More headlines: John McCain on Principles & Values
(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)
Romney is a fine man who managed companies
Q: Is Romney ready to be a military commander?
I’m sure he’s a fine man. He managed companies, and he bought & sold, and sometimes people lost their jobs. That’s the nature of that business. We’re at a time in our history where you can’t afford any
on-the-job training. My experience and background qualifies me to lead. That’s why I’ve gotten the support of over 100 retired Army generals and admirals. Every national security expert from the Reagan & other administrations are supporting my candidacy.
Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley
Jan 30, 2008
Romney is conning people about conservatism of his record
Q: [to Romney]: Sen. McCain suggests that you’re conning people--he has used that phrase--with your conversions on a number of issues.
ROMNEY: When I ran against Ted Kennedy in 1994, that was a big uphill climb. But let me tell you, I was fighting for
issues like making sure that we would have the death penalty in our state, fighting to keep our taxes down. I was fighting against the Liberal Lion in perhaps the toughest state in America. And I’m pretty proud of what I was able to accomplish in that
race, but nothing compares to the pride I have with the work that I was able to do as a governor.
McCAIN: Gov. Romney, you’ve been spending the last year trying to fool people about your record. I don’t want you to start fooling them about mine.
I stand on my record as a conservative, and I don’t think you can fool the American people. They may not agree with me on a couple of issues, but they’ll know I’m telling the truth, and my steadfast positions on these issues for more than 20 years.
Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida
Oct 21, 2007
McCain embraced core Reagan values
I embraced all of the core Reagan convictions: faith in the individual; skepticism of government; free trade and vigorous capitalism; anticommunism; a strong defense; robust internationalism that championed
our values abroad; and most important, his eloquently stated belief in America’s national greatness, his trust in our historical exceptionalism, the shining city on the hill he invoked so often.
Source: Worth the Fighting For, by John McCain, p. 85
Sep 24, 2002
Poll: Hillary vs. McCain in 2008 would be “nailbiter”
If the 2008 presidential race were between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain, the country could be in for another nail-biter. The next presidential election may be more than two years away, but the politicking has already started and
many consider Clinton and McCain the front-runners for their respective political parties.
In the latest national voter poll, McCain bests Clinton by a slim 4-percentage point margin - 46 percent to 42 percent - in a hypothetical matchup.
Given the poll’s 3-point margin of error, that means this race could go either way.
Women are slightly more likely to favor Clinton over McCain (by 4 percentage points). Self-identified independents are somewhat more likely to say they would vote for
McCain (by 8 points) than for Clinton. “The nation has witnessed two very close elections in a row, and right now it looks like a third may be shaping up,” the pollster said.
Source: 2008 speculation: FOX News Poll
May 22, 2006
At Naval Academy, misbehaved but followed tradition
[Although I] ignored the less important conventions of the Naval Academy, I was careful not to defame its more compelling traditions: the veneration of courage and resilience; the honor code that simply
assumed your fidelity to its principles; the homage paid to men who had sacrificed greatly for their country; the expectation that you, too, would prove worthy of your country’s trust.
Source: “Faith of My Fathers”, p. 151
Nov 9, 1999
President’s first duty is keeping our country safe
The first responsibility of the next president will be keep our country safe so that we might secure for ourselves and humanity a future worthy of our highest aspirations. Although the next century will hold many dangers for America and our cause, it
will, more than ever, be an age of untold possibilities for good. It is our destiny to seize this opportunity to build a safer, freer and more prosperous nation and a world free of the tyranny that has made the passing century such a violent age.
Source: Candidacy Declaration Speech, Nashua NH
Sep 27, 1999
Give kids an example to emulate against cynicism
McCain says that to fight cynicism among young people “we must first challenge ourselves to give them an example worth emulating.”
Source: New York Times, p. A16
Sep 20, 1999
5 principles for a great nation’s diplomacy
First, seek no substitute for American leadership in the defense of American interests and values. Second, we must protect our interests to promote our values and vice versa. Third, force has a role in but is not a substitute for diplomacy. Fourth, build
coalitions to protect our interests and values, don’t neglect our interests and values to build coalitions. Fifth and last, credibility is a strategic asset.
Source: Landon Lecture at Kansas State University
Mar 15, 1999
Cozying up to big donors makes big problems
McCAIN [to Bush]: If you’re going to allow [donors who] give a million dollars to stay in the governor’s mansion, we’ve got a continuing big problem.
BUSH: The people staying with me, these are my friends, John. These are my relatives, [yet you]
somehow question my integrity. You talk a lot about the “iron triangle” and you’re ringing it like a dinner bell with all those fund-raisers.
McCAIN: George, if I’m ringing it like the dinner bell, you’ve got both feet in the trough because you’ve
raised five times the amount of money in Washington [that I have].
KEYES: This whole campaign finance reform thing is just another example of the hypocrisy of these politicians. They’ve shoveled the money in their mouth, then profess to be shocked
at the discovery that it’s there. Then they say we should give up our right to give money to support the causes we believe in because they don’t have the integrity to do their job. We shouldn’t give up our rights. They should give up their offices.
Source: GOP debate in Los Angeles
Mar 2, 2000
Calls himself a “Reagan Republican”
McCain quickly sought to expand his base and reintroduce himself as a conservative, telling voters in Seattle, “I’m a proud conservative Republican. I’m a Reagan Republican.
I have no doubt about that. I have to convince and tell our Republican establishment: It’s great over here, come on in, join us.”
Source: Richard Berke, New York Times
Feb 24, 2000
Fight clean, fight fair, but keep on fighting
I will not take the low road to the highest office in this land, McCain said. “I want the presidency in the best way, not the worst way.” The Arizona senator had pledged to run a positive campaign, and pulled a negative ad after
apparent voter backlash. “I’m going fight with every ounce of strength I have, but I’m going to keep fighting clean,” he said. “I’m going to keep fighting fair, and I’m going keep fighting the battle of ideas.”
Saying that he was “a uniter not a
divider,“ McCain emphasized that he was interested in building an inclusive party, marking his record as a reformer, and vowing to keep aggressively fighting for the GOP nomination. ”The American people deserve to be treated with respect by those who
seek to lead the nation and I promise you, you will have my respect until my last day on earth. I will never dishonor the nation I love or myself by letting ambition overcome principle,“ a choked up McCain said. ”Never, never, never.“
Feb 20, 2000
A mandate from voters is key, not Congressional friends
Q: How will you be an effective president if you have trouble getting along with your fellow Senators? A: I’ve had 234 major pieces of legislation passed in Congress. [More to the point], the GOP has lost its way. Unless we open up this party, unless we
do what I did in New Hampshire, and that’s get thousands and thousands of young people out to register to vote Republican, unless we get independents, reconstitute the old Reagan Democrats -- I want to reconstitute that governing coalition.
Source: GOP Debate on the Larry King Show
Feb 15, 2000
Priorities:Simplify taxes;restore schools;reform campaigns
Asked his main legislative priorities if elected, McCain responded: “We must continue cutting the federal government down to size and seek a fair, flatter simpler tax code. We must provide the resources necessary to restore public education to the
standards that once were the envy of the world, but leave the decisions about how best to use those resources to the parents. And we must reform the corrupt system of campaign financing to restore the public’s interest and role in the political process.”
Source: Project Vote Smart, 1998, www.vote-smart.org
Jul 2, 1998
Religion & politics are both OK in a President
Q: What is your approach to religion in the White House? A: I’m the only candidate for president who’s actually conducted church services. In prison I was named the room chaplain. One of the sermons that I gave is the parable according to when Jesus held
up the coin when asked if they should pay taxes. And I said, quote, render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, render unto God that which is God. When I’m in the Oval Office, I obviously have a relation with God but I’m rendering unto Caesar as well.
Source: Republican Debate in Durham, NH
Jan 6, 2000
Vietnam was formative experience, but not his leitmotif
I did not want my experiences in Vietnam to be the leitmotif of the rest of my life. I am a public figure now, and my public profile is inextricably linked to my POW experiences. Obviously, such recognition has benefited my political
career, and I am grateful for that. Many men who came home from Vietnam, physically and spiritually damaged, to what appeared to be a country that did not understand or appreciate their sacrifice carried the war as a
great weight upon their subsequent search for happiness. But I have tried to make what use I can of Vietnam and not let the memories of war encumber the rest of my life’s progress.
Neither have I been content to accept that
my time in Vietnam would stand as the ultimate experience of my life. Surely it was a formative experience, but I knew that life promised other adventures, and I hurried toward them.
Source: “Faith of My Fathers”, p. 346-347
Nov 9, 1999
Vietnam transformed him to self-confident and serious
Vietnam changed me, in significant ways, for the better. It is a surpassing irony that war, for all its horror, provides the combatant with every conceivable human experience. Experiences that usually take a lifetime to know are
all felt, and felt intensely, in one brief passage of life. The veteran knows what great loss and great joy feel like when they occur in the same moment, the same experience.
Such an experience is transforming. And we can be
much the better for it. Surviving my imprisonment strengthened my self-confidence, and my refusal of early release taught me to trust my own judgment. I gained a seriousness of purpose that observers of my early life had found
difficult to detect. I would no longer err out of self-doubt or to alter a fate I felt had been imposed upon me.
Source: “Faith of My Fathers”, p. 347
Nov 9, 1999
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