July 24, 2007

McCain Conference Call

John McCain has gotten back to holding regular conference calls with bloggers, and today he talked about his economic plan for a McCain presidency. He spoke about the issues surrounding displaced workers, and he underscored the need for some efforts to support and possibly retrain the unemployed. He did manage to mention his outrage over the suspension of consideration for the defense authorization bill -- for the first time in forty-five years, the bill is at risk. McCain called this "disgraceful", especially since Harry Reid has not scheduled its consideration on the Senate floor as of yet.


Robert Bluey: Barack Obama committed to meeting with Ahmadinejad, Catro, Chavez, and others -- A bit naive. Face-to-face negotiations tend to bolster the credibility of tyrants. What's going to be the topic of discussions? The elimination of Israel?

Jennifer Rubin: Do you feel that some of your GOP competitors are "softening" on Iraq, as you implied earlier? -- Don't know one way or the other, although Romney alluded to some secret plan for Iraq withdrawal. He's going to stay engaged in support of the war effort.

Philip Klein: Newt Gingrich said you'd drop out as soon as you get your FEC money? -- Newt has no knowledge of what I'm doing, and he has no basis for making that statement. He has not made the decision to take matching funds, but even if he did, it wouldn't mean he's dropping out of the race.

Me: AMT? - It's the elephant in the room, and it needs to go. He's already working on legislation to end it, and will introduce it this year or next.

* Do you want to leave corporate taxes as they are, or reduce them? -- He opposes the tax increase proferred by the Democrats, but would likely leave them where they're at, at least at the moment. He wants to see a simplified tax code. $140 billion got spent on tax preparation.

* Barack Obama said that preventing a genocide in Iraq isn't a national-security issue -- McCain said, What's Plan B? How can we advocate stopping genocide in Darfur while allowing it in Iraq? It's embarrassing that we allowed Rwanda, and McCain is proud of our interventions in the Balkans. He wants some kind of intervention in Darfur. McCain says he needs to do a better job of explaining the geopolitical implications of Iraq, because once Americans understand it, they'd support the effort.

Betsy Newmark: Kelo and eminent domain two years ago, and the federal efforts to deny funds to Kelo-type redevelopment have stalled. -- McCain has some specific proposals coming out on this topic. He says its a sleeper issue, but he plans on highlighting it in his campaign.

* Can we expect to hear more from you on energy policy, and have the GOP ceded it to the Democrats? McCain says that climate change and energy independence are intertwined, and the GOP needs to lead. Energy is a national-security issue, and we need to become independent for our own economic and physical security. We will hear more on this from him.

Ryan Sager - Early state strategy; will you still be focusing on Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina? -- Yes, absolutely, although he will be campaigning hard in states like Michigan and Florida.

Me: Fair tax -- can we shift to a consumption tax? McCain says that it would be complicated to determine what to tax. Bread? Milk? We'd be left to taxing Bentleys, "which as you know most bloggers drive". He wants to form a commission to look at the options. Estonia has a 22% flat tax. Why can't we do the same?

Paul Mirengoff: Sarbanes-Oxley; do you support DeMint's proposal to reform SOX? McCain says it's a good proposal. Whenever government tries to solve a problem, they create more of them, "and that's Sarbanes Oxley in spades". It penalizes small business. McCain acknowledges his error in voting for the proposal, and says it needs to be redone.

Addendum: McCain's campaign would be well advised to continue these conference calls. It keeps McCain sharp on policy, and usually gives him a chance to allow his natural sense of humor to break out. I'd also note that the questions offered by bloggers on these calls far outstrip those asked at last night's YouTube debate for substance.


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Comments (5)

Posted by superdestroyer | July 24, 2007 9:18 AM

I cannot think of anything less relevent to politics in th e U.S. than the opinions of John McCain. Why can't he just crawl into a hole somewhere and just go away.

Posted by G. Charles | July 24, 2007 9:24 AM

I don't give McCain much of a chance, but if Fred and Rudy implode for some reason, I'd consider McCain. But even then, I'm not sure he'd be my choice. Capt. Ed is right, though, about these conference calls, they've raised McCain from nowhere on my list to somewhere around 5th place.

Posted by SkyWatch | July 24, 2007 9:38 AM

I have read his interviews and such and the man can sure talk a good game. Then I start thinking about his record and his explosive temper (which I understand since I have it also. Easy and fast to piss off but I forget about it and move on in short order).

Posted by Rose | July 24, 2007 5:53 PM

One thing McJack-aaaaaaaaaaaaaa has established through his own behavior is the SECOND the ELECTION is over, HE begins work IN SPADES on HIGHER TAXES and abridging American citizens' rights - stomping the Constitution to shreds.

May the stuff he dishes all be poured back over his own head - warm.

Posted by Rose | July 24, 2007 5:59 PM

Fred, Rudi, Mitt, McJackaaaa will all implode - the only question is if the GOP will be stupid enough to let one of them do it in the General Election, instead of focusing on one of the real Conservatives in the race, like Duncan Hunter, or someone they could draft - but none of those 4 or Newt will be President of the USA.

Oh! And FTR the trolls can certainly forget about Ron Paul or Ralph Nader.