MSNBC The Situation - Transcript

By:  John McCain III
Date: June 20, 2005
Location: Unknown


MSNBC The Situation - Transcript
Monday, June 20, 2005

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CARLSON: Welcome back.

We're joined by-now by a man who needs so little introduction, we're going to skip that part entirely, Senator John McCain of Arizona.

Thanks a lot, Senator, for joining us.

MCCAIN: Thank you, Tucker, and congratulations on your new show.

CARLSON: Thanks.

You said-you said this weekend-on NBC, you said that America would likely be in Iraq for at least a couple more years and described the situation there as difficult, pretty different from the way the White House has been talking about Iraq. Is it your impression that the people who are managing the war from the White House in Washington don't know what is going on in Iraq or why do you suppose their sense of it is so different than yours?

MCCAIN: I'm not sure their sense of it is that much different from mine. I think it's a matter of how you describe it.
As I went onto say on Sunday, there are some hopeful signs. There's been an increase in these attacks by outsiders, rather than Iraqis. We now have Sunnis in the government. They've finally come to-to some agreement on the drafting of the constitution. But I think it's far better to say this is a long, tough, hard slog that we have to win. We must win this. And we'll do what is necessary to win it and make people pleasantly surprised when good things happen, rather than say, look, things are-without real authentication that things are a lot better. I think it's a matter of delivery of the message. And that is what I think the primary difference is about.

CARLSON: You said after 9/11 that Americans should serve their country in some ways, and young Americans should be especially encouraged to do that. Why shouldn't there be a draft?

MCCAIN: Well, first of all, I don't think it's politically viable.

And, second of all, in today's requirements for the capabilities of a soldier or Marine or airman or sailor, for that matter, but particularly for the first two, it requires an intensive level of training. That doesn't lend itself to a short enlistment. We have got to do two things, Tucker, one, appeal to patriotism.

And that always gets a certain segment of Americans. And a lot of us who lead have got emphasize that. And the second thing, it's a marketplace. You have got a pool of young Americans who are going to make decisions about their futures based on their interests. You are going to have to raise the enlistment bonus. You are going to have to raise, increase educational benefits, make it more attractive, so we can compete for this part of the labor pool, a combination of the two that we can do it.

But, look, I'd also-could I just finally say...

CARLSON: Yes.

MCCAIN: The Guard and Reserve are overstressed and overstretched. Many of us said that years ago. And I think that presents a serious problem right now.

CARLSON: I think a lot of Americans, including me, definitely, are confused by the situation at Guantanamo Bay, namely this question: Why haven't, after three-and-a-half years, a lot of these guys had their cases adjudicated? We know they're bad, I guess. But do you know the answer to that question? Why haven't they been classified as people headed to trial or not?

MCCAIN: I'm sure that you would get from the Pentagon and members of the administration that it's difficult to determine their exact status and what rules would apply and whether they're prisoners of war or not, all of that kind stuff.

But, look, it's a failure of will. It's a failure to move forward with either releasing or trying these individuals. And no human being, no matter how terrible or egregious they are, can be kept indefinitely incarcerated without some addressing of their case.

I was there in Guantanamo Bay a year and a half ago. And I said then and along with two other senators. And we wrote a letter. Try them, set up or adjudicate-I'm not even saying that they may-they need a trial. Adjudicate their situation or release them.

Now, you'll hear, again, in response, well, some of these people, we already released and they went back fighting for the Taliban or the bad guys or al Qaeda or whatever. Look, I think that's terrible. And I hate to see that happen, but you also have to balance that against the image of the American-of America in the world and how much Guantanamo-quote, unquote-and Abu Ghraib-unquote-affect recruiting for terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda and others.

CARLSON: Right.

MCCAIN: And that's-that's-that's-I think that, on balance, it means disposing of these cases in some way.
CARLSON: I want to ask you about legislation you sponsored with Joe Lieberman of Connecticut that would reduce C02 emissions in the United States.

There's no provision that I'm aware of in that legislation as it stands now, anyway, to force other countries to do the same. China and India and Russia, for instance, produce more C02 collectively than the United States does. It's a global problem. Doesn't it make sense to handle it globally and force other nations to do what we're asking that we do?

MCCAIN: Yes. There's 24 nations that are members of-or signatories of Kyoto, I believe. The Europeans have a cap and trade program in existence as we speak, which is a marketplace-based proposal, where you trade emissions capabilities or capacity as you gradually reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

I'm all for the United States renegotiating Kyoto, only on the condition that China and India be included, two of the greatest greenhouse gas emitters in the world.

(CROSSTALK)

MCCAIN: Are we going to wait for China and India?

Tucker, we're the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

(CROSSTALK)

MCCAIN: We're the ones that are responsible for it.

CARLSON: Absolutely.

MCCAIN: Go ahead.

CARLSON: Absolutely, partly. But, I mean, together, they produce more than we do. But doesn't it put American industry at a huge disadvantage if we have to abide by these restrictions and they don't?

MCCAIN: Somehow, it's not putting the Europeans at a disadvantage. In fact, they're finding that it works and it encourages development of technologies which reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

And they are providing cleaner air for their people. And it's also a source of great friction between our European friends and the United States. And for us to do nothing, which is what we're doing now, or buy into some proposal such as the alternate proposal, which is over time maybe reduce the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, I like to look my grandchildren in the eye.

I'm telling you, climate change is real. We have not done enough about it. We need to act. Our proposal is a market-based one on cap and trade. The one that everybody is pushing as an alternative is a government-mandated program, which I strongly oppose as a conservative.

CARLSON: OK.

Senator John McCain, look forward to covering your 2008 presidential race.

MCCAIN: Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON: Hope you run.

MCCAIN: Thank you.

And, Tucker, I thought you would have seized this opportunity to change your neckwear. But I guess that's...

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(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: The opportunity has come and gone. I'm stuck with it again.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Senator John McCain, thank you.

MCCAIN: Great to be with you, Tucker. Thanks.

CARLSON: I appreciate it. Thank you.

MCCAIN: Thank you.

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