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John McCain's Gambling Problem

Bumped and updated: This update includes an article from the New York Times. A graphic list of McCain's ties to the gambling industry is included below the fold - Lee

Senator John McCain was on a roll. In a room reserved for high-stakes gamblers at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, he tossed $100 chips around a hot craps table. When the marathon session ended around 2:30 a.m., the Arizona senator and his entourage emerged with thousands of dollars in winnings.

Senator John McCain, as chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, at a hearing in 2005 to examine accusations of misconduct made by six Indian tribes against their former lobbyist, Jack Abramoff.

A lifelong gambler, Mr. McCain takes risks, both on and off the craps table. He was throwing dice that night not long after his failed 2000 presidential bid, in which he was skewered by the Republican Party's evangelical base, opponents of gambling. Mr. McCain was betting at a casino he oversaw as a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and he was doing so with the lobbyist who represents that casino, according to three associates of Mr. McCain.

The visit had been arranged by the lobbyist, Scott Reed, who works for the Mashantucket Pequot, a tribe that has contributed heavily to Mr. McCain's campaigns and built Foxwoods into the world's second-largest casino. Joining them was Rick Davis, Mr. McCain's current campaign manager. Their night of good fortune epitomized not just Mr. McCain's affection for gambling, but also the close relationship he has built with the gambling industry and its lobbyists during his 25-year career in Congress.

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John McCain readily admits that he's a gambling man.... and the gambling industry has placed their bet on him as a result.

Betting on McCain to do the best for America is a major gamble that our country cannot afford to make.

Recently McCain gambled on suspending his campaign and rushing off to Washington to resolve the bailout bill gridlock. He lost that bet.

He gambled again on Sunday and Monday before the bailout vote bill failed by taking credit for the bill's passage. Quite a gamble -- claiming credit for the bill's passage before it passed, but John McCain is a gambling man. He lost that bet.

McCain gambled on the selection of his Vice-President, choosing an unqualified hockey mom from Alaska. With the growing chorus of conservatives now speaking out for Palin to step down there's plenty of evidence that McCain lost on that bet as well. Maybe Palin will end up as a wash - but with McCain slipping in key battleground state polls there's every indication that it was a bad bet for McCain to make.

And his campaign suffered greatly when they started repeatedly lying and distorting in their television and radio advertising. The resulting backlash of media fact-checking and editorials decrying the lies no doubt hurt the McCain-Palin campaign. Going negative was a big gamble -- so far it's looked like a losing proposition for McCain.

Can America afford a gambling man in the White House?

I'm a pretty good poker player, and I know there is skill involved in poker. That's why top poker players win tournament after tournament. It's not just luck.

But John McCain plays craps, figuratively and literally. You'll find John McCain at the crap tables at 2:30 in the morning, throwing down $100 chips and betting on the luck of a throw of the dice.

Having John McCain throwing the dice for the United States of America is a bad bet for us to make. He's doesn't make good bets, and takes risks that don't pay off.

Putting John McCain in the White House is a gamble we can't afford to take.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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