Political Party: Republican
Current Position: U.S. Senator from Arizona
Political Experience: Director at the Navy Senate Liaison Office, 1977-1981; U.S. Representative from Arizona's First District, 1983-1987; U.S. Senator from Arizona, 1986-present
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from The Washington Post, CNN, On the Issues and McCain's web site. Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.
John McCain first ran for president in 2000, but lost the Republican nomination to President George W. Bush after losing nine out of 13 primaries on Super Tuesday. But his fame as a war hero and his reputation as someone who will cross party lines have earned him instant name recognition in his second bid for the presidency.
As a conservative, McCain supports the principles behind No Child Left Behind (NCLB). He believes that it has given more power to the schools, parents and teachers but still needs to improve by "addressing the underlying cultural problems in our education system," according to his web site. Because he believes that the American education system needs to improve its accountability and responsibility, McCain supports giving the choice of which school to attend to parents and not the government.
In December 2003, McCain was given a zero percent rating by the National Abortion Rights Action League, which indicates he has a very strong pro-life voting record, according to On the Issues. McCain supports repealing Roe v. Wade and believes that states should decide on abortion's legality.
McCain's views on immigration better support his bipartisan reputation than his views on abortion. He co-sponsored an immigration reform bill with Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy that was later backed by President Bush. The legislation would have increased funding for border security, improved enforcement of immigration laws, increased guest-worker programs and allowed some illegal immigrants to gain citizenship. This bill was never voted on by the Senate.
Although his stance on immigration and other issues have given McCain a reputation as a maverick, McCain's support of the Iraq War has diminished this reputation, as he was one of the original senators who called for U.S. troops to invade Iraq to end Saddam Hussein's reign and has supported the war efforts ever since. McCain recently supported Bush's veto of legislation that would have called for the removal of troops by March 2008.
McCain is more centrist in his views on marriage than in his views on Iraq. He believes that marriage is between a man and a woman but opposes any constitutional amendments that would define it as such. In addition, McCain supports legal benefits for same-sex couples and believes that states should decide the definition of marriage for their residents.
Since his last bid for the presidency, McCain has shifted to the right as he attempts to capture the vote of more conservative Republicans. For example, he voted against President Bush's tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, but has recently voted to extend those tax cuts through 2010. Still – for better or for worse – his reputation as a maverick continues to loom over him.
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