john mccain Quotes

John McCain Quotes

Birth Date: 1936-08-29 (Saturday, August 29th, 1936)

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Quotes

    • Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, 'Where is that marvelous ape?'
    • Like every other 13-year-old in America, she's in love with Leonardo DiCaprio, who I think is an androgynous wimp. You know what he does throughout the whole movie Titanic? He smokes.
    • Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno.
    • War is wretched beyond description, and only a fool or a fraud could sentimentalize its cruel reality.
    • Glory is not a conceit. It is not a decoration for valor. Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people on whom you rely and who rely on you in return.
    • I spent five and a half years in prison. The worst part was coming home and finding out Green Acres had been cancelled. What the hell was I fighting for?
    • I hate the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live.
    • As far as me and the vice presidency is concerned ... I spent a number of years in a North Vietnamese prison camp in the dark and (was) fed scraps, and I don't know why I would want to do that all over again
    • Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right.
    • [B]y 2008, I think I might be ready to go down to the old soldiers home and await the cavalry charge there.
    • The vice president has two duties. One is to inquire daily as to the health of the president, and the other is to attend the funerals of third world dictators. And neither of those do I find an enjoyable exercise.
    • Because I know that as successful as I believe we will be, and I believe that the success [in Iraq] will be fairly easy, we will still lose some American young men or women. And that's a great tragedy.
    • I think one of our big problems has been the fact that many Iraqis resent American military presence. And I don't pretend to know exactly Iraqi public opinion. But as soon as we can reduce our visibility as much as possible, the better I think it is going to be.
    • I am sure that Senator Clinton would make a good President. I happen to be a Republican and would support, obviously, a Republican nominee, but I have no doubt that Senator Clinton would make a good President.
    • General Myers seems to assume that things have gone well in Iraq. General Myers seems to assume that the American people, the support for our conflict there is not eroding. General Myers seems to assume that everything has gone fine and our declarations of victory, of which there have been many, have not had an impact on American public opinion. Things have not gone as we had planned or expected, nor as we were told by you, General Myers. And that's why I'm very worried, because I think we have to win this conflict.
    • Except for making my kids sing Hail To The Chief I never think of myself as President.
    • 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.
    • They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so . . . but it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that.
    • I don't know if I would want him as vice president. He and I have the same strengths. But to serve in other capacities? Hell, yeah.
    • [I]n the words of Chairman Mao, 'It's darkest before it's totally black.'
    • Contracting a fatal disease.
    • While I don't in any way question your honor, your patriotism or your service to our country, I do question some of the decisions, the judgments you've made over the past two and a half years. During that time things have gotten markedly and progressively worse.
    • We are paying a very heavy price for the mismanagement -- that's the kindest word I can give you -- of Donald Rumsfeld, of this war. The price is very, very heavy and I regret it enormously. I think that Donald Rumsfeld will go down in history as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history.
    • The last time we were on this program, I'm sure you remember everything very clearly that we say, but you asked me if I would come back on this show if I was going to announce. ... I am announcing that I will be a candidate for president of the United States.
    • Americans are very frustrated, and they have every right to be. We've wasted a lot of our most precious treasure, which is American lives.
    • Know that old Beach Boys song Bomb Iran? Bomb, bomb bomb...
    • [On presidential candidates not condemning the MoveOn.org controversial ad in The New York Times.] If you're not tough enough to repudiate a scurrilous, outrageous attack such as that, then I don't know how you're tough enough to be president of the United States.
    • No. I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, personally I prefer someone who I know has a solid grounding in my faith. But that doesn't mean that I'm sure that someone who's Muslim wouldn't make a good president. I don't say that we would rule out under any circumstances someone of a different faith.
    • I would vote for a Muslim if he or she was the best candidate able to lead the country and defend our political values.
    • I'm glad whenever they cut interest rates, I wish interest rates were zero.
    • Our recommitment to Afghanistan must include increasing NATO forces, suspending the debilitating restrictions on when and how those forces can fight, expanding the training and equipping of the Afghan National Army through a long-term partnership with NATO to make it more professional and multiethnic, and deploying significantly more foreign police trainers.
    • I don't think so. No. But I can see an American presence for a while. But eventually I think because of the nature of the society in Iraq and the religious aspects of it that America eventually withdraws.
    • I just want to also say that Congressman Paul, I've heard him now in many debates talk about bringing our troops home, and about the war in Iraq and how it's failed. And I want to tell you that that kind of isolationism, sir, is what caused World War II. We allowed... We allowed -- we allowed Hitler to come to power with that kind of attitude of isolationism and appeasement.
    • The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should. I've got Greenspan's book.... I've never been involved in Wall Street, I've never been involved in the financial stuff, the financial workings of the country, so I'd like to have somebody intimately familiar with it.
    • Maybe 100. As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed, it's fine with me and I hope it would be fine with you if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where al Qaeda is training, recruiting, equipping and motivating people every single day.
    • The point is it's American casualties. We've go to get American's off the frontline, 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 a hundred years or a thousand years or ten thousand years.
    • I've got to give you some straight talk: Some of the jobs that have left the state of Michigan are not coming back. They are not. And I am sorry to tell you that.
    • I love him dearly. On issues of economics and ... family values, there's nobody that I know that's stronger.
    • I was in a conference in Germany over the weekend and President Putin of Germany gave one of the old Cold War style speeches...
    • It's a tough war we're in. It's not going to be over right away. There's going to be other wars. I'm sorry to tell you, there's going to be other wars. We will never surrender but there will be other wars. And right now - we're gonna have a lot of PTSD to treat, my friends. We're gonna have a lot of combat wounds that have to do with these terrible explosive IEDs that inflict such severe wounds. And my friends, it's gonna be tough, we're gonna have a lot to do.
    • I have a clear record, both publicly and privately, of saying Alito and Roberts are what we want on the Supreme Court.
    • Anybody who believes the surge has not succeeded, militarily, politically and in most other ways, frankly, does not know the facts on the ground.
    • As part of Social Security reform, I believe that private savings accounts are a part of it -- along the lines that President Bush proposed.
    • As you know, there are Al-Qaeda operatives that are taken back into Iran, given training as leaders, and they're moving back into Iraq.
    • It's common knowledge and has been reported in the media that Al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq. That's well known. We continue to be concerned about the Iranians taking Al-Qaeda into Iran and training them and sending them back.... I am sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not Al-Qaeda, not Al-Qaeda, I am sorry.
    • We can be slow as well to give greatness its due, a mistake I made myself long ago when I voted against a federal holiday in memory of Dr. King. I was wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support for a state holiday in Arizona. We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing, and Dr. King understood this about his fellow Americans. But he knew as well in the long term, confidence in the reasonability and good heart of America is always well placed.
    • We're no longer staring into the abyss of defeat and we can now look ahead to the genuine prospect of success.
    • I think if you look at the overall record and millions of jobs have been created, et cetera, et cetera, you could make an argument that there's been great progress economically over that period of time. But that's no comfort. That's no comfort to families now that are facing these tremendous economic challenges. But let me just add, Peter, the fundamentals of America's economy are strong.
    • We need to go back to have a conversation about what to do: rebuild it, tear it down, you know, whatever it is.
    • I don't remember ever saying it.
    • MCCAIN: In all candor, if I'd been President of the United States, I'd have ordered the plane landed at the nearest Air Force base, and I'd have been over here, ok? LA Times OLBERMANN: Ok... except on the morning Katrina made landfall, where was Senator McCain? Celebrating his own birthday with President Bush, right next to Air Force One on the ground in Arizona. No indication that amidst the merrymaking, Mr. McCain said anything to the President about maybe turning the plane around.
    • We're going through a process where you get a whole bunch of names, and ya...Well, basically, it's a Google. You just, you know, what you can find out now on the Internet. It's remarkable, you know.
    • Well, then why was there a banner that said 'Mission Accomplished' on the aircraft carrier? Look, the -- I have said a long time that reconstruction of Iraq would be a long, long, difficult process, but the conflict -- the major conflict is over, the regime change has been accomplished, and it's very appropriate.
    • To state the obvious, I thought it was wrong at the time... those statements and comments did not comport with the facts on the ground. ... But do I blame [the President] for that specific banner? I can't blame him for that.
    • And I just want to promise you this: My friends, I will have an energy policy, that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East.
    • I made it very clear, at that time, before and after, that we will not negotiate with terrorist organizations, that Hamas would have to abandon their terrorism, their advocacy to the extermination of the state of Israel, and be willing to negotiate in a way that recognizes the right of the state of Israel and abandons their terrorist position and advocacy.
    • If I am elected President, I will work with anyone who sincerely wants to get this country moving again. I will listen to any idea that is offered in good faith and intended to help solve our problems, not make them worse. I will seek the counsel of members of Congress from both parties in forming government policy before I ask them to support it. I will ask Democrats to serve in my administration. My administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability. I will hold weekly press conferences. I will regularly brief the American people on the progress our policies have made and the setbacks we have encountered. When we make errors, I will confess them readily, and explain what we intend to do to correct them. I will ask Congress to grant me the privilege of coming before both houses to take questions, and address criticism, much the same as the Prime Minister of Great Britain appears regularly before the House of Commons.
    • I can tell you that it is succeeding. I can look you in the eye and tell you it's succeeding. We have drawn down to pre-surge levels. Basra, Mosul and now Sadr City are quiet and it's long and it's hard and it's tough and there will be setbacks.
    • We have drawn down to pre-surge levels.
    • Let me just say again, We have drawn down. Three of the five brigades are home. The Marines, the additional Marines are home. By the end of July, they will have been back.
    • I will veto every single beer b-bill, with earmarks.
    • I've been to a lot of conventions and they're a lot of fun. But when they end, there's always that empty feeling of, 'Oh well. We picked a nominee. I guess the party's over.' Imagine the excitement of leaving the convention, and STILL not knowing who the nominee was. That would be crazy! Crazy exciting!
    • No, but that's not too important. What's important is the casualties in Iraq. Americans are in South Korea. Americans are in Japan. American troops are in Germany. That's all fine.
    • Only a fool or a fraud talks tough or romantically about war.
    • I don't see an immediate relief. But I do see that exploitation of existing reserves that may exist, and in the view of many experts that do exist off our coasts, is also a way that we need to provide relief. Even though it may take some years, the fact that we are exploiting those reserves would have a psychological impact that I think is beneficial.
    • And I stopped beating my wife just a couple of weeks ago:
    • I have not. Actually, I have not. I said that I'm stronger on national security issues because of all the time I've spent in the military and others. I'm very strong on the economy. I understand it. I have a lot more experience than my opponent.
    • Maybe that's a way of killing them.
    • I think Senator Gramm would be in serious consideration for Ambassador to Belarus.
    • L.A. Times: You voted against coverage of birth control, [against] forcing health insurance companies to cover birth control in the past. Is that, is that still your position? John McCain: I'll look at my voting record on it, but ... I don't recall the vote. L.A.Times: [Your campaign advisor's] statement was that it was unfair that health insurance companies [are forced by the government to] cover Viagra but not birth control. Do you have an opinion on that? John McCain: I don't know enough about it ... I hadn't thought about it much.
    • The first telephones cost a thousand dollars and they were about that big! We all remember that!
    • Our commanders on the ground in Afghanistan say that they need at least three additional brigades. Thanks to the success of the surge, these forces are becoming available, and our commanders in Afghanistan must get them.
    • Couric: Senator McCain, Sen. Obama says, while the increased number of U.S. troops contributed to increased security in Iraq, he also credits the Sunni awakening and the Shiite government going after militias. And says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What's your response to that? McCain: I don't know how you respond to something that is such a false depiction of what actually happened. Colonel McFarlane (phonetic) was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that's just a matter of history.
    • The times we live in are alternately derided for their failings and romanticized for their emerging opportunities. It sometimes seems that we now live amid greater violence, greater uncertainty; that the world suffers more conflicts and tragedies; that the poor are poorer and greater in number; that race, ethnicity and nationalism divide us more intractably than ever before. But that is not so. Human beings are still capable of violence and cruelty. We all succumb to sin. But look back at any preceding century or even just a few decades, and you will see cruelty, violence and misery on a scale that is, with few exceptions, unknown today.
    • Mankind has advanced. Human progress is ceaseless. We can look at Bosnia or Zaire or Rwanda and conclude that building just societies is a fool's errand. We are always, despite our advances, only one sin away from slipping into the abyss of terror and ignorance. But that is not so. Generations upon generations have driven the human race farther and farther from darkness. Past episodes of abominable human cruelty are kept vivid in the memories of succeeding generations. 'Never again,' is the admonition passed from the survivors of the Holocaust to their descendants and to us all. And although such an important reminder will not always prevent the occurrence of cruelty and violence even at levels approaching genocide, the civilized world is more inclined to organize opposition to such tragedies if not as early as we should, at least sooner than we once would have.
    • No one of good character leaves behind a wasted life - whether they die in obscurity or renown. 'Character,' wrote the 19th Century evangelist, Dwight Moody, 'is what you are in the dark.' Your character is not tested on occasions of public scrutiny or acclaim. It is not tested in moments when the object of your actions is the regard of another. Your character is what you are to yourself, not what you pretend to be to yourself or others. Although human beings often attempt self-delusion, we cannot forever hide the truth about ourselves from ourselves. It will make itself known to us by means of our conscience despite our most strenuous effort to suppress it.
    • Like most people of my age, I feel a longing for what is lost and cannot be restored. But if the happy pursuits and casual beauty of youth prove ephemeral, something better can endure, and endure until our last moment on earth. And that is the honor we earn and the love we give if at a moment in our lives we sacrifice for something greater than self-interest. We cannot choose the moments. They arrive unbidden by us. We can choose to let the moments pass, and avoid the difficulties they entail. But the loss we would incur by that choice is much dearer than the tribute we once paid to vanity and pleasure.
    • You have at hand many examples of good character from whom you will have learned the lessons by which you can live your own lives. You are blessed. Make the most of it.
    • Neil Cavuto: Senator - after a conflict means after the conflict, and many argue the conflict isn't over. John McCain: Well, then why was there a banner that said 'mission accomplished' on the aircraft carrier? ... the conflict -- the major conflict is over, the regime change has been accomplished.
    • I don't know if you could ever say, quote 'mission accomplished,' as much as you could say 'Americans are out of harm's way.
    • The awful events of September 11, 2001 declared a war we were vaguely aware of, but hadn't really comprehended how near the threat was, and how terrible were the plans of our enemies. It's a big thing, this war. It's a fight between a just regard for human dignity and a malevolent force that defiles an honorable religion by disputing God's love for every soul on earth. It's a fight between right and wrong, good and evil. And should our enemies acquire for their arsenal the chemical, biological and nuclear weapons they seek, this war will become a much bigger thing. So it is, whether we wished it or not, that we have come to the test of our generation, to our rendezvous with destiny. And much is expected of us. We are engaged in a hard struggle against a cruel and determined adversary. Our enemies have made clear the danger they pose to our security and to the very essence of our culture ...liberty. Only the most deluded of us could doubt the necessity of this war. Like all wars, this one will have its ups and downs. But we must fight. We must.
    • As we've been a good friend to other countries in moments of shared perils, so we have good reason to expect their solidarity with us in this struggle. That is what the President believes. And, thanks to his efforts we have received valuable assistance from many good friends around the globe, even if we have, at times, been disappointed with the reactions of some. I don't doubt the sincerity of my Democratic friends. And they should not doubt ours.
    • What our enemies have sought to destroy is beyond their reach. It cannot be taken from us. It can only be surrendered. My friends, we are again met on the field of political competition with our fellow countrymen. It is more than appropriate, it is necessary that even in times of crisis we have these contests, and engage in spirited disagreement over the shape and course of our government. We have nothing to fear from each other. We are arguing over the means to better secure our freedom, and promote the general welfare. But it should remain an argument among friends who share an unshaken belief in our great cause, and in the goodness of each other. We are Americans first, Americans last, Americans always. Let us argue our differences. But remember we are not enemies, but comrades in a war against a real enemy, and take courage from the knowledge that our military superiority is matched only by the superiority of our ideals, and our unconquerable love for them. Our adversaries are weaker than us in arms and men, but weaker still in causes. They fight to express a hatred for all that is good in humanity. We fight for love of freedom and justice, a love that is invincible. Keep that faith. Keep your courage. Stick together. Stay strong. Do not yield. Do not flinch. Stand up. Stand up with our President and fight. We're Americans. We're Americans, and we'll never surrender. They will.
    • As a governor and senator, John Chafee set the standard for honesty and decency that the rest of us on our best days could only dream to emulate.
    • I am a Republican. I'm loyal to the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. And I believe that my party, in some ways, has strayed from those principles, particularly on the issue of fiscal discipline.
    • I would not only re-appoint Alan Greenspan, if he would happen to die, God forbid, I would do like they did in the movie Weekend at Bernie's. I would prop him up and put a pair of dark glasses on him.
    • I'm as frustrated with the French, I think, as anyone, but look, there's going to be other challenges and there are going to be other issues. As long as there's a war on terrorism going on, we're all going to have to work together.
    • It is perhaps my greatest hope, Mr. President, that some day we'll consider tax and spending measures with no one else in mind but future generations of American taxpayers. We're tying a millstone of debt around their necks, and it is a grave mistake.
    • Our armed forces will fight for peace in Iraq, a peace built on more secure foundations than are found today in the Middle East. Even more important, they will fight for two human conditions of even greater value than peace: liberty and justice.
    • Thank God for our form of government. The media won't let there be any cover-up.
    • The furthest thing from a whore in the senate today.
    • The vice president has only two obligations: Inquire daily into the health of the president, and attend the funerals of Third World dictators.
    • At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt.
    • Only an a--hole would put together a budget like this. I wouldn't call you an a--hole unless you really were an a--hole.
    • Presidential ambition is a disease that can only be cured by embalming fluid.
    • I decided I didn't want this guy anywhere near a trigger.
    • What has struck me about McCain is that everybody underestimated the ability of his advisers and him to hypnotize the national media, because most of us in the media in Arizona thought of him as a guy who had a terrible temper, occasionally had a foul mouth, a guy who whined and pouted unless he got his way. McCain has a temper that is bombastic, volatile, and purple-faced. Sometimes he gets out of control. Do you want somebody sitting in the White House with that kind of temper?
    • He slammed his fists on his desk, scattering papers across the room. He jumped up and down, screaming obscenities at us for at least 10 minutes. He shook his fists as if he was going to slug us.
    • I have witnessed incidents where he has used profanity at colleagues and exploded at colleagues. He would disagree about something and then explode. It was incidents of irrational behavior. We've all had incidents where we have gotten angry, but I've never seen anyone act like that....He had very few friends in the Senate. He has a lot of support around the country, but I don't think he has a lot of support from people who know him well.
    • People who disagree with him get the f--- you....He is a vicious person. Nearly all the Republican senators endorsed Bush because they knew McCain from serving with him in the Senate. They so disliked him that they wouldn't support him. They have been on the hard end of his behavior.
    • He will make Cheney look like Gandhi.
    • You get John McCain in the White House and I do believe we will be at war with Iran. That's one of the things that makes me very nervous about him. ... There's no doubt John McCain is going to be a war president. Can anybody see John McCain as sort of a peacetime Calvin Coolidge president? It's preposterous. ... He's in Putin's face. He's threatening the Iranians. 'We're going to be in Iraq a hundred years.' If we're in Iraq a hundred years, Joe, we will be fighting a hundred years of war just as the British, if they had stayed in our country a hundred years, would be fighting the Americans for a century. ... John McCain is a bellicose, red-faced, angry guy who constantly explodes.
    • John McCain is not a warmonger and should not be described as such.
    • I think [Hillary Clinton] would be stronger on the war on terrorism [than McCain].
    • I will campaign for [Hillary Clinton] if it's McCain [who wins the Republican nomination].
    • There is a strutting self-righteousness about McCain that goes hand-in-hand with a nitroglycerin temper. He flatters himself that his colleagues in the Senate dislike him because he stands up for principle, while they sell their souls for pork. Not exactly. He is disliked because on many, many occasions he has been disrespectful, belligerent, and vulgar to those who differ with him.
    • Luckily, I agree with my party more than Senator McCain agrees with his party.
    • It's frightening to think of a man with his temperament with all the things a president has at his fingertips-the IRS, CIA, FBI:
    • It's half-assed, it's not going to work, he's being inconsistent in supporting it, and yet still seems to support it for political reasons.
    • Senator McCain has another problem to deal with regarding his attacks on Obama, namely that he, John McCain, has supported U.S. engagement with both Hamas and Syria... . When Bush's Secretary of State Colin Powell met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2003, McCain said Assad was sponsoring and harboring terrorists and sending Syrians to fight Americans in Iraq. And McCain said, quote, 'It's very appropriate that Colin Powell is going to Syria.' And when Newt Gingrich criticized the U.S. engaging in diplomacy with a terrorist-supporting dictator, McCain implied that Newt Gingrich needed therapy. For the record, Barack Obama does not support negotiations with Hamas.
    • [Among McCain's campaign advisers have been] lead McCain fundraiser Tom Loeffler, a registered foreign agent, whose company made almost $15M from Saudi Arabia and helped a European airplane maker get a Pentagon contract after McCain helped to kill a Boeing contract.... Today, McCain's top adviser, Charlie Black, called the uproar 'complete inside-the-Beltway nonsense.' Black himself was a lobbyist up until this March. He did some of his lobbying by phone while literally on board the Straight Talk Express. His client list included in order of 'repulsive' to 'disgusting': Ferdinand Marcos; the dictator of Zaire, Mobutu Sese Seko; Angolan terrorist Jonas Savimbi; Somali warlord Mohamed Siad Barre; Nigerian dictator Ibrahim Babangida; Iraq warmonger Ahmed Chalabi; and of course the Friends of Blackwater. By the calculations of the government watchdog group Public Citizen, McCain has only 54 remaining lobbyists left in his campaign.... Rachel: If you were going to be President of the United States and you were going to have gotten there because a lobbyist for Saudi Arabia put you there, that's got to be a problem during your presidency, not just for you as a campaign. That's all of our problems as Americans.
    • I'm very upset with John with some of the things he's been saying. And I can't get into the psychoanalysis of it. But I believe that John is smarter than some of the things he is saying.
    • ... The four dozen lobbyists still in his campaign might be a bit of glaring hypocrisy from a man who purports to be a maverick.... Today, federal disclosure forms proved that John McCain was being advised on the mortgage crisis by a lobbyist still being paid by the investment banks to help them in the mortgage crisis, a man identified by some economists as the principal enabler of the mortgage crisis....
    • We have now learned that the other [the one not yet purged for lobbying ties] general co-chair, Phil Gramm, was working as a lobbyist for a foreign bank here in the United States, that is, the former Texas Senator was paid to lobby Congress specifically about the mortgage crisis at the exact same time he was helping to craft Senator McCain's economic policies, and home mortgage crisis policies, as an unpaid McCain economic advisor.... 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 tightened consumer protections and might have mitigated the current crisis. As recently as December 31 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.... The McCain campaign confirmed that Gramm had input on the speech and that McCain consulted Gramm specifically on the housing issue. Some economists blame Gramm in part for the crisis itself. As Senate Banking Chairman, Gramm simply weakened federal regulations. His deregulation of energy commodities first helped his wife's employer [Enron], then killed it. In 1999 the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which McCain voted for, broke down the decades-old wall separating commercial banks, heavily regulated, from the wild and woolly world of investment banking, a wall erected in 1933 to prevent a repeat of the Great Depression.... Gramm's deregulation helped set the stage for an explosion of banks slicing up subprime mortgages, bundling them with other mortgage slices to hide the credit risks, and selling mortgage stew to other investment firms. That gave lenders powerful incentive to make as many loans as possible, regardless of risk, because they could still turn around and sell those mortgages almost immediately.... McCain has hinted he might make Gramm his treasury secretary, but Gramm's track record worries even McCain's own advisors.... One economist has said 'McCain is counting on people having very short memories and not connecting some pretty obvious dots here.' [59]
    • On September 20, 2001, the New York Times reported that a single senator had blocked legislation that would have helped U.S. investigators track Osama bin Laden's financial network before 9/11. It was Phil Gramm, who still defended these tax havens after 9/11, whose bank was still lobbying Congress on behalf of tax havens as recently as last year.
    • It's not change when John McCain decided to stand with George Bush 95 percent of the time [62] [63], as he did in the Senate last year.
    • John McCain insists he has '... supported every investigation and ways [sic] of finding out what caused...' the disaster after Katrina -- except the two commissions and the three special funding measures he voted against.
    • Now with Obama, I'm going back to the Republicans again, because now I need McCain, you know? Now I go for McCain because he makes sense. McCain makes sense. ... We all have brains. An elephant has brains, you know. Let's face it. It's the way how we use it. You know, it's just the way how we use it. You see? My brain is, uh, sexually focused.
    • Asked by a New Orleans TV reporter about his having voted twice against the creation of a commission to investigate the levee failures around New Orleans, he denied this. 'I have supported, my very dear friends, every investigation and ways of finding out what caused the tragedy. I've been as active as anybody in efforts to restore the city.' Perhaps the senator forgot his Senate votes against establishing the Katrina Response in September 2005 and again in February 2006: the Response is to try to set up committees to investigate what happened to Katrina, or his votes against financial relief of the victims in September 2005, or the five months of initial Medicaid payouts in November 2005 which he voted against, or his vote against the $28 billion emergency funding bill for Katrina victims in May 2006.
    • John started carousing and running around with women.
    • I have been following John McCain's career for nearly 20 years. I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is - deceit. When he came home and saw that Carol [McCain's first wife] was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her almost right away. Everybody around him knew it. Eventually he met Cindy and she was young and beautiful and very wealthy. At that point McCain just dumped Carol for something he thought was better. This is a guy who makes such a big deal about his character. He has no character. He is a fake. If there was any character in that first marriage, it all belonged to Carol.
    • McCain is the classic opportunist. He's always reaching for attention and glory. After he came home, Carol [McCain's first wife] walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona. And the rest is history.
    • His strategy is to say, Well, it depends on the casualties. I'm not sure what that means, because previously he said that you're going to have casualties because Americans don't belong there, and the nature of the conflict is such that you're going to continue to see it. It's not a Korea. It's not a Germany. And if it's not a Korea or a Germany, what do you do about the casualties? So he gets caught in a ... circular argument.
    • At the very least, he's guilty of minimizing the importance of troops coming home, and that's a crime of insensitivity, [to put it] in political terms. But worse, what he's really spelling out with these analogies is a very long term military standoff against Iran, presumably because that's the logical conclusion of what the German and South Korean analogies are. The troops in Germany weren't there to eat sauerkraut and drink beer. They were there, in harm's way, to stop the Warsaw Pact forces coming into Western Europe. So if that's what he's presenting, that's a very tough agenda for the election for him.
    • Did anybody tell Senator McCain that Senator Clinton lost -- and did those same things?
    • The McCain campaign is creating a new category of campaign maneuver. I would call it self-punking. They keep doing this to themselves. When I talked to them today, I think they were pretty genuinely upset that they'd screwed this up, that there were young people running a finance operation who set this thing up. That's their story and they're sticking to it, and they may be right about that. But the fact is that the senior leadership in the McCain campaign surely knew about this, or they should have known about it. Clayton Williams is anathema to the very Democratic women voters McCain is saying he's going after.
    • Sen. McCain's campaign today accused Sen. Obama of 'perfect manifestation of September 10th mindset' and of 'taking a law-enforcement approach to terrorism'. This comes 28 days after an FBI counter-terrorism agent told the House Judiciary Committee that under President Bush, the Bureau had hired and appointed counter-terrorism supervisors with little or no experience in anything but domestic crime, and had a rule: rotating out all counter-terrorism specialists once they had reached five years' experience. In short, Agent Bassem Youssef had said, under a Republican administration, the FBI was, in effect, taking a law-enforcement approach to terrorism. [71] [72]
    • (Olbermann:) This morning [McCain] reverses himself, at least an eight-year position on off-shore drilling. Tonight, the President insists on off-shore drilling. ... Was McCain knowingly Bush's stalking horse on this, or is this (just) a coincidence? (Alter:) It's synchronized flip-flopping, with Charlie Christ (R), the governor of Florida, who also flip-flopped on this. So now they're in league with the Boss. ... They're going to try to throw the onus on Congress to make Congress seem like it's standing in the way of reducing gas prices. But you have to accept that oil companies are telling the truth when they say that this will somehow lower prices at the pump, when it takes many years -- some people say as long as ten years -- for the result of this off-shore drilling to turn up. And actually if you look at the pricing by oil companies, what they usually do is leave the leases vacant until they can make big money. So they don't pump a lot in order to keep prices low; they pump a lot in order to exploit high prices. ... So it's no surprise that McCain has flip-flopped on his support for a windfall profits tax. Now he wants to give [Exxon] even more profits, as if that's somehow going to lead to more exploration. (Olbermann:) The cheering there at the end of that clip was not for [McCain's] saying the price of gas will go down. The people were cheering because the price of gas is going to stay the same or go up. (Alter:) You heard McCain say there's no environmental threat during hurricanes because of this supposedly new-fangled drilling apparatus on the continental shelf. It's true that it is better; it is safer. But we've had 80 spills in the last few years. The idea that there's no environmental threat is simply wrong. That's why so many Republicans in states like Florida and California have also been against drilling out there.
    • How does McCain fit in [to the current high gas prices]? The road connecting him to $4 gas begins with -- Enron. Soon after Enron's birth as a power supplier in the 1980's, CEO Ken Lay decided he could make more money betting on electricity futures, especially if government regulators didn't stop him cornering the market and gaming the system. Under the first President Bush, an obscure agency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, obliged Ken Lay. The CFTC chairwoman, Wendy Gramm, left Enron alone. When Bill Clinton beat Bush, it took only one week before Enron asked Gramm to lock in her hands-off position as CFTC policy. Gramm started the process. The CFTC approved it after she left -- on Clinton's inauguration day. Five weeks later, she took a part-time post on Enron's board of directors, and wound up earning $900,000 over the next decade. Clinton never undid Gramm's changes. Fast forward to the year 2000 and Bush v. Gore. In the chaos of constitutional crisis, Enron got a law passed containing what is now known as the Enron Loophole. Where Gramm deregulated individual trades, the Enron Loophole deregulated entire markets -- online markets. Enron had just started its own online market, and had set its sites on the state of California. Over the next six months, California suffered over 38 rolling blackouts, as Enron used artificial shortages, bogus deals, and total knowledge of the market as sole owner of its own online market, to treble California's energy bills. In the dark, regulators had less power than California did, leaving Enron laughing about it. (EMPLOYEE 1:) All he money you guys stole from all those poor grandmothers in California? (EMPLOYEE 2:) Yeah, Grandma Millie, man. (EMPLOYEE 1:) Yeah, now she wants her [expletive] money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her [expletive] for [expletive] $250 a megawatt hour. (laughter) (OLBERMANN:) The Enron Loophole applied to all energy commodities: oil, propane, natural gas. So today, oil futures are driven by speculators, free from any regulatory oversight. Now you can't just blame OPEC anymore. British Petroleum paid $303M to settle charges it cornered the propane market in 2004, inflating heating costs for seven million American homes. Two years ago, a Republican Senate report recognized what speculators have done, and blamed the Enron Loophole. Two weeks ago, the Senate Commerce Committee heard testimony on the Enron Loophole's effect on a barrel of oil. [See link for testimony excerpts.] John McCain seemed to understand this problem even earlier. In 2002 and 2003, he voted with the minority to close the Enron Loophole. ... But for most of this campaign, McCain has offered explanations other than the influence of speculators, and remedies other than regulation. ... [See link for for testimony excerpts.] John McCain doesn't talk about the Enron Loophole anymore. ... And when the bipartisan Farm Bill shut the Enron Loophole last month? John McCain opposed the Farm Bill, citing its spending levels. What changed? Since 2006, John McCain's top economic advisor has been former Texas senator Phil Gramm, husband of the former CFTC head, who then joined Enron. McCain chaired Gramm's 1996 presidential race, with Ken Lay as regional chairman. It was Gramm who passed the Enron Loophole, partially written by Enron itself, with no hearings, no debate. It was Gramm who stopped Democrats from closing the Enron loophole, and it was Gramm who became vice chairman of the Swiss financial firm UBS in 2002, less than a year after UBS bought the shattered remains of -- Enron's energy trading arm.
    • This week, [John McCain] strayed perilously close to being indicted for the deadly sin of flip-flopping, which famously helped doom John Kerry's presidential bid in 2004. [His] excoriation of the Supreme Court [ruling that habeas corpus applies to Guantanamo detainees] seemed like overkill, given the limited nature of the judgment, and doubly odd given that Mr McCain supports the immediate closure of the prison camp and the transfer of its prisoners to the mainland. That would give them far greater protection than anything the court has done.
    • What you don't want to do is use the proximate crisis of these spiking gas prices to smuggle in a lot of bad policy. So we have the gas tax holiday was the first idea and that would have been a really bad policy. That has been knocked down. And then last week, it was off-shore drilling, which is also a terrible idea. One economist said to me that it was like digging for change in your couch when you're six months behind on the mortgage. The one thing you don't want to do in the face of a crisis, and that crisis is very real, is use it to sort of throw all sorts of bad policies at the wall. And that seems to be the road they've been going down.
    • One of the problems with [McCain's] campaign right now is that it is very schizophrenic when it comes to the economy. ... On one side, ... the fact that American people are very anxious about the economy ...: between gas prices and roiling of financial markets, the subprime crisis, mortgages and foreclosures, et cetera. Then on the other side, he has a kind of conservative orthodoxy that he has had to embrace in the run up to this campaign in order to get this nomination. That conservative orthodoxy said, well, you can't do a whole heck of a lot. What ends up happening is you have this strange schizophrenia. One day he is saying, I support cap and trade, for instance, to deal with global warming. The next day he says he doesn't believe in mandatory caps. Well, mandatory caps are the whole purpose of cap-and-trade. One day he's the budget hero. He's going to fight pork and spending. The next day, he has 300 million dollars for a prize.
    • Apparently you have to get up pretty early in the morning to try to beat Senator Obama -- well, try 6:45am. That's was the hour this morning in which McCain senior advisor Steve Schmidt sent out a memo accusing Obama of partisanship, and we'll quote from it: 'There has never been a time when Barack Obama has bucked the party line to lead his on an issue of national importance. He has never been part of a bipartisan group that came together to solve a controversial issue. ... We don't need to trade Republican partisanship for Democratic partisanship.' The memo does not mention Sen. Gordon Smith by name. It might as well could have. The missive [comes] one day after the Republican, in the middle of a tough re-election fight, released a TV ad touting his bipartisan work with -- you guessed it -- Barack Obama. [TV ad:] 'Who said Gordon Smith helped lead the fight for better gas mileage and a cleaner environment? Barack Obama. He joined with Gordon and broke through a 20-year deadlock to pass new laws which increase gas mileage for automobiles. [Oregon] Governor Ted Kulongoski praised their bi-partisan partnership on this critical issue. Gordon Smith -- bipartisan leadership for energy independence. I'm Gordon Smith and I approve working together across party lines -- and this ad.
    • Our third story tonight, judging candidates based on their consistency. ... The signing of the G.I. Bill not the only time Senator McCain was against something before he was for it, or vice versa or both. You may want to get pencil and paper and write all these downs. On political reform, McCain last January opposed a grassroots lobbying bill he once supported. In 2006, the New York Sun reported that his presidential ambitions led McCain to reverse his support of a campaign financial bill called McCain/Feingold. Last October he said he would vote against the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act that he co-sponsored, and then said he would vote against an immigration bill that he introduced. In 2006, he said on Hardball, 'I think that gay marriage should be allowed.' Then after the commercial break he added, 'I do not believe that gay marriages should be legal'. On abortion, 1999, publicly supporting Roe v. Wade, privately opposing it in a letter to the National Right to Life Committee. In the 2000 debates, he would change the GOP platform to permit exceptions for rape, incest, the life of the mother... May 2007, no he won't, ABCNews.com reported. Storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, flipped. Military action against rogue states, flip. Negotiating with Kim Jong-il not acceptable until President Bush did it last week. With Fidel Castro acceptable in 2000, not 2008. With terrorists, appropriate when Colin Powell went to Syria and in 2006 when McCain said sooner or later we'll talk to Hamas, but not appropriate now. Unilateral action against suspected terrorists in Pakistan; confused leadership when Obama suggested it, not when Bush did it. Warrantless wire taps: six months ago, presidents had to obey the law, not anymore. Torture detainees, no way, except for the CIA. Hold them indefinitely, wrong in 2003, the right move in 2008. The Iraq War, the right course 2004, stay the course 2005. Today, McCain has always been a Rumsfeld critic. Tax cuts for the rich. In 2001, he could not in good conscious support them. Now he can. The estate tax: 2006, 'I agree with President Roosevelt' (who created it). In 2008, most unfair. This month not for privatizing Social Security, never has been. In 2004, he didn't see how benefits will last without it. In February, promised a balanced budget in four years by April -- make that eight years. In May, glad to look at the Windfall Profits Tax. By June, that was Jimmy Carter's big idea. In 2000, no new off-shore drilling. Last month, it would take years to develop. This month, very helpful in the short term. The Bush fund-raisers McCain called coyotes breaking the law in 2000. By 2006, they were co-chairing McCain fund-raisers. 'Buddy' Jerry Falwell?... an 'agent of intolerance' in 2000. The Reverend Hague: in, then out this year alone. In 1983, opposed Martin Luther King Day. Today, not so much. 1986, opposed South African divestment -- this month, praised it. In 2000, defended South Carolina's confederate flag: 'a symbol of heritage'. Two years later, McCain calling it, quote, 'an act of political cowardice not to say the flag should come down.' Quote, 'everybody said, look out. You can't win in South Carolina if you say that.' McCain's campaign says his positions evolve. Ironically, in 2005, McCain said alternatives to evolution should be taught in school, evolving the opposite position he had taken in 2000.
    • McCain was down at the end of the table and we were talking to the head of the guerrilla group here at this end of the table, and I don't know what attracted my attention. But I saw some kind of quick movement at the bottom of the table and I looked down there and John had reached over and grabbed this guy by the shirt collar and had snatched him up like he was throwing him up out of the chair to tell him what he thought about him or whatever. I don't know what he was telling him but I thought, good grief everybody around here has got guns and we were there on a diplomatic mission. I don't know what had happened to provoke John, but he obviously got mad at the guy and he just reached over there and snatched him.
    • I was a little puzzled by the frenzy that I set off by what I thought was a pretty innocuous statement, which is that I am absolutely committed to ending the war. I'm not trying to dump on you guys, but I'm surprised at how finely calibrated every single word was measured. I wasn't saying anything that I hadn't said before, that I didn't say a year ago, or when I was a U.S. senator. If you look at our position, it's been very consistent. The notion that we have to get out carefully has been a consistent position. ... I think what's happened is that the McCain campaign primed the pump with the press to suggest that somehow we were changing our policy when we hadn't and that just hasn't been the case. I've given no indication of a change in policy ... I think John McCain's going to have a much harder time explaining how he is willing to perpetuate a presence in Iraq for 10, 20, 50 years.
    • Just because a candidate's opponent says something is true about that candidate doesn't necessarily mean you should lead with it.
    • Unjustified war and unconstitutional abridgment of individual rights, versus ill-conceived tax and economic policies -- this is the difference between venial and mortal sins. John McCain would continue the Bush administration's commitment to interventionism and constitutional over-reach. Obama promises a humbler engagement with our allies, while promising retaliation against any enemy who dares attack us. ... Based on his embrace of centrist advisers and policies, it seems likely that Obama will turn out to be in the mold of John Kennedy, who was fond of noting that 'a rising tide lifts all boats.' ... Even if my hopes on domestic policy are dashed and Obama reveals himself as an unreconstructed, died in the wool, big government liberal, I'm still voting for him.
    • john mccain

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