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McCain Recommends Mentors as Gang Violence Fix

By Michael D. Shear
PHILADELPHIA -- The question for Sen. John McCain at a town hall meeting here was one of those softballs that Republicans historically use to demonstrate their law-and-order toughness: What are you going to do about teen gangs?

But McCain's answer was anything but law-and-order tough.

"I'm going to have to work very hard to make sure they know that there's a better life," McCain began his answer to the question, which focused on violence among teens on the streets of Philadelphia. The question was asked by a woman who introduced herself as a mentor to young people.

McCain cited good news that violent crime overall is down across the country, but said that is "small consolation" for cities where murders and other violent crime is up.

But the Republican presidential nominee did not talk the way many Republican candidates do about the need for a crackdown on gangs, or tougher prison sentences or a need to enforce gun laws. (The answer might have been different had former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani been the nominee. The former mayor repeatedly talked about crackdowns on crime.)

Instead, McCain repeated his belief that gang members "need mentors. I think they need role models" and related a story about a program run by a Baptist college in Arkansas. "We've go to have mentors."

"We've also got to give them an opportunity and a path and away out," he added. "Some of these gangs have now become almost international ... incarceration has sometimes made them worse criminals when they get out than they are when they went in."

Like many politicians, McCain linked the gang problem to illegal drugs, and noted the need to "secure our border" to stem the supply of drugs. But even there, he declined to say he would push for tougher drug sentences, saying instead that "we've got to do a much better job
of educating young Americans."

Crime is not one of the 14 issues that McCain lists on his campaign website.

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 11, 2008; 1:35 PM ET
Categories:  John McCain  
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Next: Lieberman Points to McCain's Son in Defending His Dad

Comments

John McIdiot is a dangerous man there is nothing more dangerous than an angry man that is startring to forget everything Think about this he could keep redeploying troops thinking that he never ever deployed them in the first place why else do you think he says we could be in Iraq 100 years we will if he has his way and gets elected

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

There's just no satisfying you liberal democrat's are there!
It seem's regardless of whatever Sen. McCain has to say, you liberal's will just continue badmouth him.
To me he is a very good an decent man that has the experience, knowledge, integraty an the respect that can an will make a very great presient! He will be a presisedent that can an will make us allvery proud to call ourselve's American's!!!!
Vote for Sen. John McCain for the next president of our great nation!!!!
Ray in Calif.

Posted by: Ray | June 11, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Allow me to add one more point.

McSame, is EXACTLY like Bushie and Chertoff on the GARBAGE about "Securing our Borders".

MOST of the funding for Homeland Security went down the same stupid Black Hole called the INSIPID WAR ON DRUGS!

Not on stopping INVADERS!

McAmnesty does not even remotely comprehend the levels of longterm damage being done by the Invasarios he is courting!

Drugs McCain? Gangs?

Here is an Idea: How about you STOP the flood of Wage destroying invaders taking UNTAXED Jobs being given by CRIMINAL EMPLOYERS, and let some Young People actually get paid a fair wage for doing LEGAL Work?

Let's see, $10/Hr because Butt-Heads like McAmnesty ALLOW and CONDONE Criminals to Employ Invaders under the Table, or $1,000/Day being a Criminal ALSO and taking advantage of an INSIPID Government Created Opportunistic market?

Golly! Tough decision!

Hasta la Vista Senor Senile!

Someone, get that Old Moron OFF the GOP Executive Ticket!

HE, is a CERTAIN Loser!

Mitt & Mike! Beltway OUTSIDERS-For "REAL" Change!

Posted by: SAINT---The | June 11, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

THIS, is where I find MYSELF wanting to become involved Directly, as a YOUNGER, Conservative.

Having outgrown the Idealism of my younger years, I can honestly claim to have come to a fuller understanding of what is involved. In the 70's, Pot was a "Social Statement". The Federal Government concocted a bad attitude about a Substance EVERYONE knew was Not that Bad! Our collective resentment led to a Counter-Culture that revolted the Up-Tight Norm.

The Youth and Libbies will cry "Legalize It!" still!

I Scream:

REGULATE IT! TAX IT! Actually "Control" IT!

Cripes, Controlled Substances is the BIGGEST Oxymoron of them all!

The LACK of Control is WHY we have an opportunistic underworld of Gangs marketing products the Government is too damn stupid to get out of their hands and control!

The Failed and Wasted efforts to block supplies-Sets the Prices at very lucrative levels, and indirectly ENCOURAGES Dealing! In short, the Harder we make it, the MORE the Profits for doing it go up!

THEN, we have to incarcerate at 80 THOUSAND DOLLARS a YEAR, the Opportunistic Marketers we catch!

Soooooooo, let's see:

We spend $$$$$$ trying to Stop it.
"Some" People then have to pay Big $$$$$$ because the Price has been driven up-ALL for a Product with NO Quality control, or INSPECTION!
Then, They might have to spend Big $$$$$ to try to keep from having Society have to Spend Big $$$$$ to Incarcerate them!

Meanwhile, our Hospitals have to Treat VICTIMS of Products they Paid Big $$$$ for, but SHOULD have been Inspected and Quality Controlled!

Regulate the Products just like Alcohol, and Tobacco. Reality Check for the truly dumb-It is ALREADY Available! It would all be much better being actually "CONTROLLED"!

BTW-I am talking about Jobs and Tax Money here! ;~)

I DID claim to be a Conservative!

Posted by: SAINT---The | June 11, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Agreed the bob.bob. And already the "Willie Horton" Republicans have "targeted" law and order as an area they're going to attack Sen. Obama on ... not at alllll to remind voters that, hey, pssst, he's , you know .... well, just look at him! The guy who created the Horton ad, apparently still a mark of honor in the Republican ranks, is out threatening a "527" ad series on this. And Johnnie Boy won't have annnything to do with it. Right.

Posted by: straight talk my a** | June 11, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Can you imagine the Republican response if a Dem suggested mentoring of law-breaking minority inner-city gang members? I can hear the bluster from the fat white guys on Fox. "He wants to sit around and sing kumbaya" "These punks should be in jail, in work camps", "whose gonna pay to coddle these law breakers". There are good reasons you won't hear those kind of comments from the Dems.

Posted by: thebob.bob | June 11, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

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