John McCain

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John Sidney McCain III (born August 29, 1936)[1] is the senior Senator from the state of Arizona, having served 20 years after replacing Barry Goldwater in 1986. He is currently the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services.[2] McCain is a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in the 2008 Election.[3] McCain is a Baptist.[4]

Early Life

McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone. He was educated in Alexandria, Virginia before receiving his Bachelors of Science from the United States Naval Academy in 1958.[5]

Military Career

McCain served in the United States Navy from 1958 to 1981. He was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 during the Vietnam Conflict and held as a Prisoner of War for seven years.[6] McCain graduated from the National War College in 1974. Upon his retirement from the Navy in 1981, as a Captain, he had been commended with the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and Distinguished Flying Cross.[7]

Political Career

McCain was elected to the House of Representatives from Arizona's 1st district in 1982 and served two terms before being elected to the Senate in 1986. In 2000, he pursued the presidency but lost his bid for the Republican nomination to George W. Bush, the first time he had lost an election.[8] John McCain is currently running for presidency of the United States as a Republican.

Political Record

  1. National defense: McCain, a veteran, has been strong on national defense and a consistent supporter of the Iraq War.
  2. Abortion: On Senate votes directly concerning abortion, McCain has voted on the pro-life side.
  3. Government Spending. McCain has vigorously advocated for the elimination of so-called "pork-barrel" spending. He voted against President Bush's Medicare Prescription Drug Act on the grounds that it was too costly.
  4. Evolution: McCain's position is that intelligent design should be taught along with the theory of evolution.
  5. Campaign finance: In 2002, McCain joined with liberal Democrat Russell Feingold to prohibit independent groups from advertising about a candidate within many weeks of an election. This law prohibits ads that do not even recommend for whom to vote, but merely urge people to contact their representatives concerning a vote that the representatives will make in Congress. A court recently declared this unconstitutional.
  6. Same-sex marriage: In 2006, McCain joined Democrats and liberal Republicans in voting against the Federal Marriage Amendment to protect traditional marriage. Later, on Hardball, McCain declared, "On the issue of the gay marriage, I believe that people want to have private ceremonies, that's fine."
    Also, McCain's home state of Arizona was the only state to defeat a marriage referendum (in 2006), as McCain did nothing to support it.
  7. Gambling: The McCain-Feingold campaign finance law allows Indian nations (which get nearly all their money from unregulated casinos) to make unlimited political donations, even though political donations by American citizens are strictly limited and political spending by corporations is prohibited.
  8. Tax cuts: McCain opposed President George W. Bush's tax cuts, on the argument that cutting taxes without also cutting spending was not actually a tax cut, but was a tax on future generations. He now supports keeping the Bush tax cuts in place.
  9. Criticism of the religious right: In his unsuccessful campaign in 2000, McCain criticized elements of the religious right in an attempt to attract voters.
  10. Gun control: In 2002, McCain supported gun control by joining with Democrat Joseph Lieberman to push legislation that would shut down gun shows.[9]
  11. Immigration: In 2005-2006, McCain joined with liberal Senator Ted Kennedy to support a sweeping bill that was favorable to illegal aliens. It has not passed.
  12. "Gang of 14": On May 23, 2005, McCain was part of a group of 14 Senators who blocked the planned "nuclear option" for confirming blocked Republican nominees for the bench. Under this compromise a few judicial nominees were allowed to be confirmed (Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William Pryor), but others (e.g., Henry Saad) remained blocked and had to withdraw.
  13. Senate Attendance Record. McCain has missed 33% of the Senate votes in early 2007, far more than the leading Democratic contenders.[10]


John McCain was a member of the Keating Five, a scandal relating to the Savings and Loan Crisis. The Senate Ethics Committee criticized him for "questionable conduct." His Democratic opponent, or the media, could publicize this.

John McCain has cancer (melanoma) and has undergone multiple operations for it.[11] Cancer was an issue that hurt the presidential candidacy of Paul Tsongas in 1992.

John McCain will turn 71 years old before the first primary, making him one of the oldest candidates to seek the presidency. Several issues relating to McCain's advanced aged and health have been discussed in the media.[12]

Among evangelicals, who form a multi-million vote bloc who were essential to electing President George W. Bush, John McCain is weak on trust. James Dobson, a leading evangelical, has already declared that he "would not vote for John McCain under any circumstances."[13] McCain has attempted to make amends with Dobson and the late evangelical leader Jerry Falwell, including speaking at Falwell's Liberty University in an attempt to patch his relations with evangelicals.

McCain is the only presidential candidate in either party to have served in the military.


McCain has struggled to raise money for his campaign, a sign of weakness for a frontrunner. "Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney raised $23 million for his presidential campaign in the first three months of [2007], almost doubling the total of top Republican contender John McCain. McCain, an Arizona senator, brought in about $12.5 million in the first quarter, his campaign said. 'We had hoped to do better,' said Terry Nelson, his campaign manager. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he raised $15 million, including more than $10 million in March alone."[14]

Votes Missed

As of August 2007, McCain had missed more votes during the current session of Congress than any Senator other than South Dakota Democrat Tim Johnson, who had suffered a brain hemorrhage that had kept him from Congresss. He had missed over 48% of his votes. [15]

See Also

Articles about John McCain from previous "Breaking News"


  1. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  2. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  3. John McCain Announces Plans for '08 Presidential Candidacy on 'Late Night With David Letterman', Associated Press, 1 March 2007
  4.,2933,296973,00.html McCain Identifies Himself as a Baptist
  5. John McCain at the New York Times
  6. John McCain at the New York Times
  7. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  8. John McCain at the New York Times
  9. "Gun Shows and Gun Control: McCain Is at It Again!"
  15. Lawrence Journal-World, August 10, 2007