Presidential hopeful Senator John McCain recently spoke at the Manhattan Institute and outlined his positions on major issues in an off the cuff Q&A session after his speech. Below is a heavily edited summary of his positions taken from an article in The New York Sun.
He noted that he didn’t say that intelligent design needed to be taught in “science class,” leaving unclear exactly what class he thought it should be taught in. He said he believed local school boards, not the federal government, should determine curricula.
“From a personal standpoint, I believe in evolution,” Mr. McCain said. At the same time, he said, “When I stand on the rim of the Grand Canyon and I see the sun going down, I believe the hand of God was there.”
Mr. McCain sounded like a scold. He said the Republican base is fed up with excess federal spending. “I am worried about them staying home in this upcoming election,” Mr. McCain said.
The senator said he was concerned about a rising tide of trade protectionism. “I thought this hysteria over Dubai was almost incomprehensible,” he said, referring to Congressional action that scuttled a deal to sell a port operator to a Dubai-owned company.
Mr. McCain warned that after the election this November, Congress may return to pass an “obscene, horrible, omnibus appropriations bill ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ loaded up with pork-barrel projects.”
Mr. McCain voiced support for President Bush’s approach, saying it is “far from workable to round up 11 million people and send them back.”
“Four hundred ten people died in the desert last year. One was a two-year old child.”
Mr.McCain said he was “deeply disappointed” by European comments that Israel has overreacted to attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah. He blamed Syria and Iran for the attacks, and he said if America were attacked with rockets, it would react strongly, as Israel had. “No nation in the world would react any differently,” he said, a theme that was echoed later in the day by a potential 2008 rival of Mr. McCain’s, Senator Clinton.
Campaign Finance Reform
Mr. McCain returned to scold mode, going on a tirade against independent political advertising groups known as 527s after the section of the tax code under which they exist. They include groups like Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and a group that spent money against Mr. McCain in the 2000 New York Republican primary. “These 527s are very dangerous,” Mr. McCain said. “They can wreak havoc. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ In my view they are a violation of everything that we believe in.”
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe senator said the Supreme Court had already ruled the McCain-Feingold Act, also known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, legal in a case he referred to as “McConnell versus Whatever.”