McCain and Biden on ABC's This Week
Picking up where the Rightsided Newsletter left off, host George Stephanopoulos had on as guests two men whom he called the "two straightest talkers in the Senate: John McCain and Joseph Biden." (Biden is, it often seems, McCain's foreign policy guru.)
Steph brought up the Veep's Saturday comments regarding the Soviet Union still existing if Kerry had been President, Saddam still being in Kuwait if Kerry had been President: "I can't believe that you [McCain] would still be friends with Senator Kerry if these charges were true."
McCain fumbled a bit with inaccurate charges being leveled on both sides, but Steph was persistent. He wanted McCain to refute those two specific charges, and he pressed. Finally, McCain said, vaguely, that he wasn't sure but he "couldn't imagine" the USSR still existing if Kerry had been President, but that he didn't know. As for Saddam still being in Kuwait, McCain answered that Kerry had voted against the war to remove him.
Steph asked Joe Biden about Kerry's charge that the President would simply have to institute the draft to do what he wanted to do. Biden said it was either that, or change the policies, "reach out" to foreign governments.
"In four years," Biden said, if we had the same policies and problems, "something has to give." So he's putting his hypothetical draft at least four years in the future. He then argued that the Administration was "divorced from reality" and had refused to take certain advice.
Biden said we needed more troops in Iraq to provide security for the election, like we did in Afghanistan. (A "surge of troops," he called it.) He said that both Kerry and Bush have said that we won't, but we actually will need more troops.
Toward the end, an interesting exchange between Steph and Biden.
Steph: "I know you don't think that this is going to happen, but if President Bush wins…"
Biden: "I never said…"
Steph: [from memory] "If President Bush wins and asks you to be his Secretary of State, would you accept it?"
Biden never said that he thought that President Bush wouldn't win. For the record, Biden said that he would accept the position if this is how he could best serve his country.
Steph asked McCain if he'd serve as Secretary of Defense under a President Kerry. McCain joked that he'd sooner be Undersecretary of State so that he could boss Biden around.