Sen. John McCain is making all the right noises to run in 2008.
McCain, who turns 69 on Monday, said “there’s no point” in formally announcing his candidacy until after the 2006 congressional elections.
But the Arizona Republican didn’t skip a beat Tuesday when asked why he would want to run for the White House in 2008.
“Because we live in a time of great challenges,” McCain said in an interview with Arizona Daily Star editors and reporters.
Chief among them is the war on terror, a “transcendent issue” likely to last for years, he said. But there is “a broad variety of domestic challenges” as well.
Sounding much like a candidate ticking off the priorities of his platform, McCain said they include immigration, Social Security, global warming, rising health-care costs and the “obscene” spending practices of Washington.
“My ego is sufficient to say that I think I have the background and experience to take on these challenges,” he said.
Asked about possible opposition to his candidacy from conservatives, McCain cited polls that show he and ex-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are “the two most popular” members of the Republican Party.
As the Gallup Poll noted, McCain has a generally consistent conservative voting record but forged a national reputation after a series of notable breaks with fellow Republicans.
On Tuesday, though, he sided with the president on two issues that have made headlines recently: teaching intelligent design in schools and Cindy Sheehan, the grieving mother who has come to personify the anti-war movement.
McCain told the Star that, like Bush, he believes “all points of view” should be available to students studying the origins of mankind.
The theory of intelligent design says life is too complex to have developed through evolution, and that a higher power must have had a hand in guiding it.
At a breakfast meeting Tuesday with the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, McCain said Sheehan is probably being used by organizations opposed to the U.S. mission in Iraq. But, he added, she is “a symptom, not a cause” of growing public discontent with the war.
Oh, yeah, he’s running. Not only that, he’s cozying up to the Religious Reich. Am I surprised? Not in the least. He’s learned well that to win the Republican vote, especially now that they’re a wholly owned subsidiary of the Christian Coalition and Focus on the Family, he’d have to dance to their tune, including his embrace of pseudo-science.
The wheels have come off the Straight Talk Express. He’s just another camera hog.