U.S Senator John McCain
addresses Hoover Institution
- Calls for creation of a "League of Democracies"
- "Rumsfeld will go down as one of the worst
Secretary's of Defense"
U.S. Senator John McCain
Photo courtesy U.S.
Senator John McCain
By Jason Bennert
May 1, 2007
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain today called
for the creation of a "League of Democracies," a new
global alliance of democratic nations that would intervene in
places such as Darfur where the United Nations has failed to act.
McCain, speaking before an invite-only crowd at Stanford University's
Hoover Institution, said that in the 21st century regional alliances
such as NATO are not enough to cope with the many global challenges
facing the free world.
"The 21st century world no longer divides neatly into geographic
regions. Organizations and partnerships must be as international
as the challenges we confront," McCain, R-Ariz., said.
McCain's proposed "League of Democracies" would be
an organization with economic, military and humanitarian components.
"It could act where the UN fails to act, to relieve human
suffering in places like Darfur. It could join to fight the AIDS
epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa and fashion better policies to
confront the crisis of our environment," McCain said. "It
could provide unimpeded market access to those who share the values
of economic and political freedom, an advantage no state-based
system could attain."
Speaking to reporters after his speech, McCain said the league
would be open to countries such as and Indonesia as well as America's
traditional allies such as Japan, Australia and the NATO countries.
When asked about immigration, McCain said that "within two
weeks" a bipartisan immigration reform bill should be introduced
in the Senate that he will support. He would not give specifics
about what the bill's provisions, currently being negotiated by
the Bush Administration and the Democratic leadership of Congress,
would contain. Media reports have said it will contain provisions
providing a path to permanent residency for those currently in
this country illegally.
"It's important we do it and get it done before it gets
caught up in the 2008 election," McCain said.
McCain was unflappable when asked about perceptions that his
presidential campaign is stalling. He blamed his disappointing
fundraising totals to date on his own bad fundraising skills and
not on a lack of enthusiasm for his candidacy among Republican
"My lack of ability has hurt my fundraising," McCain
Presidential campaigns go in cycles, especially one that is as
long as this with the first primary almost nine months away, according
"In 1999 at this time I was at 3 percent in a poll with
a 5 percent margin of error," McCain said. "A lot of
Americans, at least until this fall, are not paying a lot of attention
(to the presidential race). It means they have lives.
McCain did not waver from his commitment to achieving victory
in Iraq. He said only three of the five brigades that are part
of President George W. Bush's "surge" strategy have
arrived in the country.
"We have seen some progress, some guarded progress, some
very small progress," McCain said.
Despite his support for the war and the surge strategy, McCain
did not hesitate to criticize the Bush Administration's handling
of the war.
"Rumsfeld will go down as one of the worst Secretary's of
Defense," McCain said.
McCain also said those individuals either in the military or
the administration responsible for the misinformation about San
Jose native Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan need to be held
responsible. He called the situation a clear "cover-up."
McCain's speech was attended by a number of Hoover Institution
fellows including former Attorney General in the Reagan Administration
Ed Meese. Former Reagan Administration Secretary of State George
Schultz could not attend the speech but had a letter read introducing
"He is a man with a depth of character by any standard,"
Schultz's letter said. "In his steadfastness he reminds me
of Ronald Reagan."
McCain will travel to San Diego later today. He is scheduled
to return to the South Bay on Friday for an appearance at Google's
headquarters in Mountain View.
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