John McCain: “I Will Be Hamas’ Worst Nightmare”
I took part in another Sen. John McCain weblogger conference call. The North Carolina GOP’s Jeremiah Wright ad garnered most of the questions along with questions about Sen. Obama and William Ayers and foreign policy.
Michael Goldfarb asked why McCain wanted the NC GOP ad pulled. McCain said the inferences in the ad were “unwarranted.” He would rather talk about differences on taxes, the size of government, and national security. He doesn’t think the Wright ad is an appropriate message and is “not the tenor of the campaign we want to wage.”
Jim Geraghty followed up by asking if it was McCain’s position that voters should take Wright into account but Republicans shouldn’t have ads about him? McCain answered that voters can take anything into account. He found the ad “offensive” but can’t order the NC GOP to pull it. He wants to run the “best, most positive kind of campaign.”
Hugh Hewitt asked about Obama’s obligation to actually clarify his relationship with Ayers. McCain said he was surprised there hasn’t been more discussion from the media. He again chided Obama’s comparison of Ayers to Coburn. McCain wondered if perhaps Obama could argue Ayers made some contribution.
Ann Nowicki asked about running and competing in California. McCain sounded confident saying “I’m a Western Senator” who understands Western issues like water rights. California can’t be written off and Gov. Schwarzenegger has shown a Republican with differing views can win there. If that isn’t an indication McCain’s running towards independent and swing voters I don’t know what is. The days of conservative outreach–how few they have been–have been numbered.
Jennifer Rubin asked if Obama has given an unhelpful signal to Hamas? McCain responded that it’s clear who Hamas wants to be President. So does Daniel Ortega. “I will be Hamas’ worst nightmare,” said McCain. McCain noted that Iran is stepping up their export of explosives to Iraq, and they wouldn’t want him to be President either. New slogan: John McCain: America’s enemies’ least favorite candidate.
A question came up about the battle for Basra. McCain called it a “pleasant turn of events” and said the Iraqi army had taken over the city.
John Ruberry brought up Cook County, Illinois’ high sales tax. That let McCain go off on how Obama wants to raise taxes. “Increases in taxes have been uniformly detrimental to the economy,” said McCain. Lifting the income limits on the payroll tax will effect lots of people. Also raising the capital gains tax would affect 100 million Americans.
McCain definitely didn’t satisfy those who like the Wright ad and want him and the GOP to be more aggressive.
More coverage of the conference call:
- Jim Geraghty
- Abe Greenwald
- Hugh Hewitt
- Michael Goldfarb
- Ed Morrissey
- Justin Higgins
- Amanda Carpenter
[picture via marcn]