POLITICS
06/14/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

McCain Supports Bush's Warrantless Wiretaps

The New York Times reports today on how John McCain has flipped his position on warrantless wiretapping to look very similar to George Bush's. Below are a couple paragraphs from the article that reflect how John McCain has flip-flopped toward Bush:

A top adviser to Senator John McCain says Mr. McCain believes that President Bush's program of wiretapping without warrants was lawful, a position that appears to bring him into closer alignment with the sweeping theories of executive authority pushed by the Bush administration legal team.

In a letter posted online by National Review this week, the adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, said Mr. McCain believed that the Constitution gave Mr. Bush the power to authorize the National Security Agency to monitor Americans' international phone calls and e-mail without warrants, despite a 1978 federal statute that required court oversight of surveillance...

...But Mr. McCain had previously stopped short of endorsing the view that Mr. Bush's program of surveillance without warrants was lawful all along because a president's wartime powers can trump statutory limits.

Andrew C. McCarthy, a National Review columnist who has defended the administration's legal theories, wrote that Mr. Holtz-Eakin's statement "implicitly shows Senator McCain's thinking has changed as time has gone on and he has educated himself on this issue."

And Glenn Greenwald, a Salon columnist and critic of the Bush administration's legal claims, wrote that the statement was a "complete reversal" by Mr. McCain, accusing the candidate of seeking "to shore up the support of right-wing extremists."