When Tom Brokaw interviewed Tim Pawlenty on Sunday morning, August 31st on Meet the Press, he let Pawlenty say anything without stopping him for clarification or checking his statements for truthfulness.
Pawlenty fired off a long list of items to support the claim that John McCain spent his entire lifetime branding himself as a maverick. He can brand himself a maverick, but since he became the republican candidate for president, he became anything but a maverick in order to gain the support of his party.
Let’s take each point that Pawlenty fired off with Mr. Brokaw.
McCain on torture, and this is probably the most sinister flip flop of all:
We know that McCain experienced first hand the brutality of torture. These experiences not only made him a hero, but it made him a maverick. It showed McCain’s ability to empathize with the detainees as people, first.
But sadly, in February 2008, McCain reversed course on prohibiting waterboarding and supported Bush’s policies on the matter. This was a major disappointment, because we had thought McCain was such an empathic maverick, a compassionate conservative, but he deserted this position to vote with Bush. This is a very profound shift, it is a change in his own ethical beliefs.
In addition, McCain insisted that everyone, even “terrible killers,” “the worst kind of scum of humanity,” and detainees at Guantanamo Bay, “deserve to have some adjudication of their cases,” even if that means “releasing some of them.” McCain now believes the opposite and voted with Bush.
He initially opposed indefinite detention of terrorist suspects, but when the Supreme Court reached the same conclusion this year, he called it “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country,” supporting Bush, once again.
In fact, McCain had originally supported closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Later, as his campaign for president was gearing up, he changed and voted with the Bush administration.
McCain on taxes and spending:
McCain said in 2005 that he opposed the Bush tax cuts because they were “too tilted to the wealthy.” By 2007, he denied ever having said this, and falsely argued that he opposed the cuts because of increased government spending.
McCain on Climate Change:
McCain supported the Lieberman/Warner legislation to combat global warming, but later deserted that view. On the environment, Palin strongly supports drilling in her own state of Alaska, in ANWAR, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. McCain had said he was against ANWAR drilling, but not according to his voting record. Three years ago,Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) had attached a provision that would permit the ANWAR drilling to a must-pass defense spending bill. Environmental groups were enraged and knew of McCain’s position against the drilling, so they arranged a meeting with McCain and asked him to support their efforts to remove the ANWAR drilling provision from the bill. He he refused to strip out the provision, and the bill failed in the senate.
John McCain is running his entire campaign based on who he used to be, not who he is now. McCain even chose a running mate, Sarah Palin, whose extreme views are consistent with new John McCain.