John McCain
U.S. Senator (R), Arizona
01:36

John McCain on NAFTA

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NAFTA has created millions of jobs, says McCain.

John McCain

John Sidney McCain III  is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election.  McCain followed his father and grandfather, both four-star admirals, into the United States Navy, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958. He became a naval aviator, flying ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he nearly lost his life in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. In October 1967, while on a bombing mission over Hanoi, he was shot down, badly injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture, and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. His war wounds left him with lifelong physical limitations.

He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981, moved to Arizona, and entered politics. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, he served two terms, and was then elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, winning re-election easily in 1992, 1998, and 2004. While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain at times has had a media reputation as a "maverick" for having disagreed with his party. After being investigated and largely exonerated in a political influence scandal of the 1980s as a member of the Keating Five, he made campaign finance reform one of his signature concerns, which eventually led to the passage of the McCain-Feingold Act in 2002. He is also known for his work towards restoring diplomatic relations with Vietnam in the 1990s, and for his belief that the war in Iraq should be fought to a successful conclusion. McCain has chaired the Senate Commerce Committee, has opposed spending that he considered to be pork barrel, and played a key role in alleviating a crisis over judicial nominations.

McCain ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, but lost a heated primary contest to George W. Bush. He secured the nomination in 2008 after coming back from early reversals, but lost to Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the general election.

Transcript

John McCain: I know NAFTA was a good idea. It’s created millions of jobs, and it has helped the economies of all three of these nations. All you have to do is go to Detroit and see the thousands of trucks lined up there every day. Or go to our Southern border. There have been winners and losers, and that’s the problem. But free trade is something I think that’s vital to the future of America. As a free trader, I will open up every market in the world to Iowa agricultural products. Have people lost jobs? Yes they have, and they’re gonna lose jobs; although the overall gain in jobs has been pretty impressive. But we can’t leave anybody behind. We cannot leave people behind because of being displaced workers, and I am committed to implementing training and education programs that works through our community colleges, which are very strong in Iowa; and tailor and implement training and education programs for the local needs so that we can have people fill jobs and not be left behind at a very early stage of their life, including . . . of their life including, if necessary, someone who had a high paying job that’s required to take a much lower paying job to have a . . . a level of compensation so that they wouldn’t experience that dramatic change in their income.

Recorded on: 11/20/07

 


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