Hypocrisy Highlights: John McCain and Tom Daschle

John McCain

From the May 2001 CEI UpDate


John McCain

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has waged an all-out war against the perceived evils of money in politics. With Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), McCain has pushed forward with legislation that would place grave limits on the ability of citizens to participate in political debates, both in terms of limiting people’s ability to donate money to causes they believe in and in terms of limiting the ability of organizations to publicize their messages. On the Senate floor this March, McCain said, “I believe it is self-evident that contributions from a single source that run to the hundreds of thousands of dollars are not healthy to a democracy.”


Which is why we were a little surprised to read what McCain said in an April Washington Post story about billionaire Andrew McKelvey’s efforts to spend millions of dollars pushing gun control: “I’m glad a guy with a billion dollars, or two billion dollars, wants to spend his money on an issue he feels strongly about.” As our friends at the Wall Street Journal’s OpinionJournal.com noted, “Isn’t that exactly what McCain, champion of campaign reform, is supposed to be against?”


Tom Daschle

House Democratic leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO) led his party’s efforts to savage President Bush’s energy plan. At a press conference outside a service station in Washington, DC, Gephardt railed: “Energy prices are shooting through the roof across America.…Gas prices are hovering at around $2 a gallon in some cities and suburbs. And the President seems almost totally indifferent, removed from the whole process…. The President has no program for the short term, telling people they are on their own. And the only long term solution is to waive environmental protections and let the oil and gas industry poke holes in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, federal lands like National Parks and Forests, and drill off the coast of Florida.”


For all that huffing and puffing, we were shocked to see how the would-be Speaker of the House arrived at this PR spectacle: According to the New York Post, he showed up in a gas-guzzling SUV.


SUVs, of course, are a scourge of the environmental left for the amount of gas they require, as well as for the supposed environmental degradation they cause. A Gephardt flak brushed this off as no big deal: “We don’t say anything about changing people’s lifestyles.”