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John McCain

1) We should continue in this war until Iraq is a stable democracy


"I am convinced that if we lose this conflict and leave, [the terrorists] will follow us home. It's not Iraq they are trying to take … Whether it was before, it is now part of this titanic struggle between good and evil, between radical Islamic extremists and their efforts to destroy everything we believe in."—John McCain

Shear, Michael D. "McCain Ties His Prospects to the War, " Washington Post (03/19/07)

John McCain has been a staunch supporter of the War in Iraq from the outset and though he has been highly critical of the way it is being fought, his corrective advice has usually called for more rather than fewer forces. He is supportive of the surge of troops, not because escalation assures the U.S. of success against the insurgents but because it is the only way we have a chance of succeeding. He hopes to bolster troops on the ground "to clear and hold insurgent strongholds; to provide security for rebuilding local institutions and economies; to halt sectarian violence in Baghdad and disarm Sunni and Shia militias; to dismantle al Qaeda; to train the Iraqi Army; and to embed American personnel in Iraqi police units." John McCain also believes there must be a greater emphasis on non-military efforts to promote economic development and representative, accountable governance.

The Consequences of Failure in Iraq, On the Issues, McCain.

Shear, Michael D. "McCain Ties His Prospects to the War, " Washington Post (03/19/07)

2) Efforts to combat global warming should be increased


McCain describes global warming as "a serious and urgent economic, environmental and national security challenge." "The world is already feeling the powerful effects of global warming,” he says, “and far more dire consequences are predicted if we let the growing deluge of greenhouse gas emissions continue, and wreak havoc with God’s creation.” McCain hopes to lower carbon emissions and has offered legislation to do so. As president he advocates setting “reasonable caps” on carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions, allowing companies with reduced emissions to trade earned credits for profits. McCain is a strong supporter of nuclear power as a means of reducing green house emissions and becoming more energy independent. He says that nuclear power is safe and the technology is here.

Cooper, Michael "In Speech, McCain to Push for Cap on Emissions," New York Times (4/23/07)

Moskowitz, Eric "McCain Calls For More Nukes," Concord Monitor (05/23/06)

Shear, Michael D. "McCain Ties His Prospects to the War, " Washington Post (03/19/07)

Summary of The Lieberman-McCain Climate Stewardship Act of 2003, Pew Center on Global Climate Change

3) The federal government should provide a universal health care system


Senator McCain has been active in pursuing improved access to health care, the wider availability of generic and imported drugs, and has advocated a "Patient Bill of Rights." Nevertheless, he urges that "Congress build upon the strengths of our current health care system while addressing its weaknesses. This should not be done by imposing price controls or creating a universal, government-run health care system. Rather, a balance must be found that protects consumers with market-based, competitive solutions without allowing those protections to be manipulated at the consumers' expense, particularly senior citizens and working families without health care insurance."

" McCain Urges Senate To Pass Generic Drug Bill Quickly To Make Prescription Drugs More Affordable," Press Release, U.S. Senator John McCain Arizona (06/21/02)

"The Candidates on Health Care," Religion & Politics, The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

"John McCain on Health Care," On The Issues

4) Same-sex marriage should be banned


Senator McCain believes that gays and lesbians are entitled to have private ceremonies without legal standing and opposes a constitutional amendment at the federal level to ban gay marriages. He supports, however, a ballot measure in Arizona and other initiatives at the state level to ban gay marriage.

Purdom, Todd S. "Prisoner of Conscience," Vanity Fair, February 2007

"Highlights from the College Tour with McCain: John McCain joined "Hardball's" Chris Matthews at Iowa State University " MSNBC (10/19/2006)

"McCain on Gay Marriage and Federalism," Michigan for McCain (blog), (11/02/06)

5) The civil law should be reformed so that lawsuits are less common and damage verdicts against individuals and businesses are lower


Senator McCain says, "I have long supported tort reform generally, and medical malpractice in particular, because the current system is unfair and inefficient," and for the most part, Senator McCain has voted for reforms that would make lawsuits less common and limit damage verdicts. On the other hand, McCain sponsored the McCain-Edwards-Kennedy Patients' Bill of Rights of 2002 (S.1052), which, if passed, would have ensured the right of patients to go to court against their managed care plan if injuries or death had occurred and internal and external reviews were exhausted.

"John McCain's Record on Economic Issues," Club for Growth (3/07)

"Statement Of Senator John Mc Cain On The Patient's First Act 2003," Press Release, U.S. Senator John McCain Arizona (7/10/03)

"Summary Of The McCain-Edwards-Kennedy Patients' Bill Of Rights," (n.d)

6) The US should increase foreign aid


John McCain believes that "supporting foreign aid, military assistance, development funds, democracy promotion activities and other programs should be a matter of course - something that America does as part of its responsibilities as the global superpower." He does speak out, however, against earmarks and appropriations that have little to do with serving America's interests and values. McCain's address to the Hoover Institution links foreign aid to good governance.

Statement of John McCain H.R, 3057, The Foreign Operations Appropriations Act For Fiscal Year 2006, Press Release, U.S. Senator John McCain Arizona (07/22/05)

"Senator McCain Addresses The Hoover Institution," Council on Foreign Relations (05/01/07)

7) Murderers should face the death penalty


John McCain strongly favors the death penalty and favors broadening its use to cover federal crimes and acts of terrorism. He voted against the use of racial statistics for death row appeals but also against the use of the death penalty for minors.

"The Candidates on the Death Penalty," Religion & Politics, The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

"John McCain Facts," Nevada Matters: The 2008 Caucuses

John McCain on Crime, On the Issues 2000

8) The government should stop subsidizing farmers


In 1996, John McCain opposed the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act that ended many farm subsidies, and he believes the federal government should help farmers stay solvent and adopt conservation measures. Nevertheless, McCain has been a major opponent of "pork" and waste in farm subsidy programs.

John McCain NNDB (beta version)

"McCain Objects To Provisions In 2007 Agriculture Appropriations Bill," (press release, 12/06/06) U.S. Senator John McCain

9) Before the social security system runs out of money, we should increase social security taxes to maintain benefits


John McCain says he is "unalterably opposed" to a tax increase to save social security, but he wants to sit down with Democrats and come up with a mutually agreeable plan and is willing to compromise. Despite supporting various forms of privatization in the past, he does not support a specific remedy at this point.

Transcript: Sen. John McCain on 'FOX News Sunday', April 29, 2007,2933,269119,00.html

"McCain Fleshes Out Position on Social Security," Cato Institute December 14, 1999 (quoted exchange between McCain and Mara Liasson, Fox News Sunday)

10) The federal government should be able to hold a suspected terrorist indefinitely without charging them with a crime


John McCain initially objected to aspects of the Military Commissions Act (2006), which suspended many civil liberties for alleged enemy combatants and broadens the definition of "enemy combatant" to anyone who "purposely and materially" supports hostilities against the U.S. With two other Republican senators, John Warner (VA) and Lindsey Graham (SC), he worked out a modest compromise with the Bush administration that still allows enemy combatants to be held without charge and without the guaranteed right to petition the federal courts through a writ of "habeas corpus," the fundamental protection against unlawful or secret imprisonment embedded in the Constitution and first instituted by the Magna Carta in 1215.

Senator John McCain Comments, Military Commissions Act of 2006, Congressional Record: September 27, 2006 (Senate) - Pages S10274 - S10275

"Bush signs bill to interrogate and prosecute suspected terrorists," USA Today (10/17/06)

Habeas Corpus (defined and explained),

11) The War on Drugs is a failure and should be curtailed.


John McCain takes a hard line on drugs: supporting severe penalties for drug traffickers (including the death penalty for drug kingpins), restricting the availability of methadone for heroine addicts, and halting the flow of drugs across the Mexican border while encouraging the free commerce in legal goods. McCain also supports federally sponsored education and treatment programs and encourages public-private partnerships, coordinated with state and local efforts.

"John McCain On Drugs," On the Issues

"John McCain on Drugs," On the Issues (fact sheet)

"McCain Announces Support Of John Walters As Director Of National Drug Control Policy Office" Press Release, U.S. Senator John McCain (01/30/01)

12) America should take stronger and more consistent measures against the presence of illegal immigrants in the United States


John McCain has consistently advocated for immigration reform that balances stronger control of illegal immigration with the needs of business (including a guest worker program) and a path setting some illegal immigrants already here on the way to citizenship. His views are controversial among those who oppose guest worker programs or feel that legislation he has proposed with Senator Edward Kennedy contains some provisions that amount to amnesty. Recently, McCain has yielded leadership on this issue to fellow Arizona senator, Jon Kyl, and has signaled he may be willing to compromise by requiring illegal immigrants already here to return home before applying for legal status.

Klein, Rick "Kennedy-McCain partnership falters: Immigration bill on shelf amid campaign," Boston Globe (03/22/07)

Preston, Julia "Senators Reach Outline on Immigration Bill," New York Times (05/08/07)

"John McCain on Immigration," On the Issues

Nagourney, Adam "G.O.P. Candidates Confront Immigration Politics," New York Times (03/20/07)


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