In December 2002, appearing on PBS’ NOW with Bill Moyers, McCain spoke enthusiastically about expanding public financing of elections, saying Arizona’s public financing law could “absolutely” be used as a model for the whole nation:
BILL MOYERS: Senator, in your home state of Arizona, a number of candidates recently were elected to office running with public funding, public financing. Would you support it? Would you endorse, what do you think about that experiment there?
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: I think it’s good overall. I think it needs to, like any other new experiment, it needs to have some wrinkles taken out of it. But we had more people run for public office than any time in the history of our state, and that’s what it was all about. As I say, there’s some fixes that need to be made, but it was a new experiment, and overall I think was very successful and interestingly the ones who are running, you know what they’re telling me? They said, surprise, surprise, I spend my time talking to voters not to contributors.
BILL MOYERS: Do you think that could become a model for the nation as a whole?
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: Absolutely.
Now, he is refusing to even discuss public financing and attacking others for even considering it. From yesterday’s The Hill:
The public financing of campaigns does not have “” at least to this point “” the support of the Senate’s leading advocate for campaign-finance reform, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
McCain dismissed the proposal yesterday with a flat “no.”
… McCain said he did not understand the new fervor among Democrats for taxpayer-financed campaigns…
Hop aboard the straight talk express.