POLITICS

McCain: "Too Early" To Conclude Whether Obama Has Made Us Less Safe

04/17/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

In what was billed as the first ever "twitter-view" - an interview over twitter - Sen. John McCain said it was "too early" to conclude, as former Vice President Dick Cheney had done, that the Obama administration was making the country less safe from terrorist attack.

The Arizona Republican offered other moderately newsworthy bits in his 15-minute conversation with ABC's George Stephanopoulos. He said he was "proud of [his] daughter" and that "she has a right to her opinions," when asked about Meghan McCain's recent tiffs with conservative talk show hosts Laura Ingraham and Michelle Malkin. He did not commit to introducing an alternative budget to the Obama administration and Democratic Congress forthcoming proposal. But he did write that he was "working with others on alternatives."

And when asked about the issue of the day - the bonuses issued by bailout-recipient AIG to senior executives - McCain said he would "explore every option" when it comes to recovering the $165 million. But he added that the real outrage was not the bonuses themselves but the bailouts that kept the insurance giant solvent.

"I would have never bailed out AIG," the Senator tweeted. "I repeat, we wouldn't have this problem if we hadn't bailed them out," he added later.

McCain went on to insist that while he voted for the TARP, he opposed the bailout of AIG. In actuality, the then-Republican presidential candidate's stance was far more nuanced. While he initially opposed the taxpayer funds for the insurance giant, he later tempered his criticism, to the point of seemingly supporting a financial intervention.

"I didn't want to do that. And I don't think anybody I know wanted to do that. But there are literally millions of people whose retirement, whose investment, whose insurance were at risk here," he told ABC News during the crux of the debate.

The Senator's economic adviser, Doug Holtz-Eakin, clarified the remarks by noting: "The senator supports the particulars of the action but regrets that circumstances forced us to actually have to do it."

Suggest a correction