Rough transcript from a Capitol Hill press conference earlier today on Iraq:
Question: I’d like to ask you one more question, and I’ll (inaudible) if there are no other ones. There’s been some criticism, primarily from Democratic quarters, talking about Senator McCain and his presidential run, regarding some of his ads lately, saying that they were (inaudible). Most recently, the one that they point to is one that included Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.John McCain said from the beginning of the campaign that he was going to lead a respectable campaign. I’m not saying he’s not. but some people are saying that this goes against that, and what purpose does that serve, to have and ad like that? I’d like to get your take on that.U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)Well, one thing’s for sure. If you embark upon a world tour, and you decide to make a campaign speech in a foreign country in front of 200,000 Germans, and you act like you’re already president, people may notice.And that’s what this is about: that he chose to go to Germany and do something I’ve never known a candidate to do before. You know, he orchestrated the press conference with the French president. He said something, yesterday, basically, that he embodies everything good about America. Well, you know, it’s good to have self-confidence. But you can, maybe, go too far. The whole ad is about the idea of fame without portfolio. Paris Hilton is famous for being famous. She draws a crowd for no apparent reason. Well, I think he has, you know — in Senator Obama’s case, is the effort to be commander in chief and the leader of the free world about portfolio?He is a celebrity, no question about it. Somebody asked me about Germany. I said, “There goes Germany. We’re going to have to get to 270 without Germany.” (LAUGHTER)But this is a hysteria around a personality that’s attractive, but when you look under the hood, there’s not a whole lot there. So fame without portfolio is, sort of, fashionable. But leadership without experience is dangerous.