McCain Campaign: Stevens Indictment Showcases Washington Corruption
By Juliet Eilperin
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has yet to comment publicly on Tuesday's indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) on federal corruption charges, but this afternoon his spokeswoman Nicolle Wallace took the opportunity to use the indictment to buttress the presumptive GOP nominee's frequent comment that "Washington is corrupt." Stevens, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee before his indictment this week, had frequently fought with McCain over channeling federal dollars to parochial projects such as Alaska's "Bridge to Nowhere."
"Like every American, Senator Stevens is entitled to a presumption of innocence," Wallace told reporters in a prepared statement aboard the campaign plane. "Senator McCain and Senator Stevens have clashed famously over the appropriations process, which Senator McCain views as broken and subject to the type of corruption that has caused voters to lose faith with Washington and, as he mentions nearly daily on the campaign trail, has resulted in former members of Congress residing in federal prison."
She added, "Senator McCain has fought loudly and often alone against corruption and wasteful spending, and this is a sad reminder that the next president will have his work cut out for him in rebuilding public trust, by ending once and for all wasteful pork barrel spending and reforming the federal government from top to bottom."
While McCain had called on Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) to resign in the wake of misdemeanor charges several months ago, Wallace indicated the senator is not demanding the same of Stevens.
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