On ABC’s The View today, host Joy Behar complained to John McCain that “you used to be more of the Maverick, then you sort of turned.” “In what way?” McCain asked. “You became much more lockstep, I think, with your party, with George Bush’s policies,” Behar answered, adding, “I don’t see the old John McCain. … I understand why — you want to get elected.” McCain issued this challenge in his defense:
I’ve been through this litany before, where I say, “ok, what specific area have I quote changed?” Nobody can name it. … I am the same person and I have the same principles.
McCain argued that on issues — “whether it be spending, whether it be climate change, whether it be the conduct of the war in Iraq, whether it be torture of prisoners” — he is “the same guy.” Watch it:
The flip-flop document notes that McCain has changed his position even on the four areas he cited — spending, climate change, the war in Iraq, and torture of prisoners:
SPENDING: The McCain campaign has said that it will balance the budget by the end of McCain’s first time. But chief economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said McCain would balance the budget by the end of his second term.
CLIMATE CHANGE: In 1999, McCain opposed lifting the ban on offshore drilling, saying that it was just the “special interests in Washington” that advocated it. In 2008, McCain announced that “there are areas off our coasts that should be open to exploration and exploitation.”
IRAQ CONDUCT: He said in 2004 that Donald Rumsfeld was doing “a fine job” and was “an honorable man.” But by 2008, McCain was arguing that he was “the only one that said Rumsfeld had to go.”
TORTURE: In 2005, McCain pushed President Bush to sign a bill that would prohibit “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” of anyone in U.S. government custody. But in 2008, McCain voted against the Intelligence Authorization Bill, which requires the intelligence community to abide by the same standards as articulated in the Army Field Manual and bans waterboarding.