This afternoon on Fox News, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Congress should vote to pass the tax cuts deal negotiated between President Obama and congressional Republicans. “We have sent the message that we will not increase people’s taxes,” McCain said.
During the interview, McCain took a moment to mock Obama for backtracking on the Bush tax cuts for the rich:
McCAIN: I guess it was my old beloved friend Morris Udall who said the politician’s prayer is: may the words I utter today be tender and sweet because tomorrow I may have to eat them. We’re seeing clips all over the place — “We can’t extend these tax cuts for the rich,” “it’s the rich people” — you know, all of the clips of the President.
He got a good laugh out of Obama’s predicament of dealing with the GOP “hostage takers.” Watch it:
While it is certainly true that Obama has acquiesced on his principled stand against doling out unnecessary tax cuts to the rich, he’s not the only one. In fact, John McCain was once a crusader against the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.
In 2008, of course, McCain ran on an agenda of rewarding the wealthiest Americans with a huge tax cut. But, the “maverick” McCain of early 2000s was an articulate and eloquent messenger against handing out more taxes for the rich:
“There’s one big difference between me and the others – I won’t take every last dime of the surplus and spend it on tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy.” [McCain campaign commercial, January 2000]
“I am disappointed that the Senate Finance Committee preferred instead to cut the top tax rate of 39.6% to 36%, thereby granting generous tax relief to the wealthiest individuals of our country at the expense of lower- and middle-income American taxpayers.” [McCain Senate floor statement, May 21, 01]
“I voted against the tax cuts because of the disproportional amount that went to the wealthiest Americans. I would clearly support not extending those tax cuts in order to help address the deficit.” [Meet the Press, 4/11/04]