Thursday I attended Senator John McCain’s town hall meeting in Racine. After passing out OWN’s latest press release to the local and national media, I sat down at a seat right where the Senator from Arizona entered the gym style room that held the event. Since it was billed as a ‘town hall’ I prepared a question to ask Senator McCain. Most of the questions were total softballs and/or compliments from adoring fans. I recall only two questions that were substantive or even remotely challenging during the entire event.
One questioner said that McCain has gone back on his early condemnations of negative ads because he is now running several himself. The other questioner harkened back to a question McCain failed to answer two weeks ago. It was regarding the disparity in health care coverage between men and women with things like Viagra v. Birth Control. McCain didn’t provide the long awkward silence as he did the first time but he mostly sidestepped the crux of the issue in the young women’s question.
John McCain focused a lot on energy during his comments at the event, so I prepared my own question specifically about that topic. He talked about how we need to start drilling offshore immediately and basically denigrated anyone that thought otherwise. Unfortunately for him, he was actually denigrating himself as he was against off shore drilling until only a month ago. I was going to ask John McCain something close to the following:
‘Senator McCain, you were against lifting the limits on offshore drilling until you reversed yourself just last month, right before fundraisers in Texas. Since you reversed yourself you have received over $1.1 million in campaign cash from Big Oil. Exactly how is that being a maverick and exactly how many other issues are you willing to sell out on to special interests?’
Although I raised my hand every time that he looked my way, John McCain never called on me. Hopefully a reporter riding on the inappropriately named ‘straight talk express’ or someone at a future event will call John McCain on his hypocrisy and on this major cave to special interests.