I have my differences with John McCain, but he’s right on this one.
SPARTANBURG, South Carolina (Reuters) – Republican Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), back in the state where a bruising primary loss crippled his 2000 White House bid, said on Monday his party had “lost our way” on spending and needed to clean up widespread influence-peddling and lobbying abuses.
The Arizona senator, a potential White House candidate again in 2008, praised President George W. Bush for his judicial nominations and for making what McCain said was steady progress in Iraq.
But he said the federal budget had spiraled out of control under Republican leadership. He called for tighter restrictions on earmarking — the congressional practice of inserting local projects in spending bills — and tighter controls on lobbyists in Washington.
“We have lost our way on fiscal responsibility,” McCain told the dinner of Spartanburg County Republicans in South Carolina, a state that promises to play a crucial early role in the 2008 White House race. “Republicans have got to clean up our act, make these much needed reforms and get back on track.”
But beyond even a return to fiscal responsibility and reforming in the wake of rampant corruption, Republicans also need to get back go the agenda Americans put them in office to pursue. I’m talking tax reform, Social Security reform and a strong stance on illegal immigration. For too long Republicans have shifted these issues to the backburner or fled from them at the merest hint of Democrat opposition. This has alienated a lot of the conservative base in this country. Or, at the very least, has made them a little grumpy.
The best remedy for the Abramoff fiasco, as far as Republicans are concerned, will be an energetic return to furthering core conservative issues. They should throw the corrupt Republicans under the bus, quit spending so much money and get back on track to accomplishing the things they promised they would accomplish.
You can read more from Rob Port at SayAnythingBlog.com