By JAVIER MANJARRESSenior Republican Senator John McCain recently interviewed with the liberal New Republic magazine, where he reiterated his disdain for the new crop of “wacko bird” conservative U.S. Senators, by referring to them as isolationists.
McCain singled out Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Rand Paul (R-KY), as the “evil doers” who are content with blocking legislation in the U.S. Senate, regardless of how un-American and destructive the legislation may be. McCain even said that if the 2016 Presidential race boiled down to either Hillary Clinton or Rand Paul, that deciding on whom to vote for “would be a tough choice” for him.
Here is the Q & A exchange-
McCain: I am not sure if it has been frozen, but certainly there is an element in the party that has been there prior to [World War II], the isolationist, America-Firsters. Prior to World War I, it was Western senators, and then Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, and then Taft versus Eisenhower. Even Reagan—Reagan’s presidency was perfect without ever a problem [said sarcastically]—there was an isolationist wing that fought against Reagan. And now the bad economy has exacerbated what has always been out there.
Q: Do you think this wing has changed the comity in the Senate? There were the attacks on Hagel. Do these things concern you?
McCain: Oh yeah. It’s of concern. But it’s important for me to be respectful. After I called them wacko birds, I apologized. I try and be respectful but also go out there and debate them every chance I get. Small example: For four years, Harry Reid—and I beat him up regularly—wouldn’t bring a budget to the Senate. This year, we brought one, stayed up all night. We were so proud, we passed a budget resolution—most of it nonsense—but guess what? Now we have the same group3 who are blocking going to conference. The same group sometimes doesn’t want to take up a bill and at other times blocks a bill because they can’t get all the amendments they want.
McCain also believes that it is problematic that both Cruz and Paul hail from the same states as a couple of Republican Senate leaders, Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn.
But what’s a real interesting take-away from the interview is that McCain made it a point to exclude his fellow immigration reform bill compadre, Senator Marco Rubio from the Senate GOP “Legion of Doom.” McCain praised Rubio for siding with him on immigration reform, even after he slammed Rubio on the Senate for siding with the “Legion” in refusing to raise the debt ceiling back in May of this year.
We brought a budget to this floor, we spent many many hours on all kinds of amendments. Now we can’t go to conference unless we agree not to raise the debt limit. Does my colleague from Florida believe that the House of Representatives, dominated by Republicans, are going to raise the debt limit?
Does my colleague from Florida believe that any conferees that are appointed, we have to place certain restrictions on those conferees that would apply to the other body as well? I don’t think so, I don’t think that’s the way that this body is suppose to function.
We are in a gridlock, here we are four years with a budget, we finally get a budget, we stay up all night, and because somebody doesn’t want to raise the debt limit, we are not going to go to conference. That’s not how this body should function. The American people deserve better, they deserve a budget.
Every family in the world has to live on a budget, and here we are objecting because there is a concern about raising the debt limit. .-Sen. John McCain
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