John McCain’s Very Bad Week: A Cheat Sheet

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


I was asked to appear on Hardball on Friday to discuss John McCain’s week–that is, his very bad week. It’s been tough to keep track of all that’s gone wrong for him–all the self-inflicted wounds–in recent days. So I made a cheat sheet. Here it is.

* McCain adviser Phil Gramm remark: Americans who worry about the economy are “whiners” and there’s no problem with the economy, just a “mental recession.” McCain response: Gramm doesn’t speak for me. But, um, that day Gramm was speaking for McCain, explaining McCain’s economic policies to the Wall Street Journal editorial board.

* Called the fundamental funding mechanism of Social Security a “disgrace,” essentially attacking the whole program.

* Released list of 300 economists who supposedly support his economic plan. Guess what? Not all of them do.

* Became visibly uncomfortable when asked whether health plans that cover Viagara should also cover birth control for women (after McCain surrogate/adviser Carly Fiorina raised this issue).

* Joked about killing Iranians with cigarette imports.

* Attacked Obama for not voting for a bill designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group. Whoops–McCain didn’t vote for the bill, either.

* His campaign accused Obama of flip-flopping on Iraq. Politifact.com said that’s not true.

* Denied ever saying he’s not an expert on the economy. Well, he said it. Memory problems?

* McCain wants to stay in Iraq for as long as it takes and routinely blasts Obama as a defeatist for proposing a timetable for withdrawal. Yet Iraqi leaders said they now want to set up a timetable. There goes that issue.

* Campaign accused of screening reporters allowed to ask questions on its conference calls for the media, and did not declare, we do not screen.

* Claimed to have a perfect voting record on veterans affairs. Veterans groups disagree. (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave him a grade of D.)

* Pledged to cut the deficit by end of his first term. Prominent experts said not possible.

* McCain campaign ad charged that Obama voted to raise taxes on people making as little as $32,000 a year. Factcheck.org said this is false.

* Pro-McCain RNC ad said Obama has no new energy solutions. But Obama proposes $150 billion in new tax credits for alternative energy.

I might have missed a few other McCain slip-ups of this week. But the Hardball segment was only scheduled for a few minutes. McCain supporters ought to hope the guy and his entire campaign take the weekend off.

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate