DNCC - McCain Myth Buster:John McCain and North Korea

Today's McCain Myth: John McCain would produce results with North Korea.

Washington, DC-- Today in the Wall Street Journal Asia, John McCain writes that "American leadership is also needed on North Korea." Yet he goes on to describe a method for action that would bring us back to Bush Administration policies that didn't work with North Korea for six years and made America less safe. As the Washington Post described it, McCain's "language concerning North Korea in the article…is remarkably similar to President Bush's first-term rhetoric, which the White House has largely dropped in recent months." [Wall Street Journal Asia, 5/27/08; The Trail Blog, Washingtonpost.com, 5/26/2008]

John McCain says he understands the threats facing America, but if he's willing to go back to the disastrous policies of President Bush that failed to produce the desired results how can Americans trust him to do what's in the best interest of America?

McCain's North Korea Policy "Remarkably Similar" To Bush's First-Term Rhetoric. "Sen. John McCain broke today with President Bush's new policy on North Korea, co-authoring an opinion article with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) in which he called for a return to Bush's original demand of a complete, verifiable, irreversible disarmament of North Korea's nuclear programs. With the prodding of secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Bush -- who once labeled North Korea part of an 'axis of evil' -- has greatly softened his position on North Korea in the past year in an effort to convince Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons. But the shifts have greatly angered conservatives in the Republican Party. McCain's new stance, which is outlined in an opinion article in Tuesday's editions of the Asian Wall Street Journal, calls for a return to sanctions and other levers to prod North Korea….The language concerning North Korea in the article -- which overall sketches out a vision for engagement with Asia -- is remarkably similar to President Bush's first-term rhetoric, which the White House has largely dropped in recent months." [The Trail Blog, Washingtonpost.com, 5/26/2008]

Bush Changes Approach To North Korea Amid Failures. Amid North Korea's missile tests and other international crises, the Bush "administration has undergone a sea change in foreign policy: The tough-talking superpower willing to use unilateral force is now a quieter player that urges moderation and restraint and is more willing to let allies take the lead." [Boston Globe, 7/14/06]

Bush Adopts New Policy When Old Methods Proved Ineffective. "Commendably, the Bush administration is working to undo one of its worst blunders - the abandonment of a 1994 Clinton administration deal that kept North Korea from producing plutonium for nuclear weapons. In a clear step back from its past confrontational rhetoric, the administration agreed to a February 2007 deal that could lead to the dismantling of all of North Korea's nuclear weapons and programs. That deal stalled, but recent talks with Pyongyang promise to put it back on track." [Editorial, Boston Globe, 4/26/08]

After casting himself as a "Maverick" in 2000, the new John McCain is walking in lockstep with President Bush, pandering to the right wing of the Republican Party, and embracing the ideology he once denounced. On the campaign trail McCain has callously abandoned many of his previously held positions, even contradicted himself, in a blatant attempt to remake himself into a candidate Republicans can accept in 2008. So just who is the real John McCain? The Democratic National Committee will present a daily fact aimed at exposing the man behind the myth.