McCain sounds off on lame duck issues
December 16th, 2010
09:08 PM ET
8 years ago

McCain sounds off on lame duck issues

(CNN) - Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain sounded off on issues being debated in the lame duck Congressional session during an interview with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King Thursday night.

Appearing on CNN's John King, USA Thursday night, McCain had choice words for fellow members of his party that plan to vote in favor of the spending bill that contains Republican earmarks. Calling the bill a "monstrosity and atrocity" Mccain stated, "It is a bipartisan plague, and we have Republican senators who may vote in favor of this atrocity.

"And we Republicans had better understand, we've got a second chance because of our excesses of the Bush administration, and I'm not sure they'll forgive us another time."

Following the interview, Sen. Harry Reid pulled the spending bill from the floor of the Senate, saying that Republicans who'd previously said they would vote for the bill now tell him they will have to vote against it.

McCain expressed doubt about the effectiveness of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), saying "I don't believe that another START treaty would have any beneficial effect on other rogue nations that are attempting to acquire or have developed nuclear weapons, such as North Korea or Iran … I don't think it would embolden them either.

"I don't think that whether we ratify the START Treaty or not is going to affect Iranian or North Korean or other rogue nations' behavior in the slightest."

The nuclear arms reduction treaty is a bilateral agreement between Russia and the United States to mutually reduce their stockpile of nuclear weapons.

When asked about the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act and previous remarks that label the proposal as a "liberal wish list," McCain acknowledged that he continues to believe that children who come into the United States illegally are "God's children" but stood firm on his convictions regarding safety of the U.S. border.

"We've got to get our borders secured so that 10 years from now…we are not faced with another human suffering situation of children who have been brought to this country illegally. We can address the whole immigration issue comprehensively once we get the border secured, and we can get the border secured."

The DREAM Act would provide a path to citizenship for some children who came into the country illegally and later served two years in the U.S. military or completed two years toward a bachelor's degree.

The McCain household is a house divided when it comes to "don't ask, don't tell," the military policy that prevents gay and lesbian service members from serving openly in the military. Though McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain, spoke out against the measure, and claimed that it is the civil rights issue of her generation, McCain revealed that his son, a former member of the Marine Corps, is also against the repeal of the military policy.

"His words to me … as so many thousands of others' words have been to me, if it isn't broke, don't fix it."

Of his relationship with President Barack Obama, McCain – the Republican presidential candidate who lost the 2008 election to Obama – indicated that it is on the mend. Two years after the contentious presidential election, he said, "I did have a conversation with the president about the issue of START and how to go about it … And it was a very cordial conversation, I think."

"I look forward to working with the president and his national security adviser … I'm a great – admirer of the secretary of defense (Republican Robert Gates). So we have, certainly, good grounds for cooperation in a very dangerous world."

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Ray from Bisbee, AZ

    Praise the Lord that this bozo did not get elected President.

    December 16, 2010 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  2. Rico

    This whole notion that Republicans lost in 2008 because they weren't fiscally disciplined is just obviously wrong. The country was not convinced that the Republicans had any kind of plan for the country, and they STILL have a lower favorability rating than the Democrats despite the recent midterm whoopin'.

    December 16, 2010 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  3. they call me "tater salad"

    If you want to know what McCain is against today..............Just ask him what he was in favor of yesterday> It's just that easy!

    December 16, 2010 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |

    Fair warning, I guess the Nov elections didn't help you to understand a darn thing. We will vote your butts out the same as we voted you in. You either start running Congress for the People, NOT THE PRESIDENT, THE PARTY OR THE FAT CATS WHO FINANCED YOU. We are the ones being taxed and I say that for most of us we don't mind being taxed as long as the money is going for our protection, economy and supplying jobs in the U.S. No more outsorcing. No more fantastic spending except to help our troops. No more paid vacations for Presidents or any other government official. If they can't afford to pay their way then stay the hades home. OBAMA HEAR THIS GOOD. CLOSE THE DAMN BORDERS AND DO IT NOW. From a Tea Party person. PALIN 2012

    December 16, 2010 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  5. beevee

    McCain looks like a lame duck and talks (quacks) like one. Who cares about him any more?

    December 16, 2010 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  6. Gil

    when I remember who John picked for his VP his every word becomes comical!

    December 16, 2010 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  7. rdepontb

    Senator McCain, why are you still blathering on about issues that, truly, you either do not care about, you care to know nothing about, and/or are really beyond your generation's (yes, a generational thing!) socio-cultural grasp.

    Listen to your daughter, will ya? Go spend time with the whole family, while you can. They deserve your time and energy; use those where they are most appreciated and needed, sir.

    December 16, 2010 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  8. Paul

    He makes me want to barf!!! Neither party are interested in making any positive change or securing this nations security ranging from creation of job, border security, immigration reform-NOT AMNESTY, healthcare, etc. All wag the dog politics..And the dumbing of America..With China owning a majority of this nations debt, why not give them California and call it square; let them the liberals and demos try their crap with them.....Saw it off and let it float into the pacific...

    December 16, 2010 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  9. GonzoinHouston

    Dingbat! START isn't about N. Korea or Iran, it's about Russian nukes. And he's against DADT again. Maybe he's just forgotten his earlier position(s). It's like he's proving he can memorize talking points and recite them on command.

    I was a big fan of his back in 2000, but by '08 the John McCain I liked was dead and gone. Damn shame. But give him credit, he's one of the very few in congress that has never requested an earmark.

    December 16, 2010 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  10. sparky

    from the moron who gave us palin...

    December 16, 2010 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  11. mesamick

    Stick a sock in Gramps...You are no longer of use to this country. You're too old, too cranky, have lost your judgment skills along with your moral compass and have completely lost your congnitive skills to recognize that you are in fact far, far over the hill....

    December 16, 2010 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  12. Former Republican, now an Independent

    McCain is another "just say no to everything" republican with no credibility. He stays with no course at all and votes however the political winds are blowing. A true republican politician putting politics before people.

    December 16, 2010 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  13. Doris V

    McCain would do this country a great service by retiring from the political stage. I thank him for his service during the Vietnam War era. He should retire before he makes more of a jerk of himself.

    December 16, 2010 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    START would at least give the legal right to keep an eye on th Russian weapons. Without that, we don't know if they are being sold to terrorists or rogue countries like Iran. It is something that is better than nothing.

    December 16, 2010 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  15. DAVE

    well! finally! mccain is catching on to there is something wrong with what is going on in washington. he just needs to look closer at his leader mitch mcconnell for his answer as to wether or not the voters will forgive them for the bush spending spree. the spending spree got started with ronald raegan who decided the best way to eliminate social spending was to spend the goverment to broke to pay for any thing but defense. mitch mcconnell for some reason has not let you in on the master plain( to cut all social spending) of the last 3 republican presidents and their blind rubber stamp followers spending habits. when the tax cut bill passes your party can start their altimate plan. the social sucurity tax cut of %2 starts the begining of the end of that program because its a bonus for employers because that cuts their match of social sucurity taxes they pay by almost 1 third. it also cuts social sucurity by almost 1 third as well. mitch mcconnell is gambling the end of the republican party to make us a goverment run by the ruling class which is how a third world country runs. just a few very rich families that can pass on their wealth and power to their childern without paying taxes and a hole country of very poor people!

    December 16, 2010 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  16. nuser

    .... and it was a very cordial conversation , I think.
    .....and every day I stand in his way(Obama)!
    ......Now, let's get rid of Obama.
    I remember well McCain.
    What a howling disapointment you are, but only because you had it in you , to do well.

    December 16, 2010 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  17. hankers

    His words to me … as so many thousands of others' words have been to me, if it isn't broke, don't fix it." >>>> so he thinks a civil rights issue is not broken? Well his generation will soon pass, but it is obvious this may take generations as they pass their beliefs to their children.

    December 16, 2010 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  18. Name king

    Why these repugs seems to recognize simple none worthy mouses as atrocities, then shut their eyes of the huge elephant in the room, such giving the rich tax breaks that are distroying the middle class, who support local businesses, if the middle class keep on depleting on the same place it is now, what's going to happen to the auto industries, homes, small businesses. I Have been in a none hip hop rich person home lately, these people shops every 20 years, they've got furnitures from back in the 50s for crying out loud. I've never saw one in my neiborhood supporting small businesses. What is this obsession of mainstream always giving the rich more money, which they don't need, and will die leaving it to their kids in some bank over seas, while starving the economy of needed revenue. Demand is what make this economy roll McCabe. Start putting money into the hand of the customers, who create demand which in-turn create jobs, because their will be no jobs created if their isn't any customers with money. and stop
    giving money to the rich, who sit on it.

    December 17, 2010 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  19. mark

    McCain is a collaborator

    December 17, 2010 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  20. Marry

    As long as the people send such silly “mavericks” to Washington, nothing useful is being done.
    As if this guy has not proven over and over again how useless and backward he is. There must be political people around that like to WORK FOR the people. The GOP with its “special interest for the rich” is just simply depressing to watch!

    December 17, 2010 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  21. jacksays

    Why you are even sent back to Washington, Mr. McCain, is well beyond me. Once upon a time I was a staunch supporter of yours – until the election campaign against Obama when you flip-flopped more than John Kerry was ever even accused of.

    As for your opinions regarding DADT, please come out of the Dark Ages and join the rest of us. Perhaps you'd understand the point more directly if you were, for instance, suddenly not allowed to tell anyone you were a Senator else you be tossed from the office.

    "If it isn't broken, don't fix it." It IS broken, Mr. McCain, and it has needed fixing since it was put into effect. Stop the oxymoronic policy that forces a large percentage of existing troops to lie each and every day about who they are while, at the same time, being in a role that expects them to be honest and trustworthy.

    Time for you and these arcane beliefs to go, sir. Good day, Mr. McCain, good day.

    December 17, 2010 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  22. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    You can tell by my name this is a very important issue for me. Senator McCain, I would love to give you a tourist visa to Chernobyl. You know they are having tours now. Please do not forget your radiation protection suit. We keep people like you in office, this will be everyday dress for the rest of us.

    December 17, 2010 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  23. jules sand-perkins

    Unto every thing there is a season.
    The Republican Party needs to exercise its already strong survival instinct and move on down the road from McCain's car, which is stuck in mud left from yesterday's rain.

    December 17, 2010 06:46 am at 6:46 am |

    Pitiful. Put him out of his misery

    December 17, 2010 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  25. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Senator McCain, you lost the election in 2008 – get over it! And the funny thing is, the same guy's minions that hammered you in 2000 (starting in South Carolina), got you, again, in 2008. That would be the Connecticut, Clown Cowboy from Crawford!

    And where were you when Halliburton was raping the coffers?!?!?!

    December 17, 2010 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
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