Read My Lips

John McCain and the World

How does the Republican standard-bearer view the United States’ global role?


Why should you be elected the 44th President of the United States?

“America needs a president who can revitalize our country’s purpose and standing in the world, defeat terrorist adversaries who threaten liberty at home and abroad — and build enduring peace. There is an enormous amount to do.”

(December 2007)

How does economics play into this?

“As president, I will make America’s economic leadership in the globalized world of the 21st century a centerpiece of its engagement in foreign affairs.”

(December 2007)

Do you feel the United States is well-positioned in the global economy?

“Americans will thrive in a world of economic freedom because our products and services remain the best and because our country draws strength from the forces shaping the new global economy — ranging from inflows of foreign investment to new businesses created by highly skilled immigrants.”

(December 2007)

What do you see as the United States' main foreign policy objective?

"We have the opportunity to spread the hope of freedom across the globe — to create more open societies, offer greater prosperity and living standards to the world’s poor.”

(April 2007)

How is the United States different from other major powers?

“This is what sets us apart from empire builders: The use of our power for moral purpose. We seek to liberate — not subjugate.”

(March 2003)

Why is the United States fighting in Iraq?

“Americans fight and die in Iraq today not for empire, not for oil, not for religion, not to shock and awe the world with our astonishing power. They fight for love — for love of freedom, our own and all humanity’s.”

(March 2003)

Why do you feel it is important to prevail in Iraq?

“The war in Iraq cannot be wished away, and it is a miscalculation of historic magnitude to believe that the consequences of failure will be limited to one administration or one party. This is an American war, and its outcome will touch every one of our citizens for years to come.”

(December 2007)

What lessons do you take from Vietnam?

“We lost in Vietnam because we lost the will to fight, because we did not understand the nature of the war we were fighting — and because we limited the tools at our proposal.”

(November 2003)

What aspect of U.S. foreign policy has been neglected?

“Understanding foreign cultures is not a luxury — but a strategic necessity.”

(December 2007)

Should the United States focus more on the developing world?

“Power in the world today is moving east. The Asia-Pacific region is on the rise. If we grasp the opportunities present in the unfolding world, this century can become safe and both American and Asian, both prosperous and free.”

(December 2007)

How do you view the transatlantic relationship?

“The bonds we share with Europe in terms of history, values and interests are unique. Unfortunately, they have frayed. As president, one of my top foreign policy priorities will be to revitalize the transatlantic partnership.”

(December 2007)

Would you pursue a more multilateral foreign policy?

“We must be willing to listen to our democratic allies. Being a great power does not mean that we can do whatever we want whenever we want — nor should we assume that we have all the wisdom, knowledge and resources necessary to succeed.”

(December 2007)

How do you view Russia?

“Mr. Putin is pursuing autocracy at home — and exporting autocracy abroad.”

(January 2005)

Why is U.S. energy policy fundamentally flawed?

“The transfer of American wealth to the Middle East through continued oil purchases helps sustain the conditions under which extremism breeds — and the burning of oil and other fossil fuels spurs global warming, a gathering danger to our planet.”

(December 2007)

Are you an optimist at heart?

“You cannot sell me on hopelessness. There is only one America — and we stand on the threshold of another century of American leadership and greatness."

(April 2007)

Are you a firm believer in the American Dream?

“America must remain a beacon of hope and opportunity. The most wonderful thing about our country is that this is the one place in the world that anyone — through ambition and hard work — can get as far as their ambition will take them.”

(November 2005)

What are your thoughts on the state of U.S. education?

“The day that members of Congress will send their kids to the public schools in Washington, D.C. is the day I'll know we’ve fixed education in America.”

(November 2005)

Are you skeptical of the Republican party's approach to immigration?

“What do they really want to do with the 11 million illegal immigrants that are here? Send them all back home?”

(November 2005)

And finally, what do you say to those who question your temperament?

“I discovered a few years ago that my temper was reducing my effectiveness. It was preventing me from getting things done.”

(November 2005)

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