Huffpost Politics
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Ira Forman Headshot

McCain's Record ... of Flip-Flops

Posted: Updated:
Print

Today, my organization, the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) released a fact sheet to set the record straight on McCain's history of flip-flops following McCain's recent statement, "I take a stand on principle, and I don't switch positions depending on what audience or time it is in the electoral calendar."

Senator McCain claims to be 'Mr. Straight Talk' and has taken a holier than thou attitude throughout this campaign. Yesterday McCain had the audacity to tell the Washington Post that 'I don't switch positions' when he has a history of flip-flopping on important issues, ranging from immigration and tax cuts to Hamas and the religious right. The gall of McCain's 'straight talk' is breathtaking and these flip-flops ought to finally put the myth of McCain's maverick moderate image to rest.

Here are a few of McCain's flip-flops:

HAMAS & TALKING TO TERRORISTS

THEN: In a May 2008 opinion piece published in the Washington Post, former State Department official James Rubin revealed that in a 2006 interview, McCain responded to a question on whether U.S. diplomats should be working with the Hamas government in Gaza with, "sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another."

NOW: In the 2008 campaign, McCain has cast Senator Obama as being the endorsed candidate of Hamas and willing to negotiate with Iran. He told CNN, "[...] it's also fact that a spokesperson from Hamas said that he approves of Obama's candidacy."

IMMIGRATION

THEN: In 2007, McCain introduced and voted for legislation which included increased border security and a pathway to legal citizenship.

THEN: During a presidential primary debate in January 2008, McCain was asked if he would vote for his own immigration bill if it came to the Senate floor again. He replied, "No, I would not, because we know what the situation is today. The people want the border secured first."

NOW: In June 2008, McCain told the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials he would resurrect a bipartisan immigration bill, which he helped shape, which would include a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are already in the country. He said, "It would be my top priority yesterday, today and tomorrow."

OFFSHORE DRILLING

THEN: During the 2000 Presidential campaign, McCain favored the moratorium on offshore drilling, promising to "never lose sight of the fundamental principle that federal land management decisions affecting local communities must be made in cooperation with the Americans who call those communities home."

NOW: In June 2008, McCain called for an end to these federal bans, saying, "It is time [...] to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use."

RELIGIOUS RIGHT

THEN: Campaigning for the presidency in 2000, McCain described Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell as "agents of intolerance," saying, "I don't pander to them, because I don't ascribe to their failed philosophy that money is our message."

NOW: In 2008, McCain delivered the Commencement speech at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University and supported this decision, saying, "the 'Christian right' has a major role to play in the Republican Party."

REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

THEN: Running for president in 1999, McCain was opposed to repealing Roe v. Wade. He said, "Certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations."

NOW: McCain's website says, "John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench." Additionally, on several occasions, McCain has said himself, "I do not support Roe v. Wade. It should be overturned."

SOCIAL SECURITY

THEN: Stumping for President Bush in New Hampshire in 2004, McCain responded to a participant's question saying, "Without privatization, I don't see how you can possibly, over time, make sure that young Americans are able to receive Social Security benefits."

NOW: In 2008, McCain answered a participant's question at a town hall event in New Hampshire, saying, "I'm not for, quote, privatizing Social Security. I never have been. I never will be."

TAX CUTS

THEN: In 2001, McCain opposed and voted against Bush's tax cuts, saying, "I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle class Americans who most need tax relief."

THEN: McCain opposed Bush's additional tax cuts in 2003, because he argued the cost of the Iraq War was not yet known.

NOW: In 2006, McCain voted to make these tax cuts permanent. In a 2008 presidential debate, he said, "We need to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, which I voted for twice to do so."