Saturday, October 20, 2007

PBS NewsHour Interviews John McCain; McCain claims Bridge to Nowwhere led to distrust on immigration reform

The PBS NewsHour recently interviewed presidential candidate John McCain (video, transcript) on a wide range on subjects.

McCain shared his strong sentiment against government pork barrel spending and attempted to link the Republican base's mistrust on spending to the failure of immmigration reform.

It's a shame that McCain is so strong on pork but still doesn't 'get it' with regard to illegal immigration. Apparetnly he has no one on his staff that will simply tell him that the issue is about respect for national sovereignty, the rule of law and his failure to recognize that he was part of the last amnesty shamnesty (a.k.a Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986). McCain should have known better considering he was warned about his against the party grain positions last year.

Highlights from the interview's transcript:
...JIM LEHRER: You mentioned trust, you mentioned Katrina, and the idea that the American people really do not trust the people running the government to get things done efficiently and effectively. You have been a United States Senator. What are your qualifications to actually run the government, to make it work, go from here to there?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: ...I have also fought hard against waste and unnecessary spending particularly in defense. I and others, but I led in a fight against a tanker that the tanker aircraft that the Air Force and Boeing and some corrupt people that later went to jail tried to foist off on the American people. I saved the taxpayers $2 billion, and I will continue to do that. I understand this defense procurement process and why it has to be fixed, why it is completely out of control. I will veto every pork barrel spending bill that comes across my desk and I will make these famous...

...But I'll tell you what's hurt more than anything else with our Republican base, and that's the bridge to nowhere, the out-of-control spending which has led to corruption. Americans are sad and frustrated by the war. Our base is angry because we've betrayed them on spending because the President didn't exercise his veto power, because members of Congress convinced the President that they needed these pork barrel projects in order to get reelected. They didn't get reelected and I hope that some day that we will make sure that they don't get their pork barrel projects...

...JIM LEHRER: So President Bush definitely in your opinion deserves these low approval ratings?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: I don't say that because I think that's up to the American people, but I say that we Republicans, the administration with the compliant and eager partners in the House and Senate, the Republicans, let spending get completely out of control. We presided over the largest increase in government since the Great Society. That's not Republicans. The bridge to nowhere, Jim, in every political campaign there's a tipping point, "I paid for this microphone," et cetera, the bridge to nowhere. I've talked to our Republican faithful and mention it and they all know what it was. They all know. They all know. And that tipped them so that in the 2006 election they just said I'm taking a hike. I'm taking a hike.

Now, they didn't become Democrats, but we lost the enthusiasm of our Republican base and we lost and confidence. So when we tried to reform immigration and we said that we would fix the borders, secure the borders, they didn't believe us. They didn't believe us. You've got to regain that trust and confidence. And by the way, you've got to secure the borders as well...



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