John McCain/Controversies

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search
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.
Wiki the vote tall.gif

Things you can do:

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.

Presidential power

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."[1]

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. [1]

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. [2]

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

See also


  1. Bob Cusack, "Democrats say McCain nearly abandoned GOP," The Hill, March 29, 2007.
  2. Jonathan Singer, "John Kerry: McCain Approached Me About Joining Dem Ticket in 2004," MyDD, April 3, 2007.

External resources

External articles