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Candidate positions: John McCain

The following positions reflect those used for John McCain in the Select A Candidate survey. They come from the candidate's public statements, Web sites, and responses to Minnesota Public Radio questionnaires. In some cases, candidiates have failed to respond to inquiries, and their position is noted as "No known opinion."


Issue Question Candidate Position
Sub-prime mortgage Do you support the government directly buying distressed mortgages from home borrowers and lenders? ANSWER OPTION
Yes.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
The McCain Resurgence Plan would purchase mortgages directly from homeowners and mortgage servicers, and replace them with manageable, fixed-rate mortgages that will keep families in their homes. (More Info)
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Iraq What is your opinion on the war in Iraq? ANSWER OPTION
U.S. forces need to stay in Iraq for as long as it takes for Iraqi forces to take over.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"Ultimately, Iraq's future lies in the hands of its people, government, and armed forces, and strengthening them is an essential requirement for bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq. Until Iraqi forces are ready, however, a precipitous U.S. withdrawal would condemn Iraq to civil war and intervention by its neighbors and energize al Qaeda and other jihadists across the globe. This would gravely jeopardize American security," McCain says on his Web site. (More Info)
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Afghanistan What changes would you propose to the war policy in Afghanistan? ANSWER OPTION
Increase international support through NATO, but not increase the number of American forces in the country.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
In December McCain wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine that "Our recommitment to Afghanistan must include increasing NATO forces, suspending the debilitating restrictions on when and how those forces can fight, expanding the training and equipping of the Afghan National Army through a long-term partnership with NATO to make it more professional and multiethnic, and deploying significantly more foreign police trainers." More recently, he has said that he would not increase the U.S. military presence unless military advisers recommended doing so. (More Info)
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Issue Question Candidate Position
Immigration What is your position on immigration in the United States? ANSWER OPTION
I favor a guest worker program, while tightening border security.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
" Only after specific enforcement and security triggers are met will the temporary guest worker provisions and the legalization program for the undocumented included in the bill take effect," McCain writes on his Web site. (More Info)
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The mortgage crisis What do you think should be done -- if anything -- in the wake of the near collapse of companies specializing in subprime mortgages, and the foreclosures of homes? ANSWER OPTION
Cut interest rates. Encourage private lenders to freeze interest rates for some subprime borrowers.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
According to a New York Times article, McCain said he is generally opposed to federal intervention. "Whenever there is government intervention, there are unintended consequences," he said. However this crisis poses such a serious threat to the overall economic health of the nation that greater federal intervention is necessary. He embraced the steps outlined by President Bush, but said he wasn't sure they go far enough. (More Info)
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Taxes Do you believe the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts should be made permanent? ANSWER OPTION
Yes

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
McCain voted against the tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, but now says he would make them permanent, because allowing them to expire would have the effect of a tax increase. (More Info)
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Issue Question Candidate Position
Education Please select the comment that most closely matches your view on education (K-12). ANSWER OPTION
State and local agencies, not the federal government, should be responsible for developing and enforcing academic standards. I support teacher testing and merit pay for the best teachers. I support charter schools and federally-financed school vouchers for students in failing schools. No Child Left Behind is a 'good beginning' but needs to be fixed.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
According to the Boston Herald, McCain believes state and local agencies, not the federal government, should be responsible for developing and enforcing academic standards. Supports teacher testing and merit pay for the best teachers. Supports charter schools and federally-financed school vouchers for students in failing schools; believes "choice and competition" are the future of education. Believes No Child Left Behind is a "good beginning" but needs to be fixed. (More Info)
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Social Security Do you favor the concept of privatization of Social Security to any degree? ANSWER OPTION
Yes

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
According to the Wall Street Journal, McCain supports "'supplementing' the existing full Social Security system with personally managed accounts. Such accounts wouldn't substitute for guaranteed payments, and they wouldn't be financed by diverting a portion of Social Security payroll taxes." (More Info)
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Health care Do you generally favor or oppose the concept of universal health care in America? That is, require people to have health insurance and provide a mechanism for meeting the requirement. ANSWER OPTION
Oppose

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"I think that we can make health care affordable and available without a mandate," McCain told ABC's "This Week" program in June 2007. McCain's plan, released on October 11, 2007, provides $2,500 refundable tax credits for individuals and a $5,000 tax credit to families, if they have health insurance. Employers would no longer be allowed to deduct health care costs from taxes. He would allow people to have portable insurance that could be purchased across state lines. And he favors reimportation of drugs. (More Info)
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Issue Question Candidate Position
S-CHIP The SCHIP program is designed to subsidize health coverage for families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private insurance. Recent debate in Congress centered around a proposal to increase spending to expand the program. Do you favor or oppose the proposed expansion? ANSWER OPTION
Oppose

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Sen. McCain voted against the measure in the Senate. (More Info)
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Abortion Do you support or oppose legalized abortion in the United States? ANSWER OPTION
Oppose

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench, Constitutional balance would be restored by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, returning the abortion question to the individual states. The difficult issue of abortion should not be decided by judicial fiat," according to McCain's Web site. (More Info)
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Energy Do you support federal assistance for the production of ethanol and/or biofuel as an alternative to oil? ANSWER OPTION
Yes

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
On his campaign Web site, McCain says he supports ethanol for U.S. energy policy. On 5/12/07, he said he supports ethanol but opposes subsidies. Previously, he said that "ethanol is not worth it. It does not help the consumer." He voted against the Energy Policy Act of 2005, he voted no for the Environmental Effects Caused by Ethanol Amendment and he voted no for the Energy Omnibus Bill in 2003. In 2006, however, when giving a speech in Iowa, he said, "I support ethanol and I think it is vital, a vital alternative energy source not only because of our dependency on foreign oil but its greenhouse gas reduction effects." In 2000, McCain skipped the Iowa caucuses because of his opposition to ethanol. Back to top
Issue Question Candidate Position
Death penalty Do you favor or oppose the use of the death penalty for certain crimes? ANSWER OPTION
Favor

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
According to the Pew Forum on Religion and American Life, "McCain supports the death penalty for federal crimes. As senator from Arizona, he voted to prohibit the use of racial statistics in death penalty appeals and ban the death penalty for minors. He also supported legislation to allow the death penalty for acts of terrorism and has said he would consider further expansion of capital punishment laws for other crimes." (More Info)
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Gun control What are your views on firearm regulation? ANSWER OPTION
I believe law abiding citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. I oppose bans on assault rifles, ammunition and ammunition magazines. I oppose litigation against gun manufacturers for crimes committed by third parties. I support background checks at gun shows. I believe that gun control is a proven failure in fighting crime.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
John McCain believes that the right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is a fundamental, individual Constitutional right that we have a sacred duty to protect. We have a responsibility to ensure that criminals who violate the law are prosecuted to the fullest, rather than restricting the rights of law abiding citizens. Gun control is a proven failure in fighting crime. Law abiding citizens should not be asked to give up their rights because of criminals - criminals who ignore gun control laws anyway. (More Info)
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Climate change Do you favor or oppose federal regulation of greenhouse gases? ANSWER OPTION
Favor

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
In 2003, Sen. McCain co-sponsored a bill to cap greenhouse gasses. The bill failed. At a Republican debate in California on January 31, 2008, Sen. McCain said, "Now, suppose that the governor and I are wrong, and there's no such thing as climate change. And we adopt these green technologies, of which America and the innovative skills we have and the entrepreneurship and the free market which is embodied by Senator Lieberman's and mine cap-and-trade proposal is enacted, and there's no such thing as climate change. Then all we've done is give our kids a cleaner world." (More Info)
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Issue Question Candidate Position
G.I. Bill Expansion Do you support a $50 billion expansion of the G.I. Bill to pay college tuition at a public university and other expenses for soldiers who have served 3 years since Sept. 11, 2001? ANSWER OPTION
Oppose

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
McCain does not support the bill because he says it will discourage retention during a time of war, though the congressional budget office found new enlistments would cancel out the 16 percent drop in reenlistments. He has sponsored his own $38 billion expansion that would allow benefits to be transferred to family members, encouraging more service members to make the military a career. (More Info)
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