Thursday, June 5, 2008

McCain ABC/Gibson Interview Transcript (6-5-08)

Read the transcript of John McCain's interview with Charles Gibson of ABC news:

GIBSON: He said on Tuesday night, when he was in Minneapolis, or St. Paul, he said, "John McCain has served this country heroically. I honor that service and I respect his many accomplishments, even if he chooses to deny mine."

Do you think he's qualified to be president?

MCCAIN: Oh, I think that's a judgment that the American people will make. It's not up to me to say that. It's up to me to point out that I have the experience and the knowledge and the judgment, and the right kind of change and the right kind of record, but most importantly a plan of action for the future.

Look, the Democratic Party has just determined that Senator Obama is qualified. Now it'll be up to the American people, and I'm sure that they judge both of us as qualified. I think that it's going to be a question of who's more qualified or the most qualified.

GIBSON: What kind of a relationship do you go into this election with him, having with him? You had a very testy exchange of letters a couple of years ago.

MCCAIN: Yes, once we had an exchange -- I had a letter to him over an issue. In fact, it had to do with ethics and lobbying reform. But I've always had a cordial relationship with Senator Obama. I didn't know him as well as I know Senator Clinton, and I hadn't worked with him as much as I had Senator Clinton. Senator Clinton and I were both on the Armed Services Committee.

But we've always had a cordial and respectful relationship. And I'll do everything I can to maintain that during this campaign. Americans are tired of the partisanship or the fighting of the -- impugning of character.

They want a real debate here, and that's why I challenged him -- or invited him, is a better word -- for us to do a series of 10 town hall meetings across this country, one a week between now and the Democratic convention. And let's start next week at Federal Hall in New York.

And, you know, I think the town hall meeting is the essence of democracy. Why not let people come and ask us both questions? I think that's what it's about. I think, from my own experience, that town hall meetings are more beneficial both to the candidate, as well as the voter.

GIBSON: Senator Obama, when we talked to him yesterday, said he was going to accept. He said, "Senator McCain has generously offered to me to start next week." He said, "I just got the nomination, and I think that's a little premature," but indicated that he was certainly interested in doing some of those.

It sounds to me like you both, actually, in these town meetings think that you've got the other guy on your turf.

McCain Speech Transcript: (6-3-08): I'm no Bush

Read the entire transcript:

The right change recognizes that many of the policies and institutions of our government have failed. They have failed to keep up with the challenges of our time because many of these policies were designed for the problems and opportunities of the mid to late 20th Century, before the end of the Cold War; before the revolution in information technology and rise of the global economy. The right kind of change will initiate widespread and innovative reforms in almost every area of government policy — health care, energy, the environment, the tax code, our public schools, our transportation system, disaster relief, government spending and regulation, diplomacy, the military and intelligence services. Serious and far-reaching reforms are needed in so many areas of government to meet our own challenges in our own time.

[...]You will hear from my opponent's campaign in every speech, every interview, every press release that I'm running for President Bush's third term. You will hear every policy of the President described as the Bush-McCain policy. Why does Senator Obama believe it's so important to repeat that idea over and over again? Because he knows it's very difficult to get Americans to believe something they know is false. So he tries to drum it into your minds by constantly repeating it rather than debate honestly the very different directions he and I would take the country. But the American people didn't get to know me yesterday, as they are just getting to know Senator Obama. They know I have a long record of bipartisan problem solving. They've seen me put our country before any President — before any party — before any special interest -- before my own interest. They might think me an imperfect servant of our country, which I surely am. But I am her servant first, last and always.

Obama AIPAC Speech Transcript (6-4-08)

This speech before the powerful pro-Israel lobby (AIPAC) is a perfect example of why things won't change in Washington if Obama is elected. No candidate can run for office, much less be elected, without swearing allegiance to the State of Israel. This means more war in the Middle East regardless of who is elected President. Read the entire transcript:

One of the many things that I admire about AIPAC is that you fight for this common cause from the bottom up. The lifeblood of AIPAC is here in this room — grass-roots activists of all ages, from all parts of the country, who come to Washington year after year to make your voices heard. Nothing reflects the face of AIPAC more than the 1,200 students who have traveled here to make it clear to the world that the bond between Israel and the United States is rooted in more than our shared national interests — it's rooted in the shared values and shared stories of our people. And as president, I will work with you to ensure that this bond is strengthened.

[...]Our alliance is based on shared interests and shared values. Those who threaten Israel threaten us. Israel has always faced these threats on the front lines. And I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel's security.

That starts with ensuring Israel's qualitative military advantage. I will ensure that Israel can defend itself from any threat — from Gaza to Tehran. Defense cooperation between the United States and Israel is a model of success, and must be deepened. As president, I will implement a Memorandum of Understanding that provides $30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next decade — investments to Israel's security that will not be tied to any other nation. First, we must approve the foreign aid request for 2009. Going forward, we can enhance our cooperation on missile defense. We should export military equipment to our ally Israel under the same guidelines as NATO. And I will always stand up for Israel's right to defend itself in the United Nations and around the world.