McCain: Americans ‘don’t want compromise’
July 3rd, 2011
09:08 AM ET
7 years ago

McCain: Americans ‘don’t want compromise’

Washington (CNN) - The American people do not want Republicans to compromise on their opposition to any form of tax increase as part of a deficit reduction deal being negotiated with Democrats, veteran Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said Sunday.

“The principle of not raising taxes is something that we campaigned on last November and the results of the election was the American people don’t want their taxes raised and they wanted us to cut spending,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “They don’t want compromise.”

Read what other lawmakers said Sunday.

Republicans have tied a deficit reduction agreement to the federal debt ceiling, which the Obama administration says must be raised by August 2 to avoid harm to the nation’s sluggish economic recovery.

Bipartisan negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden recently hit an impasse over the tax issue, with Democrats calling for eliminating some tax breaks and loopholes to increase revenue while Republicans rejected such steps.

President Barack Obama highlighted the stand-off at a news conference last week in which he chided congressional Republicans for refusing to make “tough decisions” that might anger their conservative base.

At the heart of the GOP resistance is a bedrock principle pushed by anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist against any kind of tax increase at all. A pledge pushed by Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform, has been signed by more than 230 House members and 40 senators, almost all Republicans.

Norquist and his supporters want to shrink the federal government and believe any new revenue would enable continued government growth.

However, some Republicans, including conservative Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have expressed support for increased tax revenue as part of a deficit reduction deal, and the Senate recently supported ending ethanol subsidies - which would increase revenue.

Tax loopholes targeted by Democrats include oil and gas subsidies, as well as some write-offs for people earning more than $500,000 a year.

To McCain, the danger from continuing to let the federal deficit expand without taking substantive cost-cutting steps is much greater than the threat from failing to increase the federal debt ceiling by August 2.

“I think that this catastrophe or short-term meltdown that we’re facing isn’t nearly as bad as the meltdown that we’re facing unless we get our deficit under control,” McCain said.

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

Filed under: Congress • Debt • John McCain • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. TEE

    I think most of us can agree that it's time for McCain to be put out to pasture.....Game, Set, Match..

    July 3, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  2. Striker0025

    McCain, what world are you living in ????

    American's don't want compromise ??????????

    Still completely out of touch with wonder you got crushed in the last election...

    July 3, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  3. jimm

    Actually, according to every poll out there, people are OK with raising some taxes and closing loopholes. Apparantly when McCain says Americans, he must mean only the Tea Baggers, who are about as UnAmerican as they come.

    July 3, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  4. American

    Not true, Sen. McCain, which is exactly why you are unfortunately not presidential. Sad.

    The fact is the majority of Americans DO want both sides working together, and President Obama is the one calling for this reasonable compromise on spending cuts and incremental revenues for more fiscal sanity.

    July 3, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  5. wallybob

    for eight years under bush these same republicans, all 50 senators voted every year to raise the debt ceiling, but now under a democrat, and the first aftrican-american at that, not a one want's to raise the ceiling. what happened? why the complete 180 degree turnaround? did they all come to some revelation overnight? something in the punch?
    grover norquist is a politcal hack, working for the dark brotherhood like karl rove, dick cheney and roger ailes. they all stem from the corrupt nixon administration and will do whatever they have to remain in power.
    all of the major tax buildups for war and loopholes for corporations have happened on the gop watch. their holier-than-thou attitude now is nothing but politcal posturing. mccain's an idiot with his five or ten houses and fleet of vehicles. he wouldn't have any of that if he didn't marry a beer magnate's daughter. she bought his first congressional district seat. what a hypicrite.

    July 3, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. Debbie from Arizona

    I am so tired of McCain and other Republicans saying the "American People" when they actually mean the corporate big wigs and the wealthy. Do they ever actually look at any polls or talk to the real folks of this country? No. Anymore, every time one of these bought and paid for, so called representatives, open their mouth, I want to stick my fist in it. Time to vote them out. 2012 can't get here fast enough. Of course, here in Arizona, we're stuck with old McCain for five more long years.

    July 3, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  7. Armandsparta

    "The American people do not want Republicans to compromise on their opposition to any form of tax increase as part of a deficit reduction deal being negotiated with Democrats, veteran Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said Sunday."

    What does McCain mean by this? All Americans are Republicans? As an American, I want the the Repbulicans to compromise!

    July 3, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  8. Ray E. Georgia

    We have been compromising over the last 75 years. We now have a14.5 Trillion Dollare Federal Debt to show for it. And like it or not all of you are going to pay for it, one way or the other. If you think Rich people are going to pay the bill think again. Some of the results are more unemployment, high gas bills, high food bills, Be careful what you ask for, you may get it. People are rejecting more Federal debt. It is time to balance the books.

    July 3, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. Russ from Md.

    When I am give a raise I use that money to help pay off bills, add to my retirement and enjoy a little more comforts of life. When you give the government more in taxes, they squander it away by giving it to the lazy (welfare), the unions, other countries, and their own special interests. What they don't do with the tax revenues is pay off their bills. They don't need more revenues; they need to quit spending money like it grows on trees.

    July 3, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  10. carrotroot

    So the Democrats are supposed to just unilaterally give into the demands of the Republicans, and not ask for anything in return? This is not how our government works, you are supposed to come to an agreement somewhere. This is not a zero sum game.

    July 3, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  11. vic , nashville ,tn

    “The American people do not want Republicans to compromise on their opposition to any form of tax increase”

    Republicans don’t get poll after poll say raise tax for rich

    Seniors living in a fixed income why they have to sacrifice their Medicare when
    Gas price is up , utilities are going up, groceries going up , property tax up but house values are down

    Middle age middle income person in very bad situation
    They don’t know what will happen to social and Medicare they can’t save enough money in next 20 years for their retirement

    Students no jobs and high tuition fees

    Republicans only listen to their base when they said American they are talking about their base

    July 3, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  12. clr1390

    Americans are fed up with being cut to the bone while wealthy Americans are paying less, taxes are being lowered to levels not seen in 50 years, and they are laughing all the way to the bank. Since the Republicans took back control of the House, figuring out ways to take the right for women to chose, Sharia law, gays, unions, and probably some of the most outrageous stuff that they could muster up and not one jobs bill has crossed their mind. 8 years of tax cuts and funding wars that were started on One Big A** Lie are the reasons this country is crumbling. No magic wand can recover the economic mess that left this country one big broken piece of crap. But, the people that tanked the economy and banking system have done a pretty good job of brainwashing people to make them forget the mess they put us in.

    July 3, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  13. ivan bial

    Time for McCain to go to the home.

    July 3, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. GI Joe

    He's off his meds again. Come on, take them, they won't hurt.

    July 3, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  15. azmary

    I do not think Sen. McCain has ever listened to "the people" about taxes. His base is some of the well-to-do friends of Mrs. McCain, and she is smart enough to not always agree with them. A large percent of Americans are quite comfortable with allowing tax breaks for the rich expire, and that concept includes some of the wealthiest Americans.

    July 3, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  16. JAY

    Actually, McCain, Americans DO want compromise, just like you used to do.

    July 3, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  17. GI Joe

    We didn't vote for no closing of loopholes. WE VOTED FOR JOBS.

    Every survey says the majority of TRUE AMERICANS want the loopholes closed for major corporations and the super wealthy. NOT SMALL BUSINESS, NOT MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS.

    The corporatists protect their campaign donors. He is certifiably insane, and an embarrassment.

    July 3, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  18. Peter s

    Senator McCain, Sir! that's why your great wisdom helped you and the other nincompoop to win the white house in 2008, please, keep on spreading wisdom!!

    July 3, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  19. yellerdog

    I think the REAL AMERICANS...the ones who make less than a million a year ....DO want COMPROMISE!

    July 3, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  20. kyle

    The Republicans have said do not touch the rich, do not touch big oil, but lets destroy Teachers, public workers and medicare.

    July 3, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  21. Jess C

    Obviously still way out of touch, McCain continues to lie about the most fundatmental issues. Poll the average American and I will bet all I have that they do want the top 1.9% to pay their fair share of breaks; no loopholes that leave many paying zero taxes. This is pure BS and such a worn out GOP talking point. You, McCain, do not represent the majority of Americans....we are not wealthy, we work hard for our middle incomes and pay taxes because we all share the same infrastructure and expect to do so.

    July 3, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. Rick McDaniel

    That's pure BS. Of course Americans want compromise from the GOP. Especially on the tax issue. There should be NO TAX BREAKS for the wealthy!

    July 3, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  23. Mindie in Indie

    Which Americans are McCain speaking about? McCain, Bachman, the entire Republican party so completely out of touch with America and Americans. TAX THE RICH!!!! STOP CORPORATE WELFARE!!!!

    July 3, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  24. rethugs are evil

    this sorry old man needs to give it up. Most THINKING people do want compromise between the parties. No, I dont like paying more taxes, but if it helps then so be it. This loser p o s meeds to fly off into the sunset oh never mind, he'd probably fly the other way because he's too stupid to fly west. Mcloser leave noone wants you around Go find another semi attractive woman to cheat on your pillhead wife with @$$hole

    July 3, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  25. GI Joe

    He's a bitter old man.

    July 3, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
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