During the presidential debate on Friday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) responded to a question about how he would “lead this country out of the financial crisis” by railing against the tangential issue of “earmark pork-barrel spending.” “The first thing we have to do is get spending under control in Washington,” said McCain, adding that earmarks are “evil.”
Asked on Fox News Sunday today about McCain’s “narrow focus” on earmarks, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) claimed that “if you believe earmarks is a narrow problem, then you don’t understand what’s happened because of earmarks.”
But asked by host Chris Wallace, “If earmarks are so bad, why did you ask for 71 projects totaling $305 million dollars in the last fiscal year?,” Graham could only respond by saying that he has “been part of the problem” and would change:
GRAHAM: I have been part of the problem. I — my earmarks have been authorized, number one. They’re out there for you to look at. And, I’m part of the problem, I’d like to be part of the solution because the good part of earmarks has been overwhelmed by the bad part. Let’s just start over. Let’s start over because the $3 million to DNA to bear studies in Montana, the $250 million bridge in Alaska for fifty people is drowning out some of the good things I’ve done and John’s done. So I’m willing to start over. But there’s one guy in this town who hasn’t gotten a penny. I’m willing to follow his lead because he’s convinced me that the greater good would be achieved if we all just had a time out on this.