News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


McCain has consistent record of conservatism

To The Daily: I was shocked to read your editorial (Feb. 21) accusing Sen. John McCain of changing positions by heaping praise on Donald Rumsfeld when he stepped down from office and then saying he will go down as “one of the worst secretaries of defense in history.”

A review of the AP story quoting Sen. McCain at the time of Rumsfeld’s resignation shows your facts are not right. According to the AP, the senator’s original quote was, “While Secretary Rumsfeld and I have had our differences, he deserves Americans’ respect and gratitude for his many years of public service.” That is hardly heaping praise. In fact, his quote acknowledges a history of disagreements while giving Rumsfeld a simple, courteous pat on the back for longevity as he goes out the door.

Rather than inventing contradictions and attributing them to Sen. McCain, perhaps The Daily should turn its attention to a Republican candidate who has a real record of personal conflict: former Gov. Mitt Romney. On issues like abortion, gay rights, gun control and others, Romney has done more flip-flops than any Massachusetts presidential candidate to date — and that’s saying a lot.

When Mr. Romney ran for the U.S. Senate against Ted Kennedy, and even during his campaign for governor, he campaigned as an atypical Massachusetts liberal on the broad spectrum of social issues.

Now that he’s running for the Republican presidential nomination in conservative states like Alabama, he claims to have gone through a “conversion” on those same issues.

Sen. McCain has a consistently conservative record on social issues across the board, and he is reaching out to all segments of the party so that Republicans can win in 2008. I assure you, throughout this presidential campaign, he is going to give the American people the same “straight talk” and common sense conservatism that he always has.

Blake Harris

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