Friday, May 30, 2008

John McCain: Getting to know you, getting to know all about you

The media would have you believe John McCain is an independent-minded Republican -- a maverick, a straight-talker.

Think again.

Below, you will find links to nine articles from mainstream news organizations, each of which cover one aspect of John McCain's beliefs and policies. Read these articles, and discover The Real McCain.

1--McCain Defends Bush's Iraq Strategy

2--McCain: Bush right to veto kids health insurance expansion

3--McCain says overturn the law that legalized abortion

4--McCain housing policy shaped by lobbyist

5--McCain blasts Obama’s and Clinton’s attacks on NAFTA

6--McCain in NH: Would Be "Fine" To Keep Troops in Iraq for "A Hundred Years"

7--Senate passes expanded GI bill despite Bush, McCain opposition

8--John McCain Votes to Filibuster Minimum Wage Hike

9--Bush, McCain plug Social Security

1 comment:

chrisrnps said...

Sen. John McCain defended President Bush's Iraq plan on Friday as a difficult but necessary move, parting company with lawmakers questioning the wisdom of the military build up.

"I believe that together these moves will give the Iraqis and Americans the best chance of success," said McCain, R-Ariz., a leading presidential contender for 2008.

McCain also took a shot at Democrats who say the United States must bring some troops home within four to six months.

"I believe these individuals ... have a responsibility to tell us what they believe are the consequences of withdrawal in Iraq," he said. "If we walk away from Iraq, we'll be back, possibly in the context of a wider war in the world's most volatile region."

McCain spoke at the Senate Armed Services Committee, where Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spent a second day on Capitol Hill defending the president's strategy.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and the panel's new chairman, said that deepening America's commitment in Iraq would be a grave mistake. Bush wants to add 21,500 more U.S. troops to the 132,000 already there.

"Increasing the number of U.S. forces in Iraq is flawed strategy because it is based on a flawed premise that there is a military solution to the violence and instability in Iraq, when what is needed is a political solution among the Iraqi leaders and factions," Levin said.

Repeating an admission that Bush made in his nationally televised address on Wednesday, Gates told the senators, "Mistakes certainly have been made by the United States in Iraq. However we got to this moment, the stakes now are incalculable."

Bush on Friday sought support for his new Iraq military build up in telephone calls to Jordan's King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak

Of Bush's telephone conversations with the king of Jordan and Egyptian president Friday morning, National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said, "They talked about the way forward in Iraq, Secretary Rice's upcoming trip, efforts to make progress on the road map and important regional issues."

Also, it was revealed Friday that Bush will meet at the White House next Tuesday with the new U.N. secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon.

"There are many important issues on which the United Nations is deeply engaged," said press secretary Tony Snow.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was leaving Friday on a trip to the Middle East.

Late Thursday, the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, led by James Baker and Lee Hamilton, warned against sending more troops for long. The group had called for withdrawal of U.S. combat troops by early 2008, but said that a temporary troop increase might be justified under some circumstances.

"We are encouraged by the president's statement that 'America's commitment is not open-ended' and Secretary Gate's statement that the addition of 21,000 troops would be viewed as a temporary surge," Baker and Hamilton said in a statement. "The violence in Baghdad will not end without national reconciliation."

During a series of Capitol Hill hearings Thursday, top administration officials heard scathing criticism of the strategy from Democrats and some Republicans who said they weren't convinced it represents a change in U.S. military policy.

The new strategy was slammed as desperate and even dumb, and many expressed frustration that there was no stated time limit on the build up or a defined threat that the U.S. would pull out if the Iraqis don't perform as promised.

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate intend to hold votes within a few weeks on Bush's revised Iraq policy. The nonbinding resolutions would be one way to show their opposition to any troop buildup and force Republicans to make a choice.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., charged that what Democrats really want to do is cut off funding for the troops, something Democrats have denied. McConnell threatened to block any legislation expressing disapproval of the buildup plan.

McConnell conceded that GOP lawmakers as well as Democrats are troubled by Bush's new policy, but he said, "Congress is completely incapable of dictating the tactics of the war."

Options for war critics to try forcing its end are limited, given the slim margin of Democratic control, especially in the Senate. But votes stating symbolic opposition to the troop buildup could embarrass many Republicans leery of supporting Bush's plan.

During Thursday's hearings, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Gates and Pace insisted that the Iraqi government's new political commitment to take charge of their own country was the key change.

"There are no guarantees and I cannot guarantee what the Iraqi government's going to do," Pace said. "I can simply tell you what they have said they're going to do. And if they do what they say they're going to do, then this will succeed."

Bush's plan, which the president outlined in a prime-time address to the nation Wednesday, would raise troop levels in Iraq by 21,500 _ from 132,000 to 153,500 _ at a cost of $5.6 billion. It also calls for the Iraqi government to increase its own forces and to do more to quell sectarian violence.