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McCain on Earmarks during First Debate

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Published on Sep 26, 2008

TRANSCRIPT
JOHN MCCAIN: And the worst symptom of this disease is what my friend Tom Coburn calls earmarking as a gateway drug because its a gateway, its a gateway to out of control spending and corruption. And we have former members of Congress now residing in Federal prison because of the evils of earmarking and pork barrel spending. You know, we spent $3 million dollars to study the DNA of bears in Montana. I dont know if that was a criminal issue or a paternal issue. But the fact is, that it was $3 million dollars of our tax payers money. And it has got to be brought under control. As President of the United States, I want to assure you Ive got a pen this ones kind of old Ive got a pen and Im going to veto every single spending bill that comes across my desk. I will make them famous that you will know their names. Now Senator Obama he wanted- you wont know the difference is. He has asked for $932 million dollars of earmark, pork barrel spending, nearly a million dollars for every day that hes been in the United States Senate. I suggest that people go up on the website of citizens against government waste, and theyll look at those projects. That kind of thing is not the way to reign in run away spending in Washington, D.C. Thats one of the fundamental differences that Senator Obama and I have.
[ Obama response ]
MCCAIN: Well again I dont mean to go back and forth. Senator Obama suspended those requests for pork barrel projects after he was running for President of the United States. He didnt happen to see that light in the first three years as a member of the United States Senate. $932 million dollars in requests maybe to Senator Obama is not a lot of money. But the point is, that you see I hear this all the time, its only $18 billion dollars. Do you know that its tripled in the last five years? Do you know that its gone completely out of control to the point where it corrupts people. It corrupts people. Thats why we have, as I said, people under Federal indictment in charges. Its a system thats got to be cleaned up. I have fought against it. My career I have fought against it. I was called the sheriff by the, one of the senior members of the Appropriations Committee. I didnt win Miss Congeniality in the United States Senate. Now Senator Obama didnt mention that along with his tax cuts, hes also proposing some $800 billion dollars in new spending, on new programs. Now thats a fundamental difference between myself and Senator Obama.

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