DNC - McCain Myth Buster: John McCain and "Change"

Today's McCain Myth: John McCain will bring change to America.

Washington, DC--
John McCain is trying to argue that his campaign is about change, saying he has a "record of reform" and has made "efforts to change the way we do business in Washington." With Americans so tired of the Bush Administration, McCain's rhetoric about change makes sense politically, but his record doesn't match his rhetoric. The truth is, Senator McCain voted last year with President Bush 95 percent of the time--more than any other Senator. On the issues, John McCain offers nothing more than a third Bush term. He supports a continuation of President Bush's failed strategy in Iraq, health care reform that would do little to help the uninsured, and President Bush's plan to privatize Social Security that the American people already rejected. [Associated Press, 6/2/08; Congressional Quarterly, 1/13/2008]

Given that 82 percent of voters have said our country is on the wrong track, no wonder John McCain is trying to portray himself as an agent of change. Only problem? McCain's record clearly shows he stands for anything but change. [Washington Post-ABC News Poll, May 8-11, 2008]
No Change on Iraq…

McCain Would Spend 'a Hundred Years' or a 'Million Years' in Iraq. McCain interrupted a voter during a townhall meeting in New Hampshire telling him we could spend "maybe a hundred" years in Iraq and "that would be fine with me." After the townhall meeting, he told a reporter "that U.S. troops could be in Iraq for 'a thousand years' or 'a million years,' as far as he was concerned." [McCain Derry, NH townhall meeting, 1/3/08; motherjones.com , 1/3/08]

McCain Consistently on Bush Talking Points. In 2003, McCain echoed Bush's rosy predictions by claiming that the end was "very much in sight" in Iraq. In 2005, McCain backed Bush, arguing that another year would prove "stay the course" was working. [The Hill, 12/8/05; ABC News, Good Morning America, 4/9/03] In 2006, McCain argued that Iraqwas "on the right track" even as it slipped further toward civil war. [MSNBC, Imus in the Morning, 3/1/06] As of late, McCain's campaign insists, "terrorists are on the run," even while half of Afghanistan appears to have fallen back under the control of the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden remains at large. [johnmccain.com, press release, 12/17/07; Time, 12/8/07; Investor's Business Daily, 12/14/07]

McCain: "No One Has Supported President Bush on Iraq More Than I Have." During an March 2008 interview on The Mike Gallagher Show, McCain stated, "no one has supported President Bush on Iraq more than I have." [Think Progress blog, 4/2/08]

No Change on Health Care…

John McCain Does Not Have a Plan For the Uninsured. According to the Wall Street Journal, McCain's plan does not focus on "reducing the ranks of the uninsured," of which there are about 47 million, or one in seven Americans. [Wall Street Journal, 10/11/07]

McCain Opposed Reauthorizing SCHIP and Providing Insurance For Millions of Uninsured Children. McCain voted against reauthorizing the State Children's Health Insurance Program for five years, expanding the program by $35.2 billion. [Senate Vote #307, 8/2/07]

No Change on Social Security…

2008: McCain "Totally In Favor" of Bush Social Security Plan. "I'm totally in favor of personal savings accounts and I think they are an important opportunity for young workers. I campaigned in support of President Bush's proposal and I campaigned with him, and I did town hall meetings with him." [Wall Street Journal, 3/3/08]

2005: McCain Campaigned for Bush Social Security Plan. "McCain has been especially supportive of his onetime rival, appearing with Bush at three events over the past two days in trying to prod Democrats into negotiations to include private accounts in a plan to revamp Social Security." [Washington Post, 3/23/05]

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.