This is an actual transcript of an exchange between John McCain and a reporter... from a March 16, New York Times story. It has not been altered in anyway..
Q: "What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush's policy, which is just abstinence?"
Mr. McCain: (Long pause) "Ahhh. I think I support the president's policy."
Q: "So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?"
Mr. McCain: (Long pause) "You've stumped me."
Q: "I mean, I think you'd probably agree it probably does help stop it?"
Mr. McCain: (Laughs) "Are we on the Straight Talk express? I'm not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I'm sure I've taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception - I'm sure I'm opposed to government spending on it, I'm sure I support the president's policies on it."
McCain doesn't know what his position is!
What Brit Hume calls 'senior moments' referring to McCain's repeated tendency for example, to confuse or conflate al Queda with their Shiite enemies in Iraq, will undoubtedly become a future talking point of the presidential race..McCain will be 72 in July, and having endured five and half years in the Hanoi Hilton it probably aged him even more so. As commenter bryanD observes, he may be past 'his expiration date'.
After all, being the President of the United States may be one of the most demanding jobs in the world. Already, McCain has admitted he "doesn't really understand econmics," so what do aging, retired war veterans like to talk about when they are uncomfortable with modern issues such as the subprime mortgage crisis, contraception, Aids, sex education or the the differences between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq, well...; 'Enough Distractions. Let's Talk About Me', particularly my military career.
MERIDIAN, Miss. -- Senator John McCain is hoping to move the campaign narrative from the current events section of the popular imagination to the biography section with his tour this week of places important to his life story.
Running on biography is hardly unusual in presidential politics, as presidents from the Rough Rider, Theodore Roosevelt, to the Man from Hope, Bill Clinton, can attest.
The tour will begin here, where McCain Field is named for his grandfather, who, like his father, was an admiral in the Navy. It will continue with stops at the Naval Academy, where he graduated fifth from the bottom of his class; Pensacola, Fla., where he learned to fly; and Jacksonville, Fla., where he commanded a squadron.
Robert M. Shrum, a Democratic consultant who was Senator John Kerry's senior strategist in 2004, said it was important for campaigns to use biography to try to give a sense of a candidate's values, and thereby a sense of how they might govern. "People are not electing a set of issue positions," Mr. Shrum said, "they are electing a person."
Who can blame him? And this will give McCain some breathing time to work on his short term memory and study what his positions were or 'are' on the issues of America 2008 that he must respond to, and try to remember.
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