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 July, 2008


 More John McCain Gaffes

John McCain Czechmates John McCain
By Al Owens

If you love John McCain - you’re not going to like this.

McCain’s most formidable stumbling block on his way to the White House is John McCain himself.

For months we’ve heard pundits predict that once McCain and his surrogates get into full campaign mode, they’ll run roughshod over that supposed neophyte Barack Obama.

Instead, there’s nearly a gaffe-a-day out of camp McCain.

Want some for instances? I’ll give you some.
While McCain was in Pittsburgh a week ago, he claimed that he’d recited the names of the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive linemen when he’d been forced by his North Vietnamese captors to supply information about his “squadron-mates.”

Fact-checkers sprung into action with that little bit of fiction. McCain had already used that story in his book “Faith of our Fathers,” with one very important difference.
He’d written it was the names of the Green Bay Packer’s defensive line he’d revealed.

It’s doubtful McCain mentioned the names Ken Kortas, Chuck Hinton, Ben McGee or Lloyd Voss – who’d comprised a Pittsburgh Steelers team that was regrettably short on wins and even shorter on household back then.
McCain keeps treading heavily on his own supposed foreign policy experience. Like his frequent references to Czechoslovakia.
A few months ago he appeared on the Don Imus Show. He claimed if elected, he’d “work closely with Czechoslovakia and Poland and other countries” to build a European missile defense system.

That’s a problem. There is no Czechoslovakia. There hasn’t been one since January 1, 1993 when it was split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

He’s made that same verbal misstep three times. I’m surprised he hasn’t proposed to announce he’ll head to Prussia his first week in office.
When McCain isn’t coming up with gaffes on his own, his surrogates are showing every sign his campaign is in disarray.
His top economic advisor Phil Graham told the Washington Times the other week that “We have become a nation of whiners,” because the economy isn’t really as bad as it’s been portrayed. He even called the current economic downturn a “mental recession.”

McCain sprung into action faster than most fact-checkers to disagree with his own economic guru. Unfortunately, a few fact-checkers sprung into action even faster. They’d already pulled McCain’s references to the “psychological” effects of a recession – eight times.

In fact, during the January, 30th, 2008 GOP debate he went even further. “Part of the problem we have, of course, in any recession is psychological.”

Hey Buddy. You know that job you just got laid off from – it’s all in your head.

Meanwhile, McCain battles the persistent charge that his presidency would be nothing more than a third George Bush term.

One of his supporters and possible VP choices, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, may have helped perpetuate those McBush predictions.

When pressed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer for significant differences between Bush’s and McCain’s takes on economic matters, Sanford offered this um-for-um assessment. “I mean, for instance, take, you know, ah, ah, take for instance, the, the issue of, ah, of um, (taps his fist on the desk three times), I’m drawing a blank, and I hate it when I do that, particularly on television.”

Some of McCain’s surrogate flubs are hard for him to overcome.

Carly Fiorina, who’s also considered a possible Vice-Presidential choice, didn’t do McCain (and herself) any favors recently when she claimed it’s unfair that health insurance companies will cover Viagra, but birth control. “Those women would like a choice,” she said.

Problem is, in 2003 McCain had voted against an amendment that would have mandated birth control coverage for women.

He was asked about that vote on his “Straight Talk Express,” but he was caught with his straight talk awkwardly unavailable.

He paused for an uncomfortable eight seconds, then he replied, “I don’t know enough about it to give you an informed answer.”

Well, I took a look at the amendment he’d voted against. I’m wondering why he’d had a lapse in memory, because he’d actually co-sponsored the bill that amendment had been tacked onto.