McCain says 'don't ask, don't tell' is working
November 28th, 2010
10:13 AM ET
8 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. Liberal4Obama

    Good thing McLame is not President, now it's Palins turn to place 2nd in a Presidential election.

    November 28, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. L

    DADT is not and never should have been an issue for the military.

    Being a sexual predator or sexual aggressive is the issue. Military personnel live, work, and fight in close quarters. They should be free of sexual aggression - whether men to women, men to men, women to men, or women to women. That's the real concern for leadership.

    Implicit in DADT is the stereotype that all gays are aggressive prowlers looking to seduce their underlings into their gay lifestyle. Anyone that aggressive should be kicked out of the military, teaching, .... Then again, anyone that sexually aggressive toward women should also be kicked out.

    Focus on the behavior, not on the gender of the target.

    November 28, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. Tam

    He has no right to comment on anything anymore, after foisting the delusional and dumb harpie upon us.

    November 28, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. annie s

    That inexperienced President has done more for this country – and certainly more for our military than McCain has managed in his entire career.Among other things, it took this President to expand and make more accessible their medical care. John McCain, whatever he may once have been, is now nothing more than a cranky old sore loser.

    November 28, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  5. jean2009

    My question is why are the people in Arizona so ignorant that they keep sending this dinosaur back to Washington? The population of that state must be made up of rich homophobic idiots. The only one Johnny McCain has ever thought about is the guy he sees each morning in the mirror.

    November 28, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. Name

    How about this,you leave the fighting to us, thouse in the military. If you could also stop trying to force social change in an environments that none of you understand it would be appriciated. Why not leave the decision to us those that are serving in the military?

    November 28, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. Chris

    John McCain is correct on this issue. Thank God for John McCain doing the right thing for our United States Military.

    November 28, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. waheid

    McCain knows little and understands less. A typical product of the Canoe U. (a.k.a. the U.S. Naval Academy).

    November 28, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. Robert

    How can McCain say it's not damaging to the military when we've expelled some top military personel for no other reason than being gay? Also, the arab speaking translators might have come in handy that were expelled for the same reason. AND just the fact that the military supposedly encourages honor, but then forces troops to live a lie... and for no reason other than some people are bigots. Where's your honor surrounding that?

    Other countries have gays serving openly. Our own troops say they don't care one way or another if their fellow soldiers are gay or straight. There is no honor in hiding and lying all the time. There is only one logical answer to all this, but McCain sides with the bigots. Why? I don't think he's a bigot necessarily. I think, as usual, it's a political calculation the same as the Southern Strategy. Admit that you will lose some voters when you take this side in a debate, but guarantee that you'll get ALL the bigot votes. It works for more than race issues. That's why the GOP keeps going for divisive issues, even when they don't seem like they should be top issues in an election. They are the issues that keep the rabid voters showing up at the polls when they might otherwise stay home.

    November 28, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. Alert U

    Someone has to ask McCain whether the draft will never ever be called for. McCain and is ilk are self gratifying themselves with the current situation and not seeing the deeper legal and psychological picture. So Mr. McCain, if sometime in the future a draft becomes a necessity, will you ask persons if they are gay and exclude them for being so?

    November 28, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. Joshua Ludd

    Lets face facts... McCain keeps on changing his logic to keep DADT because he is just plain homophobic. We have lost a number of translators who would have been incredibly important to our two wars because they were gay... nevermind that we had spent years and huge amounts of money training them... they were gay, so they had to go. Yes, John McHomophobe, the policy IS hurting our military... and it is hurting our nation as both a civil rights issue and as an issue of government waste.

    November 28, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. Bob

    This guy has given away his right to talk about anything in America. Remember he is the one who unleashed the Virsus (you betcha) on us and the media (only 1 point higher than Palin's 2 IQ) just keeps right on talking about the virsus just like the little energizer bunny.

    November 28, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. Tracy from Delaware

    Dear John McCain,
    As a former military man you do remember that white men like you said the same thing about the introduction of African American and Jews to the ranks of the American military. And yet, we still today have the best military in the world. Go figure! You racist, homophobic dork!

    November 28, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  14. Future expat

    The dictionary people should just go ahead and put a picture of McCain's ghoulish grimace next to the word "hypocrisy".

    November 28, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. usualone

    If my memory is correct the President promised to end this in his campaign. What is McCain afraid of???

    November 28, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. kyle

    It may be working, but it's still called discrimination.

    November 28, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. connie

    hey Bob he has more rights than you do he served in the military and he was a POW while you sat on your ass watching TV. And why are so many liberals think Sarah Palin is dumb, she can't be too dumb you guys always are talking about her so she does have the power over the liberals, love it.

    November 28, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. cel

    More sour grapes from The Biggest Loser ??????????

    November 28, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. grapevine

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

    Is this where we are supposed to sit back and ponder in wishful abandonment of how much better we now would be as a nation if only John McCain had become president? Sorry, John, you are no more relevant than is Palin...shovel ready, yes, but lacking the bare essentials which can turn ordinary people into greatness.

    November 28, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. BD70

    Nothing more need be said. Anything I could add would be a repeat of the above.

    November 28, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. connie

    Hey Jean 2009 the same reasons you stupid liberals keep sending Barney Franks back since he and Chris Dodd are the main reason for this credit crisis. Barney Frank straight lied to us and McCain spents years as a POW and if we let the gays in like they want they most of the straights will leave the military and we don't want abounch of nancy boys running our military the uniforms will probably become pink instead of green (just kidding) i will be sensor.

    November 28, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. Ron

    This man is a complete and total idiot. Who took over McCain's body? At one time, long ago, he used to be a pretty good politician. Now, he's just useless. Get rid of him, Arizona. You're looking as stupid as he is.

    November 28, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  23. LoriP

    What I've always wondered is this...doesn't McCain realize that there were gays serving with him in Viet Nam? Gays and Lesbians have been in the military forever, so why not repeal DADT? Where does it say that gays and lesbians cannot serve with honor? He needs to be out of office – he's simply a danger to society!

    November 28, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  24. cheryld49

    He will be angry the rest of his life for creating the sucking worm hole aka Sarah Palin. I will be angry with him the rest of my life for the same reason.

    November 28, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. Rich

    McCain is irrelevant. Why do they keep quoting this idiot?

    November 28, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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