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An Interview With John McCain

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

MICHAEL MEDVED: Oh, a little bit more than a year ago, where people counted Sen. John McCain out of the race for the Republican nomination, and he ended up winning, handily. Maybe we’re gonna see history repeat itself. We’re speaking to Sen. McCain, he’s in Minnesota, on his way to a town meeting. Sen. McCain, thanks so much for joining us.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Well, thank you Michael, it’s good to be back with you again, and you’re about the only one that thought that I could do it throughout, throughout. You were either very courageous and very loyal or not very smart. I guess it turned out you’re pretty smart.

MEDVED: Well, thank you, I like to think courageous and loyal rather than dumb, but speaking of courageous and loyal rather than dumb, let me play you what I thought was one of the stupidest things that your opponent, Sen. Obama has said in the entire campaign, and he said it in the debate the other night and I wanted to get your comment. Here’s Sen. Obama:

SEN. BARACK OBAMA: And what I’ve proposed, you’ll hear Sen. McCain say, ‘Well, he’s proposing a whole bunch of new spending. Actually, I’m cutting more than I’m spending, because it will be a net spending cut.”

MEDVED: Is that true, Sen. McCain?

SEN. MCCAIN: Well, first of all, you want to laugh, and then of course, you want to cry a little, because, he is on virtually every issue-that is patently false. The outside organizations have totaled up his spending proposals: increases of 600-$860 billion. I mean, every time you turn around, he is proposing new spending on some program to purchase, or attempt to propose for some special interest. You know, I mean, it’s just, it’s ridiculous when you look at what his proposals are, including his quote “tax cuts for 95% of Americans” as he calls it, he doesn’t mention that it’s a tax increase for 50% of small business income in America. But the point is, he just, frankly, says most anything that seizes him at the moment. We’re gonna hold him accountable.

MEDVED: Well, I know that a lot of folks out there are thinking about things, and he says he’s gonna give tax cuts to 95% of people, 40% of people don’t pay federal income tax. Doesn’t that mean he’s planning to send a welfare check, basically, to like, millions and millions of new Americans?

SEN. MCCAIN: Just send them the money, and again, the record, you know, I’ve urged people in America to look at our record, and one of the ways to judge it is, you know, is the watchdog organizations, the Citizens Against Government Waste, The National Taxpayers Union, those organizations who regularly watch and grade us. He has the most liberal record, he’s voted for tax increases or against tax cuts 94 times. And of course, he’s voted, he is graded as the most liberal member of the United States senate. And you know, that’s pretty hard to get to the left of Bernie Sanders, you know?

MEDVED: It is. You were chosen by Citizens Against Government Waste, you were chosen, and we covered this on the air, as a “Citizens’ Super-Hero” for being tight with the public’s money, protecting the public’s money. Let me ask you one other thing, Senator, which again, I think is on the minds of lots and lots of our listeners. The economy was really progressing pretty well, under most of Pres. Bush’s term, then the Democrats took over in Congress in 2007 and now we’re in this horrible crisis. Coincidence?

SEN. MCCAIN: No, it isn’t, although, as you know, you and I have had this discussion in the past. The Bush administration let these big spending bills be signed and him not doing what Ronald Reagan used to do, and that is, veto them, make them famous, and fight against it. But also, more interesting, in 2006, there was a group of us, as a result of an investigation, and I think it was the inspector general, that said, “Look, this Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are completely out of control, and if we don’t do something about it, we’re gonna have an incredible financial crisis.” We sent a letter about it, we introduced legislation to reign them in, and Sen. Obama at the time said that the sub-prime loans were quote, “a good idea.” And the Democrats in Congress, we’re specifically talking about the ones who got all the money, were defending, were defending, and saying we can’t bring regulations on Fannie and Freddie, and were actually encouraging, as you know, people to borrow money that they couldn’t pay back. A fundamental of economics and so, you know, they were willing co-conspirators with this game of 3-card monty going on, and then, and then it collapsed.

MEDVED: Three cards: Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, and Barack Obama. Sen. McCain, in terms of, everybody wants change right now, particularly given what’s been going on with the stock market and the economy, what’s the biggest change the American people will get under Pres. John S. McCain?

SEN. MCCAIN: I think the first thing that we will do is an assurance that we will keep their taxes low, that we will restrain spending, and we will provide with the health insurance that they and their family can afford- to make it affordable and available to all Americans. We will achieve independence from foreign oil. One of the big impacts is, you know, the $700 billion we’re sending overseas. And stop the Old-Boy cronyism in between Washington, D.C. and Wall Street that colluded and made Main Street pay a huge, huge penalty. By the way, Michael, I know you’ve discussed this at length on the program from listening to you, it’s the home values that continue to plummet, and there’s no floor. We’ve got to address that issue. We’ve got to make sure that people can stay in their homes at a mortgage that they can afford and is predictable and turn this housing market around to start with. And there’s many other things. You know, the regulatory agencies were designed for the 1930’s, and they’re not keeping up with the global financial markets, period. And we’ve got to have regulatory agencies that work, and we have to bring these practices under control that have, basically, none of us understand completely. No one really understands them, except that we know that they’ve gotten completely out of control and have escaped the transparency and the scrutiny and the supervision that’s required and that’s why we don’t know so much, because they’ve been under the radar, as you know. We know they’re corrupt and we know they’re bad. And so, we can turn this economy around, and turn this trust around back on the part of the American people.

MEDVED: And I know you’re in the process of turning the campaign around. Being the underdog is nothing new for John Sydney McCain, and winning, despite expectations, is nothing new, either. We will be right back. Godspeed to you, Sen. McCain. Good luck in Minnesota and across the country. We’ll be right back.

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