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McCain Conference Call

McCain, learning the ways of the blogger, hardly even gave an opening statement before letting everyone open up with questions:

"Health care seems to be, probably, one of the first two or three questions."
"Obviously, there's a whole lot of conversation about the war in Iraq."
"People are generally very welcoming in the townhall meetings."
Jennifer Rubin: Do you agree with Romney's recent statement about bin Laden?

"Usually, I don't comment on other comments, but bin Laden is a national security issue...There are recent reports that he has some operational control of al Qaeda in Iraq."

"He continues to be a symbl of..the ideological struggle."

"I take the position that the Israelis do-- anyone who inflicts damage or harm or injury on the United States of thing they can be sure of -- we wil get them."

"I think it displays a certain degree of naivete (to say that bin Laden is inconsequential)."

"This is a national security issue."
Philip Klein: When does current funding run out,  and when should the supplemental kick in. When does the Pentagon run out of accounting gimmicks to keep the money flowing?

"Talking with people in the Pentagon, the absolute drop-dead time would be sometime early in June, but they have got to make plans."

"You've got to plan ahead. You'e got to have reassurance...In order to gve the men and women who are serving...the maximum capability to do their jobs."

"Every day that goes by that there's a degree of uncertainty. a feeling of not total support for the men and women serving in the military, cannot be helpful-- in a variety of ways."

"Right now, we need to move forward."

"I'd make the pork barrell projects famous and I'd make their owners famous."

"It's a practice that's got to stop and it's obscene and it's corrupting."


Ryan Sager: Romney and Rudy both put statements out saying they're against the civil unions bill in N.H. Your statement said it's up to the states how to handle civil unions. Could you elaborate on your personal feelings about it, and whether you would support such legislation.

"I am opposed to that legislation. I understand that my statement made clear that I'm a federalist."

"If I were a citizen of N.H., I'd oppose it. Anything that impacts the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman, I'm opposed to."

I did not catch who posed this question: Michael Ware said recently, we have an obligation to stay in Iraq. Are you seeing a shift in the way the press is handling this story?

"I did not hear his statement, but I'm certainly pleased, maybe for the first time."

"Suicide bombers are continuing to be the focus of their efforts...but there continues to be progress."

"Diyala province is getting hotter and hotter becauset they've been driven out of Baghdad."

"The thing, frankly, that concerns the Maliki government...they have got to act and they've got to act on revenue sharing and deBaathification."

"They've got to prove that they are an inclusive government and not a sectarian government."

"Petraeus becomes more and more concerned with the importation of those suicice d bombers from both Iran and Syria.."

"Measured but small progress taking place."

"The Maliki government is gonna have to step up to the plate."


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