Monday, February 18, 2008

No Longer A Maverick, John McCain Continues to Pander to the Right Wing by Offering A Third Bush Term

17 Feb 2008 23:57 Africa/Lagos

No Longer A Maverick, John McCain Continues to Pander to the Right Wing by Offering A Third Bush Term

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

Today on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, John McCain ducked questions about whether he has sacrificed his principles to pander to the right wing of his party and showed once again that in an attempt to get elected, he is offering nothing more than a third Bush term on everything from the war in Iraq to the failed economy, not the change Americans are looking for.

John McCain proved he wasn't kidding when he said he "doesn't really understand economics." Even as he acknowledged that our economy is headed towards a recession, McCain offered no answers about how to rebuild the economy, address concerns hard working Americans face or the mortgage crisis. Instead, McCain promised to make the President's tax cuts for the wealthy permanent, pledged not to raise any new taxes and said he'd pay for it all with pork barrel spending reform. McCain's approach just won't work. As the Senate Budget Office recently reported, extending the Bush tax cuts and continuing the war is a recipe for a $6 trillion dollar deficit, something McCain can't possibly pay for by reducing $35 billion in earmarks and pork spending.

McCain also ducked the fact that he was more worried about alienating the right wing of his party than supporting the economic stimulus package when he failed to show up for critical votes on the measure.

McCain also continued his pattern of marching in lockstep with President Bush on Iraq, a rallying point for the right wing of his party but not the rest of America. Five years ago this weekend, Vice President Cheney said Americans would be greeted as liberators in Iraq, a talking point McCain dutifully repeated. Now, when asked about establishing permanent bases in Iraq, McCain echoed the President's talking points by pointing out that there are other status of forces agreements that "have never been approved by Congress." From parroting the misleading case for war to President Bush's rosy rhetoric and stay the course strategy, McCain has marched in lockstep with President Bush every step of the way and now wants to keep our troops there for 100 years.

"John McCain showed today that he is about as far from a maverick as they come," said DNC Communications Director Karen Finney. "How can the American people trust John McCain when time and time again he's shown that he will compromise his principles to win the election and has no new ideas to address the challenges we face? Whether it's promoting more fiscal irresponsibility or a 100 year war in Iraq, McCain offers nothing more than a third Bush term."


McCain, like Bush, Doesn't Want to Plan for Troop Withdrawal. Fielding questions on Iraq, McCain again echoed Bush's rhetoric, saying "I am confident that I can convince the American People that the consequences of a date for withdrawal are catastrophe and Al Qaeda trumpets that they win. I believe I can convince the American people that after nearly four years of mishandling the war, that we're now doing the right thing and are succeeding. I think I can convince the American people that by continuing with this strategy, we will be able to withdraw more troops" and then proceeded to say he didn't think it was an issue whether or not Bush went to Congress on a plan to stay in Iraq long-term, saying, "We have status of force agreements with countries that have never been approved by Congress." [ABC's This Week, 2/17/08]

2001: McCain Echoed Bush Case for War. As early as 2001 McCain was helping make the case for war with Iraq alongside Don Rumsfeld, one of the key figures named in yesterday's study. During a November 2001 episode of ABC's Nightline Rumsfeld, former CIA Director James Woolsey and McCain all made the case for invading Iraq, using the same misleading rhetoric. Rumsfeld claimed there were ties "between the terrorists in the Philippines and the al-Qaeda and people in Iraq." Woolsey suggested Iraq had "been involved in terrorist acts against the United States." And John McCain, given a chance to disagree, instead echoed both men and the Bush Administration, claiming there had "been significant involvement on the part of the Iraqis and Saddam Hussein in the acts of terror that have been committed in the past." [Nightline, 11/28/01]

McCain Consistently on Bush Talking Points. In 2003, McCain echoed Bush's rosy predictions by claiming that the end was "very much in sight" in Iraq. In 2005, McCain backed Bush, arguing that another year would prove "stay the course" was working. [The Hill, 12/8/05; ABC News, Good Morning America, 4/9/03] In 2006, McCain argued that Iraq was "on the right track" even as it slipped further toward civil war. [MSNBC, Imus in the Morning, 3/1/06] As of late, McCain's campaign insists, "terrorists are on the run," even while half of Afghanistan appears to have fallen back under the control of the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden remains at large. [, press release, 12/17/07; Time, 12/8/07; Investor's Business Daily, 12/14/07]


McCain's Only Plan to Curb a Recession? Cut Pork Barrel Spending. In response to George Stephanopoulos' question about what to do about an impending recession, McCain only talked about pork barrel spending. "I think it's very important that we send a signal to the American people we're going to stop the earmark pork barrel spending ... Well, one reason is if you -- in the last two year, the president signed into law $35 billion worth of pork barrel projects. That would have been a thousand-dollar tax credit for every child in America. Wouldn't it have been better for our economy to give a thousand-dollar tax credit for every child in America as opposed to a bridge to nowhere in Alaska? And 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." [ABC's This Week, 2/17/08]

McCain Skips Vote to Give Tax Rebates to Seniors and Disabled Veterans. "McCain skipped a difficult Senate vote Wednesday on whether to make 20 million seniors and 250,000 disabled veterans eligible for rebate checks as part of a proposed economic stimulus package" despite the fact that he "was actually in Washington -- his plane landed at Dulles Airport by 5 p.m., leaving plenty of time to make" the vote." [AP, 2/6/08;, 2/6/08]

Cost of "Four More Years" Placed At $6.3 TRILLION. Yesterday's CBO "January Budget and Economic Outlook" showed continued deterioration in the budget outlook with the projected 2008 deficit growing to $219 billion. But as bad as the budget situation has become under the current Republican Administration, continuation of the Republican policies by any of the Republicans on stage tonight will only make things worse. The majority staff of the Senate Budget Committee estimates that funding Republican priorities like making the Bush tax cuts permanent and funding ongoing - and perhaps permanent - operations in Iraq will add $6.3 trillion to the CBO's already dismal ten-year predictions. [ ] (Due to the length of the URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste this link into your browser).

McCain Admits He "Doesn't Really Understand Economics." At a recent meeting with the Wall Street Journal editorial board, republican presidential candidate John McCain admitted he "doesn't really understand economics" and then pointed to his adviser and former senate colleague, Phil Gramm - whom he had brought with him to the meeting - as the expert he turns to on the subject, the Huffington Post has learned. [Huffington Post, 1/21/2008]

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