McCain FlipFlops

Torture: McCain was against it, before he was for it.

  • Glenn Greenwald: "He holds himself out as a principled torture opponent but is, in fact, the single greatest enabler of legalizing torture in this country, from his 2005 bill which exempted the CIA from torture prohibitions to his 2006 leadership in enacting the Military Commissions Act to his opposition this year to the waterboard ban."
  • CBS: After first insisting that federal law clearly and unambiguously outlaw “torture,” McCain suddenly caved to White House pressure on the MCA, allowing the Administration to insert into the law a clause that effectively allows (and, indeed, legally buttresses the efforts of) the executive branch to implement torture as a means of interrogation.

Public Funding of Elections: McCain was for it, before he was against it.

Immigration: McCain was for it, before he was against it. It's impossible to keep track of McCain's immigration flip-flops without a scorecard, but luckily Steve Benen is keeping one. Here are some of the major flips:

  • 5/22/08 Told pro-immigration business leaders "we must enact comprehensive immigration reform," then insisted his policy remained "secure the border first."
  • 1/30/08 McCain said he “would not” vote for his own immigration bill now.
  • 5/05 Introduced the McCain-Kennedy "Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act" which featured legalization ("shamnesty") and guest worker programs. This formed the basis of the  Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 and the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007.


  • 1/3/08 The United States military could stay in Iraq for "maybe a hundred years" and that "would be fine with me" ... U.S. troops could be in Iraq for "a thousand years" or "a million years," as far as he was concerned.
  • 2/25/08 "that reminds me of that “100 year thing”.  My friends, the war will be over soon.  The war, for all intents and purposes, although the insurgency will go on for years and years and years.  But it will be handled by the Iraqis, not by us."

Global Warming: He was against it before he was for it.

  • 08: He brags on his website that he has been “a leader on the issue of global warming with the courage to call the nation to action.”
  • 2/28/08: Governors from coal- and oil-producing states spelled out their problems with McCain’s energy policies, and he was responsive.