Yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) gave an exclusive interview to the Washington Times, in which he stepped up his criticism of President Bush. McCain said he wouldn’t continue Bush’s use of signing statements, and claimed to disagree with Cheney’s view of his role as Vice President:
Q: He’s made some expansive claims of executive power and you’ve talked a little about this. What specifically would you roll back of those claims?
MCCAIN: I certainly wouldn’t have these signing statements. … I think the signing statements was not a correct, um, implementation of the power of the executives. I think it was overstepping. [...]
Q: You’ve seen some of the claims of privilege that he’s made as well–
M: Yeah I don’t agree with that either. And I don’t agree with Dick Cheney’s allegation that he’s part of both legislative and executive branch.
Has McCain shared his view of the Vice President’s role with his own VP pick? Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) refused to say whether she thinks the Vice President is part of both the executive and legislative branches, as the Hill reported in Septmeber:
[A] spokesman for the Republican presidential campaign did not answer the question. Instead, he e-mailed remarks Palin gave at a campaign rally in Golden, Colo., on Monday. Palin did not say what branch of government she believes the vice president’s office is part of in those remarks.
In fact, Palin seems to think the Vice President plays a major role in the legislative branch. In an interview this week, she made the extraordinary claim that the VP is “in charge of the U.S. Senate.” During the vice presidential debate that she declared she was “thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the Vice President also if that Vice President so chose to exert it in working with the Senate.”