|This article is part of the Wiki-The-Vote project to detail the positions and records of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama. This article covers McCain and Controversies. See the main page on John McCain for other positions and more info.|
|Sen. John McCain, as a two-time presidential candidate and outspoken member of the Senate, is no stranger to controversy. There was speculation that McCain would leave the Republican party following his defeat in the 2000 Republican presidential primary campaign, and other controversies have evolved during his political career.|
In July 2006 McCain expressed ambivalence towards a bill by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) that would allow Congress to file a lawsuit to get presidential signing statements declared unconstitutional. Speaking towards whether George W. Bush would use his signing statements to modify the enforcement of laws, specifically the signing statement issued on the torture ban McCain championed, he stated, "I think the president will enforce the law."
- Main article: Presidential signing statements
Leaving the Republican party
Following his unsuccessful run for President in 2000, McCain was contemplating leaving the Republican party. In interviews with former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and former Rep. Tom Downey (D-N.Y.), they said there were nearly two months of talks with the maverick lawmaker following an approach by John Weaver, McCain’s chief political strategist. Daschle claims that in 2001, he and other Democrats were attempting to persuade three Republicans to leave their party: Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.), Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.), and McCain. It's clear McCain was not going to be a Democrat, but he was very close to becoming an Independent. The McCain camp has denied these allegations. 
In an interview on April 2, 2007, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) stated that McCain's staff had approached him to "engage in a discussion about his potentially being on the (Democratic) ticket as Vice President" back in 2004. 
Targeted by Recall Drive
The Glendale, Arizona-based Americans for Integrity and Justice have organized a recall drive in opposition to "McCain's continued support of the unpopular Iraq war and consider him complicit in what they perceive as the erosion of American civil liberties associated with the war on terror," Dan Nowicki reported February 14, 2007, in The Arizona Republic.
William Crum, the organization's treasurer said: "For the most part, he's been all right, but he's supposed to be representing Arizona, and right now he seems to be just representing himself. ... He's got tunnel-vision for the presidency."
"The recall application filed [February 13, 2007] with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office accuses McCain of 'shirking his duties as a senator from the great state of Arizona' and of having 'acquiesced in his role as a member of the legislative branch to strongly check the power of the chief executive, who has for all intents and purposes become a king.'"
Filibusters and the "Gang of 14"
On May 23, 2005, McCain was one of fourteen moderate senators to forge a compromise as the "Gang of 14" on the Democrats' use of the judicial filibuster, thus blocking the Republican leadership's attempt to implement the so-called "nuclear option". Under the agreement, senators would retain the power to filibuster a judicial nominee, the Democrats would agree to use this power against Bush nominees only in an "extraordinary circumstance", the Republicans involved would agree to vote against the nuclear option if implemented, and three of the most contested Bush appellate court nominees (Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William H. Pryor, Jr.) would receive a vote by the full Senate.
Articles and resources
- John McCain
- John McCain/Economic Policy
- John McCain/Education Policy
- John McCain/Elections and Government Policy
- John McCain/Energy and Environment Policy
- John McCain/Food and Agriculture Policy
- John McCain/Health Policy
- John McCain/Infrastructure and Transportation Policy
- John McCain/Labor, Immigration and Retirement Policy
- John McCain/National Security and Foreign Policy
- John McCain/Rights, Liberties and Courts Policy
- John McCain/Communications, Science and Intellectual Property
- John McCain/Social Policy
- John McCain/Controversies
- Barack Obama
- Barack Obama/Economic Policy
- Barack Obama/Education Policy
- Barack Obama/Elections and Government Policy
- Barack Obama/Energy and Environment Policy
- Barack Obama/Food and Agriculture Policy
- Barack Obama/Health Policy
- Barack Obama/Infrastructure and Transportation Policy
- Barack Obama/Labor, Immigration and Retirement Policy
- Barack Obama/National Security and Foreign Policy
- Barack Obama/Rights, Liberties and Courts Policy
- Barack Obama/Communications, Science and Intellectual Property
- Barack Obama/Social Policy
- Barack Obama/Controversies
- Bob Cusack, "Democrats say McCain nearly abandoned GOP," The Hill, March 29, 2007.
- Jonathan Singer, "John Kerry: McCain Approached Me About Joining Dem Ticket in 2004," MyDD, April 3, 2007.
- Project Vote Smart's database of Obama's interest group ratings, Obama's important votes, McCain's important votes and McCain's interest group ratings.