Photo by Reuters's Carlos Barria (Reuters archive, other work) shows Republican presidential candidate John McCain (R-AZ) with Mel Martinez (R-FL) on stage as, Joe Lieberman (I-CT) addresses a town hall meeting at the Savannah Center in Lady Lake, Florida on 1/27/08.
With news that McCain's candidacy is off life-support with wins in NH, SC and FL, and his attractiveness to some independents (v.s his status as an anathema for some conservative Republicans), I reckoned it was time to look at where he stands on the issues. For this, I turned to (doh) On the Issues, which provides non-partisan information based on newspapers, speeches, press releases, and the Internet.
For instance on abortion from Meet the Press:
Q: In 1999, you said, "In the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade, which would then force X number of women in American to undergo illegal and dangerous operations."
A: That was in the context of conversation about having to change the culture of America as regards to this issue. I have stated time after time after time that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision, that I support the rights of the unborn.
Q: If Roe v. Wade was overturned during a McCain presidency, and individual states chose to ban abortion, would you be concerned that, as you said, X number of women in America would undergo illegal and dangerous operations?
A: No, I would hope that X women in America would bring those children into life in this world, and that I could do whatever I could to assist them. Again, that conversation from 1999, so often quoted, was in the context of my concerns about changing the culture in America to understand the importance of the rights of the unborn.
Source: Meet the Press: 2007 "Meet the Candidates" series May 13, 2007
Q: Cuban dictatorship has survived nine U.S. presidents. What would you do differently, that has not been done so far, to bring democracy to Cuba?
A: Of course we need to keep our embargo up. Of course we cannot allow economic aid to flow to Cuba. And if I were president of the United States, I would order an investigation of the shoot-down of those brave Cubans who were killed under the orders of Raul and Fidel Castro, and, if necessary, indict them.
And while George Bush was promoting humility in foreign policy in the October 11, 2000 presidential debate, saying,
If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us; if we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us.McCain, had, in addition to advocated for the toppling of Saddam (and his willingness, now, to stay in Iraq virtually forever), favored "rogue state rollback" for Libya and North Korea:
Q: What area of international policy would you change immediately?
A: Our policies concerning rogue states: Iraq, Libya, North Korea-those countries that continue to try to acquire weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. I’d institute a policy that I call “rogue state rollback.” I would arm, train, equip, both from without and from within, forces that would eventually overthrow the governments and install free and democratically elected governments.
Source: GOP Debate on the Larry King Show Feb 15, 2000
UPDATE: 1/31/07, David Corn has an interesting piece in the Mother Jones blog about McCain and Romney's attempts to take on Reagan's mantle, "At GOP Debate, McCain and Romney Bicker Over Whom Reagan Would Love More."