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McCain denies flip-flopping, blames media

McCain454.jpg
(Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

By Matt DeLong

It's been often noted in recent months how Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) positions on a host of issues, including climate change and immigration, have moved considerably to the right in the face of a once-formidable primary challenge from former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.). Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) even commented to the New York Times that McCain, his good friend, was largely absent from the negotiating table with Democrats because "John's got a primary. He's got to focus on getting reelected."

In a new interview with Politics Daily's Jill Lawrence, McCain now denies that he has changed any of his positions and blames the media for spreading such lies.

"Lindsey knows that I don't change in my positions," he says. "I have not changed in my positions. I know how popular it is for the Eastern press to paint me as having changed positions. That's not true. I know they're going to continue to say it. It's fundamentally false. Not only am I sure that they'll say it, you'll say it. You'll write it. And I've just grown to accept that."

Of course, McCain's position changes are easily documented. McCain famously flip-flopped this year on repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bans gay people from serving openly in the military.

"The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, 'Senator, we ought to change the policy,' then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it," McCain said in October 2006 to an audience of Iowa State University students.

That day arrived Tuesday, with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen testifying to senators after President Obama's announcement that he would seek a congressional repeal of the 15-year-old policy. [...]

In response, McCain declared himself "disappointed" in the testimony. "At this moment of immense hardship for our armed services, we should not be seeking to overturn the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy," he said bluntly, before describing it as "imperfect but effective."

McCain later vowed to support a filibuster of a bill containing language that would repeal the policy.

"The Daily Show," on which McCain has been a guest numerous times, has done yeoman's work documenting McCain's greatest flips. Watch:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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www.thedailyshow.com
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By Matt DeLong  |  August 17, 2010; 11:51 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

SENATOR MC CAIN, IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO RETIRE AND I FOR ONE WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO YOUR COUNTRY AND WISH YOU THE BEST FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. YOU HAVE SERVED THIS COUNTRY HONORABLY AND NOW IT IS TIME TO GO FISHING AND ENJOY WHAT TIME YOU HAVE LEFT AMONG US.

Posted by: rteapee | August 19, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

ENATOR MC CAIN, IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO RETIRE AND I FOR ONE WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO YOUR COUNTRY AND WISH YOU THE BEST FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. YOU HAVE SERVED THIS COUNTRY HONORABLY AND NOW IT IS TIME TO GO FISHING AND ENJOY WHAT TIME YOU HAVE LEFT AMONG US.

Posted by: rteapee | August 19, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Mc Cain is a RHINO and it astounds me that he pulls the wool over the eyes of the people of AZ for some many years. My god look at this man and tell me he is from earth.

Posted by: judester | August 18, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Mc Cain is a RHINO and it astounds me that he pulls the wool over the eyes of the people of AZ for some many years. My god look at this man and tell me he is from earth.

Posted by: judester | August 18, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

McCain should be out to pasture as a great human but a pi$$ poor senator he flies like the wind. I can't believe the voters in AZ are that ignorant to put this PCS in office again. He does nothing for the problems of the state and less for the problems of the nation. Please vote him out. I really wish I lived in Arizona again to vote him out.

Posted by: judester | August 18, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

McCain like Reid has his back up against the wall. He will say and twist anything to keep his power. Time for this RINO to go!

Posted by: jggc | August 18, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

McCain should be out to pasture as a great human but a pi$$ poor senator he flies like the wind. I can't believe the voters in AZ are that ignorant to put this PCS in office again. He does nothing for the problems of the state and less for the problems of the nation. Please vote him out. I really wish I lived in Arizona again to vote him out.

Posted by: judester | August 18, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

McCain denies 'flip-flopping'.....LOL! This guy makes a carp on the hot deck of an aluminum boat look like an eel. When was the last time McCain ever said anything that he didn't deny saying, or change his mind on, due to the shifting political winds? Please, please vote this pathetic old fart out of office. I can't vote in Arizona but have been giving as much as I can afford to JD's campaign. To be fair, JD has baggage also but when compared to McLame he should change his initials to 'JC'!

Posted by: doni1 | August 18, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is the classic example of a politician that must be replaced. He contradicts himself so much recently that I think he has become senile. Remember the McCain/Kennedy Amnesty Bill and of course the 'Gang of 14' debacle. McCain was a patriot, just how good I'm not sure. Thousands of our soldiers, sailors and marines were killed and captured during the VietNam conflict. McCain saved himself by collaborating with the enemy; in truth most of us would have probably done the same thing. However, this does not place him on the pedistal that many have elevated him to. The good people of Arizona need to get a grip and vote this guy out of office. His tenure in the US Senate has been marginal at best and his recent flip-flopping is an embarrassment to the conservative cause. JD has some baggage but it's way past time to give someone else a chance to represent the people of the great state of Arizona.

Posted by: doni1 | August 18, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

This guy is another fine example of the need for AGE LIMITS in congress. It's time for him and his fellow geriatrics to move on and let the next generation try to clen up the mess he and his colleuges have left us. Can someone twell me pleae, why these guy's well entrenched in their 70's continue to run or re-election? How come we never see the media address the age of these alledged public servants and ask when enough is enough or should I say, how old is too old?. Ted Kennedy was practically an invalid, Robert Byrd was an invalid, Ted Stevens was 90 yrs old when defeated, I can go on! Am I the only guy who notices how old these guy's are and that it's time to move on? These Senators are beyond selfish and self-absorbed! Freaking Wal Mart greeters aren't even this old for crying old loud. Pathetic!

Posted by: applecart5055 | August 18, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

This guy is another fine example of the need for AGE LIMITS in congress. It's time for him and his fellow geriatrics to move on and let the next generation try to clen up the mess he and his colleuges have left us. Can someone twell me pleae, why these guy's well entrenched in their 70's continue to run or re-election? How come we never see the media address the age of these alledged public servants and ask when enough is enough or should I say, how old is too old?. Ted Kennedy was practically an invalid, Robert Byrd was an invalid, Ted Stevens was 90 yrs old when defeated, I can go on! Am I the only guy who notices how old these guy's are and that it's time to move on? These Senators are beyond selfish and self-absorbed! Freaking Wal Mart greeters aren't even this old for crying old loud. Pathetic!

Posted by: applecart5055 | August 18, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

McCain is a progressive and that means he's a RINO. He proved that in his run for the presidency, he campaigned more for Obama then he did for himself. If it had not been for Palin it would have been a landslide. The Democrats love him and the Republicans don't need him. John it's time to retire.

Posted by: savage24 | August 18, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr McCain,
During WW2 one of our greatest generals, General George Patton, used a timetable to hoodwink Hitler.
In OPERATION FORTITUDE, he made Hitler think that the actual invasion would be at Calais right after the Normandy "diversion".
Similarly until Wikileaks, Osama was bamboozled by another timetable.
He didn't know whether to attack or wait for that timetable.
I am surprised that Oliver North never heard of that operation.
Did you?
Clifford Spencer

Posted by: yankeefan1925 | August 18, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

John has always challenged the definition of "character"... which he constantly says "character matters."

How can a guy who divorced his first wife who became disabled, then marry into a family which had prior organized crime ties, then became close friends with the "father" of the worst financial disaster before 2008 (The Keating 5) and is consistently a frequent flip-flopper.....ever have any claim to having "character?"

John simply does not have any dependable principles which normal citizens would call "character."

And his worst sin of all was to pluck from absolute obscurity a totally dim bulb who would flea from public office in order to become an overpaid spokesman for the Republican Party.... Sarah Palin!

Clearly an example of John's total loss of rational thought.

It's time to flush the John....

Posted by: dasoldfart | August 18, 2010 1:31 AM | Report abuse

I THINK IT IS FUNNY HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN HATE SO EASILY ON A BLOG. How infrequently I have read that people in AZ are proud of our Senator and how fiscally conservative he is. I have not read about anyone being proud of his work on our Nation's security or on bringing the base to AZ. I am so sure that these individuals above may just be too ignorant to actually know what our Senator has done. He is not always my favorite, but he is pretty damn good at what he does. As for him retiring, there is no way in heck I can see him leaving his Senator Seat to someone as stupid, egotistical or as corrupt as JD Hayworth.

Posted by: antidonkey | August 18, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Once a "LIAR" always a "LIAR".

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | August 17, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

He flip flopped on his entire stance when he was running against Obama and lost my vote. He stopped being a Republican I could trust and became just another ego wanting to be President.

Posted by: reiley | August 17, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

What particular planet is McCain living on??? I live in AZ, I've lived here 16 years - and in the past 2 years, I have no senator at all. Not only has McCain flip-flopped, he surely owns a pair of hot pink flip-flops after everything he now denies he has changed. Maybe he has Sometimers - sometimes he remembers what he's said, and most times he doesn't. Yes, he has changed his view - several times.

Posted by: Figerre1 | August 17, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

What particular planet is McCain living on??? I live in AZ, I've lived here 16 years - and in the past 2 years, I have no senator at all. Not only has McCain flip-flopped, he surely owns a pair of hot pink flip-flops after everything he now denies he has changed. Maybe he has Sometimers - sometimes he remembers what he's said, and most times he doesn't. Yes, he has changed his view - several times.

Posted by: Figerre1 | August 17, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Bless his heart - he can't really believe we are that stupid. But wait - this is Arizona and we have a legislature that passed SB1070 at the same time it passed the "concealed weapons without permit" law. Perhaps we really are that stupid! Heaven help us!!

Posted by: dovevalley-az | August 17, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately I live in Arizona. While there are many things I love about the state, politically its become a total embarrassment. John McCain is certainly at the top of the list. For as long as I can remember flip/flopping and lack of honesty has been his trademark.

Posted by: slcnaz | August 17, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

McCain, Obama...

...no matter which political party one chooses to follow blindly down the sewer pipe both are joyously leading us it's a shame neither could come up with someone capable of doing the job of leading the country.

Posted by: deadmanwalking | August 17, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

John McCain has sold himself to the regressive Republi-WON'T Party of NO! body and soul. He was a man I once had respect for and had even contemplated voting for, before he became a slave to the regressives. He is no longer an honest man. John, you can fool all of the people SOME of the time and some of the people ALL the time, but, you can't fool ALL the people ALL the time. If you look in the mirror, you'll also see that you can't fool YOURSELF! Abraham Lincoln once said, "I will stand with a man when he is right, but must part with him if he goes wrong". John McCain has gone WRONG. Wrong, goose-stepping in line with his "Party" and Wrong for America. Where is the John McCain who would fight for his OWN beliefs rather than lay down his moral fortitude under pressure from hard, right-wing fanatics who control the Party now? Beats me, seems like he's been gone quite a while. News archives have shown you to "flip-flop", John, It's an undeniable truth. Have you had your arteries checked lately?

Posted by: billnbillieskid | August 17, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

McCain is a synomym for denial. The man has reversed his position so many times, and it has been documented by the media and not fabricated or taken out of context, that he can't even tell you which of his yes, no, maybe, I don't know, never said it positions is his first or last. On DADT, he said that if Gen. Powell said it should go, it should go, but when Gen. Powell said it should go, McCain said he was disappointed that an inefficient but effective policy would be receiving that kind of testimony. The problem with McCain is that he doesn't know what he is doing, whether he is coming, going, got there, been there or is back here already. He does everything he can to get TV face time, even if it means denying that he just said something.

He is irrelevant and should be replaced, maybe by an illegal alien, who would, doubtless, do as well or better than McCain.

Posted by: ronjeske | August 17, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I have differed with McCain and have supported several of his opponents. HOWEVER,DeLong and Stewart AND MOST OF YOUR READERS' COMMENTS ARE WRONG AND UNFAIR. You screamed when NAACP were taken out of context...give McCain the same fairness.

Posted by: ARMYCol | August 17, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

John McCain Republican Nominee for President of the United States:

"I had a choice between lying and losing.
I chose lying."

Your honor is gone, sir.

************

And he still lost.

Posted by: astroboy108 | August 17, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Old John really hasn't changed his core belief... in John McCain.

The entire remainder of his existence is empty rhetoric, and always has been.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | August 17, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Stop whining, you decrepit old jackwagon!

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | August 17, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

swatkins1 @ August 17, 2010 3:12 PM wrote "What a pathetic, mentally deranged old man. This is what the repubicans wanted to run our nation, with his little mean girl shrieker beside him. A man who cannot, will not admit he has changed positions so many times, denying he has ever shown any sign of flip-flopping......Sweet Jesus.....This is the conservative message."

But take comfort in the thought that Palin was his backup. She could see Russia from her house, and reads every newspaper, but forgets which.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | August 17, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Let's see - Eastern press, Western press, Southern press, Mid-Wedstern press, etc.? Give him credit for being inventive in labelling.

Posted by: seaduck2001 | August 17, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Early stage dementia?

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | August 17, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

What a pathetic, mentally deranged old man. This is what the repubicans wanted to run our nation, with his little mean girl shrieker beside him. A man who cannot, will not admit he has changed positions so many times, denying he has ever shown any sign of flip-flopping......Sweet Jesus.....This is the conservative message.

Posted by: swatkins1 | August 17, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

The old fart has finally lost what little mind he had left. Go back to Viet Nam John.

Posted by: dem4life1 | August 17, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Come live in AZ. We haven't had sane representation for 6 years. McCain needs to retire...he isn't doing Arizona any good at all.

Posted by: gammayin | August 17, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

That's right John, blame the evil "Eastern" press for what you do. Collect all your sound bites, pop some corn, and watch them. It's all your words, not some wicked press fabrication.

Posted by: jckdoors | August 17, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Could it just simply be that John is in that phase of life where he can't remember where he lives. My Friend please retire before you embarrass yourself anymore than you already have.

Haven't the Republicans worn out the "media distortion" excuse?

Posted by: chucko2 | August 17, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

10-1 mccain wont live to serve his 6 yrs. like most of the senate hes just a sick old man.

Posted by: donaldtucker | August 17, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

John McCain Republican Nominee for President of the United States:

"I had a choice between lying and losing.
I chose lying."

Your honor is gone, sir.

Posted by: vigor | August 17, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I have another one: McCain was against Bush's tax cuts until he was for it.

Posted by: beeker25 | August 17, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Since this is on the Obama Presidency Blog, where is President Obama's comment on this pressing matter?

Posted by: jiji1 | August 17, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Since this is on the Obama Presidency Blog, where is President Obama's comment on this pressing matter?

Posted by: jiji1 | August 17, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

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