McCain: Obama Shouldn't be 'Joking Around' During Fiscal Cliff Negotiations
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) took to the Senate floor this afternoon to blast President Obama's mid-day speech on the fiscal cliff. He said that Obama's actions were "no way for a president to lead."
In that speech, the president surrounded himself with supporters who applauded when noted that he would be president for four more years, and laughed when he nearly said he would not allow the Republicans to "shove spending cuts down..." before balking at finishing his sentence. He also drew laughs when he joked about spending New Year's in Washington rather than Hawaii. Some in his support group also applauded when he noted that the agreement being hammered out between Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden would raise taxes on the rich. The president's advisers clearly framed his remarks visually to emphasize the gender and race divisions he routinely plays upon to build his power base.
The president also decried politicians devoted to advancing special interests, after noting that he hopes the Congressional fiscal cliff plan maintains tax breaks for "green" energy companies, firms to which Obama's government has sent billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded loans, and which have tended to be run by his political supporters, and which have tended to go bankrupt.
All of this was too much for Sen. McCain, who on Fox News this afternoon built upon his remarks in the Senate. He said the president had no business "joking around, and saying things that can't be conducive to sitting down across the table and getting these things accomplished."
McCain also said that whatever deals eventually emerge must deal with the sequestration cuts that will hit the Department of Defense hard if they are allowed to kick in. "I can't support any proposal that would devastate national security in the view of our Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of our Joint Chiefs of Staff." He called for a delay of a "couple of months" for a vote on those cuts.
McCain was about to head into a GOP Senate members meeting on the Hill after his Fox interview, at which he said he expected to hear the details of the deal that Sen. McConnell and Vice President Biden have worked out. He said that the likelihood that that deal would include meaningful spending cuts is "about zero."