DNC - McCain's Straight Talk spins wheels

Washington, DC -- In today's Washington Times Stephen Dinan details the many errors and missteps that have become emblematic of John McCain's campaign. Dinan chronicles the numerous times McCain has misrepresented or misstated his own record on the campaign trail on key issues like immigration, the Bush tax cuts, Iraq and climate change to name a few. With less than 110 days until Election Day it's clear that the wheels are coming off McCain's Straight Talk Express.

The following are excerpts of today's story:

McCain's Straight Talk spins wheels
By Stephen Dinan
Washington Times
July 18, 2008

"From signature issues such as immigration and climate change to tax cuts, the presumed Republican presidential nominee sometimes just seems lost as to his own record and his stance on hot-button social issues. After Mr. McCain said he opposed child adoptions to gay and lesbian couples, his campaign clarified that he wasn't making policy and would leave the issue to the states.

"In the past week, the candidate was unable to say whether he thought health care plans that cover drugs to treat impotency also should cover contraceptives. Mr. McCain voted against such a proposal in 2005. "For a candidate who delights in telling audiences that it's time for "a little straight talk," he has given his opponents chances to question that reputation. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund on Wednesday announced a TV ad campaign showing Mr. McCain's eight-second pause and his fumble for an answer to the question on coverage for birth control.

"The problem, said Michael McKenna, a Republican strategist who works on climate change issues, is that Mr. McCain's campaign doesn't prepare him well and that he stakes out positions for political reasons…Twice this year, Mr. McCain has said he doesn't support "mandatory" caps on greenhouse gas emissions, even though that is the crux of his proposal to address climate change. He often uses his proposal as a chief example to differentiate himself from President Bush. Mr. McKenna said it's impossible to have a cap-and-trade program without mandatory caps. By embracing targets rather than mandatory caps, he said, "it sounds like something Bush could have said." "I would be willing to bet you every dollar I'm going to make this year he could not describe the important parts of his cap-and-trade proposal," Mr. McKenna said."

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