A Teleconference With John McCain: “Roadhouse Rules”


I just got off of a teleconference with John McCain. What follows are my notes, not quotes, from what McCain had to say.

Opening Statement

I have been traveling to places where they have had trouble participating in the American dream like Inez, Kentucky, Selma, Alabama and the 9th ward in Louisiana.

Local government is far more important than bureaucracy from DC. If people want their taxes raised, I am not their guy. I am committed to the principles of Ronald Reagan on the economy. Spending, not the lack of revenues is the problem in DC. Spending cuts are available. Earmarks have gone up 940% in the last 10 years. Discretionary spending has gone up 70% during the Bush Administration.

I believe that economic growth increases revenues. Capital gains cuts grow the economy. Obama wants to raise taxes. Anybody who wants to raise taxes in difficult times does not understand the basics of the economy and is out of touch.

The special interests are upset about my proposal to knock off taxes on gas this summer, but I think we should give the American people a break on gas prices whether they like it or not. We also need to work on energy independence.

Q&A Session

What obligation does Obama have to discuss his association with radicals and what responsibility does the media have to talk about it?

I think Obama owes an apology to the American people for comparing Ayers to Coburn and for associating with Ayers. Ayers was unrepentant and the American people should discuss that. In my view, the Weathermen were a terrorist organization and the media should be talking about it.

You asked them to pull the NC ad. Could you explain what was wrong with the ad?

I do believe Reverend Wright should be discussed, but in my view we should be talking about the differences on the issues. I don’t think that commercial was an appropriate message for the GOP. I didn’t agree with the ad and would like it taken down. I think there are many other issues that should be discussed.

Could you win California?

I intend to compete there, I understand the issues that affect western states. I am going to travel the state extensively and I think Arnold Schwarzenegger has proven that Republicans can win that state.

What is your impression of the operations in Basra currently?

It has been a pleasant turn of events. The Iraqis acted on their own, orchestrated the operation, and the Iraqi military has taken control of the city with limited American support. The government is telling Sadr that if his group continues to bear arms against the government, he won’t be allowed to participate in the next election. It wasn’t perfect, but I am pleased with how it went in general.

Is Senator Obama’s relationship with Wright something that voters should take into account, but you don’t want to see ads on that? Is that your position?

I just think this ad is offensive to some and I would like to have it taken down. As the nominee, I want the best kind of campaign. I don’t control the NC Republican Party, but I wanted to tell them to take the ad down. I can’t order them to do it.

Hamas has indicated that they would be very pleased with an Obama presidency. Do you think Senator Obama has given an unhelpful signal to Hamas?

I think it’s very clear who Hamas, Daniel Ortega, and several others want as the President of the US. I will be the worst nightmare of Hamas. When you say you will sit down with the President of Iran, who denies the Holocaust, wants to see Israel wiped off the map, and is exporting supplies to people killing soldiers in Iraq, it’s understandable why Hamas would prefer Obama instead of me.

In Cook County, they will pay the nation’s highest sales tax. Obama strongly endorsed the guy responsible.

Senator Obama has made it clear he also wants to raise taxes. I feel tax reductions have been uniformly good for the economy and tax increases have been uniformly bad for the economy. Obama’s Capital Gains tax would hurt 100 million Americans.

Would you be interested in debating Hillary prior to the primary since Obama bowed out of the debate?

No, because it would appear I was favoring one nominee over the other. Once they pick out a candidate, there will be plenty of time for the debate.

Summary: All in all, McCain sounded really good and he knocked the living hell out of Barack Obama. He ripped BO as out of touch, said he wanted to raise taxes, said he owed the American people an apology for his association with Ayers, said he didn’t understand the economy — the kid gloves definitely came off.

Also, reading between the lines on the NC ad, it seemed to me that the message McCain was sending goes something about like this,

“When it comes to Obama, I want the 501(c)(4) groups and the GOP to hit him on the issues. When it comes to his character, leave it to me, the mainstream media, and the conservative pundits, talk radio hosts, and bloggers.”

In other words, what he’s trying to do is signal the GOP and the 501(c)(4) groups that he has instituted Roadhouse rules for the election,

I want you to be nice..until it’s time to not be nice.

Well, how’re we supposed to know when that is?

You won’t. I’ll let you know.

Also see,

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