DNC - Senator McCain, Wrong on Trade, Wrong on Iraq, Wrong for America

"It has never been my ambition for any child to grow up to work in a textile factory." -John McCain, Congressional Record, 4/30/02

Washington, DC--
Whether it's the economy or foreign policy, John McCain has shown time and again he is out of touch with the challenges America is facing. Today marks the sixth consecutive month of job losses this year totaling almost 500,000 jobs, but rather than spend time this week talking to the American workers who have lost their jobs as a result of the failed Bush economic policies McCain supports, John McCain spent time in Colombia and Mexico arguing for more trade deals and ensuring that American jobs don't come back to America. But after saying those jobs are not coming back it is no surprise that McCain doesn't seem concerned about American job losses. As he said in 2002, "[i]t has never been my ambition for any child to grow up to work in a textile factory." Not only has McCain not been willing to fight for American jobs, he has not supported investing in the very high tech jobs of the future and education assistance he claims to support. [Congressional Record, 4/30/2002]

On foreign policy, news that June was the deadliest month for American troops in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion has renewed questions about the Bush-McCain Iraq policy that has diverted much-needed troops and resources from Afghanistan. In light of the violence, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, called for more troops in Afghanistan but said that "I don't have troops I can reach for, brigades I can reach to send into Afghanistan until I have a reduced requirement in Iraq…" Yet Senator McCain continues to cherry-pick the facts and ignore the reality on the ground, saying our troops could be in Iraq for 100 years and "that would be fine with me." [Washington Post, 7/2/08]

For a candidate whose campaign shake-ups and follies have already been making headlines, John McCain is making it clear with his disastrous viewpoints on the economy and foreign policy that he is the wrong choice for America's future.


McCain: Not His "Ambition" For Children To Work In Textile Factories. "I never have sold anything to a grocery store. I bought a lot from grocery stores. I buy flowers a lot cheaper when they are grown in Colombia than when they are grown in South Carolina. It has never been my ambition for any child to grow up to work in a textile factory. I would much rather have them work in a BMW plant or high-tech factory or other kinds of employment for which we can provide the training and education." [Congressional Record, 4/30/2002]

McCain Told Steel Workers in Ohio That Their Jobs Were Not Coming Back. During a campaign event in Youngstown, Ohio, McCain touted free-trade policies, a member "of the audience asked Sen. McCain what he would do to avoid a collapse like that of the steel mills in the future, he replied, "I can't look you in the eye and tell you that I believe those jobs are coming back."" [Wall Street Journal, 4/23/2008]

McCain Told Michigan Voters That Their Jobs Aren't Coming Back. While campaigning during the primary, McCain told Michigan voters "I've got to give you some straight talk: Some of the jobs that have left the state of Michigan are not coming back… They are not. And I am sorry to tell you that." [Boston Globe, 1/10/2008]

McCain Predicted 316,000 New Jobs in 1993. Similarly, the NAFTA could result in the creation of 316,000 new jobs in this country, as well as tens of thousands of jobs in my home State of Arizona, in addition to adding considerably to overall economic output in Arizona, the United States and Mexico. President Clinton says that we must have safeguards to protect our workers and the environment. I agree that it is important that we negotiate these side agreements, but they should not forestall moving forward on the underlying agreement. [Congressional Record, 2/18/1993]

NAFTA Net Displacement Was One Million Workers. A 2006 Economic Policy Institute study found that NAFTA had displaced just over 1 million jobs in this country, and net job loss of 16,000 in Arizona. [Scott, Salas & Campbell, Revisiting NAFTA, 9/28/2006; http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/bp173 ]

2004: McCain Voted Against An Amendment To Provide Assistance, Including Training, To Service And High-Tech Workers Whose Jobs Move Overseas. McCain voted against an amendment that provides that existing Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits be made available to service and high-tech workers; clarifies that TAA benefits are available to workers whose company moves overseas to any other country; increases training funds to match anticipated enrollment; increases health care subsidy available to TAA beneficiaries from 65 percent to 75 percent; and provides economic adjustment plan assistance to communities that have significant trade-related layoffs. [2004 Senate Vote #80, 5/4/2004]

2002: McCain Voted Against Community College Training Programs For Trade Displaced Workers. McCain voted against an amendment that would outline additional trade negotiating objectives regarding textiles and establish an emergency assistance grant program for community colleges that provide training programs for displaced or endangered workers, and to allow community colleges to expand and create new retraining programs customized to immediate needs of communities. [2002 Senate Vote #111, 5/15/2002]

1995: McCain Voted Against Job-Retraining For Workers Displaced By International Trade Agreements. McCain voted against an amendment to maintain the worker retraining assistance part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which provides job retraining for workers laid off as a direct result of an international trade program such as NAFTA. [1995 Senate Vote #482, 10/10/1995]


2008: 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 should "make it 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]

Violence Rises in Afghanistan. "June was the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the war there began in late 2001, as resilient and emboldened insurgents have stepped up attacks in an effort to gain control of the embattled country. Defense officials and Afghanistan experts said the toll of 28 U.S. combat deaths recorded last month demonstrates a new resurgence of the Taliban, the black-turbaned extremists who were driven from power by U.S. forces almost seven years ago. Taliban units and other insurgent fighters have reconstituted in the country's south and east, aided by easy passage from mountain redoubts in neighboring Pakistan's lawless tribal regions." [Washington Post, 7/2/08]

McCain: "Afghanistan Is Not In Trouble Because Of Our Diversion To Iraq." On an appearance on ABC's "The View," McCain denied that the U.S.'s focus in Iraq was diverting attention from Afghanistan. McCain said: "But Afghanistan is not in trouble because of our diversion to Iraq. Afghanistan is in trouble…I know a lot of people think that and we do need more troops there. But a lot of the problem resides in a place called Waziristan. Which by the way, I've been to. It is a God-forsaken part of the world. Nobody's governed it since Alexan… before Alexander the Great. And they are a sanctuary, that area is a sanctuary for the Taliban which is making a comeback." [ABC's 'The View,' 4/10/08]