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Friday, April 09, 2004

Fixated on McCain


I'm the one fixated on McCain. I keep searching Google News for recent stories.

Today, I found an interesting interview the Senator gave to the Detroit Free Press. As usual, the "straight shooter" had some candid moments.

First, he put to rest the McCain for Kerry Veep talk:
I will not leave the Republican Party and I don't want to be vice president of the United States.

...I have disagreements with the Republican Party on environmental issues and a number of other issues. But I'm of the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. I respect the Democratic Party, but I just don't share their philosophy and views on many fundamental issues. It's just a reality....

Q: Can you give us a frank assessment of how you think they [Bush and Kerry] stack up against each other?

A: That's hard for me to do. One of my major reasons for supporting President Bush's re-election is that I believe he led this nation after Sept. 11 with strength and did a really fine job in leading the country in a time of real crisis. I have had differences of viewpoints with the president -- tax cuts, and a number of other issues. But I have agreed with him more that I have disagreed with him.

If you probably put my voting record up against John Kerry's, I've probably disagreed with him more than I have agreed with him. But we are of different parties....

But if I had to say who do I agree with more on issue, I'm sure it's President Bush.
That seems pretty clear.

McCain, by the way, provided a reasonable explanation of why the Iraqi intelligence commission hasn't yet met:
Q: You are a member of the commission on Iraqi intelligence. Have you met yet?

A: Yes. We met last week for the first time. One of the reasons why commissions take a while to set up is because of security clearances. I was the only member of the commission that had a security clearance. It takes many weeks to complete a security clearance for access to that level of classified materials. It is unfortunate. It's hardly likely that the president of Yale University is a spy. It just takes a great deal of time.

I expect us to get moving within the next two to three weeks. And I won't bother you with the details, but there is one aspect that is a little bit interesting.

You could staff up immediately with guess what? Detailees from these different agencies -- the CIA, the NSA, all of these different agencies. But those detailees are going to go back to their agencies. So you have to make sure that you have at least some people who are there who don't come from the organization you are investigating.

We could staff up tomorrow. Say have the CIA send us 10 people. But you have to have at least a certain number of people in there who are independent and who have credentials but yet are not tied to these very same agencies we're looking at.
He did say that some congressional staffers would be part of the team.

Oh, and here's another one of his "Band of Brothers" quotes about a fellow Democratic Senator:
I'm a great admirer of Carl Levin's. He's one of the most thoughtful and intellectually capable members of the Senate on national security issues.
It is a long interview and McCain talks about his views on global warming, tax cuts, campaign finance reform, homeland security, etc.

McCain certainly comes off as fairly thoughtful and frank. He may be my favorite Republican member of Congress.

Not that there's a lot of competition.

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