McCain says 'don't ask, don't tell' is working
November 28th, 2010
10:13 AM ET
3 years ago

McCain says 'don't ask, don't tell' is working

(CNN) - Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain criticized the Obama administration's decision to try to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prevents gay service members from serving openly in the military, saying Sunday that "the system is working."

"The military is at its highest point in recruitment, in retention, in professionalism, in capability," McCain said on CNN's "State of the Union." "So to somehow allege that this policy has been damaging the military is simply false."

Instead, McCain called the attempt at repeal "a political promise made by an inexperienced president or candidate for president of the United States."

His comments come as two top American defense officials are scheduled to head to Capitol Hill this week to discuss a new Pentagon report gauging the effects of repealing the policy.

McCain, who serves as the ranking Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee was critical of the report.

"I want to know the effect on battle effectiveness and morale, not on how best to implement the change in policy," McCain told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "I don't think that's a lot to ask when we have our young men and women out there serving and fighting and tragically some of them dying."

The study will be released Tuesday ahead of the congressional hearings where the committee will hear testimony from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen and the men who led the Pentagon review, Pentagon general counsel Jeh Johnson and U.S. Army Gen. Carter Ham.

-Follow Gabriella Schwarz on Twitter: @schwarzgcnn

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Alistair

    Why is this man always grumpy?

    November 28, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. Pat

    How many times is this guy going to change what he wants to see? Get over it! Gays wont affect the morale, readiness or anything else in a negative way. Try to get into this century.

    November 28, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. The Dude

    Recruitment and retention is high because the economy is in the toilet. McCain is an idiot.

    November 28, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. Bessy

    This guy is such an ass. He has never once tried to help vets or anyone in the military. He has been back and forth on this issue so many times I'm not sure if he even knows where he stands on it on any given day. Why the people in his state keep voting him back in office is way beyond any logic.

    November 28, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. GI Joe

    He's senile. It only works when it's in violation of the law that governed us for 200 years - all men and women are created equal -

    According to McSongbird "....except them, those, you ......".

    Fire McSongbird. He's lost what little money-grubbing mind he ever had !!

    November 28, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. larry

    John is just an angry and bitter Old man that needs to retire.

    November 28, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. tom jones

    This is interesting! The inexperienced candidate was able to kick your old and experienced butt in the presdiential election!

    November 28, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. GI Joe

    But when he was runnning for Prez. he said exactly the OPPOSITE. Why does he flip-flop, flip-flop - flop flop flop flop??

    November 28, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. Bill in Austin

    How can you take him seriously when he has been on both sides of this issue. It's just like the "immigration issue". You just don't know where he is coming from because he changes his mind so much. "I was a maverick before I was not a maverick".

    November 28, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  10. ED FL

    All of a sudden McCain is worried about our military, too bad he didn't think of it when he and his GOP administration sent 4400 military kids to get killed in Iraq and now more dying in Afghanistan. Between wars and Milionaires these GOP crackpot cowards do not concern themselves with the average working Americans. MONEY MONEY MONEY and how to get it for themselves from big buisness, a GOP TRADEMARK no matter how many other peoples kids die or get wounded. How do you sleep at night McCain.

    November 28, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. rs

    Since picking Palin as his VP, McCain has been delusional. Sure DADT is working- it is causing the military to spy on, and turn out thousands of well-trained and valued service men and women (many with skill sets like being able to speak and read languages of the middle east). It is working because it allows morally challenged Republicans like McCain to massage their ultra-rightist and bigotted base at the expense of brave men and women in our armed forces. It is working despite the fact that 70 percent of Americans are against DADT, as are most of the Service Chiefs, and the men and women in uniform.

    November 28, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. Jackson from Rome, GA

    DADT is discriminatory, plain and simple. If you support DADT, then you must intrinsically believe something is wrong with homosexuality. If you truly believe that, feel free to say so; it's a free country after all. However, don't be surprised when others exercise their freedom to call you a bigot.

    November 28, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. John Reed

    It seems that Obama has more experience as a President than McCain. And are not homosexual men and women human beings endowed by their with certain unalienable rights, like the rest of us?

    November 28, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. Edd

    John McCain: Did you happen to see the Daily Show piece on your two weeks ago?
    Maybe you should. It will show what a true hypocrite you are!!
    It is nice to know you have no less than 11 different, and widely divergent stances on DADT.
    Which one of the manystances is it today Dear Senator from Arizona??

    November 28, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. John

    Why dosen't mcain just go home and stay there. Nobody wants to hear his crap anymore. He's a has been (actually never was) who thinks everybody owes him a living. Nobody of any value or worth has come out of arizona and probably never will.

    November 28, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. sandy

    This was the man who "would be President" and has still not gotten over being defeated. He is a sorry excuse for a politician. He flip=flops on everything, so I doubt he even remembers what he has said over the years. I do not understand why the people of Arizona keep putting this man back in office. The main thing I notice about him is that he thinks he is always right and everybody else is wrong. His home life must be glorious with an attitude lilke that. He needs to R E T I R E.

    November 28, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. James Brooklyn N.Y.

    When he conceded to O.Bama in 08 didn't he say we have to work with him and urged unity? Where did that go. McCain is a liar and a cheat. To him to rule do not apply. It's always do as I say not as I do.

    November 28, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. winston piercy

    It is impossible to like this man.....He just an unhappy old goat who does not have any backbone at all

    November 28, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  19. Mike T.

    First of all, I'm not gay so I don't have any bias towards those who are. But, what is the problem with repealing DADT? That some uneducated hick from the south might be upset serving with a serviceman who's gay? THAT's the person who I wouldn't want to serve with, not the gay soldier. Why perpetuate catering to bigoted, uneducated stupidity? Grow up.

    November 28, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. Observer

    McCain used all of his experience to tell us that the war in Iraq wouldn't last long at all and he used all of his experience to pick the "best" possible replacement in case something happened to him as president. So much for his experience.

    November 28, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. sickofit

    Although so many of you make total sense and I agree he's a moron on so many levels!!!! BUT we are veering from the point of this story, it is that he thinks gay people should shut up and be willing to die for their country, one that doesn't support them. I don't get it... serve or don't, I don't care what you do when you go to bed! Can you fight??? That's what we need to know.

    Why can't republicans separate religion from state!!! WHYYYYYY??????

    November 28, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. Tom

    Good for John McCain.

    November 28, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. Jacques

    It is very sad that Arizonians chose to send this person back to the senate. What a tragedy.

    November 28, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. Lester Breisblatt

    He gets the title – the biggest flip-flopper of all time. Very sad.

    November 28, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. Mike

    McCain is an irrelvant, homophobic, has been. End of story.

    November 28, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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