Sen. McCain started by mentioned his official announcement to run for President. Today’s he’s in Iowa, tomorrow in Nevada and later in Arizona.
Q: How about that statement from Mitt Romney that Bin Laden not worth capturing?
McC; We will get Bin-Laden and we’ll bring him to justice – OBL is a major factor and we’ll will over extremism through the psychological side.
Q. Funding the war:
McC The military have to plan ahead and have the assurance and commitment of the funding in order to give the men and women the maximum capability to do the job. If he was the President he’d probably veto it because of the pork involved make those projects famous. The pork is a practice that has to stop.
Q. Romney & Giuliani are against civil unions in NH – what is McC’s position?
McC: Opposed to the legislation – he’s a Federalist but if he was a citizen of NH he would opposed it.
Q. A reporter that heckled Sen. McCain now says we have an obligaton to stay in Iraq. Is there a shift?
McC: Sen. McCain didn’t hear of that but saw in the Charlie Rose that others said that to withdraw would bring chaos. Suicide bombers continue to be the focus of the effort. Tthere continues to be progress in Bagdhad.
What concerns him most is the Malaki government which wants to take two months off for the Summer but needs to prove they are an inclusive government.
The Ambar province has dramatically improved. Gen. Petreus is concerned on importation of suicide bombers from Iran and Syria. There is measured but small progress taking place, but the Malaki government has to step up to the place.
Q. How about the deadline on Sen. McCain’s letter to the Secreatry of the Air Force?
McC: Sen. McCain hasn’t been in his office for the last week but he’ll get an update immediately.
Q. Saudi plot on oil field, considering how oil is a national securit issue – are hybrid cars a priority?
McC: Oviously there’s a huge national security component to oil importation. Sen McCain supporst ethanol fuel importation, no subsidies to corn ethanol; we need nuclear power and to streamline the process through licensing; and hybrid and electric cars are important. He’s not ready to impose government controls or intervention. What happens in the ME is very important to us but if we weren’t dependent of oil it wpuld be a different situation
Q. The question started on Pres. Bush’s communication skilss at the last press conference – Has Sen McCain noticed if he’s getting different treatment from the media?
McC: The President gave a detailed briefing on the war last week; having the Pres. update and shows a grasp of the issues to the people is important. Sen. McCain doesn’t blame the media; he (the Senator) just needs to do a better job and will continue to include the media and the bloggers.
Q. On the issue of pork: the blogger’s local fire dept applied to Home Security for $35,000 for weights and washer machine. How would McC direct Home Security?
McC: It’s laden with pork and doesn’t reflect where the dangerous areas are. The thing that confuses people is whether a project is worthwhile or not, but there has to be competion, justification and authorization, so it’’ the process that’s broken where people put in these earmarks. He’s judging the process of earmarks, where it’s so corrupt we end up with congressmen going to jail.
Q: On abortion rights: would his SCOTUS appointees be conservatives?
McC: He would not have a litmust test, but he believes in having people who have a proven record of strict interpretation of the Constitution, as the Founding Fathers wanted. McCain would appoint people with judicial experience, but with other life experiences, too – time in the military corporation, small business, with knowledge of the real world. A strict interpretation of the constitution is most important.
Q: How about Social Security and Medicare?
McC: As President he would reach out to Dems and would tell the Amer people to insist that they reach back like Reagan and Tip O’Neil, and would make it a key domestic issue: 2 choices either go bankrupt or work it out.
Q: Is he running as the anti-Bush?
McC: He has the same positions he’s always had. Basically the positions he’s been holding – even when 63% of the American people think he’s closely tied to the President because of the Iraq war but his positions have not changed.
Q: Looking at the electoral college map: Are there any states he could pull to red side?
McC: California can not be ignored any longer and also both Oregon and Washington. We can’t be going into election by writing off large electoral states. Penn, NY, other New Engl states should also be in the running.
Q. (from Rob Bluey, whose employer, the Heritage Foundation, got a compliment from the Senator for its index of Economic Freedom) On defense: Romne wants 4% of GDP for defense?
McC: McCain’s emphasis would me more on what we do rather than we spend. Defense must be fully funded. Look at Putin’s reaction. We also need to emphaise reform: equipment, intelligence, relevancy of equipment, get the costs overruns under control. He’ll go the smartest guys in America and ask them to hep with acqusitions and reform. Fundamental reforms should be made; heads of services should be more involved in the acquisitions process. We need to ask, are we buying the things we need to fight radical Islamic extremism
Q Would McC support a fair tax?
McC would b supportive of any offer that would reform that the majority of the people through Congress would support. There are problems with each of the proposals, but we’re a long way away from a flat tax of 20%.
Thank you to Patrick Hines for inviting me.