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A McCain Stumble On The Campaign Trail

Or "how to turn a purse into a sow's ear"

Today, I watched for the second time, a clip prominently running on CNN [the satellite is out to Fox News] in which a woman asks the senator why he voted against a bill that would have provided funding for birth control?

Sen McCain is clearly at a loss for words, having been confronted about a vote he has cast — one out of thousands — and stumbles through a non-response. The clip, predictably stops in mid-speech, leaving the impression that the senator is unable to muster any answer at all.Failing the discovery of the entire tape and what it might actually reveal — allow me to provide the answer that the good senator SHOULD have made.

“While I do not recall that particular vote, let me ask you Ma’m do you happen to have the actual name of that bill? Failing the name, do you happen to have the Senate bill number?

You see, Ma’m, I see quite a lot of very bad legislation come before the Senate each year — most of it unworthy of ever seeing the light of day. And that, Ma’m is the problem with our government today. If that provision was a part of a much larger, poorly constructed bill that would have done more harm than good, it would be irresponsible to have voted it into law. Now, I am not saying that this is the case right now, but I would need to know which vote, on which bill you are referencing, before I could explain my rationale for the vote that you claim I cast.

In the second place, Ma’m, too often good provisions — very worthy legislation that would benefit the American people — are buried inside Omnibus legislation or huge bills that do nothing more than bloat the Federal budget.

This is not by accident that this happens, Ma’m, but by design. Disingenuous legislators bury necessary legislation — funding for our troops comes to mind — inside bills that are in no way related to the important measures. By tying this necessary legislation to pet spending projects they seek to blackmail the Senate into voting for bad legislation, or suffer this type of questioning later.

It is this type of irresponsible legislating — omnibus spending bills — pork barrel projects costing billions of dollars a year — that I seek to reform. It is this “gotcha” politics brought about by legislators who would spend the people’s money in such a foolish manner, that I have fought against for my entire tenure in Washington. Runaway federal government spending has become epidemic — symptomatic of government’s failure to act in a fiscally responsible manner.

It is this fiscal irresponsibility that I will change as president — vetoing any legislation sent to my desk that contains pork barrel spending — or that lacks proper spending restraint.”

That is the answer that Sen McCain should have given. Perhaps some of his advisers could pass this word on to the good senator, so that the next time someone asks an embarrassing question like this on the campaign trail, he will be ready to turn it back on the left.

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