Sunday, June 29, 2008

"John McCain Has A Record Of Putting His Country First"

"But the question really remains, when has Barack Obama stood up and taken on his party on anything of national significance?" Governor Tim Pawlenty

"And I think that it will be also very important for them to talk about reaching across the aisle, and I think this is a very attractive part about Senator McCain because he doesn't just talk about that, he has proven it over and over again that he can reach across aisle." Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

"[P]eople have to be accountable for the commitments they've made and one of the most recent examples, Senator Obama made a commitment that he would abide by public financing. He's now changed his mind." Governor Bobby Jindal

"John McCain is more ready to be president on foreign and domestic policy because of his extraordinary experience. It's good experience. It's experience where he's had the guts to do what's right for his country, including in Iraq where he opposed the administration policy for a long time." Senator Joe Lieberman

"Well, first of all, when you look at Senator Obama's changes recently it goes to more than just changes and facts and circumstances. It goes to sort of changing your approach to politics." Former Representative Rob Portman

Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) On ABC's "This Week":
ABC's "This Week"June 29, 2008

Governor Tim Pawlenty: "Well, John McCain has a record of putting his country first as a POW, not budging in line in front of other POWs, in terms of bucking his party if that's what it takes to do what he thinks is right for the country, on a whole variety of issues. But the question really remains, when has Barack Obama stood up and taken on his party on anything of national significance? And on the issue of immigration, when John McCain was leading that issue, taking great risk and taking a pounding from his own party, Barack Obama was not significantly engaged in that debate and the accounting of the votes ultimately, where he actually put amendments or tried to support amendments that would derail immigration reform in this country. Another example of John McCain's courageous leadership and Barack Obama not walking the walk."

Watch Gov. Tim Pawlenty

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) On NBC's "Meet The Press":
NBC's "Meet The Press"June 29, 2008

NBC's Tom Brokaw: "You have talked recently about the importance of people getting together and finding common ground people working together again. Here, at the Reagan Library and the LBJ Library, in Texas, they'd like to have a series of town halls using both libraries in a kind of bipartisan fashion. You think that would advance the interest of the country during this campaign year?"

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: "I think so. I mean, I think it will be interesting to have a debate between the two candidates and to have town hall meetings together, so that people can hear from both of them without having those formal kind of question and answer sessions where they stand behind a podium. I think those are fake. I don't buy in on what they say when they do those kind of formats. I think a town hall meeting would be much better.

"And I think that it will be also very important for them to talk about reaching across the aisle, and I think this is a very attractive part about Senator McCain because he doesn't just talk about that, he has proven it over and over again that he can reach across aisle. He can bring people on board and create some action. And, I think that's what we need in the future. We need to have someone there that can bring both of the parties together because there's no way that we can reshape and fix our country the very different ills that we have and create again a better image overseas with just one party. You have to have both parties work together, and this is why I'm a believer in the post partisanship. It has worked in our state and is a whole new way of looking at it: to be willing to compromise, and to be a public servant and not Party servant."

Watch Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) On CNN's "Late Edition":
CNN's "Late Edition"June 29, 2008

Governor Bobby Jindal: "I think in an election, that certainly people have to be accountable for the commitments they've made and one of the most recent examples, Senator Obama made a commitment that he would abide by public financing. He's now changed his mind. I understand it's too his advantage and certainly everybody understands that, but there are consequences to that, and I think Senator McCain is right to point out when his opponent says one thing and does another. And I'm sure we'll hear a lot more about that, especially on specific policies, whether it's tax policies or Second Amendment policies. I think part of a general election debate is a compare and contrast, but the nice thing is, I think that you are going to see a real disagreement on the issues. This isn't going to be a fight on personalities or just name calling or mudslinging. You've got two honorable people who've served their country, who are intelligent, patriotic , but have very different views of how do we fight the war against terrorism."

Watch Gov. Bobby Jindal

Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) On CBS' "Face The Nation":
CBS' "Face The Nation"June 29, 2008

Senator Joe Lieberman: "John McCain is more ready to be president on foreign and domestic policy because of his extraordinary experience. It's good experience. It's experience where he's had the guts to do what's right for his country, including in Iraq where he opposed the administration policy for a long time.

"The Surge was implemented by President Bush. It's now working. Senator Obama unfortunately, like a lot of the Democratic leadership, continues to take a position that we ought to withdraw, which to me is retreat, accept defeat, even though the new policy is working. So, I hope Barack Obama goes to Iraq, and frankly, I hope he changes his position because if we had done what Senator Obama asked us to do for the last couple of years, today Iran and Al-Qaeda would be in control of Iraq. It would be a terrible defeat for us and our allies in the Middle East and throughout the world. Instead, we've got a country that's defending itself, that's growing economically, where there's been genuine political reconciliation and where Iran and Al-Qaeda are on the run. And that's the way it ought to be."

Watch Sen. Joe Lieberman

Former U.S. Representative Rob Portman (R-OH) On Fox News' "Fox News Sunday":
Fox News' "Fox News Sunday"June 29, 2008

Former Representative Rob Portman: "Well, first of all, when you look at Senator Obama's changes recently, including saying he would accept the public financing and then changing his mind on that, which is really a core issue in terms of the new politics that he's talked about, this really -- it goes to more than just changes and facts and circumstances. It goes to sort of changing your approach to politics."

Watch Rob Portman

Saturday, June 28, 2008

McCain at National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Conference

U.S. Senator John McCain will deliver the following remarks as prepared for delivery to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Conference in Washington, D.C., today at 11:00 a.m. EDT:

Thank you. It's good to be with you. I want to speak very briefly, and then take your questions. I have the privilege today of speaking before my opponent, Senator Obama, whose talent as an orator, as you might notice, is somewhat greater than mine. I will not overemphasize that fact by indulging your patience with a lengthy speech. Fortunate for me and you, I enjoy listening and responding to my audience's questions more than I do delivering formal remarks. So, I want to share just a few thoughts with you, and then move quickly to your questions, comments or insults.

We meet after another week of rising gasoline prices, another stock market sell-off, more mortgage foreclosures and the increasing loss of the American people's confidence in the economy. The question of how government should respond to these troubling developments will shape much of the debate in this election, and I want to offer a few thoughts about what I believe we should do and not do.

It is a terrible mistake to raise taxes during an economic downturn. Increasing the tax burden on Americans impedes job growth, discourages innovation and makes us less competitive. Small businesses are the biggest job creators in our economy. Keeping individual tax rates low isn't intended as a favor to wealthy Americans. Most small business owners pay those rates, and taking more money from them deprives them of the capital they need to invest and grow and hire. There are two million Latino owned businesses in America, a number that is growing very rapidly. The first consideration we should have when debating tax policy is how we can help those companies grow and increase the prosperity of the millions of American families whose economic security depends on their success.

Government should be on their side, not in their way.

Our current business tax rate, the second highest in the world, will postpone our recovery from this downturn and make us increasingly less competitive in the world economy. When a corporation plans to expand and hire more workers, they face a choice between building a new plant here at home and building it in a country like Ireland where they will pay less than half the tax rate they now pay. Employers can hire more people, or they can pay more taxes. We can no longer afford the luxury of nostalgia for past times when American business faced little serious competition in the world.

The global economy is here to stay. We cannot build walls to foreign competition, and why should we want to. When have Americans ever been afraid of competition? America is the biggest exporter, importer, producer, saver, investor, manufacturer, and innovator in the world. Americans don't run from the challenge of a global economy. The courage, patriotism, ingenuity and industry of our forbears earned the reverence we hold for our storied past. But we have never been a country that substitutes nostalgia for optimism. We have never been a country that would rather go back than forward. We are the world's leaders, and leaders don't fear change, hide from challenges, pine for the past and dread the future. We make the future better than the past. That's why I reject the false virtues of economic isolationism. Any confident, competent government should embrace competition - it makes us stronger - not hide from our competitors a nd cheat our consumers and workers. We can compete and win, as we always have, or we can be left behind. Lowering barriers to trade creates more and better jobs, and higher wages. It keeps inflation under control and interest rates low. It makes goods more affordable for low and middle income consumers. Protectionism threatens all those benefits.

Opening new markets for American goods and services is indispensable to our future prosperity. But in the global economy what you learn is what you earn. Today, half of Latinos and half of African Americans entering high school will never graduate. By the 12th grade, U.S. students in math and science score near the bottom of all industrialized nations. As Bill Gates said, "This isn't an accident or flaw in the system. It is the system." Many parents fear their children won't have the same opportunities they had. That is simply unacceptable in a country as great as ours. In many schools, particularly where people are struggling the hardest, the situation is dire, and I believe poses the civil rights challenge of our time. We need to shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition; hold schools accountable for results; strengthen math, science, technology and engineering curriculums; empower parents with choice; remove barriers to qualified instructors, attract and reward superior teachers, and have a fair but sure process to weed out incompetents.

I have spent the last two weeks addressing the problem that is causing Americans the most pain right now, our dependence on imported oil, and how to free ourselves from a situation that threatens our economy, our environment and our national security. Obviously, the crisis most acutely affects lower income Americans, who often drive the furthest to work and own the oldest cars. There are a few, but not many, things we can do in the short term to alleviate the economic distress Americans are feeling as they pay more and more of their income for gasoline, and higher prices for groceries and almost all goods that are affected by spiraling increase in the price of oil. But we must commit ourselves to addressing this problem as quickly as humanly possible, and we must commit this country to the great national cause of breaking our strategic dependence on foreign oil. To do that, we must address both the supply and demand sides o f the problem. We must produce more oil at home, and while exploration and production will take some time, it will have an earlier effect on the oil futures market. When futures traders believe the supply of oil will increase in the years ahead and the cost of a barrel of oil will be lower, it will help curb some of the speculation in those markets that are driving prices so much higher today.

But the lasting solution to all the problems associated with our dependence on foreign oil is to begin in the term of the next president the most ambitious program ever to reduce our demand for the fuel that is a powerful inflationary force in our economy; is causing our climate to change with all the unimaginable problems that creates; and is ransoming our future to regimes that care little for our values or our security. We need to unleash the competitive forces of the free market to encourage clean alternatives -- wind, solar, tide, nuclear, and clean coal. But to really achieve energy security, we must address the area where the demand for oil is the greatest the way we fuel our transportation system. I have promised a plan, which I called the Lexington Project, for the place where America's war for independence began, which will encourage the investment and innovation necessary to wean our cars, buses, and trucks off of our complete dependence on gasoline. This will take time, but the longer we wait to begin, the longer it will take to achieve. It is an ambitious plan, but I am confident that our industry and entrepreneurs, and all Americans are up to this next great challenge in our history. The genius, hard work and courage of Americans have never failed us, and will not fail us now.

Let me close by talking briefly about my respect and gratitude for the contributions of Hispanic-Americans to the culture, economy and security of the country I have served all my adult life. I represent Arizona where Spanish was spoken before English was, and where the character and prosperity of our state owes a great deal to the many Arizonans of Hispanic descent who live there. And I know this country, which I love more than almost anything, would be the poorer were we deprived of the patriotism, industry and decency of those millions of Americans whose families came here from Mexico, Central and South America. I will honor their contributions to America for as long as I live.

I and many other colleagues twice attempted to pass comprehensive immigration legislation to fix our broken borders; ensure respect for the laws of this country; recognize the important economic necessity of immigrant laborers; apprehend those who came here illegally to commit crimes; and deal practically and humanely with those who came here, as my distant ancestors did, to build a better, safer life for their families, without excusing the fact they came here illegally or granting them privileges before those who did. Many Americans, with good cause, did not believe us when we said we would secure our borders, and so we failed in our efforts. We must prove to them that we can and will secure our borders first, while respecting the dignity and rights of citizens and legal residents of the United States. But we must not make the mistake of thinking that our responsibility to meet this challenge will end with that accomplish ment. We have economic and humanitarian responsibilities as well, and they require no less dedication from us in meeting them.

When I was in prison in Vietnam, I like other of my fellow POWs, was offered early release by my captors. Most of us refused because we were bound to our code of conduct, which said those who had been captured the earliest had to be released the soonest. My friend, Everett Alvarez, a brave American of Mexican descent, had been shot down years before I was, and had suffered for his country much more and much longer than I had. To leave him behind would have shamed us. When you take the solemn stroll along that wall of black granite on the national Mall, it is hard not to notice the many names such as Rodriguez, Hernandez, and Lopez that so sadly adorn it. When you visit Iraq and Afghanistan you will meet some of the thousands of Hispanic-Americans who serve there, and many of those who risk their lives to protect the rest of us do not yet possess the rights and privileges of full citizenship in the country they love so well. To love your country, as I discovered in Vietnam, is to love your countrymen. Those men and women are my brothers and sisters, my fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other. As a private citizen or as your President, I will never, never do anything to dishonor our obligations to them and their families or to forget what they and their ancestors have done to make this country the beautiful, bountiful, blessed place we love.

Thank you.

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McCain: "Modern Maturity?"

"Something of a role-reversal is going on here. Most pundits think Obama's had the advantage so far in offering a 'vision' and in taking the offensive. Now it's McCain who has laid out a clear -- if questionably feasible -- energy vision for the future, while the Obama-ites are still rushing to put together a comprehensive paper gathering all his ideas on the current gas crisis and the long-term energy crisis." -- Newsweek

Modern Maturity?
McCain's campaign touts his 'grown-up' energy plan
Michael Hirsh

John McCain, it is generally agreed, has something of an age problem. It's not just that he'd be the oldest president ever inaugurated for the first time. McCain's criticisms of Barack Obama sometimes draw on events and cultural references that many Americans only dimly recall -- the movie "Dr. No" (the first James Bond flick, from 1962), or Jimmy Carter's windfall tax from 30 years ago. Every time McCain has a moment of forgetfulness, the skeptics start whispering again -- reminding one that, as a Pew Research Survey showed last year, "ageism" may be a bigger factor in the election than racism.

But now, in a neat bit of campaign jiujitsu, the McCainiacs are trying to change a liability into a strength. McCain's 71 years have given him not only vastly more experience than Obama, the new thinking goes, they have ensured that America will have, once again, an "adult" president in the mold of an Eisenhower or a Truman. And there is no better evidence than McCain's energy plan, which the candidate has laid out in a very, er, energetic series of appearances and speeches over the last week. "We wanted it to be a grown-up vision," said Mark Salter, McCain's chief speechwriter and alter ego, who in a Newsweek interview reiterated several times that McCain's approach is that of an "adult." This evidence of mature judgment specifically includes McCain's decision to reverse himself -- grown-ups adjust, after all, to changed circumstances -- by calling for offshore oil drilling. "We wanted to show that McCain would view the presidency as a pr oblem solver -- a bipartisan problem solver," says Salter.

The McCain energy plan has left the Obama-ites sputtering that their candidate laid out a comprehensive energy plan last October. "You have it exactly backward!" Jason Furman, an advisor to Obama on energy, told me when I suggested that Obama was on the defensive. "John McCain is responding to Barack Obama, who has put forward a major and ambitious plan on energy.'' Frankly, however, no one really cares what Obama said last October. And there's no question that McCain's flurry of concrete proposals -- including a call for 45 more nuclear power plants, a $300 million prize to the designer of a new electric car battery, overturning the 27-year ban on offshore drilling and a $5,000 tax credit for people who buy "zero-emissions" cars -- prompted Obama to spend most of his own energy speech this week knocking those ideas down. That in turn generated a GOP Web video declaring that "Obama is Dr. No," complete with a Bond-like theme song.

Something of a role-reversal is going on here. Most pundits think Obama's had the advantage so far in offering a "vision" and in taking the offensive. Now it's McCain who has laid out a clear -- if questionably feasible -- energy vision for the future, while the Obama-ites are still rushing to put together a comprehensive paper gathering all his ideas on the current gas crisis and the long-term energy crisis. Compare: McCain, in a speech on Wednesday (his fifth), launched his so-called Lexington Project -- "named for the town where Americans asserted their independence once before." "Let it begin today with this commitment: In a world of hostile and unstable suppliers of oil, this nation will achieve strategic independence by 2025," he said. What does "strategic independence" mean? It's not quite clear. But the phrase sounds pretty good, and rather more inspiring than Obama's narrower proposal to "reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reduce oil consumption overall by at least 35 percent, or 10 million barrels, by 2030," or to "reduce the energy intensity of our economy by 50 percent" by the same year.

True, Obama has called for an investment of $150 billion over 10 years, dwarfing McCain's incentive plan, as Furman points out. But he hasn't spelled out how that would be used.

Like McCain's embrace of global warming as a national-security issue, his new stance on energy is a studied repudiation of the Bush administration. It is one of the ways he is seeking to neutralize Obama's relentless efforts to define a McCain presidency as a "third Bush term." "Some in Washington seem to think that we can still persuade OPEC to lower prices -- as if reason or cajolery had never been tried before," McCain said mockingly in another speech this week. "But America is not going to meet this great challenge as a supplicant or a plaintiff." He was, of course, mocking Bush himself -- who twice in the last six months has gone to Riyadh pleading for more oil production.

And, while no one's quite saying this, McCain's new "grown-up" theme may be a put-down of Bush as well. It is a way of reminding voters that, while the antic Prince Hal never quite matured into King Henry V -- and could never control the infighting between ideologues and realists in his administration -- John McCain is already a well-rounded man in full, with a set program.

Neither of the two candidates, by his own admission, knows how to dramatically reverse the most immediate problem on Americans' minds: $4.50-a-gallon gasoline. But acknowledging that is also an act of adulthood, Salter says. "There are very few things -- and every grown-up recognizes it -- you can do today to lower prices," he says, adding that halting additions to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve or perhaps lifting tariffs on ethanol might help. (Obama, for his part, has resorted to offering a tax rebate that has nothing to do with altering the economics of energy; he has also called for more regulation of oil speculators.) The latest polls show McCain well behind, but his campaign believes it has found its footing now, Salter says. The candidate is well-aged. The question is, will voters see him as in his prime?

Read The Newsweek Story

McCain: Barack Obama -- A "Poison Pill" to Immigration Rreform

Today, McCain spokesman Brian Rogers issued the following statement on Barack Obama's remarks at the NALEO conference where he conveniently glossed over his record of putting politics ahead of reforming our immigration system:

"It's quite audacious for Barack Obama to question John McCain's commitment to immigration reform when it was Obama himself who worked to kill the Senate's bipartisan immigration reform compromise last year. Barack Obama voted for five 'poison pill' amendments designed by special interests to kill the immigration reform deal. These efforts were strongly opposed by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), the Democrat who led the fight for immigration reform, because he understood they would have the effect of ending the bipartisan work toward immigration reform.

"The reality is that Barack Obama has never reached across the aisle to lead in a bipartisan fashion on an issue of major importance to the American people when his own political interests were at risk. The American people are tired of typical politicians like Barack Obama. While John McCain was reaching across the aisle to solve the tough problem of immigration reform, Barack Obama was working for politics as usual in Washington."

FACT CHECK: Obama Put Politics First And Supported "Poison Pill" Efforts To Kill The Immigration Reform Compromise Last Year

The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes: "Obama Professes In Speeches And His Bestselling Book, The Audacity Of Hope, To Rise Above Crass Party Interests. Not This Time." "Where was Barack Obama? The moment was perfect last week for the Illinois senator and champion of bipartisanship to step forward and help save the compromise immigration bill from a premature death. All he needed to do was switch his vote to oppose an amendment whose passage was going to shatter the Senate coalition that negotiated the bill. By switching, Obama would have substantiated his claim to be a politician eager to reach across the partisan aisle and end the bitter polarization in Washington. But Obama was not heard from. A day later, with the deliberations on the bill in turmoil, Senate majority leader Harry Reid yanked it off the Senate floor. Obama voted with Reid on cloture, which failed, prompting the shutdown. It may be unfair to single ou t Obama for backing a so-called poison pill that would have weakened the proposed temporary worker program (by terminating it after five years). Obama wasn't alone. Two Democratic presidential candidates--Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden--voted with him, as did Reid, Chuck Schumer, and Dick Durbin, Reid's colleagues in the Senate Democratic leadership. What made Obama's vote different was his hypocrisy. The others are hard-core partisans. Obama professes in speeches and his bestselling book, The Audacity of Hope, to rise above crass party interests. Not this time." (Fred Barnes, "The 'Grand Bargain' Comes Undone," The Weekly Standard, 6/18/07)

Obama Voted For Five "Poison Pill" Amendments Designed To Kill Immigration Reform Compromise:

· S.A. 1169 (Bingaman) -- Obama Voted In Favor Of Lowering The Annual Visa Quota For Guest Workers From 400,000 To 200,000. "Bingaman, D-N.M., amendment no. 1169 to the Kennedy, D-Mass., substitute amendment no. 1150. The Bingaman amendment would lower the annual visa quota for guest workers from 400,000 to 200,000 per year." (S. 1348, CQ Vote #175: Adopted 74-24: R 27-21; D 46-2; I 1-1, 5/23/07, Obama Voted Yea, Kennedy Voted Nay, McCain Did Not Vote)

· S.A. 1181 (Dorgan) -- Obama Voted In Favor Of Sunsetting The Guest Worker Visa Program After Five Years. "Dorgan, D-N.D., amendment no. 1181 to the Kennedy, D-Mass., substitute amendment no. 1150. The Dorgan amendment would sunset the temporary guest worker visa program in the bill after five years." (S. 1348, CQ Vote #178: Rejected 48-49: R 9-38; D 38-10; I 1-1, 5/24/07, Obama Voted Yea, Kennedy Voted Nay, McCain Voted Nay)

· S.A. 1202 (Obama) -- Obama Sponsored And Voted In Favor Of An Amendment That Would Sunset The Merit-Based Evaluation System For Immigrants. "Obama, D-Ill., amendment no. 1202 to the Kennedy, D-Mass., substitute amendment no. 1150. The Obama amendment would sunset the merit-based evaluation system for immigrants after five years." (S. 1348, CQ Vote #200: Rejected 42-55: R 1-47; D 39-8; I 2-0, 6/6/07, Obama Voted Yea, Kennedy Voted Nay, McCain Voted Nay)

· S.A. 1267 (Bingaman) -- Obama Proposed And Voted In Favor Of His Amendment That Would Remove The Requirement That "Y" Visa Holders Leave The U.S. For One Year Before Being Able To Renew The Visa. "Bingaman, D-N.M., amendment no. 1267 to the Kennedy, D-Mass., substitute amendment no. 1150. The Bingaman amendment would remove the requirement that 'Y' non-immigrant visa holders leave the United States before they are able to renew their visa." (S. 1348, CQ Vote #189: Rejected 41-57: R 4-44; D 35-13; I 2-0, 6/6/07, Obama Voted Yea, Kennedy Voted Nay, McCain Voted Nay)

· S.A. 1316 (Dorgan) -- Obama Voted To Sunset The Y-1 Non-Immigrant Temporary Worker Visa Program After Five Years. "Dorgan, D-N.D., amendment to the Kennedy, D-Mass., substitute amendment. The Dorgan amendment would sunset the Y-1 non-immigrant temporary worker visa program after five years." (S. 1348, CQ Vote #201: Adopted 49-48: R 11-37; D 37-10; I 1-1, 6/6/07, Obama Voted Yea, Kennedy Voted Nay, McCain Voted Nay)

Obama-Backed Amendments Dealt "Potentially Fatal Blows To The Fragile Coalition Backing The Bill":

Obama "Backed 11th- Hour Amendments" To The Bipartisan Immigration Bill That Imperiled The Immigration Reform Compromise. "Obama was part of the bipartisan group of senators who began meeting in 2005 on comprehensive immigration reform. But last summer, with the presidential nominating race well under way, Obama backed 11th-hour amendments - supported by labor, immigrant rights, and clergy groups - that Republicans saw as imperiling the fragile compromise. None of those measures passed. But Obama was part of a 49-to-48 majority that voted to end after five years a temporary worker program that had been a cornerstone of the immigration deal. The vote, backed by labor, was seen as a major setback to bipartisan negotiations." (Ariel Sabar, "For Obama, Bipartisan Aims, Party-Line Votes," Christian Science Monitor, 4/17/08)

· Obama "Voted For One Amendment ... Designed To Insert A Deadly 'Poison Pill' Into The Bipartisan 'Grand Bargain' On Immigration Reform." "But then, on the floor of the Senate last week, Obama voted for one amendment - backed by the AFL-CIO and sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) - designed to insert a deadly 'poison pill' into the bipartisan 'grand bargain' on immigration reform." (Mort Kondracke, Op-Ed, "Pandering to Base, 2008 Candidates Risk More Division," Roll Call, 6/14/07)

· Obama Proposed An Amendment That Was Seen As Part Of An Effort To Offer "Potentially Fatal Blows To The Fragile Coalition Backing The Bill." "They first had turned back a Republican bid to reduce the number of illegal immigrants who could gain lawful status. They later rejected two high-profile Democratic amendments. One would have postponed the bill's shift to an emphasis on education and skills among visa applicants as opposed to family connections. The other, offered by Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., would have ended a new point system for those seeking permanent resident 'green cards' after five years rather than 14 years. All three amendments were seen as potentially fatal blows to the fragile coalition backing the bill, which remains under attack from the right and left." (Charles Babington, "Immigration Deal Survives Senate Challenges, Backers Cautiously Optimistic," The Associated Press, 6/7/07)

Obama Not Heavily Involved In Bipartisan Immigration Reform Compromise:
Senate Staff Members And Sen. Arlen Specter Recalled That Obama Had Not Been At The Early Legislation-Crafting Meetings He Claimed To Attend. "To Senate staff members, who had been arriving for 7 a.m. negotiating sessions for weeks, it was a galling moment. Those morning sessions had attracted just three to four senators a side, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) recalled, each deeply involved in the issue. Obama was not one of them." (Shailagh Murray and Jonathan Weisman, "Both Obama And Clinton Embellish Their Roles," The Washington Post, 3/24/08)

Obama Was Not Heavily Involved In Efforts To Secure Bipartisan Immigration Reform. "He did support the bipartisan effort to get an immigration bill last year, winning a plaudit from McCain. But he didn't work closely with the White House, as did Sen. Edward Kennedy." (David Ignatius, Op-Ed, "Obama: A Thin Record For A Bridge Builder," The Washington Post, 3/2/08)
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McCain Campaign Conference Call On Barack Obama And The Second Amendment

Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and senior policy adviser Randy Scheunemann held a conference call on Barack Obama's position on the D.C. Gun Ban and record of partisanship:
Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS):

Senator Brownback: "I am very pleased to see the Supreme Court ruling on the D.C. gun ban case, finding that the Second Amendment is an individual right, and this has been a long time coming. It's an important one. It recognizes the Second Amendment as the other amendments in the Constitution are an individual right.

"I am amazed at the flipping on this position by Barack Obama. Initially, he comes out and says that he believes in banning hand guns. He is for the D.C. gun ban, and now seems to be sidestepping the issue and acknowledging support -- at least saying that this seems to be a right. Of course, it's an individual right. This is either an incredible flip-flop or incredible inexperience. On this issue, anyone who's been around politics in Washington, D.C., for a period of time knows the centerpiece of this gun ban debate is whether or not the Second Amendment is an individual or a collective right. And, I'm really surprised about this move by Barack Obama.

"It does seem to reflect a willingness that as the campaign changes from a primary to a general, willingness to change on positions, to be more liberal in the primary, to moving more conservative in the general election. I guess I should welcome that, but it looks like, to me, either inexperience or incredible flip-flopping. We're seeing this take place on campaign finance, recently, now on the FISA bill that's on the floor of the United States Senate. He has said previously that he would filibuster it and now he says he's open to the compromise.

"I want to put a marker out there that I think the next thing to move, that you may watch and see Senator Obama move on has got to be on Iraq, with the news coming out about the surge and its success. I think you're probably going to see that start to take place. I really would just hope that Senator Obama would look at this the way I do. I didn't initially support the Surge and said, 'Look, I was wrong. Senator McCain was right. This is working and God bless him for maintaining that position. That, at this point in time, we're looking now at securing Iraq rather than toward exiting with a failed terrorist state.' There was a lot at stake in this, and John fought to put his name, his reputation, his campaign on the line and did the right thing. John McCain's a maverick. He's fought for a bipartisan fashion. I think that the biggest thing I've seen from Barack Obama is a willingness, aggressiveness, to talk bipartisan and yet to vote the hard left-- most liberal member of the United States Senate."

McCain Foreign Policy Advisor Randy Scheunemann:

Randy Scheunemann: "Let me just add a little bit of detail about Sen. Obama's positions -- plural -- on firearms issues. He has expressed support for the D.C. gun ban saying that he thought it was constitutional. He sidestepped questions for months on how he thought this case, Heller and District of Columbia, should be decided. He refused to sign an amicus brief that a large bipartisan majority of the Senate signed that Senator McCain was pleased to sign, arguing that the Supreme Court should decide the decision the way they in fact did decide the decision today. Despite being a professor of constitutional law, he said he had no position on this because he hadn't reviewed all the briefs at one point.

"In his votes, you can see Senator Obama's position clearly on Second Amendments. He has voted to ban guns. He has voted to allow politically motivated lawsuits. He has voted in the Illinois State Legislature against self-defense rights. He has a clear and consistent record of opposing Second Amendment rights and our expectation is he'll try to have it both ways and say that he supports the decision today even though he was unable to express support for it at any time over the previous period of months when he was asked about it.

"Second, I think what's becoming clear in this campaign that for Senator Obama the most important issue in the election is the political fortunes of Senator Obama. He has demonstrated that there really is no position he holds that isn't negotiable or isn't subject to change depending on how he calculates it will affect his political fortunes. You can see that in his changing positions on public financing for campaigns, on the immunity provisions in FISA legislation, on his position on NAFTA where he called for a unilateral renegotiation, on his positions on unconditional meetings with dictators like Ahmadinejad in Iran, on his position of Jerusalem being an undivided capital and twenty-four hours later saying it's a subject for negotiations.

"And frankly, I think we are going to see, as Senator Brownback pointed out, yet another position from Senator Obama in coming days and weeks on Iraq. You literally need a kaleidoscope to follow Senator Obama's positions on Iraq. In 2005, he was against cutting off funds and putting a timetable in place. In 2007, he voted to cut off funds and he said the surge would not reduce sectarian violence. In 2008, he said he would disregard the advice of military commanders and proceed with a timetable for withdrawal, and then he told Iraqi Foreign Minister Zabari that he would listen to the advice of military commanders. I think what we see is that he will say and do anything if it furthers his political purposes. That's what we're seeing today on the Second Amendment and what we expect to see in the future on Iraq."
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Friday, June 27, 2008

McCain: "Obama: Change Agent Goes Conventional"

" Barack Obama has crafted an image as an unconventional candidate, a change agent and a post-partisan politician who represents a dramatic break from the status quo. But since securing the Democratic presidential nomination, when confronted with a series of thorny issues the Illinois senator has pursued a conspicuously conventional path, one that falls far short of his soaring rhetoric." -- Politico

Obama: Change Agent Goes Conventional
By Kenneth P. Vogel
Politico June 27, 2008

Barack Obama has crafted an image as an unconventional candidate, a change agent and a post-partisan politician who represents a dramatic break from the status quo. But since securing the Democratic presidential nomination, when confronted with a series of thorny issues the Illinois senator has pursued a conspicuously conventional path, one that falls far short of his soaring rhetoric.

Faced with tough choices on fronts ranging from public financing and town hall meetings to warrantless surveillance and the Second Amendment, Obama passed up opportunities to take bold stands and make striking departures from customary politics. Instead, he has followed a familiar tack, straddling controversial issues and choosing politically advantageous routes that will ensure his campaign a cash edge and minimize damaging blowback on several highly sensitive issues.

Obama's embrace of political pragmatism came into sharp focus Thursday with the landmark Supreme Court ruling that overturned Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban and declared for the first time an individual right to possess a gun.

As an Illinois state legislator, Obama generally supported tighter restrictions on firearms and served on the board of a foundation that funded legal scholarship advancing the theory that the Second Amendment does not protect individual gun owners' rights, as well as 14 separate groups that ultimately signed an amicus brief supporting the D.C. ban.

Though he had tried to avoid taking a firm stand on either the ban or the case, an unnamed staffer last year told The Chicago Tribune that "Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional."

On Thursday, though, the Obama campaign distanced itself from that record, which would have considerable downside risk for a presidential candidate running on a 50-state landscape.
Obama's top spokesman, Bill Burton, said that the statement to the Chicago Tribune "was not worded as well as it could have been" and that Obama believes that generally the Constitution "doesn't prevent local and state governments from enacting their own gun laws."

After the high court ruling, Obama said in a statement he has "always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms, but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common-sense, effective safety measures."

The Court "has now endorsed that view," Obama asserted, citing a passage in Justice Antonin Scalia's majority opinion which begins: "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited."

Shortly before the court decision, Obama sought to sidestep another political landmine over controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act legislation. His support for a government surveillance bill that offers retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies - a bill that he vowed last year to filibuster - angered liberal Internet activists who felt betrayed by what they saw as a politically expedient move designed to inoculate himself against GOP charges that he's weak on national security.

But Obama explained it to reporters Wednesday by pointing out that the bill has changed from when he made his filibuster pledge, saying the latest version allayed several concerns, including providing closer oversight of the government surveillance program. Yet it still effectively offers retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that aided the administration's warrantless wiretapping efforts, a key point Obama said he would oppose. He said Wednesday that he was satisfied with the requirement for an inspector general's review.

He is expected to vote for an amendment stripping out the immunity provision, but even if the effort fails, Obama likely would back the underlying bill.

"It is not all that I would want," Obama said in a statement last week. "But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence-collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay," he said.

The calculations that mark Obama's delicate approach toward the FISA bill and the Supreme Court gun ruling come on the heels of his decision last week to reverse a pledge he made last year to participate in the public financing system in the general election if his Republican opponent agreed to do the same-a move that made him the first modern presidential candidate to decline public financing in a general election.

McCain has agreed to participate in the system, which provides candidates $84 million in taxpayer cash, but limits their campaign spending to that amount. Obama, whose historic fundraising ability was unknown when he made the pledge, is expected to easily surpass that tally.

Though he did not frame it as such, Obama's reversal was widely viewed by campaign finance reformers and editorial boards as a strategic choice to put his likely huge campaign cash advantage over his commitment to government reform.

They've been mostly receptive to Obama's forays on campaign finance issues, but many reformers dismissed his explanation for the shift: that his massive base of small online donors constitute a "parallel public financing," and that he needed to exit the program to defend himself from the independent spending of 527 groups.

Obama's decision to opt out of the public financing program followed his campaign's earlier derailment of another bold campaign proposal he had at one time supported: McCain's call for a series of town halls featuring the two candidates.

After declaring last month he would meet McCain "anywhere, anytime" to debate foreign policy-a risky proposition that had the potential to work to McCain's political advantage--Obama backtracked and would only offer one town hall and one extra debate in response to McCain's suggestion of 10.

In explaining the offer to the McCain campaign, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said in a statement that Obama's offer "would have been the most of any Presidential campaign in the modern era - offering a broad range of formats - and representing a historic commitment to openness and transparency."

He charged McCain's campaign "would rather contrive a political issue than foster a genuine discussion about the future of our country."

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Timeline of Political Positioning on Second Amendment Rights

Throughout his time in elected office, Barack Obama has taken multiple positions on banning handguns and the D.C. handgun ban. He has stated his belief that handgun bans were constitutional and he supported them. Then he actually refused to state a position. Now, Barack Obama has issued a statement that some are reporting as an embrace of the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the D.C. handgun ban while others are reporting that he is still straddling his position. Please find below a timeline of Barack Obama's support for the D.C. handgun ban and subsequent reversal:

SEPTEMBER 1996: In Response To A 1996 Independent Voters Of Illinois Questionnaire, Obama Indicated That He Supported Banning The "Manufacture, Sale And Possession Of Handguns." Question: "Do you support state legislation to ... ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns?" Obama's Response: "Yes." (Independent Voters Of Illinois Independent Precinct Organization 1996 General Candidate Questionnaire, Barack Obama Responses, 9/9/96)

2004: Barack Obama Voted Against "Letting People Use A Self-Defense Argument If Charged With Violating Local Handgun Bans." "[Obama] opposed letting people use a self-defense argument if charged with violating local handgun bans by using weapons in their homes. The bill was a reaction to a Chicago-area man who, after shooting an intruder, was charged with a handgun violation." (Ryan Keith "Obama Record In State Legislature Offers Possible Ammunition For Critics," The Associated Press, 1/17/07)

NOVEMBER 2007: The Chicago Tribune Reports That The Obama Campaign Says Barack Obama "Believes The D.C. Handgun Law Is Constitutional." "[T]he campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said that he '...believes that we can recognize and respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and the right of local communities to enact common sense laws to combat violence and save lives. Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.'" (James Oliphant and Michael J. Higgins, "Court To Hear Gun Case," Chicago Tribune, 11/20/07)

FEBRUARY 2008: During An Interview, Barack Obama Acknowledged His Support For The D.C. Gun Ban. Questioner Leon Harris: "One other issue that's of great importance here in the district as well is gun control. You said in Idaho recently -- I'm quoting here -- 'I have no intention of taking away folks' guns,' but you support the D.C. handgun ban." Obama: "Right." (Leon Harris and Sen. Barack Obama, Forum Sponsored By ABC And Politico.Com, Washington, DC, 2/12/08)

· In The Same Interview, Barack Obama Indicated He Feels The D.C. Gun Ban Is Constitutional. Harris: "And you've said that it's constitutional. How can you reconcile those two different positions?" Obama: "Oh, because I think we have two conflicting traditions in this country. I think it is important for us to recognize that we've got a tradition of handgun ownership and gun ownership generally. And a lot of people, law-abiding citizens, use it for hunting, for sportsmanship, and for protecting their families. We also have violence on the streets that is a result of illegal handgun use. And so, there is nothing wrong, I think, with a community saying we are going to take those illegal handguns off the streets ..." (Leon Harris and Sen. Barack Obama, Forum Sponsored By ABC And, Washington, DC, 2/12/08)

· In This Interview, Barack Obama "Didn't Dispute The Characterization That He Believes The Ban Is Constitutional." "But a colleague points out that Obama took a question about the constitutionality of the gun ban from WJLA's Leon Harris during the Potomac Primary, and didn't dispute the characterization that he believes the ban is constitutional." (Ben Smith, "Inartful," The Politico, 6/26/08)

· Watch The Interview Here:
FEBRUARY 2008: Barack Obama "Declined To Take A Position For Or Against Its Constitutionality." "Today Obama reiterated his support for tighter enforcement of laws already on the books -- such as stronger background checks and enhancing programs to trace the provenance of guns used in crimes. He would also seek to close the loopholes that currently apply to firearms purchased at gun shows. But asked today about the DC handgun ban currently being reviewed by the US Supreme Court, Obama declined to take a position for or against its Constitutionality but did express broad support for the rights of local jurisdictions to make such decisions for themselves." (David Wright, Ursula Fahy And Sunlen Miller, "Obama: 'Common Sense Regulation' On Gun Owners' Rights," ABC News, 2/15/08)

MARCH 2008: Obama Campaign "Would Not Elaborate On Whether The Senator Supports The D.C. Gun Ban." "Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, said Mr. Obama 'believes the Second Amendment creates an individual right, and he greatly respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms.' 'He also believes that the Constitution permits state and local governments to adopt reasonable and common-sense gun safety measures,' she said, but would not elaborate on the whether the senator supports the D.C. gun ban." (Gary Emerling, "Nation Awaits D.C. Handgun Ruling," The Washington Times, 3/17/08)

APRIL 2008: Barack Obama Says "I Confess I Obviously Haven't Listened To The Briefs And Looked At All The Evidence." CHARLIE GIBSON: "Senator Obama, the District of Columbia has a law -- it's had a law since 1976; it's now before the United States Supreme Court -- that prohibits ownership of handguns, a sawed-off shotgun, a machine gun or a short-barrelled rifle. Is that a law consistent with an individual's right to bear arms?" OBAMA: "Well, Charlie, I confess I obviously haven't listened to the briefs and looked at all the evidence. As a general principle, I believe that the Constitution confers an individual right to bear arms. But just because you have an individual right does not mean that the state or local government can't constrain the exercise of that right, and, you know, in the same way that we have a right to private property but local governments can establish zoning ordinances that determine how you can use i t. And I think that it is going to be important for us to reconcile what are two realities in this country. There's the reality of gun ownership and the tradition of gun ownership that's passed on from generation to generation. You know, when you listen to people who have hunted, and they talk about the fact that they went hunting with their fathers or their mothers, then that is something that is deeply important to them and, culturally, they care about deeply. But you also have the reality of what's happening here in Philadelphia and what's happening in Chicago." (Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate, Philadelphia, PA, 4/16/08

JUNE 2008: Barack Obama Says He Wants To "Wait And See How The Supreme Court Comes Down." OBAMA: "What I have said is that I do not -- what I have said is, is that I'm a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but I do not think that that precludes local governments being able to provide some commonsense gun laws that keep guns out of the hands of gangbangers or children, that local jurisdictions are going to have different sets of problems, and that this is a very fact-intensive decision that has to be made. But I do think that the Second Amendment is an individual right. So, what I would like to do is wait and see how the Supreme Court comes down, and evaluate the actual reasoning in the case to see how broad or narrow the decision's going to be." (Barack Obama, Press Conference, Chicago, IL, 6/25/08)

JUNE 2008: The Obama Campaign Says An Unnamed Was "Inartful" In Telling The Chicago Tribune That Barack Obama Thought The Handgun Ban Was Constitutional "With the Supreme Court poised to rule on Washington, D.C.'s, gun ban, the Obama campaign is disavowing what it calls an 'inartful' statement to the Chicago Tribune last year in which an unnamed aide characterized Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., as believing that the DC ban was constitutional. 'That statement was obviously an inartful attempt to explain the Senator's consistent position,' Obama spokesman Bill Burton tells ABC News." (Teddy Davis And Alexa Ainsworth, "Obama Camp Disavows Last Year's 'Inartful' Statement On D.C. Gun Law," ABC News, 6/26/08)

JUNE 2008: ABC News' Jake Tapper Says Barack Obama Is "Embracing The 5-4 Decision, Written By Justice Antonin Scalia, That Struck Down The DC Handgun Ban As Unconstitutional." "Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, may have a long record of supporting gun control measures, and he may have seemed to have previously endorsed the DC Handgun Ban. But just now he issued a paper statement embracing the 5-4 decision, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, that struck down the DC Handgun Ban as unconstitutional." (Jake Tapper, "Obama Embraces Supreme Court Decision As 'Well-Needed Guidance,'" ABC News, 6/26/08)

JUNE 2008: Politico's Jonathan Martin Says Barack Obama "Plainly Trying To Straddle Here." "He's plainly trying to straddle here. It actually sounds -- especially the 'Cheyenne and Chicago' language -- quite a bit like the language Howard Dean used in '04 when trying to reconcile gun views tailored for pro-gun Vermont with a Dem primary." (Jonathan Martin, "Obama Careful On Heller," Politico, 6/26/08)

JUNE 2008: Now, This Afternoon, Barack Obama Says "I've Been Very Consistent, I Teach Constitutional Law" Despite His Numerous Contradictory Positions. "Craig Layne, a reporter from WJET-TV in Erie, Penn., today asked Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, a question on the DC gun ban. Here's how the exchange went down. 'In November you mentioned that the DC handgun law was constitutional,' Layne said. 'Now you're embracing the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision striking down that law---' 'That's not what I said,' Obama interrupted, per ABC News' Jennifer Duck. 'Your aide said that,' Layne clarified. 'I don't know what my aide said but I've been very consistent, I teach constitutional law," Obama said. What I said was that I believe 2nd Amendment as being an individual right and have said that consistently. I also think that individual right is constrained by the rights of the community to maintain issues with public safety. I don't thi nk those two principles are contradictory and in fact what I've been saying consistently is what the Supreme Court essentially said today.'" (Jake Tapper, "Obama Eager To Distance Self From Campaign's Former Position On DC Handgun Ban," ABC News, 6/26/08)

New Hampshire Democrats and Independents Join "Citizens for McCain"

U.S. Senator John McCain's campaign today announced the New Hampshire leadership of "Citizens for McCain," a national, grassroots organization dedicated to rallying Americans of all political parties behind John McCain's candidacy. The Granite State group will continue the grassroots effort to recruit and energize Democrats and Independents in support of John McCain.

Democrats Jim McConaha and Valery Mitchell, of Concord, have joined the group and will serve as co-chairs of "New Hampshire Democrats for McCain." Independents Marcia Moran, of Concord, and David Lee, of Londonderry, will serve as co-chairs of "New Hampshire Independents for McCain."

An appointee under former President Bill Clinton and Governor Jeanne Shaheen, McConaha said, "This is the most important job in the world. We need a leader of proven competence, tested judgment and substantial experience in the modern world and, obviously, that is John McCain."

Mitchell, a lifelong Democrat, has worked with many presidential and state campaigns. She added, "It was not easy to step away from my party in the McCain-Obama race, but I want a president whose judgment we know and trust, and a leader who will do what is in the best interest of our country without regard to politics or ideology."

Lee added, "We need a president who has a proven record of bringing members of both parties together to affect real change. McCain has that record. I've been active in New Hampshire politics for many years, frequently on the side of the Democrats, but in this year's presidential race, there's no question that John McCain is the candidate with the experience and the knowledge to lead the nation."

"New Hampshire voters are famous for evaluating candidates based on their leadership credentials, not their party," said Marcia Moran. "I'm supporting John McCain because he has repeatedly stood up to the special interests in Washington to do what's right for America. Principled and courageous, John McCain will unite our country to confront difficult challenges."

McCain: A Simple Question for Barack Obama

Today, with the Supreme Court decision and Barack Obama's response, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds asked the following simple question:

"Does Barack Obama believe that the D.C. handgun ban was constitutional or unconstitutional? We can't tell and Barack Obama won't say.

"One would think that a candidate for our nation's highest office and a self-described constitutional expert would be able to answer that simple question."


The Associated Press: Neither Barack Obama In His Statement Or His Campaign On Follow-Up Would "Specifically Say Whether Obama Agreed With Overturning The Specific D.C. Ban." "His Democratic rival, Obama, issued a more carefully worded statement apparently aimed at both moderate voters and his liberal base. The statement from Obama, who has long said local governments should be able to regulate guns, did not specifically say whether Obama agreed with overturning the specific D.C. ban. ... The campaign would not answer directly Thursday when asked whether the candidate agreed with the court that the D.C. ban was unconstitutional, simply pointing back to his statement." (Liz Sidoti, "Gun Ruling Reverberates In Presidential Campaign," The Associated Press, 6/26/08)

Gun Ruling Reverberates In Presidential Campaign
By Liz Sidoti
The Associated PressJune 26, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - John McCain welcomed a Supreme Court decision invalidating a District of Columbia handgun ban. Barack Obama sought to straddle the subject by saying he favors an individual's right to bear firearms as well as a government's right to regulate them.

The hotly contentious issue surfaced in the presidential campaign Thursday after the Supreme Court ruled that Americans have a constitutional right to own guns and struck down the 32-year-old D.C. ban.

McCain, the Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting, heralded the justices' action as "a landmark victory for Second Amendment freedom."

Voicing a stance that could help him woo conservatives and libertarians, McCain said, "This ruling does not mark the end of our struggle against those who seek to limit the rights of law-abiding citizens. We must always remain vigilant in defense of our freedoms."

His Democratic rival, Obama, issued a more carefully worded statement apparently aimed at both moderate voters and his liberal base. The statement from Obama, who has long said local governments should be able to regulate guns, did not specifically say whether Obama agreed with overturning the specific D.C. ban. But he said Thursday's ruling "will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country."

"I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms, but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through commonsense, effective safety measures," Obama said.

Obama said his view was supported by the court's ruling that the Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns." That language "reinforces that if we act responsibly, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe," Obama said.

Both presidential candidates endorse an individual's right to bear arms. But they strongly differ beyond that. McCain has had a mostly conservative record on the issue; Obama, a mostly liberal record.

Other than a few departures, McCain is largely in line with the National Rifle Association's hardline support for gun rights. He voted against a ban on assault-style weapons and for shielding gun-makers and dealers from civil damage suits. But he broke with the NRA to favor requiring background checks at gun shows and has taken heat for pushing through campaign finance legislation that gun-rights advocates say muzzled their free speech.

Obama has voted to leave gun-makers and dealers open to lawsuits. He also took largely liberal positions on gun laws while in the Illinois legislature, including backing a ban on all forms of semiautomatic weapons and tighter state restrictions generally on firearms.

Campaigning in Cincinnati, McCain claimed Obama has reversed course on the issue. Obama told FOX Business News network that he's been consistent.

The Democrat's campaign said a spokesman made an "inartful" statement when he said in November that Obama believed the D.C. law was constitutional. But Obama himself did not correct a debate moderator who repeated the position in February.

"You said in Idaho recently, I'm quoting here, 'I have no intention of taking away folks' guns.' But you support the D.C. handgun ban and you've said that it's constitutional," said the moderator, Leon Harris of Washington television station WJLA. Obama nodded as Harris spoke, nodding and saying, "Right, right."

"How can you reconcile those two different positions?" Harris asked.

Obama answered that the United States has conflicting traditions of gun ownership and street violence that results from illegal handgun use. "So, there is nothing wrong, I think, with a community saying we are going to take those illegal handguns off the streets," Obama said.

The Obama campaign argued that Obama was simply acknowledging the question by saying "right."

In other instances, Obama refused to articulate a position when asked whether he thought the D.C. ban was constitutional.

The campaign would not answer directly Thursday when asked whether the candidate agreed with the court that the D.C. ban was unconstitutional, simply pointing back to his statement.

Statement by John McCain on Today's Supreme Court Ruling on Second Amendment Rights

U.S. Senator John McCain today issued the following statement regarding today's United States Supreme Court ruling on District of Columbia v. Heller:

Today's decision is a landmark victory for Second Amendment freedom in the United States. For this first time in the history of our Republic, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms was and is an individual right as intended by our Founding Fathers. I applaud this decision as well as the overturning of the District of Columbia's ban on handguns and limitations on the ability to use firearms for self-defense.

Unlike Senator Obama, who refused to join me in signing a bipartisan amicus brief, I was pleased to express my support and call for the ruling issued today. Today's ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller makes clear that other municipalities like Chicago that have banned handguns have infringed on the constitutional rights of Americans. Unlike the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness, today's ruling recognizes that gun ownership is a fundamental right -- sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly.

This ruling does not mark the end of our struggle against those who seek to limit the rights of law-abiding citizens. We must always remain vigilant in defense of our freedoms. But today, the Supreme Court ended forever the specious argument that the Second Amendment did not confer an individual right to keep and bear arms.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

John McCain 2008 Launches New Web Ad: "Dr. No"

U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today released a new web video, called "Dr. No," focusing on Barack Obama's opposition to providing the American people with short-term, near-term and long-term relief from higher energy prices.

View the ad here:

Script For "Dr. No" (Web :40)

CHYRON: Barack Obama Is Dr. No.

No To Drilling Offshore Oil.

BARACK OBAMA: Offshore drilling would not lower gas prices today.

CHYRON: No To A Gas Tax Holiday.

BARACK OBAMA: I think John McCain's proposal for a three month tax holiday is a bad idea.

CHYRON: No To Innovation. No To The Electric Car.

BARACK OBAMA: In this campaign, John McCain is offering the same old gimmicks.

CHYRON: No To Clean, Safe, Nuclear Energy.

BARACK OBAMA: I start off with the premise that nuclear energy is not optimal. I am not a nuclear energy proponent.

CHYRON: Barack Obama Truly Is The Dr. No Of Energy Security.

Paid for by John McCain 2008.

Ad Facts For "Dr. No" (Web :40)

BARACK OBAMA: Offshore drilling would not lower gas prices today.

· Barack Obama Opposes Lifting The Ban On Offshore Drilling. Obama: "The politics may have changed, but the facts haven't. The accuracy of Sen. McCain's original position has not changed: Offshore drilling would not lower gas prices today, it would not lower gas prices next year and it would not lower gas prices five years from now." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Press Availability, Jacksonville, FL, 6/20/08)

BARACK OBAMA: I think John McCain's proposal for a three month tax holiday is a bad idea.

· Barack Obama Opposes Immediate Gas Tax Relief For American Families. Obama: "I think John McCain's proposal for a three month tax holiday is a bad idea." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Campaign Event, Blue Bell, PA, 4/21/08)

BARACK OBAMA: In this campaign, John McCain is offering the same old gimmicks.

· Barack Obama Called John McCain's $300 Million Prize For A Better Battery A "Gimmick." Obama: "In this campaign, John McCain is offering the same old gimmicks that will provide almost no short-term relief to folks who are struggling with high gas prices. Gimmicks that will only increase our addiction for another four years." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Campaign Event, Las Vegas, NV, 6/24/08)

BARACK OBAMA: I start off with the premise that nuclear energy is not optimal. I am not a nuclear energy proponent.

· Barack Obama: "I start off with the premise that nuclear energy is not optimal. I am not a nuclear energy proponent." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Town Hall Event, Newton, IA, 12/30/07)

John McCain's Lexington Project

A Comprehensive Plan To Break Our Dependence On Foreign Oil

Today, John McCain Will Outline His Lexington Project Initiative -- A Comprehensive Plan To Ensure Our National Security, Economic Prosperity And Clean Environment By Breaking Our Dependence On Foreign Oil. Our nation's future security and prosperity depends on the next President making the hard choices that will break our nation's strategic dependence on foreign sources of energy and will ensure our economic prosperity by meeting tomorrow's demands for a clean portfolio.

· The Lexington Project Is A Combination Of Policies That Will Provide America With Secure Sources Of Energy And Ensure Our Continued Prosperity. John McCain has made the necessary choices -- producing more power, pushing technology to help free our transportation sector from its use of foreign oil, cleaning up our air, addressing climate change, and ensuring that Americans have dependable energy sources.

· Through The Lexington Project, We Can Break From The Failed Policies Of The Past. John McCain will lead the effort to develop advanced transportation technologies and alternative fuels to promote energy independence and cut off the flow of oil wealth to repressive dictatorships like Iran.

The Lexington Project Initiative Includes:

· Expanding Domestic Oil And Natural Gas Exploration And Production.
· Taking Action Now To Break Our Dependency On Foreign Oil By Reforming Our Transportation Sector.
· Investing In Clean, Alternative Sources Of Energy.
· Protecting Our Environment By Addressing Climate Change.
· Promoting Energy Efficiency.
· Addressing Speculative Pricing Of Oil.

Expanding Domestic Oil And Natural Gas Exploration And Production:

John McCain Will Commit Our Country To Expanding Domestic Oil Exploration. The current federal moratorium on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf stands in the way of energy exploration and production. John McCain believes it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use. There is no easier or more direct way to prove to the world that we will no longer be subject to the whims of others than to expand our production capabilities. We have trillions of dollars worth of oil and gas reserves in the U.S. at a time we are exporting hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas to buy energy. This is the largest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind. We should keep more of our dollars here in the U.S., lessen our foreign dependency, increase our domestic supplies, and reduce our trade deficit -- 41% of which is due to oil imports. John McCain proposes to cooperate with the states and the Department of Defense in the decisions to develop these resources.

John McCain Believes In Promoting And Expanding The Use Of Our Domestic Supplies Of Natural Gas. When people are hurting, and struggling to afford gasoline, food and other necessities, common sense requires that we draw upon America's own vast reserves of oil and natural gas. Within our country, we have tremendous reserves of natural gas. The Outer Continental Shelf alone contains 77 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. It is time that we capitalize on these significant resources and build the infrastructure needed to transport this important component of electricity generation and transportation fuel around the country.

Taking Action Now To Break Our Dependency On Foreign Oil By Reforming Our Transportation Sector:

The Nation Cannot Reduce Its Dependency On Oil Unless We Change How We Power Our Transportation Sector.

John McCain's Clean Car Challenge. John McCain will issue a Clean Car Challenge to the automakers of America, in the form of a single and substantial tax credit for the consumer based on the reduction of carbon emissions. He will commit a $5,000 tax credit for each and every customer who buys a zero carbon emission car, encouraging automakers to be first on the market with these cars in order to capitalize on the consumer incentives. For other vehicles, a graduated tax credit will apply so that the lower the carbon emissions, the higher the tax credit.

John McCain Will Propose A $300 Million Prize To Improve Battery Technology For Full Commercial Development Of Plug-In Hybrid And Fully Electric Automobiles. A $300 million prize should be awarded for the development of a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars. That battery should deliver a power source at 30 percent of the current costs. At $300 million, the prize is one dollar for every man, woman and child in this country -- and a small price to pay for breaking our dependence on oil.

John McCain Supports Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) And Believes They Should Play A Greater Role In Our Transportation Sector. In just three years, Brazil went from new cars sales that were about 5 percent FFVs to over 70 percent of new vehicles that were FFVs. American automakers have committed to make 50 percent of their cars FFVs by 2012. John McCain calls on automakers to make a more rapid and complete switch to FFVs.

John McCain Believes Alcohol-Based Fuels Hold Great Promise As Both An Alternative To Gasoline And As A Means of Expanding Consumers' Choices. Some choices such as ethanol are on the market right now. The second generation of alcohol-based fuels like cellulosic ethanol, which won't compete with food crops, are showing great potential.

· Today, Isolationist Tariffs And Wasteful Special Interest Subsidies Are Not Moving Us Toward An Energy Solution. We need to level the playing field and eliminate mandates, subsidies, tariffs and price supports that focus exclusively on corn-based ethanol and prevent the development of market-based solutions which would provide us with better options for our fuel needs.

John McCain Will Effectively Enforce Existing CAFE Standards. John McCain has long supported CAFE standards -- the mileage requirements that automobile manufacturers' cars must meet. Some carmakers ignore these standards, pay a small financial penalty, and add it to the price of their cars. John McCain believes that the penalties for not following these standards must be effective enough to compel all carmakers to produce fuel-efficient vehicles.

Investing In Clean, Alternative Sources Of Energy:

John McCain Believes That The U.S. Must Become A Leader In A New International Green Economy. Green jobs and green technology will be vital to our economic future. There is no reason that the U.S. should not be a leader in developing and deploying these new technologies.

John McCain Will Commit $2 Billion Annually To Advancing Clean Coal Technologies. Coal produces the majority of our electricity today. Some believe that marketing viable clean coal technologies could be over 15 years away. John McCain believes that this is too long to wait, and we need to commit significant federal resources to the science, research and development that advance this critical technology. Once commercialized, the U.S. can then export these technologies to countries like China that are committed to using their coal -- creating new American jobs and allowing the U.S. to play a greater role in the international green economy.

John McCain Will Put His Administration On Track To Construct 45 New Nuclear Power Plants By 2030 With The Ultimate Goal Of Eventually Constructing 100 New Plants. Nuclear power is a proven, zero-emission source of energy, and it is time we recommit to advancing our use of nuclear power. Currently, nuclear power produces 20% of our power, but the U.S. has not started construction on a new nuclear power plant in over 30 years. China, India and Russia have goals of building a combined total of over 100 new plants and we should be able to do the same. It is also critical that the U.S. be able to build the components for these plants and reactors within our country so that we are not dependent on foreign suppliers with long wait times to move forward with our nuclear plans.

John McCain Will Establish A Permanent Tax Credit Equal To 10 Percent Of Wages Spent On R&D. This reform will simplify the tax code, reward activity in the U.S., and make us more competitive with other countries. A permanent credit will provide an incentive to innovate and remove uncertainty. At a time when our companies need to be more competitive, we need to provide a permanent incentive to innovate, and remove the uncertainty now hanging over businesses as they make R&D investment decisions.

John McCain Will Encourage The Market For Alternative, Low Carbon Fuels Such As Wind, Hydro And Solar Power. According to the Department of Energy, wind could provide as much as one-fifth of electricity by 2030. The U.S. solar energy industry continued its double-digit annual growth rate in 2006. To develop these and other sources of renewable energy will require that we rationalize the current patchwork of temporary tax credits that provide commercial feasibility. John McCain believes in an even-handed system of tax credits that will remain in place until the market transforms sufficiently to the point where renewable energy no longer merits the taxpayers' dollars.

Protecting Our Environment And Addressing Climate Change: A Sound Energy Strategy Must Include A Solid Environmental Foundation

John McCain Proposes A Cap-And-Trade System That Would Set Limits On Greenhouse Gas Emissions While Encouraging The Development Of Low-Cost Compliance Options. A climate cap-and-trade mechanism would set a limit on greenhouse gas emissions and allow entities to buy and sell rights to emit, similar to the successful acid rain trading program of the early 1990s. The key feature of this mechanism is that it allows the market to decide and encourage the lowest-cost compliance options.

How Does A Cap-And-Trade System Work? A cap-and-trade system harnesses human ingenuity in the pursuit of alternatives to carbon-based fuels. Market participants are allotted total permits equal to the cap on greenhouse gas emissions. If they can invent, improve, or acquire a way to reduce their emissions, they can sell their extra permits for cash. The profit motive will coordinate the efforts of venture capitalists, corporate planners, entrepreneurs, and environmentalists on the common motive of reducing emissions.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets And Timetables:

· 2012: Return Emissions To 2005 Levels (18 Percent Above 1990 Levels)
· 2020: Return Emissions To 1990 Levels (15 Percent Below 2005 Levels)
· 2030: 22 Percent Below 1990 Levels (34 Percent Below 2005 Levels)
· 2050: 60 Percent Below 1990 Levels (66 Percent Below 2005 Levels)

The Cap-And-Trade System Would Allow For The Gradual Reduction Of Emissions. The cap-and-trade system would encompass electric power, transportation fuels, commercial business, and industrial business -- sectors responsible for just under 90 percent of all emissions. Small businesses would be exempt. Initially, participants would be allowed to either make their own GHG reductions or purchase "offsets" -- financial instruments representing a reduction, avoidance, or sequestration of greenhouse gas emissions practiced by other activities, such as agriculture -- to cover 100 percent of their required reductions. Offsets would only be available through a program dedicated to ensure that all offset GHG emission reductions are real, measured and verifiable. The fraction of GHG emission reductions permitted via offsets would decline over time.

Promoting Energy Efficiency:

John McCain Will Make Greening The Federal Government A Priority Of His Administration. The federal government is the largest electricity consumer on earth and occupies 3.3 billion square feet of space worldwide. It provides an enormous opportunity to lead by example. By applying a higher efficiency standard to new buildings leased or purchased or retrofitting existing buildings, we can save taxpayers substantial money in energy costs, and move the construction market in the direction of green technology.

John McCain Will Move The United States Toward Electricity Grid And Metering Improvements To Save Energy. John McCain will work to reduce red tape to allow a serious investment to upgrade our national grid to meet the demands of the 21st century -- which will include a capacity to charge the electric cars that will one day fill the roads and highways of America. And to save both money and electrical power for our people and businesses, we will also need to deploy SmartMeter technologies. These new meters give customers a more precise picture of their overall energy consumption, and over time will encourage a more cost-efficient use of power.

Addressing Speculative Pricing Of Oil

John McCain Believes We Must Understand The Role Speculation Is Playing In Our Soaring Energy Prices. Congress already has investigations underway to examine this kind of wagering in our energy markets, unrelated to any kind of productive commerce, because it can distort the market, drive prices beyond rational limits, and put the investments and pensions of millions of Americans at risk. John McCain believes that where we find abuses, they need to be swiftly punished. To make sure it never happens again, we must reform the laws and regulations governing the oil futures market, so that they are just as clear and effective as the rules applied to stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments.

John McCain Does Not Support A Windfall Profits Tax. A windfall profits tax on the oil companies will ultimately result in increasing our dependence on foreign oil and hinder investment in domestic exploration. Jimmy Carter put a windfall profits tax in place with little to no useful results.

McCain Campaign Conference Call On Barack Obama And Energy Policy

"And contrasted with Senator McCain's balanced approach to more production and less use, you have 'Dr. No,' or as we in the Senate here are referring to it as the mantra of "No We Can't' as a play on Senator Obama's phrase 'Yes, We Can.' No we can't drill offshore. No we can't go to the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Of course, he said he's not a proponent of nuclear, so no we can't do that. And he's even said, no we shouldn't do the reward for the technology improvement for a battery that would allow people to use those kinds of vehicles..." -- Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)

Today, Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), former CIA Director James Woolsey, and senior policy adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin held a conference call on Barack Obama's energy policy:

Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ):

Senator Jon Kyl: "I just want to briefly note that Senator McCain's energy policy is a balanced policy. It recognizes that there is a great deal of hurt throughout the American economy, not just when Americans fill their gas tanks but when they buy other products that are required to be transported or fuel is used in their production. So he recognizes that we need more production and that more production can bring prices down. He also believes that that has to be done with appropriate environmental checks and balances."


"He believes that not only should we have more production but we should have less use. That way we also help to reduce our dependency on foreign suppliers of oil. Thus, he has promoted strongly the plug-in vehicle, the vehicle that you can when you pull into your garage at night you plug it in, recharge the battery. Ah! But we don't have batteries right now that are sufficient to really get this on the market where Americans would use it. So John McCain proposes the traditional American solution to that problem -- offer a prize for the company or the folks that come up with the best battery that first meets the objective of $300 per kilowatts hour."


"And contrasted with Senator McCain's balanced approach to more production and less use, you have 'Dr. No,' or as we in the Senate here are referring to it as the mantra of "No We Can't' as a play on Senator Obama's phrase 'Yes, We Can.' No we can't drill offshore. No we can't go to the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Of course he said he's not a proponent of nuclear so no we can't do that. And he's even said, no we shouldn't do the reward for the technology improvement for a battery that would allow people to use those kinds of vehicles. So, it's a very negative approach which basically says there are no answers to the hurt that Americans are suffering right now and it's up to leaders to come up with answers and that's what John McCain has done."


"Senator McCain's policy is kind of a win-win-win. You both have environmental and the practical and economic considerations, you have short-term, medium-term, and long-term -- it is a balanced approach that is the most sensible way to address this crisis."

Former CIA Director James Woolsey:

James Woolsey: "Senator McCain's leadership on pursuing electricity via the battery prize, and by breaking the monopoly oil has by using various types of alcohol fuels and having flexible fuel vehicles is a way of moving forward whether the prices are as high as they are now, or even if they come down a bit. There's no way oil prices come down enough to compete with off-peak overnight electricity, and it just shows the short-sightedness of Senator Obama's statements and understanding of these energy issues if he claims that you really need these high prices in order to encourage alternatives."

McCain Senior Policy Advisor Doug Holtz-Eakin:

Doug Holtz-Eakin: "I'd like to echo two things that I think stand out from the Senator's efforts in his past four presentations and again today when he talks in Nevada. The first is the balance. The balance across sectors of the economy, whether it be transportation, homes, the government purchasing decisions, or the electricity sector. The balance between immediate responses, whether it be a gas tax, improved production of natural gas, which has dramatic impacts on cost structures and manufacturing and our ability to hold on and grow those jobs. And long-run issues of clean coal. The ability to have a low-carbon environment and one that we can leave for our children in a way that we're proud of. It's a balanced approach and that reflects a style, where the plan is not calibrated to make interest groups happy. Where you don't just say no because powerful constituents find themselves uncomfortable with your approach.

"The Senator, as has been his tradition in the U.S. Senate, will solve America's problems. He will address the pressing needs that Americans see for a Washington that actually works for them, is no longer broken and placing party objectives or interest group service above the genuine national cause of eliminating our national security threat, eliminating our economic insecurity, and leaving behind a cleaner environment. And I think that's what we've seen in the Senator's presentations. It's what he'll once again say today. And the sort of labels of gimmicks and saying no all the time really reflect the broken style of Washington politics that we need to leave behind us."

McCain Spokesman Brian Rogers:

Brian Rogers: "One other point I'd like to make on the $300 million prize. Nothing really points out Senator Obama's 'Dr. No' attitude toward energy security than his comments yesterday calling this a gimmick. The fact is that on Obama's own campaign website he talks about cash prizes for developing the next generation of bio-fuels. And, so when you take his statements yesterday and match it against what he said on his own campaign website, it really shows he's someone who's more driven by partisan politics in Washington than about putting the country first and trying to put forward proposals that are really going to move us forward. And, that's what people are looking for. They're looking for solutions not this 'Dr. No' sort-of-partisan-Washington attitude that seems to define so much of what Senator Obama -- his whole reaction to this entire issue."

Listen To The Full Conference Call.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

McCain- Ride With Me on the Straight Talk Express

My Friends,

The Straight Talk Express bus has become a symbol of my campaign's openness, honesty and access - true democracy at work. Some of my favorite memories of the campaign so far are of riding on the Straight Talk Express across this great country, enjoying unscripted, spirited conversation about the issues with members of the press and other passengers. I believe voters deserve a close, unfiltered examination of our presidential candidates. This give-and-take of ideas is a true example of democracy in action.

I'd like to take the opportunity today to invite you to join me on the Straight Talk Express for a day of conversation and campaigning.

Our last "Ride the Bus" contest was such a success, we've decided to launch it again. As a token of my appreciation for your financial support, any donation you make between today and next Monday at midnight, will qualify you to win a seat aboard the Straight Talk Express. I hope you'll consider joining me by making a donation right away.

If I am given the great honor of serving as the next President of the United States, I will make certain that my administration is open and forthright about the issues facing this country, and I will keep this great conversation going that began on the Straight Talk Express.

I've said before that I'm running to be president of all Americans and the Straight Talk Express enables me to travel around our great country to meet directly with Americans to discuss their thoughts, ideas and concerns. We're facing many great challenges as a nation, and I am running for president to solve these challenges through government reform.

I hope you will join my campaign for reform today and make a contribution before next Monday. Remember, with any donation you make you'll be entered to win a trip aboard the Straight Talk Express for the day. Thank you, as always, for your tireless support.


John McCain

P.S. I've never been afraid to do things a little differently on the campaign trail. I've never been afraid to hold town hall forums, engaging Americans in a discussion on the issues. My campaign bus, the Straight Talk Express, has taken me to every corner of our great country to meet with Americans who agree we need reform. Today, you have the chance to win a day with me on the Straight Talk Express. You will be entered to ride the bus with me by making a donation of any amount before next Monday. Please follow this link to enter today. Thank you.

McCain Campaign Conference Call On Barack Obama's Energy Policy

"In addition to being the Dr. No of energy policy, Barack Obama also has revealed he doesn't understand the fundamentals of a modern financial market and how it's a usual way to convey information to participants in our economy." -- Doug Holtz-Eakin

Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and senior policy adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin held a conference call on Barack Obama's energy policy:

Senator Richard Burr On Energy Policy:

Senator Richard Burr: "You know, once again, Senator Obama has come out. And he's only made one proposal on energy. He wanted an economic stimulus to help the price of gas, and to pay for that he offered a windfall profits tax that, quite frankly, reduces our supply and increases the price. It's ludicrous even on the surface, but on top of that he's reemphasized his opposition to short-term tax relief for American families. He continues to oppose any additional exploration attempts domestically by the country. He has expressed an opposition to any expansion of nuclear generation capacity.

"And amazingly, he has opposed John McCain's visionary proposal of a $300 million prize for a change in battery technology that allows U.S. consumers to move to products that are not reliant on petroleum for the future, which address a dependency issue and an emissions issue that John McCain takes very seriously.

"On the other side, I would sum up a very detailed plan that Senator McCain continues to unveil around the country this way, that it's important that we increase supply. It is important that we reduce consumption. It is absolutely essential that we become energy independent, and I think that's a stark difference from where Senator Obama has suggested our energy policy should go.

"I'm not sure that he's done anything other than mirror the inaction of the Democrat majority in the Congress. This is a time that we need leadership, and what John McCain has displayed is a tremendous amount of vision and leadership, as he's laid out an energy plan for this country at a very, very challenging time for the American people."

McCain Spokesman Brian Rogers On Barack Obama's "Dr. No" Energy Policy:

Brian Rogers: "I would just say, on the batteries issue, it's just very clear at this point that Senator Obama is Dr. No on energy security. Today, it was 'no' on the $300 million for a new kind of batter. Before, it was 'no' on further exploration or the possibility of further exploration off our coasts. It was 'no' on gas tax relief that could help this summer families that are hurting. It's 'no' on expanded nuclear power, you know, investments that we can make. So we think we're seeing a pattern here."

Doug Holtz-Eakin On The $300 Million Battery Prize:

Doug Holtz-Eakin: "I'd just like to point out that one of the things that even those at the Hamilton Project, whose former director is Jason Furman, have noted is that government grants, paid-for research, even when it's unsuccessful -- and what Senator McCain has done is to use the resources of the U.S. government to take $300 million of the taxpayers' money and make it available to these successful private sector entrepreneurs who deliver the leapfrog technology, and rapidly take this country away from a dangerous reliance on oil, and stops the payment to those regimes who do not support our values, in some cases fund those who try to harm us."

Doug Holtz-Eakin On The Impact Of Committing To Offshore Drilling:

Doug Holtz-Eakin: "In addition to being the Dr. No of energy policy, Barack Obama also has revealed he doesn't understand the fundamentals of a modern financial market and how it's a usual way to convey information to participants in our economy.

"He dismissed Senator McCain's observation that by making a commitment to expanding domestic exploration, increasing the availability of oil over the five to eight years, that we could have some immediate impact.

"Futures markets participants understand the real demand for oil that comes from not just U.S. industry, but the global economy. They understand that the supply of oil from the U.S. and other sources. And they understand that efforts to increase supply are going to affect future prices and immediately begin to take into account not only those direct impacts, but the kinds of ancillary incentives that are set up (ph) by competitors to oil, by those that would like to maintain a market share when the U.S. is trying to expand its production, and they will react, as well.

"Futures markets participants are sophisticated processors of information. And all of their psychology is about understanding the kind of a commitment that Senator McCain is making to having a U.S. that seizes control of its energy future and does not cede it to those regimes in the Middle East who, in the past, have used oil as a weapon against us."

Listen To The Full Conference Call.

John McCain 2008 Launches New Web Ad: "Words"

U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today released a new web video, called "Words," focusing on Barack Obama breaking his pledge to the American people that he would accept public financing.

View the ad here:

Script For "Energy Security" (Web :48)

BARACK OBAMA (2/16/08): "Don't tell me words don't matter."

BARACK OBAMA (6/29/06): "I strongly support public financing."

BARACK OBAMA (2/26/08): "I will sit down with John McCain and make sure that we have a system that works for everybody."

BARACK OBAMA (4/27/08): "I have promised that I will sit down with John McCain and talk about can we preserve a public system."

BARACK OBAMA (6/19/08): "We've made the decision not to participate in the public-financing system for the general election."

CHYRON: "Mr. Obama is breaking his word." (The Washington Times, 6/20/08)

BARACK OBAMA (2/16/08): "Don't tell me words don't matter."

CHYRON: "His decision deals a body blow to his own reputation as a reform candidate." (The Boston Globe, 6/20/08)

BARACK OBAMA (2/16/08): "Don't tell me words don't matter."

CHYRON: "Opportunistic and cynical." (New Hampshire Union Leader, 6/20/08)

BARACK OBAMA (2/16/08): "Don't tell me words don't matter."

CHYRON: "A large and telling Obama flip-flop." (The Wall Street Journal, 6/20/08)

BARACK OBAMA (2/16/08): "Don't tell me words don't matter."

CHYRON: "As disappointing as it is disingenuous." (The Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/20/08)

CHYRON: CHANGE That Works For Him: Breaking His Word

AD FACTS: "Words" Web Ad

BARACK OBAMA (2/16/08): "Don't tell me words don't matter."

· Barack Obama: "Don't tell me words don't matter." (Barack Obama, Remarks, Milwaukee, WI, 2/16/08)

BARACK OBAMA (6/29/06): "I strongly support public financing."

· Barack Obama Says "I Strongly Support Public Financing." OBAMA: "Well, I strongly support public financing. And I know [Senator] Dick [Durbin] does too. He's going to have some things to say about it because when we were having - as you'll recall - the major debates around lobbying reform, one of the things that Dick, I think, properly pointed out was that you can change the rules on lobbying here in Washington, but if we're still getting financed primarily from individual contributions, that those with the most money are still going to have the most influence." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Constituents Breakfast, 6/29/06)

BARACK OBAMA (2/26/08): " I will sit down with John McCain and make sure that we have a system that works for everybody."

· Barack Obama Says "I Will Sit Down With John McCain" To Address Public Financing. NBC'S TIM RUSSERT: "So you may opt out of public financing. You may break your word." BARACK OBAMA: "What I -- what I have said is, at the point where I'm the nominee, at the point where it's appropriate, I will sit down with John McCain and make sure that we have a system that works for everybody." (Democratic Presidential Debate, Cleveland, OH, 2/26/08)

BARACK OBAMA (4/27/08): "I have promised that I will sit down with John McCain and talk about can we preserve a public system."

· Barack Obama Says "I Have Promised That I Will Sit Down With John McCain And Talk About Can We Preserve A Public System." FOX NEWS' CHRIS WALLACE:" Wall Street Journal says that you are prepared to run the first privately financed campaign, presidential campaign, since Watergate. True?" OBAMA: Well, look. We've done a wonderful job raising money from the grassroots. I'm very proud of the fact that in March -- in February, for example, 90 percent of our donations came over the Internet. Our average donation is $96, and we've done an amazing job, I think, mobilizing people to finance our campaigns in small increments. I have promised that I will sit down with John McCain and talk about can we preserve a public system, as long as we are taking into account third party independent expenditures. Because what I don't intend to do --" (Fox News' "Fox News Sunday," 4/27/08)

BARACK OBAMA (6/19/08): "We've made the decision not to participate in the public-financing system for the general election."

· Barack Obama: "We've made the decision not to participate in the public-financing system for the general election. This means we'll be forgoing more than $80 million in public funds during the final months of this election." (Barack Obama, Web Video, 6/19/08)

CHYRON: "Mr. Obama is breaking his word." (The Washington Times, 6/20/08)

· The Washington Times: "Mr. Obama Is Breaking His Word And Is Altering His Principles According To What Is Expedient." (Editorial, "Obama Reneges," The Washington Times, 6/20/08)

CHYRON: "His decision deals a body blow to his own reputation as a reform candidate." (The Boston Globe, 6/20/08)

· Boston Globe: "His Decision Deals A Body Blow To His Own Reputation As A Reform Candidate." "Obama will be the first major party candidate since Watergate to reject public financing in the general election, instead relying on his base of more than 1.5 million donors for a war chest that could easily double or triple the $84.1 he would get in public financing. His decision deals a body blow both to the system of campaign finance and to his own reputation as a reform candidate." (Editorial, "Obama Opts Out Of Reform," The Boston Globe, 6/20/08)

CHYRON: "Opportunistic and cynical." (New Hampshire Union Leader, 6/20/08)

· New Hampshire Union Leader: "Obama's Decision Is Entirely Opportunistic And Cynical." "Of course, Obama's decision is entirely opportunistic and cynical. He claims he still believes in public financing, but that the current system, which he has championed all these years, he now thinks is so flawed that he cannot participate in it." (Editorial, "Obama's Financing: Private Beats Public," New Hampshire Union Leader, 6/20/08)

CHYRON: "A large and telling Obama flip-flop." (The Wall Street Journal, 6/20/08)

· The Wall Street Journal: "The Fact Remains That The Decision Is A Large And Telling Obama Flip-Flop." "Is this the tone of the new postpartisan Obama era? One may wonder. The fact remains that the decision is a large and telling Obama flip-flop. He said early on that he would accept public financing for the general campaign, which runs between the conventions and November's vote. But this was back when he couldn't be sure he would be able to raise so much money by nonpublic means, or what he has since called his 'parallel' public financing system." (Editorial, "A Reformer's Progress," The Wall Street Journal, 6/20/08)

CHYRON: "As disappointing as it is disingenuous." (The Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/20/08)

· Philadelphia Inquirer: "Barack Obama's Decision To Turn Down Public Financing For The General Election Is A Disappointing As It Is Disingenuous." "Barack Obama's decision to turn down public financing for the general election is as disappointing as it is disingenuous. The presumptive Democratic nominee for president pledged last year that he would accept public financing and its accompanying spending limits in the general election if his Republican foe did the same. But now that Obama is a fund-raising sensation on the Internet, he's breaking his pledge." (Editorial, "Public Campaign Financing," The Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/20/08)