DNC - McCain Myth Buster: John McCain and Nuclear Nonproliferation

Today's McCain Myth: John McCain has a consistent policy on nuclear nonproliferation.

Washington, DC--John McCain claims to be an expert on foreign policy. Yet in the course of his presidential campaign he has taken two very different stances on the same issue--nuclear nonproliferation. Last December, Senator McCain wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine that the idea that "nuclear technology can spread without nuclear weapons eventually following" is a "mistaken assumption" that undermines the nuclear nonproliferation regime. Yet just months later, in McCain's major foreign policy speech yesterday, he said he would provide nuclear power to countries under international supervision to promote nonproliferation. [Foreign Affairs, December 2007]

These are two very different sides of the same issue, so how does John McCain explain a major shift in policy over just six months? And how can the American people trust anything John McCain says when he's willing to switch positions on just about any issue?


McCain in 2007: Nuclear Technology Leads to Nuclear Weapons. "The nuclear nonproliferation regime is broken for one clear reason: the mistaken assumption behind the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) that nuclear technology can spread without nuclear weapons eventually following. … The next U.S. president must convene a summit of the world's leading powers -- none of which have an interest in seeing a world full of nuclear-armed states -- with three agenda items. First, the notion that non-nuclear-weapons states have a right to nuclear technology must be revisited." [Foreign Affairs, December 2007]

McCain Now Believes Civilian Nuclear Energy Can Remain Civilian. "But in order to take advantage of civilian nuclear energy, we must do a better job of ensuring it remains civilian. Some nations use the pretense of civilian nuclear programs as cover for nuclear weapons programs. We need to build an international consensus that exposes this deception, and holds nations accountable for it. … I would support international guarantees of nuclear fuel supply to countries that renounce enrichment and reprocessing, as well as the establishment of multinational nuclear enrichment centers in which they can participate. Nations that seek nuclear fuel for legitimate civilian purposes will be able to acquire what they need under international supervision. " [JohnMcCain.com, Accessed 5/28/08]

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.