Saturday, September 13, 2008

McCain Doublespeaks on Expansion Government Role

During the 9/11 Presidential Forum, held at Columbia University on September 11 and broadcast on Fox on Saturday, McCain was asked what he'd do differently after 9/11.

His response included that he'd have initiated different programs and would have expanded Americorps...

A few minutes later, McCain responded to a question about mandatory service, and he said there were enough government programs, and his basic philosophy is not to expand government programs... he said we already have the Peace Corps and Americorps and he'd be careful about expansions.

His attempting a joke by snoring and pretending to fall asleep when asked about age got a laugh, but really, McCain cracking a joke about his own age is getting "old."

Obama would've asked more of the country than to be super-consumers after 9/11. It was initially unclear unclear whether Obama suggested or implied he'd have initiated a mandatory service call from his comment.

Later, Obama said when there is a war, it's an obligation of many, not some...

“If we are going into war, then all of us go, not just some,” Senator Barack Obama declared.

Is asked about ROTC on campus, should they be invited back.

Obama answers, yes... we made a mistake there...

Asked specifically about how do you get more in the military short of a draft... Obama says need inspired... brings up potential of civilian corps... civil engineers who can do some of the things our military is currently doing...

Currently, Obama has presented a national service plan in the form of a bill... he also said he would not set up a bureaucracy, but he wants to set up an energy corp...

Net the Truth Online

Live Video: 9/11 Presidential Forum

Last Edited: Friday, 12 Sep 2008, 1:44 AM GMT
Created: Friday, 12 Sep 2008, 12:00 AM GMT

Transcript: ServiceNation Presidential Forum at Columbia University
Filed Under Barack Obama, John McCain, Presidential Campaign 2008

STENGEL: Senator, as recently as this past Sunday, you talked very openly about the fact that Americans should have been asked to do more than go shopping or traveling. What would you have done as president in those circumstances, to make people aware of what they should do as Americans, after 9/11?

MCCAIN: Well, first of all, I would have called them to serve. I would have created organizations ranging from neighborhood block watch to making sure that our nuclear power plants are secure, to immediately proposing to Congress legislation, such as Senator Evan Bayh and I proposed, service to country, to create additional organizations, to expand AmeriCorps, expand the Peace Corps, expand the military.
Obviously, we were facing a new threat. Obviously, we needed to, at that time, take advantage of the unity in the United States of America. We weren’t Republicans on September 11th, we weren’t Democrats, we were Americans. And I think that if we had asked for a concrete plan of action, both on the part of federal, state and local governments as well as by the Congress of the United States as well as, frankly, talking directly to the American people, on the need for us all to serve this nation, I think perhaps we — but, you know, I have to tell you something, Rick.

Transcript: ServiceNation Presidential Forum at Columbia University
Filed Under Barack Obama, John McCain, Presidential Campaign 2008
(Source: CNN) (Deleted CNN Intro)

STENGEL: Let’s stay on the subject of military. You authorized a really interesting military policy, and it was started out as a bill that you mentioned you and Evan Bayh co-sponsored and then you inserted in the Defense Appropriations Act that blends military and civilian service, the 18-24-18 policy, which I won’t explain. But it’s leading me to a larger question. Why wouldn’t we have compulsory military service in America that has a civilian component? That if someone wants to opt out of military service, they can do their civilian service, like in your bill, and that it would become a unifying thing for America?

MCCAIN: Rick, first of all, I think that as much as I treasure our military service, there’s lots of ways to serve our country, too. And I want to emphasize that. I know we’re talking a lot about the military. But there’s so many ways to serve this country and there’s so many ways that are noble and wonderful, both at home and abroad. So I want to make that perfectly clear.

I think that it’s very clear AmeriCorps has been one of the astonishing successes. Peace Corps, we’ve seen the success for a long time, because Jack Kennedy obviously originated it.

But we have seen these volunteer organizations succeed. And if we need to, whether it’s connected to the military or not, provide them with sufficient reward and sufficient recognition.

You know, a lot of these young people are more proud of the fact that we recognize the ones walking around with the red jacket that say “City Year” than they are about the money.

MCCAIN: You know? I mean, that’s what they’re all about.

So I’d be glad to reward them as much as possible. But you want to be careful that the reason is not the reward of financial or other reasons, but the reward is the satisfaction of serving a cause greater than yourself. That would be fine with me. Finding new ways to serve. That’s what this next few years should be all about.

WOODRUFF: Senator McCain, Senator Obama has put forward a national service plan to do some of the things you talked about, the two of you agree. But his has a price tag of around $3.5 billion. Is that an amount of money you’d be willing to spend? More, less? I mean, is that in the ballpark?

MCCAIN: I’d be glad to spend money. I don’t think that should be the first priority in the kinds of benefits that are reaped from the kind of thing we’re trying to seek.

I haven’t agreed with all of what Senator Obama has proposed, but I think they’re very good proposals there. Some of them are new, some of them are obviously not.

But I also want to emphasize there, it doesn’t always have to be run by the government. That’s why we also ought to understand that faith-based organizations, other volunteer organizations that are completely separate from the government, have nothing to do with the government, are amongst the most successful.

So let’s not get entrapped by the idea that the government has to run these voluntary organizations and volunteer kinds of programs, because a lot of times the job can be done better with our encouragement.

WOODRUFF: So you’re not in favor necessarily of a distinct government role?

MCCAIN: Oh, we have a distinct government role — the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, all of these other organizations. But I want to be careful about expanding it when — my philosophy is let’s not have government do things that the private sector can do, or other organizations can do. That’s just my theory of government.

Time Report
McCain, Obama Keep It Civic
By Kate Pickert Friday, Sep. 12, 2008,8599,1840733,00.html

Clip (date not documented on site reference)

“After 9/11, when America was united, I wouldn’t have asked Americans to go shopping or take a trip. I would have asked Americans to serve, find ways to serve, and provide ways to serve.I would ask people - first and foremost - to consider joining the military. I would have expanded the Peace Corps. I would have expanded AmeriCorps. I would have setup neighborhood volunteer organizations. I would have asked everyone to serve in some way. I believe Americans would have responded very affirmatively.Yes, I would expand AmeriCorps. Yes, I would expand the Peace Corps."

McCain's previous opposition to Americorps

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): "I was wrong about AmeriCorps."
In 1993, Sen. McCain voted against the creation of the AmeriCorps program
and later joined with Congressional Republican
in efforts to zero-out funding. In January 2000 he said, "I was wrong
about AmeriCorps... I was extremely skeptical at first, mostly
because I didn?t trust the authors. But I?ve got to say that, over all,
the program?s been a success. And it was a failure on my
part not to recognize that earlier." [Klein, New Yorker, 1/17/2000] McCain
was also a cosponsor of the AmeriCorps
reauthorization bill in the 106th Congress.

More resources

Interesting reads

Note: Actually, if you review the videotape the audience actually clapped when Obama answered yes, he'd bring back the ROTC on the campus...

Sep 11, 2008 8:06 pm US/Pacific
Obama, McCain Upset Columbia Students During Forum
A Night Of 9/11 Healing In NYC Gets Awkward When Both Candidates Push For Return Of ROTC To Campus
McCain Blames Harsh Tone Of Campaign On Lack Of Town Halls
NEW YORK (CBS) ― It wasn't a night to ruffle feathers, but Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain may have unintentionally done that very thing when they proposed that ROTC be brought back to Columbia University

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