John McCain believes the “only” thing that’s different from the 2000 election to today is that 9/11 happened.
McCain was asked on CQ Radio by Ed Morrisey earlier this hour about the changes “your campaign’s gone through.”
Before chuckling, “that’s one of the kindest descriptions I’ve heard of it,” McCain had this to say about his “failures” of late:
“Look, I’m responsible for the failures within my campaign. We spent way too much money. We did pretty good on fundraising given my not exactly great ability to raise money, but it was expenditures. It’s my fault and my fault alone. We… slimmed down the campaign, we’ve got fundraisers planned, we’re going to spend a lot of time in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, doing what I do best, and that’s the town hall meetings: The face to face, unfiltered communications with people; that’s the way I won back in 2000.
“It’s not the old McCain, the old McCain has never changed. Although he’s older, I’m the same guy I always was, same principles, same goals. The only thing’s that’s different is 9/11 has happened since the year 2000, and I can convince people that I’m the one whose qualified, I’m the one whose experienced, and I’m the one who’s prepared to meet this great challenge in stride.”
Earlier in the interview, he went on a self-described “tirade” of the Democrats for using the all-night Iraq War debate for causing a “breakdown in the United States Senate.”
“I’ll try to restrain my rhetoric here,” McCain told Morrissey.
He then accused Democrats of a “publicity stunt” at “the expense of the security of the nation,” accusing New York Senator Chuck Schumer in particular of using it as a “vehicle” for the political “agenda”
of picking up Democratic seats in the Senate.
And here’s McCain on the fate of a mountainous region in northwest if he is elected:
“If I were President of the United States today, I would step up dramatically covert activities in Waziristan,” he said, adding, “You tell me how we deal with the Taliban or Al Qeda when Pakistan is ruled by a radical Islamic regime!”
He was not afraid to bring up — even embrace — the lessons of Vietnam, drawing parallels to Iraq and the war in which he was taken prisoner, warning of potential genocides and regional collapses if troops leave Iraq.
“If we ignore the elections of history,” he said, “the consequences are ours.”
He also had an invitation for listeners to New Hampshire on this July 19, a day that Ned Lamont reminded supporters in an e-mail this morning is known as “Blogosphere Day.”
“Any of our bloggers who are listening, come on, get on board!” he said. “Let’s go out together. We’ll have some fun.”