John McCain is incapable of disagreeing with strict immigration enforcement activists without lambasting their character, honesty, and integrity. We’re “nativists” and Jim Crow-style racists who should just “f**k” off. He couldn’t help sneering at former GOP rival Mitt Romney’s business experience as dishonorable and greedy. And his personal vindictiveness toward GOP Hill staffers who have opposed his positions is well-known.
Contrast this treatment of people in his own party with McCain’s treatment of his supposed ideological opposite, Hillary Clinton. Yesterday, McCain was asked about his comment three years ago that Hillary would make a “good president.” If his explanation of the remarks to George Stephanopoulous is supposed to “calm down” conservatives, the McCain camp is 1) more out of touch with reality than I imagined, and 2) hurtling towards a repeat of the 1996 Dole/Kemp disaster faster than I imagined. When Hillary’s Democrat rival, Barack Obama, is doing a better job of attacking the ethically-challenged, truth-challenged, integrity-challenged Clintons than the GOP presidential front-runner, we are in deep doo-doo.
Here are the vid and transcript. Watch, read, cringe, discuss:
Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain of Arizona sat down with George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” today for a wide-ranging interview.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You’re a superstitious man.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Let me say that I’m the luckiest man. You know, I don’t like to use superstitious. I just feel that I’m very lucky, and I like to have things that make me luckier.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So when was the first moment you let yourself believe “I’m going to be the nominee”?
MCCAIN: I haven’t yet.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You haven’t yet?
MCCAIN: Well, I think we’ve got to go through it. I think we’ve got a very good shot at it. I’m optimistic. But I think the time to do that is when [former Arkansas] Governor [Mike] Huckabee and the party decides that I am the nominee. He’s still in the race, and he said he’s going to stay in, and I respect that. So we’ll compete.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Back in 2005, you said, “I have no doubt that Sen. [Hillary] Clinton would make a good president.”
MCCAIN: Well, look, here’s — Sen. Clinton and I are sitting next to each other, and we’re asked, “Would she,” quote, “be a good president?” She would be a good president in the respect that I think she has integrity, I think she has all of the qualities that are necessary, but she has a very different philosophical view, the liberal Democratic view, than I have, which is conservative Republican.
So when you say “good,” she’s a good person. But we have strong differences in our views of government. I think she is a very good person. I think that Sen. [Barack] Obama is a good person.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But not good presidents?
MCCAIN: They certainly wouldn’t make the kind of president that I would be or I wouldn’t be running. You see my point? It’s not a, quote, “good.” I think they would work hard. I think they would be dedicated to the things that they believe in and stand for. I just have different fundamental philosophical views than they do.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But it sounds like you wouldn’t say the same thing today?
MCCAIN: I would say that they would be good in the respect they’re people of good character, honesty, integrity, when you look at that. Would they be good from a governing standpoint? Certainly not what I would do for this country.