Senator McCain held a blogger conference today. In his opening comments, McCain was all over Mitt Romney’s statement in Tuesday’s debate about “calling in the lawyers” (McCain’s paraphrase) before taking military action against Iran. He called Romney’s answer “the product of inexperience.” McCain made it clear that he wasn’t referring to debating experience either, but rather “inexperience on national security issues.” As I argued yesterday, I wouldn’t read that much into Romney’s answer to a question about what the law requires.
McCain also followed up on the segment of the debate pertaining to the line item veto. He argued that this power is an important tool in curbing government spending, and that the Supreme Court’s decision striking it down was due to “the way [the legislation] was written.” McCain said that Congress can write a version that will be upheld as constitutional, and that as president he’d want that authority.
McCain did not mention Giuliani by name in his initial comments (in general, he seems far better disposed towards Rudy than towards Romney), so I asked whether McCain “faulted” Giuliani for bringing the case that resulted in the line item veto legislation being struck down. McCain responded that he didn’t “fault” Giuliani but that he was “wrong” to do it. In response to Giuliani’s point that overturning the line item veto brought money to New York, McCain wondered “where the money came from, Arizona?”
McCain seemed in good spirits, displaying his familiar feisty good humor, as when he chided us for not being on the campaign bus with him.
Jim Geraghty has a full account.
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