCAIN: Actually, I don't know where you got that quote from. I'm very well versed in economics.

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: Well, I'll tell you...

SEN. McCAIN: Now I know where you got that quote from. Now I know where you got the quote from.

MR. RUSSERT: I will show you where I got the quote from. I got it from John McCain, and here it is. "McCain is refreshingly blunt when he tells 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." Wall Street Journal, November 26th, 2005. You repeated it to the Boston Globe in December of '07. You said it.

SEN. McCAIN: OK. Let me tell you what I was trying to say and what I meant in that soundpiece. I spent 22 years in the military. I spent 20 years in the Senate Armed Services Committee. I've been involved in national security issues all my life. I attended the National War Cause. Of course I know more about national security than any other issue. That's been my entire life. Am I, am I smart on economics? Yes. I was chairman of the Commerce Committee. Why--that's why people like Phil Gramm, Tom Coburn and Warren Rudman and Carly Fiorina and the real strong economic minds, Jack Kemp, the real strong minds on the economy and, and conservatives on the economy are supporting me. They don't think that I'm--of course, I always have things to learn, and I continue to learn every day. But I'm very strong on the economy, and, frankly, my economic record is a lot stronger than that of the governor of Massachusetts when you look at his record as governor.

Another contradiction:
MR. RUSSERT: One of the questions that has been raised repeatedly in this campaign, Senator, is your opposition to the Bush tax cuts back in 2001.

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: One of only two Republican senators. Back then you gave a floor speech and said this...

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: ..."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 most need tax relief."

Then you were on MEET THE PRESS in April of '04. I asked you about that vote. I also asked you about postponing the Bush tax cut, and this is what you said.

(Videotape, April 11, 2004)

SEN. McCAIN: I voted against the tax cuts because of the disproportional amount that went to the wealthiest Americans. I would clearly support not extending those tax cuts in order to help address the, the deficit.

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: You wouldn't support extending them...

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: ...but you are now supporting extending them...

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: ...on the, on the radio with this ad.

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.


SEN. McCAIN: I'll make the Bush tax cuts permanent.

(End audiotape)

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: That's a direct contradiction.

SEN. McCAIN: Well, at the time I still wanted to do two things. One was a different set of tax cuts that also had more emphasis on middle and lower income Americans. But most importantly, most importantly, we are now facing a situation with a shaky economy with tax cuts not being permanent, then the people experience an increase in their taxes.

And let me go back to 2001 again. I was right, we had to have restraint of spending. I'm proud to have been one in the Reagan revolution where we not only cut taxes, which I'm proud to have supported and I have a record of it, but we restrained spending. And when you have tax cuts and not restrain spending and let things go completely out of control, as we did, look, we lost the 2006 election because we didn't restrain spending. So I not only didn't--had a different set of tax cut proposals, which were very strong, but I also had restraint of spending. And I believe to this day if we'd adopted the tax cuts that I proposed, and I did have a strong tax cut proposal, today we'd be talking about further tax cuts instead of alienated our base by letting spending get completely out of control, and then we then are facing--and it's one of the major contributors to the fiscal difficulties that we have in America today. I'm proud of my record of tax cutting, I'm proud of my record of, of being a fiscal conservative. Would I have had those tax cuts differently? Of course I would have. And now, right now today, Americans in 2010 are facing, unfortunately, the prospect of a tax increase when we had--if we don't make them permanent, if--in a time of a very shaky economy. I think that's the worst thing we could do.

MR. RUSSERT: But you have changed your mind?

SEN. McCAIN: No, I have not changed my mind in that I want restraint of spending. I would have had a different set of 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.

MR. RUSSERT: But you told me in '04 you were against making them permanent.

SEN. McCAIN: In '04 our economy was fine. And I have said many, many times since then, I've said many, many times, as the tax cuts came closer to whether they need to be made permanent or not, I've said 500 times that I want the tax cuts to be made permanent. Did I want my tax plan approved when I was running in 2000? Yes. And if we'd have done what I wanted to do, we'd be talking about more tax cuts today.

- Read the entire transcript...

McCain is Right: Romney Called for Timetables

Another Romney flipflop. This one is bad since it occurred just months ago:

Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate who sits atop the GOP pack in fundraising, appears to have grown comfortable with talk of "timetables," in addition to talk of "milestones," when discussing U.S. involvement in Iraq.

The former Massachusetts governor is quick to note, however, that these timetables should be private and not published.

When asked by ABC News' Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America" if he believes there should be a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, Romney replied, "Well, there's no question that the president and Prime Minister al Maliki have to have a series of timetables and milestones that they speak about, but those shouldn't be for public pronouncement."

The former governor went on to explain, "You don't want the enemy to understand how long they have to wait in the weeds until you're going to be gone. You want to have a series of things you want to see accomplished in terms of the strength of the Iraqi military and the Iraqi police and the leadership of the Iraqi government."

When asked a similar question on CBS's "Early Show," Romney responded, "Well, I wouldn't publish [a timetable] for my adversaries to see," advocating instead "a series of milestones, timetables as well, to measure how well they're doing."

"But," Romney said, "that's not something you publish for the enemy to understand, because of course they could just lay in the weeds until the time that you're gone. So these are the kinds of things you do privately, not necessarily publicly."

While Romney's Tuesday call for "milestones" is nothing new, he has mostly shied away in the past from employing the more politically charged terminology of "timetables."