McCain and Obama held brief press availabilities on the Hill yesterday:
McCain, on the fifth anniversary of the war: “I’m sorry that it was mishandled for so long… Events in recent days show al-qaeda is on the run. But we’ve also seen that they have a lot of fight left in them.”
Q: Senator, on the bus with Senator Joe Lieberman yesterday, you didn’t seem to rule out a Democratic veep.
McCain: We just began the process, so I don’t know exactly who would be on the list. But we’ll keep you posted as we move through the process.
[I could have sworn McCain had ruled out Lieberman as a potential running mate in an interview earlier this year. UPDATE: Campaign Spot reader John reminds me – Lieberman ruled out running on the GOP ticket.]
Obama, on the tax vote yesterday: “We now have another effort to extend the Bush tax cuts to eliminate or drastically reduce the estate tax. These are all steps that John McCain likely said were irresponsible when they first came up. They’re unprecedented in a time of war. That was then, and now he supports them… That is how you get your ticket punched to become the Republican nominee…. He was right then, he is wrong now. This is an example of the flawed fiscal policies under this administration that have gotten us in such a hole.”
Obama, asked about race in the Democratic primary: “Race and gender issues are very powerful for our society. They’ve been an organizing principle since the earliest days of our country… Senator Clinton and others have accused me of being naive, but I’m not naive enough to think we’re going to solve all of these problems in six months or a year… We’re making progress in fits and starts in this campaign. The ride is always going to be somewhat bumpy, and there are going to be times that these issues flare up. I hope that the conduct of my campaign and our supporters that we will have moved the ball forward… as a consequence, and I think that’s been clear.”
Obama on Florida and Michigan: “We’re not going to be making the final decision on [a re-vote or seating of delegates]… We’ll abide by whatever the DNC decides.”