Cameron asserted as fact that "[m]any Europeans mistakenly believe that if elected, McCain will mimic all Bush policies"

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

In a Fox News report, Carl Cameron asserted as fact that "[m]any Europeans mistakenly believe that if elected, [Sen. John] McCain will mimic all Bush policies," citing as evidence of their purported "mistake[]" that "McCain was a leading critic of the early Bush Iraq strategy, and has disagreed on various issues ranging from how aggressively to combat climate change to wanting to close Guantánamo Bay." However, Cameron did not note that McCain has entirely embraced President Bush's current Iraq policy.

During the March 20 edition of Fox News' Special Report, chief political correspondent Carl Cameron asserted as fact that "[m]any Europeans mistakenly believe that if elected, [Sen. John] McCain will mimic all Bush policies," citing as evidence of their purported "mistake[]" that "McCain was a leading critic of the early Bush Iraq strategy, and has disagreed on various issues ranging from how aggressively to combat climate change to wanting to close Guantánamo Bay." Putting aside the fact that Cameron's statement amounts to a journalist asserting that a prediction -- not a statement of past events -- is "mistaken[]," the evidence Cameron purported to offer in support of his assertion excludes a central fact: McCain has entirely embraced President Bush's current Iraq policy. In a March 5 White House endorsement, Bush himself, with McCain at his side, said that McCain is "not going to change when it comes to taking on the enemy."

Further, reporting on Bush's endorsement, The Washington Post reported that White House officials said: "McCain and Bush are on the same page on the big issues, such as terrorism, Iraq, immigration and taxes." Indeed, while McCain voted against the final version of President Bush's initial $1.35 trillion tax-cut package in 2001 and, in 2003, voted against legislation to accelerate the tax reductions enacted in the 2001 bill and to cut dividends and capital gains taxes, in February 2006, he switched positions and voted to extend the 2003 tax cuts on capital gains and dividends through 2010.

Additionally, Cameron stated: "Though the reputation of the United States has declined worldwide as a result of the Iraq war, in an exclusive interview with Fox News, McCain insisted it is not as bad as the blame-America-first folks back home believe."

The Associated Press noted on March 19 that "[b]oth Democratic candidates have said they would begin withdrawing forces quickly if elected. Only expected GOP nominee John McCain has indicated he planned to continue Bush's strategy of bringing troops home only as conditions warrant." Indeed, on his campaign website, McCain states: "Ultimately, Iraq's future lies in the hands of its people, government, and armed forces, and strengthening them is an essential requirement for bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq. Until Iraqi forces are ready, however, a precipitous U.S. withdrawal would condemn Iraq to civil war and intervention by its neighbors and energize al Qaeda and other jihadists across the globe."

On March 5, when Bush officially announced he was endorsing McCain for president, Bush and McCain were asked "how the Republican Party, which has been here for eight years, is going to make the case that you're going to provide the change that the voters seem to want, both on Iraq and the economy." Bush responded that McCain is "not going to change when it comes to taking on the enemy. He understands this is a dangerous world." After Bush's response, McCain said: "Thank you, sir. I don't have anything to add." From the White House press conference:

MICHAEL ABRAMOWITZ (Washington Post reporter): I wanted to ask about the -- the voters, according to a lot of the exit polls, seem to be searching for change this year. And I'd like to ask both of you -- excuse me -- I'd like to ask both of you how the Republican Party, which has been here for eight years, is going to make the case that you're going to provide the change that the voters seem to want, both on Iraq and on the economy?

BUSH: Let me start off by saying that in 2000, I said, "Vote for me, I'm an agent of change." In 2004, I said: "I'm not interested in change. I want to continue as president." Every candidate has got to say "change." That's what the American people expect.

And the good news about our candidate is, there'll be a new president, a man of character and courage -- but he's not going to change when it comes to taking on the enemy. He understands this is a dangerous world; and I understand we better have steadfast leadership, who's got the courage and determination to pursue this enemy, so as to protect America.

John McCain will find out, when he takes the oath of office, his most important responsibility is to protect the American people from harm. And there's still an enemy that lurks, an enemy that wants to strike us, and this country better have somebody in that Oval Office who understands the stakes -- and John McCain understands those stakes.

McCAIN: Thank you, sir. I don't have anything to add.

As Think Progress noted, after the press conference, National Review editor Rich Lowry stated on Fox News that "obviously" Bush "views John McCain ... as a successor to himself."

The Washington Post reported on March 6 that "White House officials said that whatever their past differences, McCain and Bush are on the same page on the big issues, such as terrorism, Iraq, immigration and taxes. Barry Jackson, the president's senior political adviser, said Bush 'is more than comfortable turning over the house keys to Senator McCain.' Jackson also said that many White House officials acutely feel a 'debt' to McCain for his help during the 2004 reelection campaign and other battles."

From the March 20 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:

CAMERON: Next stop, the House of Commons, and conservative party leader David Cameron, a McCain friend and fan. Though the reputation of the United States has declined worldwide as a result of the Iraq war, in an exclusive interview with Fox News, McCain insisted it is not as bad as the blame-America-first folks back home believe.

McCAIN: I don't think there's any doubt that the world still looks to America to lead and that they admire us. They respect us.

CAMERON: Many Europeans mistakenly believe that if elected, McCain will mimic all Bush policies, but McCain was a leading critic of the early Bush Iraq strategy, and has disagreed on various issues ranging from how aggressively to combat climate change to wanting to close Guantánamo Bay. Not, however, while overseas.

McCAIN: Those differences are well-known for many years, but I am not going to come to Europe, not only as a candidate in the future, but now as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and highlight those differences.

CAMERON: Amid growing uncertainty about the U.S. and global economy, McCain reversed his now-famous assertion that economics is not his specialty.

Posted In
Elections, National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Carl Cameron
Show/Publication
Special Report with Brit Hume
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.