15 October 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Know the Candidates: John S. McCain, III (R)


John S. McCain, III (R)

Current Job:

Naval Officer

Birth Date:

August 29, 1936




U.S. Naval Academy, BS


John McCain III was born in the Panama Canal Zone where his father, Naval Admiral John McCain Jr., was stationed. He currently lives in Phoenix, Ariz.

The son and grandson of Navy admirals, John McCain spent more than 20 years in the Navy, a quarter of it in a North Vietnamese prisoner of war camp.

On Oct. 26, 1967, his jet was shot down over Hanoi during a bombing mission. He broke both arms and shattered a shoulder and a knee while ejecting from the aircraft. When he landed, he was pulled from a lake by a North Vietnamese mob who stabbed him with bayonets.

McCain was beaten repeatedly over the next 5 1/2 years. When his captors learned he was the son of a prominent Navy admiral, they offered to release him early. McCain refused to go along with what he saw as a propaganda ploy, and he insisted that soldiers captured before him leave first.

After retiring from the Navy, McCain moved to Arizona and in 1982 was elected to Congress, succeeding Republican John Rhodes, who retired after serving 30 years. McCain served two terms in the U.S. House before he ran successfully for the Senate in 1986.

He and his wife, Cindy, have four children together. McCain also has three children from his first marriage.


John McCain has alienated himself from fellow Republicans on occasion. He has voted outside party lines without apology. His self-deprecating wit and fascinating Vietnam War backstory are matched only by his chutzpah.

Most politicians who run and fail to win their party’s nomination for the presidential ticket quietly fade into the political landscape. McCain, whose chance to snatch the 2000 Republican nomination from George W. Bush stagnated when he lost the South Carolina primary, has done the opposite.

Time Magazine has listed him as one of America’s 10 best senators.

Since his first bid for the presidency in 2000, McCain has become one of the most high-profile senators. He was a member of the conference committee that crafted the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, making the federal government responsible for the screening of airline passengers and baggage and resulting in the creation of the Transportation Security Administration.

McCain also co-sponsored legislation that created an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He co-sponsored the joint resolution to authorize the use of force against Iraq, and has become the most vocal Senate advocate of Bush’s 2007 troop surge strategy.

McCain’s Senate tenure has not been without scandal. Five years into his first term, McCain was one of the “Keating Five,” a group of senators called before the Senate Ethics Committee in 1991 to answer allegations that they had improperly intervened on Charles Keating’s behalf with federal banking regulators. He later returned $112,000 in campaign loans that he had received from Keating, who was convicted of securities fraud.

Ironically, McCain would go on to take charge in a movement to change campaign finance laws. He also strongly supports reforming the earmark process where projects can be secretly inserted into legislation usually at the will of lobbyists just before lawmakers vote.

McCain differs significantly from many Republican colleagues in his stance on immigration reform. In 2005, he co-sponsored a bill with Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy that would have allowed undocumented workers to stay in the country longer and possibly gain citizenship. McCain also advocates stronger border security.

In December 2005, McCain achieved a significant legislative victory when President Bush signed his detainee amendment into law. The amendment prohibits cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of foreign suspects captured in the war on terror. The amendment also grants CIA and civilian interrogators the same legal rights as military interrogators who break interrogation guidelines.

McCain has generally defended the president’s policies, including backing Bush’s plan to increase troops in Iraq. He maintains that victory in Iraq is critical to American security.

McCain is a member of the Commerce Committee, Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Indian Affairs.

The American Conservative Union gave McCain’s 2007 voting record a score of 80 points out of a possible 100. The liberal Americans for Democratic Action gave him 10 points.


Editor’s Note: John McCain made the Republican nomination his own on Tuesday, March 4, 2008, after winning the Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont primaries. He surpassed the 1,191 delegates needed to win his party’s nomination.McCain formally announced his second attempt to win the White House on April 25, 2007.He sought the Republican nomination for president in 2000 and won the key primary in New Hampshire and a handful of other states before conceding the race to George W. Bush.In the 2004 U.S. Senate race, McCain defeated Democrat Stu Starky, winning 77 percent of the vote.He first was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, winning 61 percent of the vote. He was re-elected in 1992 with 56 percent of the vote and in 1998 with 69 percent of the vote.He served as a member of the U.S. House from Arizona from 1983 to 1986.