SPECIAL REPORT

John McCain’s 44 Flip-Flops

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"John McCain’s 44 Flip-Flops"


FOREIGN POLICY
* Attacking Terrorists In Pakistan
* Defense Spending
* Detention Of Detainees
* Divestment And Sanctions
* Donald Rumsfeld
* Henry Kissinger
* Illegal Wiretapping
* Law Of The Sea Convention
* Long-Term Troop Presence In Iraq
* Negotiations With Hamas
* Negotiations With Syria
* Normalization Of Relations With Cuba
* Nuclear Reactors
* Nuclear Waste Storage At Yucca Mountain
* Rogue State Rollback
* Torture
* 21st Century GI Bill

ENVIRONMENT/ENERGY
* Ethanol
* Everglades Restoration
* Offshore Drilling

ETHICS
* Criticizing The Media
* Katrina Investigations
* Lobbyists
* The Wyly Brothers

ECONOMY
* AIG Bailout
* Americans Live Better Under Bush
* Balancing The Budget
* Bush Tax Cuts
* Earmarks For Arizona
* Fairness Of The Estate Tax
* Job Losses In Michigan
* Social Security Privatization
* Tobacco Industry Regulations
* Windfall Profits Tax

IMMIGRATION
* The Dream Act
* Comprehensive Immigration Reform

RADICAL RIGHT
* The Confederate Flag
* Jerry Falwell And The Religious Right
* The NRA
* Teaching Intelligent Design

CIVIL RIGHTS
* Gay Marriage Amendment

HEALTH CARE
* Abortion Exceptions
* Repealing Roe v. Wade
* Taxpayer Funding For Contraception In Africa

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Social Security Privatization

McCain Flips:

In March 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported that in an interview McCain said he “still backs a system of private retirement accounts that President Bush pushed unsuccessfully.” The Journal also noted that “a centerpiece of a McCain presidential bid in 2000 was a plan to divert a portion of Social Security payroll taxes to fund private accounts.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/3/2008]

McCain Flops:

At a town hall meeting in Pemberton, NJ on June 13, 2008, McCain was asked about privatization and replied that “I am not for quote ‘privatization of Social Security.’ I never have been, never will be. That is a great buzzword for an attack.” However, he then added that “workers should have the right to put their own taxes, their own money into an account,” which is still privatization. [Nashua Telegraph, 6/13/08]


Detention Of Detainees

McCain Flips:

In 2003, McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham wrote a letter to then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld urging him to resolve the issue of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The letter said that “a serious process must be established in the very near term either to formally treat and process the detainees as war criminals or to return them to their countries for appropriate judicial action.” In 2005, he told Tim Russert on Meet the Press that “I know that some of these guys are terrible, terrible killers and the worst kind of scum of humanity. But, one, they deserve to have some adjudication of their cases.” [Meet the Press, 6/19/05]

McCain Flops:

In 2008 the Supreme Court ruled that detainees at Guantanamo are required to receive habeas corpus rights. McCain called the Court’s ruling “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.” “Senator Graham, and Senator Lieberman, and I…made it very clear that these are enemy combatants, these are people who are not citizens. They do not and never have been given the rights that citizens of this country have,” he said. [Newark Star-Ledger, 6/14/08]


Offshore Drilling

McCain Flips:

In May 2008, McCain said “with those resources, which would take years to develop, you would only postpone or temporarily relieve our dependency on fossil fuels,” when asked about offshore drilling. [Huffington Post, 6/18/08]

McCain Flops:

Three weeks later, McCain announced that “there are areas off our coasts that should be open to exploration and exploitation, and I hope we can take the first step by lifting the moratoria.” [Washington Post, 6/17/08]


Criticizing The Media

McCain Flips:

In an interview with Newsweek, McCain denied that he ever said “the media often overlooked how compassionately [Sen. Hillary Clinton] spoke to the concerns and dreams of millions of Americans.” McCain said in the interview that he “did not [say that] — that was in prepared remarks and I did not [say it]. I’m not in the business of commenting on the press and their coverage or not coverage.” [Newsweek, 6/7/08]

McCain Flops:

In a speech delivered on June 3, 2008, McCain did, in fact, deliver the line. [The Denver Post, 6/4/08]


21st Century GI Bill

McCain Flips:

McCain initially refused to co-sponsor Sen. Jim Webb’s 21st Century GI Bill of Rights, because of concerns that it did not have “incentives for people to stay in the military.” Instead of joining the other 56 co-sponsors and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America in pushing through Webb’s bill, McCain drafted his own bill which was “more focused on career officers, not the entire volunteer military force.” [The Hill, 4/22/08]

McCain Flops:

After a clause was added allowing service members to transfer their benefits to their family members, McCain supported Webb’s GI Bill. “[Transferral of benefits] has always been my primary concern with respect to the Webb bill, and it is essential that we continue to act decisively to encourage military service and ensure the well being of our All Volunteer Force,” McCain said in a statement. [ABC News, 6/19/08]


Illegal Wiretapping

McCain Flips:

In an interview with the Boston Globe in December 2007, McCain was asked if, as President, he would ever authorize illegal wiretapping. “I think that presidents have the obligation to obey and enforce laws that are passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, no matter what the situation is,” he said. “I don’t think the president has the right to disobey any law.” [Boston Globe, 12/20/07]

McCain Flops:

The New York Times reported that a letter from top McCain adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said that McCain believes that the Constitution gave President Bush the authority to wiretap Americans “without warrants.” The letter says that “neither the Administration nor the telecoms need apologize for actions that most people, except for the ACLU and the trial lawyers, understand were Constitutional and appropriate in the wake of the attacks on September 11, 2001.” [New York Times, 6/6/08]


Taxpayer Funding For Contraception In Africa

McCain Flips:

McCain was asked whether he supports taxpayer funding for contraception in Africa, with the goal of preventing the spread of AIDS. McCain replied that he would rather fund abstinence education, but would provide contraception where abstinence “was not being followed.” [Salon, 4/11/08]

McCain Flops:

Moments later, McCain said “Let me think about it a little bit … I don’t know if I would use taxpayers’ money … I’m not informed enough on it. Let me find out … I’m sure I have taken a position on it in the past … I have to find out my position on it … I am sure I am opposed to government funding. I am sure I support the president’s policy on it.” He then said that “I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it in the past. I have to find out what my position was,” and asked an aide “Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception?” [Salon, 4/11/08]


Abortion Exceptions

McCain Flips:

While campaigning for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, McCain chastised George Bush for adhering to the Republican “pro-life plank,” which includes no exceptions for rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. At that time, McCain said that the plank should be changed. In 2007, McCain told ABC news that he still wanted to see a change in the Republican platform. [Washington Post, 1/31/00 & ABC News' Political Radar, 4/16/07]

McCain Flops:

Since gaining the Republican presidential nomination, McCain has not changed the party’s abortion plank, and neither does his campaign website mention the abortion exceptions that he used to support. [CNS, 8/29/08]


Fairness Of The Estate Tax

McCain Flips:

In a June 2006 speech on the Senate floor, McCain expressed his belief in “the essential morality of the estate tax,” and explained that he has “consistently voted against repealing this tax because of the impact it would have on the deficit, as well as the possible chilling affect it could have on charitable giving in this country.” [Huffington Post, 6/10/08]

McCain Flops:

In June 2008, McCain delivered a speech before the National Federation of Independent Business in Washington in which he called the tax “one of the most unfair tax laws on the books.” [CNN Money, 6/10/08]


Nuclear Waste Storage At Yucca Mountain

McCain Flips:

In March 2007, McCain told the Utah Deseret News that he is “for Yucca Mountain. I’m for storage facilities.” In May 2008, McCain advisor Douglas Holtz-Eakin told Reuters that “the political opposition to the Yucca Mountain storage facility is harmful to the U.S. interest and the facility should be completed, opened and utilized.” [Deseret News, 3/3/07 & Reuters 5/6/08]

McCain Flops:

In a speech in Reno, NV, McCain announced that he would seek to establish an international repository for spent nuclear fuel that would “make it unnecessary to open the proposed spent nuclear fuel storage facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.” [Las Vegas Sun, 6/27/08]


Normalization Of Relations With Cuba

McCain Flips:

In 2000, McCain said in an interview on CNN’s Late Edition that he is “not in favor of sticking my finger in the eye of Fidel Castro. In fact, I would favor a road map towards normalization of relations such as we presented to the Vietnamese and led to a normalization of relations between our two countries.” [CNN Late Edition w/ Wolf Blitzer, 4/9/00]

McCain Flops:

On the campaign trail against Barack Obama, McCain told Cuban-Americans in Florida “that he would maintain the decades-old U.S. trade embargo on Cuba if he is elected president.” [Wall Street Journal, 5/21/08]


Defense Spending

McCain Flips:

Writing in Foreign Affairs in 2007, McCain explained that to promote national security the U.S. can “afford to spend more on national defense, which currently consumes less than four cents of every dollar that our economy generates — far less than what we spent during the Cold War.” [Foreign Affairs, November/December 2007]

McCain Flops:

In June 2008, Forbes noted that “McCain’s top economic adviser, Doug Holtz-Eakin, blithely supposes that cuts in defense spending could make up for reducing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25% and the subsequent shrinkage in federal revenues.” [Forbes, 6/9/08]


Everglades Restoration

McCain Flips:

McCain explained in June 2008 that he is “in favor of doing whatever’s necessary to save the Everglades,” which he called “one of America’s greatest natural treasures.” [Herald Tribune, 6/5/08 & Miami Herald, 6/4/08]

McCain Flops:

As the Miami Herald reported, McCain voted against a 2007 bill that would provide 2 billion to Everglade restoration. He also “did not participate in the landmark debate over the state-federal partnership to preserve the Everglades in 2000,” and was “out of town” for the subsequent 85-1 vote in the Senate. [Miami Herald, 6/4/08]


Katrina Investigations

McCain Flips:

At a town hall meeting in Baton Rouge on June 3, 2008, McCain said regarding government failure in the aftermath of Katrina that he has “supported every investigation and ways of finding out what caused the tragedy.” [Think Progress, 6/4/08]

McCain Flops:

In September 2005, McCain joined conservatives in voting against “establishing a commission to investigate the levee failures” that occurred during hurricane Katrina. In 2006, McCain also opposed a commission to study the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina. [Los Angeles Times, 6/25/08]


Torture

McCain Flips:

In 2005, McCain pushed President Bush to sign a bill that would, among other provisions, prohibit “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” of anyone in U.S. government custody. McCain authored the torture ban himself. “We’ve sent a message to the world that the United States is not like the terrorists,” McCain said. McCain was also against waterboarding, saying during presidential primary campaigning “all I can say is that it was used in the Spanish Inquisition, it was used in Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia, and there are reports that it is being used against Buddhist monks today…It is not a complicated procedure. It is torture.” [MSNBC, 12/15/05 & New York Times, 10/26/07]

McCain Flops:

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. [New York Times, 2/17/08]


Bush Tax Cuts

McCain Flips:

In 2001 and 2003 McCain opposed President Bush’s tax cuts, saying on the Senate floor that “I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief.” [Bloomberg, 6/6/08]

McCain Flops:

In 2006, McCain voted to extend the Bush tax cuts, in what the Washington Times called a “sharp departure from his anti-tax-cut posture.” In February 2008, McCain went even further, and called for the tax cuts to be made permanent. “Well, I think the worst thing we can do right now, Chris, is — we’ve got some shaky economic times — is to increase people’s taxes,” he said. “And I think that what we need is more tax cuts. We need to make the Bush tax cuts permanent.” [Washington Times, 2/27/06 & Fox News Sunday 2/3/08]


Ethanol

McCain Flips:

During the 2000 primaries, McCain said during a debate that “ethanol is not worth it. It does not help the consumer.” Three years later, he opined that “ethanol is a product that would not exist if Congress didn’t create an artificial market for it. No one would be willing to buy it.” [MSNBC debate, 12/14/99 & Fortune 10/31/06]

McCain Flops:

In an August 2006 speech in Grinnell, Iowa, McCain said “I support ethanol, and I think it is a vital alternative energy source not only because of our dependency on foreign oil but its greenhouse gas reduction effects.” [Fortune 8/15/06]


Job Losses In Michigan

McCain Flips:

In a January 2008 speech in Grand Rapids, McCain said “I’ve got to give you some straight talk: Some of the jobs that have left the state of Michigan are not coming back. They are not. And I am sorry to tell you that.”[Boston Globe, 1/10/08]

McCain Flops:

Six months later, Bloomberg news reported that McCain “is singing a different tune, striking a populist pose and saying ‘new jobs are coming’” to Michigan. [Bloomberg, 6/5/08]


Windfall Profits Tax

McCain Flips:

In a May 5, 2008 speech in North Carolina, McCain said that “I don’t like obscene profits being made anywhere–and I’d be glad to look not just at the windfall profits tax.” [CNN, 5/8/08]

McCain Flops:

In June 2008, McCain criticized Sen. Obama for supporting a windfall profits tax. “If the plan sounds familiar, it’s because that was President Jimmy Carter’s big idea, too, and a lot of good it did us,’’ McCain said, adding that such a tax would hinder domestic exploration. [New York Times, 6/17/08]


Balancing The Budget

McCain Flips:

Fortune reported in February that McCain “pledges to balance the budget by 2012, not by increasing taxes, but by vetoing all pork barrel spending, and curbing outlays for Social Security and Medicare.” [Fortune, 2/19/08]

McCain Flops:

The same day, it was reported that McCain’s economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin said “McCain’s overall goal is to balance the budget by the end of his second term,” or 2017. [Robert Samuelson, 2/19/08]

McCain Flips:

Two months later, Holtz-Eakin said at a symposium sponsored by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget that “I would like the next president not to talk about deficit reduction,” adding that “if the war and the personal and corporate tax cuts that Mr. McCain advocated added to the federal deficit and debt, so be it.” [New York Times, 4/14/08]

McCain Flops:

Finally, in June, the McCain campaign came back to its original pledge, with Holtz-Eakin saying that McCain’s economic plan, “when appropriately phased in, as it has always been intended to be, will bring the budget to balance by the end of his first term.” [Bloomberg, 6/6/08]


Divestment And Sanctions

McCain Flips:

During a June 2, 2008 speech before the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), McCain said “years ago, the moral clarity and conviction of civilized nations came together in a divestment campaign against South Africa, helping to rid that nation of the evil of apartheid. In our day, we must use that same power and moral conviction against the regime in Iran, and help to safeguard the people of Israel and the peace of the world.” [6/2/08]

McCain Flops:

In 1985 and 1986, McCain voted against sanctions and United States divestment from the apartheid regime in South Africa six times. [Think Progress, 6/4/08]


Negotiations With Hamas

McCain Flips:

During an interview in 2006 with Sky News’ James Rubin (now of the Washington Post), McCain was asked “Do you think that American diplomats should be operating the way they have in the past, working with the Palestinian government if Hamas is now in charge?” McCain answered that “they’re the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, but it’s a new reality in the Middle East.” [Washington Post, 5/16/08]

McCain Flops:

In 2008, McCain said that Senator Obama was showing “naiveté and inexperience and lack of judgment” because of his willingness to meet with U.S. foes. [Associated Press, 5/16/08]


Negotiations With Syria

McCain Flips:

In 2003, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell was heavily criticized for agreeing to visit Syria. McCain defended Powell, saying that “Colin Powell is going to look [President] Bashar Assad in the eye and say, look, you know. You better clean up your act here. It’s a new day in the Middle East. And I think it’s entirely appropriate to do that,” despite his admission that “I think they’re–they’re sponsoring and harboring terrorists.” [Hardball, 4/23/03 & Today Show, 4/18/03]

McCain Flops:

Yet again, in 2008, McCain said that Senator Obama was showing “naiveté and inexperience and lack of judgment” because of his willingness to meet with U.S. foes. [Associated Press, 5/16/08]


The NRA

McCain Flips:

In 2000, McCain said on CNN that “the NRA is entitled to their advocacy. I don’t think they help the Republican Party at all, and I don’t think they should in any way play a major role in the Republican Party’s policy making.” He was also labeled “one of the premier flag-carriers for enemies of the Second Amendment” by the NRA. [CNN, 5/12/00]

McCain Flops:

In 2008, McCain spoke before the NRA’s National Convention, and said that “President Barack Obama or Hillary Rodham Clinton would put the rights of ‘law-abiding’ gun owners at risk,” and announced that “I look forward to receiving [the NRA's] endorsement.” [New York Times, 5/17/08 & Wall Street Journal, 5/16/08]


Tobacco Industry Regulations

McCain Flips:

In 1998, McCain pushed hard to pass a bill regulating the tobacco industry, saying “it is illegal for children to purchase tobacco in every state in the country. And in every state … tobacco companies have invested enormous sums of money and time to encourage widespread lawbreaking. Now is the time to put an end to it.” Among other provisions, the bill would have raised taxes on cigarettes by $1.10. McCain also told PBS that he would “never” give up trying to regulate the tobacco industry. [CNN's All Politics, 5/18/98 & PBS Newshour, 4/21/98]

McCain Flops:

In August 2007, McCain voted against a bill that raised tobacco taxes by 61 cents in order to pay for an expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Then, McCain agreed to cosponsor a bill allowing the FDA to regulate the tobacco industry, but said that he “won’t commit to voting for it until he sees the final legislation.” [Boston Globe, 3/26/08]


Lobbyists

McCain Flips:

In 1996 and 1997, McCain attempted to push through Congress a bill that would “ban a candidate or a candidate’s authorized committee from paying registered lobbyists.” “Registered lobbyists who work for campaigns as fundraisers clearly represent a conflict of interest,” he said. “When a campaign employs an individual who also lobbies that Member, the perception of undue and unfair influence is raised.” [Huffington Post, 5/20/08]

McCain Flops:

While running for President, McCain has had 159 lobbyists campaign or raise money for him. [Progressive Accountability]


Rogue State Rollback

McCain Flips:

In 2000, McCain proposed an aggressive foreign policy platform called “rogue state rollback” to deal with countries like Iraq, Libya, North Korea. “I’d institute a policy that I call ‘rogue state rollback,’” he said. “I would arm, train, equip, both from without and from within, forces that would eventually overthrow the governments and install free and democratically elected governments.” [CNN's Larry King Live, 2/15/00]

McCain Flops:

In 2008, McCain attempted to soften the policy. “I wasn’t saying that we should go around and declare war,” he said. “I was saying that we nations of like values and principles and belief in democracy and freedom should make efforts to modify the behavior of other nations.” [ABC News, 4/15/08]


Long-Term Troop Presence In Iraq

McCain Flips:

In 2005, McCain was asked about a long term U.S. troop presence in Iraq. “I not only think we could get along without it, but I think one of our big problems has been the fact that many Iraqis resent American military presence,” he replied. “And I don‘t pretend to know exactly Iraqi public opinion. But as soon as we can reduce our visibility as much as possible, the better I think it is going to be.” [Hardball, 2/1/05]

McCain Flops:

At a town hall meeting in NH in January 2008, McCain said that it would be “fine” to keep troops in Iraq for a “hundred” years. “Make it a hundred. We’ve been in South Korea … we’ve been in Japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea 50 years or so. That would be fine with me.” [Mother Jones Blog, 1/3/08]


Americans Live Better Under Bush

McCain Flips:

On April 17, 2008, McCain appeared on Bloomberg TV and faced the question “if Americans were asked, are you better off today than you were before George Bush took office more than seven years ago, what answer would they give?” He replied that “I think if you look at the overall record and millions of jobs have been created, et cetera, et cetera, you could make an argument that there’s been great progress economically over that period of time. But that’s no comfort.” [Bloomberg TV, 4/17/08]

Mccain Flops:

The next day, McCain again appeared on Bloomberg TV, and this time said unequivocally that “Americans are not better off than they were eight years ago.” [Bloomberg TV, 4/18/08]


Earmarks For Arizona

McCain Flips:

In a Fox News Presidential Forum, McCain claimed that “in 24 years as a member of Congress, I have never asked for nor received a single earmark or pork barrel project for my state.” [Fox News, 1/5/08]

McCain Flops:

In 2006, McCain funneled $10 million towards the University of Arizona for an academic center. In 2003, he also sent $14.3 million from a defense appropriations bill to Arizona’s Luke Air Force Base. [New York Times, 2/18/06 & Roll Call 11/6/03]


Law Of The Sea Convention

McCain Flips:

According to the Washington Times, “Mr. McCain’s support for the sea treaty stretched back to the 1990s, when he signed a letter with three other senators urging its passage, and continued through 2003, when he was scheduled to testify on its behalf before a Senate committee.” [Washington Times, 10/31/07]

McCain Flops:

In October 2007, McCain said of the treaty that “I would probably vote against it in its present form.” [Washington Times, 10/31/07]


The Dream Act

McCain Flips:

In 2005, McCain was a co-sponsor of S. 774, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) which would have provided high-achieving high school students who are long-term illegal immigrants and who wish to serve in the armed forces or attend college the ability to gain conditional legal status. [S. 774]

McCain Flops:

In 2007, McCain skipped a vote on the DREAM Act, and said that “he would have opposed it on the Senate floor last week if he had stuck around for the vote.” [Huffington Post, 10/24/07 & Washington Times, 10/31/07]


Repealing Roe v. Wade

McCain Flips:

In 1999, McCain told the San Fransisco Chronicle that “certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.” [Washington Post, 8/24/99]

McCain Flops:

McCain’s campaign website now calls Roe v. Wade “a flawed decision that must be overturned.” [Site]


Gay Marriage Amendment

McCain Flips:

In 2004, McCain broke with conservative ranks and opposed the federal ban on gay marriage, saying “the constitutional amendment we’re debating today strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans. It usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states do not believe confronts them.” [CNN, 7/14/04]

McCain Flops:

Two years later, ABC News reported that McCain was cozying up Jerry Falwell, and that McCain “reconfirmed” to Falwell that he would support a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman if a federal court were to strike down state constitutional bans on gay marriage. [ABC News, 3/28/06]


The Confederate Flag

McCain Flips:

During the 2000 Presidential Primaries, McCain was asked about the Confederate flag and replied that “personally, I see the flag as a symbol of heritage.” [1/12/00]

McCain Flops:

McCain then called for the flag to be removed from the South Carolina statehouse, telling South Carolina, “I believe the flag should be removed from your Capitol, and I am encouraged that fair-minded people on both sides of the issue are working hard to define an honorable compromise.” He also admitted that his previous view was political pandering. “I feared that if I answered honestly, I could not win the South Carolina primary. So I chose to compromise my principles,” he said. [New York Times, 4/20/00]


Henry Kissinger

McCain Flips:

In 2000, McCain professed friendship with Kissinger, but McCain’s “handlers opted not to have the two appear publicly together, fearing the legendary obfuscator would taint the image of the ‘Straight Talk Express.’” [New York Magazine, 11/26/06]

McCain Flops:

Kissinger is now an honorary co-chair for McCain’s presidential campaign in New York. [The Hotline, 12/19/06]


Nuclear Reactors

McCain Flips:

The Los Angeles Times reported that “earlier in his congressional career, McCain was a consistent opponent of subsidies for nuclear power, voting five times in the 1990s against taxpayer aid for research on new-generation nuclear reactors. As recently as 2003, McCain opposed federal loan guarantees to help the nuclear industry finance new plants.” [Los Angeles Times, 7/1/08]

McCain Flops:

As a campaign policy pitch in 2008, McCain set a goal of building 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030, which would be aided by $3.7 billion in subsidies to the nuclear industry. [MSNBC, 6/18/08]


Teaching Intelligent Design

McCain Flips:

In a 2005 interview with the Arizona Star, McCain was for the teaching of intelligent design. “I think that there has to be all points of view presented,” he said. “I think there’s nothing wrong with teaching different schools of thought.” When asked specifically if it belonged in a science classroom, he replied, “there’s enough scientists that believe it does. I’m not a scientist. This is something that I think all points of view should be presented.” [Arizona Star, 8/28/05]

McCain Flops:

One year later, McCain decided that intelligent design was actually inappropriate for a science classroom. “I happen to believe in evolution,” he said. “I respect those who think the world was created in seven days. Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not.” However, that didn’t stop him from being the keynote speaker at a function for The Discovery Institute, the most prominent creationism advocacy group in the country. [The Aspen Times, 6/2/06, & Discovery Institute, 2/23/07]


Attacking Terrorists In Pakistan

McCain Flips:

During his victory speech following the Wisconsin primary, McCain claimed that by electing Sen. Obama “we risk the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate who once suggested bombing our ally, Pakistan.” [USA Today, 2/21/08]

McCain Flops:

First, Obama actually said that “if we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.” Then, President Bush took this exact course of action, unilaterally calling for a strike against terrorist cells in Pakistani territory. McCain has not commented on Bush “bombing our ally, Pakistan.” [Media Matters, 2/20/08 & Washington Post, 2/19/08]


The Wyly Brothers

McCain Flips:

When the Wyly brothers produced attack ads against McCain and in favor of George Bush in 2000, McCain asked “Are we going to allow two cronies of George W. Bush to hijack this election? Tell them to keep their dirty money in the state of Texas, my friends. Don’t spread it all over New England and America.” [ABC News, 4/23/06]

McCain Flops:

In 2006, Sam Wyly and his wife Cheryl gave McCain’s political action committee $10,000, and contributions from the two brothers eventually amounted to $20,000. McCain returned the money only when he “learned that the Wylys were under federal investigation for alleged tax evasion.” [The Hotline, 5/24/06]


Jerry Falwell And The Religious Right

McCain Flips:

During the 2000 Presidential primaries, McCain referred to Falwell and other Christian right leaders as “agents of intolerance.” [CNN, 2/28/00]

McCain Flops:

In 2006 McCain delivered the commencement address at Falwell’s Liberty University. Falwell “rolled out the red carpet for his old adversary, assembling about 150 church leaders from around the country for a Friday night reception and later hosting a small, private dinner for the senator.” [Washington Post, 5/14/06]


Donald Rumsfeld

McCain Flips:

In 2004, McCain told Fox News “I believe [Rumsfeld]‘s done a fine job … He’s an honorable man.” [Fox News, 5/12/04]

McCain Flops:

During a primary debate in 2008, McCain claimed “I’m the only one that said that Rumsfeld had to go.” [Republican Presidential Debate, 1/30/08]

Comprehensive Immigration Reform

McCain Flips:

In June 2008, McCain said of his failed 2006 attempt at immigration reform, “I haven’t won on every issue. I didn’t win on immigration reform, but I’ll go back at it. And I’m glad I did it.” He has also called immigration reform a “top priority.” [Las Vesgas Sun, 6/26/08, New York Times, 5/22/08]

McCain Flops:

In a January 30 primary debate, McCain said that he would not vote for his own bill today, “because we know what the situation is today. The people want the borders secured first.” [1/30/08]


AIG Bailout

McCain Flips:

During an interview on NBC’s Today Show, McCain said “No, I do not believe that the American taxpayer should be on the hook for AIG and I’m glad that the Secretary Paulson has apparently taken the same line.” [NBC, 9/16/08]

McCain Flops:

The next day on ABC, McCain said “I didn’t want to do that. And I don’t think anybody I know wanted to do that. But there are literally millions of people whose retirement, whose investment, whose insurance were at risk here. They were going to have their lives destroyed because of the greed and excess and corruption.” [ABC, 9/17/08]