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More headlines: John McCain on Government Reform

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)


When do supporters opinions count as candidates’ opinions?

BUSH [to McCain]: John and I shook hands and we said we weren’t going to run [negative] ads. Unfortunately he ran an ad that equated me to Clinton. He questioned my trustworthiness.

McCAIN: There was an ad run against me, we ran a counter-ad. But what really went over the line [is that] Bush had a event and he paid for it and stood next to a spokesman for a fringe veterans group. That fringe veteran said that McCain had abandoned the veterans. You should be ashamed.

BUSH: John, I believe that you served our country nobly. And I’ve said it over and over again, that man wasn’t speaking for me. If you hold me responsible [for that, then your supporter, former Senator] Warren Rudman, said about the Christian Coalition that they’re bigots. I know you don’t believe that, do you?

McCAIN: He’s entitled to his opinion.

BUSH Well, so is this man.

McCAIN: When you were asked if you would repudiate him, you said no.

KEYES: Is this kind of pointless squabbling what we really want [viewers] to see

Source: (X-ref from Bush) GOP Debate on the Larry King Show Feb 15, 2000

Pressed FCC as a duty, not as a favor

Q: Yesterday we learned that you pressed the FCC to take action on a matter that ultimately benefited PACs and communications companies. A: The reason why I’ve worked so hard for campaign finance reform is because all this money and all these uncontrolled contributions taint all of us. No matter what we do we are under a cloud of suspicion.. But this case was clearly one where a person did not get a decision. This person had purchased a television station. The average time for the FCC usually takes 418 days. At 700 days I wrote to them, “Make a decision.” Eight other Congressmen told them to vote for or against this. I didn’t. I said make a decision. My job is to make the bureaucrats work for the people and that has to do with making decisions.

Q: Did you exercise poor judgment, do you think? A: No. This was a decision that had been delayed for over 700 days. People deserve to know the answer. That’s my obligation as a Senator and as a chairman of the Commerce Committee.

Source: Republican Debate in Durham, NH Jan 6, 2000

Wife Cindy sees First Lady’s role as hostess

Cindy McCain says she is “not involved in policymaking or anything like that,” though she is “the keeper of the man.” She has an adopted child and said she wants to promote adoption, but she doesn’t think a first lady belongs in the bully pulpit. “That’s not for me,” said Mrs. McCain, who has been involved with her family’s charitable foundation. “I would take my role as a hostess very seriously because it is an important aspect and large part of the job. If that’s traditional, I am traditional.”
Source: Boston Globe, p. A20 Dec 26, 1999

Call the problem special interests, and Americans care

Q: Why do you care about campaign finance reform when polls show the issue is not important to voters?

A: We know what the influence of this big money is on the legislative process and how it’s taken the government away from the American people and given it to the special interests... if you ask that question in a different way, ‘Are you concerned about the influence of special interests in big money in Washington,’ you would find that priority goes way up amongst the American people.

Source: Joint interview with Bradley & McCain Dec 16, 1999

Reform army, ed, & taxes to eliminate special interests

I’m for reform. I’m for reform of education, reforming the military, reforming the tax code. That’s not possible when average Americans are no longer represented in Washington, DC. And I will fight to the last breath I draw to eliminate the influence of special interests in the tax code and every other part of America. And I will not rest until I give the government back to you.
Source: Republican Debate at Dartmouth College Oct 29, 1999

Smaller government; reduce waste; let citizens keep money

McCain believes in a smaller, less-intrusive government, more accountable to the American people. He has identified and opposed billions of dollars of wasteful spending. He has fought to help all Americans hold on to more of their hard-earned money.
Source: McCain Exploratory Cmte. Web Site Jul 2, 1999

Special interests try to buy influence

Q: Why do we need government laws for wealthy individuals in politics?

A: In 1907, Theodore Roosevelt, the great reformer, was able to get corporate contributions to American political campaigns outlawed, because the robber barons had taken over American politics. A Republican Congress in 1947 outlawed union contributions to political campaigns. Those laws are still on the books. They’ve been avoided, emasculated, & gone around... and the fact is that now, causes have turned into businesses.

Source: Joint interview with Bradley & McCain Dec 16, 1999

McCain justices would uphold the law on soft money

Q: Will you have a litmus test for judicial appointments?

A: I do not believe in a litmus test for a nominee on any issues because I don’t think it’s proper... However, Buckley vs. Vallejo upheld the $1,000 contribution limit. The Supreme Court also said in that decision that money in politics creates the appearance of corruption.

Source: Joint interview with Bradley & McCain Dec 16, 1999

Fight for years to get campaign reform through Congress

Q: What about Congressional resistance to Campaign Reform?

A: You’re looking at two people who have had this commitment for many, many years. And obviously it doesn’t inspire a broad-based support in some areas, in some places, but I will remain committed until my last breath.

Source: Joint interview with Bradley & McCain Dec 16, 1999

Lost Senate vote on soft-money ban

McCain lost a test vote today on his legislation to ban the large, unlimited donations to political parties that have been proliferating over the last decade. McCain had scaled back their bill this year to focus almost entirely on a ban on soft money, after falling eight votes short last year. Hoping to win more supporters, he dropped provisions that would have tightly regulated the issue-advocacy commercials that are often thinly-masked ads attacking or supporting candidates.
Source: New York Times, p. A15 Oct 19, 1999

Remove corruption of special-interest money

Source: Candidacy Declaration Speech, Nashua NH Sep 27, 1999

Soft money makes gov’t work for special interests

McCain called for campaign finance reform, saying no programs can be achieved without first limiting the influence of special interest groups. Specifically, he wants to abolish soft money, the unlimited contributions made by corporations and interest groups to party committees to influence campaigns. “Until we abolish soft money, Americans will never have a government that works as hard for them as it does the special interests.”
Source: Matthew Fordahl, Associated Press Jul 7, 1999

Campaign Finance Reform is key to gov’t reform & tax reform

“You’re never going to get a simpler, flatter tax code unless you reform the way we finance our campaigns,” McCain says. “And you’re never going to get rid of pork-barrel spending and make government smaller until you remove the special interests that dominate our political process.”
Source: Time Magazine, p. 37, col. 2 Jul 5, 1999

Campaign Finance: Ban soft money; ban issue ads.

The Senator’s current plan, in his McCain-Feingold bill, would ban the unlimited contributions known as “soft money” that corporations, lobbyists and union can give to national parties, and it would restrict outside, allegedly “independent” groups from running ads to help specific candidates.
Source: Time Magazine, p. 37, col. 2 Jul 5, 1999

Ban “soft money” in campaigns

As long as the influence of special interests dominates political campaigns, it will dominate legislation as well. Until we abolish soft money, Americans will never have a government that works as hard for them as it does for the special interests. During hearings for the 1996 Telecommunications Act, every company affected by the legislation had purchased a seat at the table with soft money. Consumers, who only give us their votes, had no seat at the table. We are all shortchanged by soft money.
Source: www.mccain2000.com/ “Press Releases” May 24, 1999

Supports multiple restrictions on campaign finance

Source: 1998 National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1998

Veto any pork-barrel bill

“I will refuse to sign any pork-barrel bill that crosses my desk,” McCain says. “And if Congress overrides my veto and tries to force me to waste your money, I’ll make sure you know who they are, every single one of them.” It does not seem to be an idle threat. McCain scrutinizes all spending bills, looking for frivolous projects - even if they are intended for Arizona. Appropriators have been known to warn fellow lawmakers not to push for a project unless they are willing to be revealed by McCain.
Source: Boston Globe, “Political Notebook”, p. A16 Dec 5, 1999

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