An Outrageous Statement by Sen. John McCain

Last week, Josh Rogin reported the following at his Foreign Policy blog:

Senator and Romney presidential campaign surrogate John McCain (R-AZ) said Thursday that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is indirectly injecting millions of dollars in Chinese “foreign money” into Mitt Romney’s presidential election effort.

“Much of Mr. Adelson’s casino profits that go to him come from his casino in Macau, which says that obviously, maybe in a roundabout way foreign money is coming into an American political campaign,” McCain said in an interview on PBS’s News Hour.

“That is a great deal of money, and we need a level playing field and we need to go back to the realization… that we have to have a limit on the flow of money and corporations are not people,” he said. …

McCain’s comments appear to be the first criticism by a Republican of a Republican donor for earning his fortune in China and then spending some of that money on a Republican political organization.

Bracketing McCain’s remarks about corporations, which are at least a debatable proposition, the notion that selling things to foreigners is somehow suspect strikes me as very strange, particularly given the fact that many U.S. policymakers are trying to find ways to address America’s persistent current account deficits. 

Reihan Salam — Reihan Salam is executive editor of National Review and a National Review Institute policy fellow.

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