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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Friday, April 25, 2008

McCain: If you want higher taxes, I'm not your guy.

What do Hugh Hewitt, Senator John McCain, and I have in common?

We were all on the phone together this morning!

I got to listen in on this morning's blogger conference call with John McCain. Having never done this before, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I came away pleased – at the risk of sounding all gushy and pushed-over (instead of hardbitten and cynical, like us citizen journalists are supposed to be), it was a real thrill for me to be included.

It was even more of a thrill when I found out that big-time bloggers like Hugh Hewitt and Jim Geraghty were also on the call.

That's right. Hugh Hewitt, Jim Geraghty, myself. Why, yes, the air is rather rarified up here. Thank you for asking. How is it down there?

Oh. Sorry to hear that.

Sean Hackbarth was on the call, too – he's got a good roundup of the questions and answers. I didn't get to ask mine, but then, neither did Amanda Carpenter or Ed Morrissey.

Amanda Carpenter. Ed Morrissey. Myself. Yep.

Anyway, the call started a little after 9 am. McCain listed off a number of places he's been visiting lately, and where he plans to go next. Then he moved to the economy, saying: you want your taxes raised? Then I'm not your guy.

He invoked Reagan, saying that the conservative principles Reagan brought with him in 1981 have been violated: spending is the problem, not lack of revenue.

He bashed earmarks and had so many numbers that I couldn't scribble them down fast enough – all I got was that earmarks are up 940% over the last 10 years (not sure whether that was number of earmarks or money spent on them), and that there have been over 12,000 individual earmarks in the last two years alone.

He took a swing at Obama, saying Obama wants to raise income taxes, capital gains taxes, and taxes on social security. He also mentioned Clinton in that breath, but Obama seemed to be his main target.

Then he plugged his gas tax holiday. Special interests, he said, have declared the end of Western Civilization as we know it, should his idea come to pass.

Then we got to the questions. Hewitt asked about Obama's linking of former Weatherman William Ayers with Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn: McCain said one is an unrepentant terrorist, the other spends his weekends delivering babies.

Michael Goldfarb from the Weekly Standard and NRO's Jim Geraghty both asked about the North Carolina GOP ad; somebody else whose name I missed asked about whether McCain can compete in California; somebody else asked about events in Basra; Jennifer Rubin from Commentary asked about Hamas, Obama, and Jimmy Carter.

I won't go into detail on all those, since Sean already has.

I'd been planning to ask McCain about his future Vice President: has he begun thinking about that, and if so could he give us some hint about his criteria? Obviously, I didn't ask him, of his closing statements is probably nothing to take to the bank, but he did specifically mention that he was on his way to Little Rock, Arkansas, where he was going to meet his "good friend" Mike Huckabee.

/barely warranted speculation