McCain Stays in Mix as GOP Leader Against Obama

Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009 02:05 PM

By Dan Weil

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Although many defeated presidential candidates (not to mention older war heroes) simply fade away, Sen. John McCain has done the opposite.

The Arizona Republican is leading his party's opposition to the Obama administration, particularly its healthcare reform plans. McCain has made several appearances on Sunday talk shows.

Last weekend, he attacked the Senate's $447 billion budget bill as wasteful spending.

"I urge — no, I don't urge, I demand — the president of the United States veto this bill," McCain told Fox News.

As for healthcare reform, McCain told Fox, "I think it's partially true that this and the fiscal insanity that's going on around here are clearly being helpful to the Republican Party.”

Republicans ultimately will present domestic plans of their own, McCain said. “We will also sometime in the spring be coming out with a positive agenda for what we are going to do. That's one of the things we've got to do."

McCain didn’t let himself get down over his defeat at the hands of Barack Obama last year.

"I got right back in the arena: That is the cure for defeat, and I have enjoyed every minute of it being back. I really have," he said.

McCain has expressed mixed views about Obama’s policy in Afghanistan. He supports the president’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan but objects to his 2011 pullout date.

“I think the 30,000 additional U.S. troops that will deploy as part of this mission, plus greater allied commitments, will enable us to reverse the momentum of the insurgency and create the conditions for success in Afghanistan,” McCain said in a statement.

“I support the president’s decision, and I think it deserves the support of all Americans.”

But as for the timetable, “A withdrawal date only emboldens al-Qaida and the Taliban, while dispiriting our Afghan partners,” he said.


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