I had the pleasure of taking part in a bloggers’ call with Sen. John McCain this afternoon. The main thrust of his message today is his stance as an economic conservative.
He started by saying that he expected low turnout in Michigan when he was in Travers City & the only person there was a Ron Paul supporter, early in the morning of a very cold snowy day.
(The call was interrupted briefly but I was reconnected with no problem) During the question and answer session,
Q: On James Baker’s comments about Jews and foreign policy statemes saying that US policy is too pro-Israel. Could Sen. McCain clarify?
Sen.McCain: “I have a very clear record of 20+ yrs of support of Israel; I respect James Baker and will stand on my record of support of Israel, and maintaining Israel’s integrity.”
Q On heroes and heroism:
Sen.McCain: When he was in a concentration camp in Vietnam, one of his fellow prisones, Mike Christian, made a bamboo needle and made an American flag under his shirt, for which Mike was beaten. In his cell, right after the beating, Mike was already sewing another American flag.
Q, from National Review’s Jim Geraghty:
I realize your aim is to win South Carolina, win more, get another influx of funds, but we’re coming up on some expensive contests. Will you have the funding to run ads in Florida and beyond?
McCain: We’ve already bought time for ads in Florida and beyond. We’ve had good fundraising even before New Hampshire, and since New Hampshire, we’ve been getting very large Internet contributions – hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. I’m confident we can do that. I’m confident we’ll win South Carolina first.
My question: You have proposed job training by community colleges. What role would private industry play, especially in the rust belt states?
Sen.McCain: The industries should take an integral part so they can design the educational and training programs that meet new workplace needs. He talked about an owner of a trucking company that funded a training program at a local community college and now his drivers come from there.
Q, from Vicky Hampton: Is the Iraq war a mistake? Will McCain be blamed?
Sen.McCain: Will certainly try to take credit for the change in strategy now in place. We should have gone there because Saddam was a most brutal dictator, the Oil-For-Food program was a huge fraud, and because of the no-fly zone violations. The problem was the mishandling of the war by Sec Rumsfeld, and Sen. McCain is willing to stake is politica career on the surge. Sen. McCain also reminded us he’s been involved in every major national security challenge in last 20 yrs.
Q, Matt Lewis, Townhall.com: How will you use Tom Coburn?
Coburn has done everything he can to be guardian of our tax dollars, and we’re travelling across the state today, and will use him in Florida and everywhere else across the country.
Sen. McCain stressed his position as an economic conservative, and his optimism on a strong America. I’ll be posting more links on the call later today.