McCain Tonight: “Look, I have the greatest respect and affection for the mayor of New York. My point is that I have been involved in every major national security challenge for the last 20 years. And before that, I fought in some of them. The fact is that I’ve led the largest squadron in the U.S. Navy. Not for profit, but for patriotism.” (Sen. John McCain, Republican Presidential Debate, Myrtle Beach, SC, 1/10/08)
McCain Last Year: “I have never, in 20 years in the Senate, touted my military background as a reason for someone to agree or disagree with me nor have I ever criticized anyone who’s lack of military experience doesn’t qualify them [to make military decisions].” (Sen. John McCain, press conference, Washington, D.C., 7/11/07)
I like McCain, and think his military experience is a big plus. But there’s something in his boast of “not for profit, but for patriotism” that rubs a lot of righties the wrong way. It’s like it’s a distant cousin of the chickenhawk argument.