From the CBS New website, this quote from McCain yesterday:
If you’re talking about assuring equal and fair opportunity for all Americans and making sure that the practices of the U.S. military are emulated, the greatest equal opportunity employer in America, then I am all for it. If you are talking about quotas, I am not for it. So all of us are for affirmative action to try to give assistance to those who need it, whether it be African-American or other groups of Americans that need it.
No real difference between this answer and the one that Obama and Clinton gave last week. Senator, let’s talk about the only kind of affirmative action that raises any real constitutional or policy issues: Do you think that anyone should be given a preference on the basis of race, ethnicity, or sex? I’m not sure which U.S. military practices you’re talking about, but its record in this regard is mixed: It has used preferences from time to time, if to a lesser degree than universities (to damn with faint praise). Specifically, do you favor the ballot initiatives that have been adopted by California, Washington, and Michigan, and will likely be before voters this November in Missouri, Colorado, Arizona, and Nebraska? Do you support the antipreference plank in the 2004 Republican platform?