Republican presidential candidate John McCain to address The Associated Press membership April 14
NEW YORK -- Republican presidential candidate John McCain is scheduled to speak April 14 at The Associated Press annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Senator from Arizona will address representatives of AP newspaper and broadcast members at the news cooperative’s morning session.
McCain wrapped up the GOP presidential nomination on Tuesday, March 4, 2008, after capturing the Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont primaries to surpass the 1,191 delegates needed to win his party’s nod and become the presumptive nominee.
The son and grandson of Navy admirals, McCain spent more than 20 years in the Navy. After retiring from the Navy, McCain moved to Arizona and in 1982 was elected to Congress. He served two terms in the U.S. House before he ran successfully for the Senate in 1986.
McCain is a North Vietnamese prisoner of war camp survivor. On Oct. 26, 1967, his jet was shot down over Hanoi during a bombing mission. He broke both arms and shattered a shoulder and a knee while ejecting from the aircraft. When he landed, he was pulled from a lake by a North Vietnamese mob which stabbed him with bayonets. McCain was beaten repeatedly over the next 5 1/2 years. When his captors learned he was the son of a prominent Navy admiral, they offered to release him early. McCain refused to go along with what he saw as a propaganda ploy, and he insisted that soldiers captured before him leave first.
During his congressional career, McCain has become one of the most high-profile senators. He helped craft the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, making the federal government responsible for the screening of airline passengers and baggage and resulting in the creation of the Transportation Security Administration. He also co-sponsored legislation that created an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He co-sponsored the joint resolution to authorize the use of force against Iraq, and has become the most vocal Senate advocate of Bush’s 2007 troop surge strategy. He’s also led a movement to change campaign finance laws, and strongly supports reform of the earmark process where projects can be secretly inserted into legislation just before lawmakers vote.
In an interview this year with The Associated Press, McCain said an ethics entanglement with a wealthy banker, Charles Keating, was such a disturbing, formative experience in his political career that he compares the scandal in some ways to the five years he was tortured as a POW. “I faced in Vietnam, at times, very real threats to life and limb,” McCain said. “But while my sense of honor was tested in prison, it was not questioned. During the Keating inquiry, it was, and I regretted that very much.”
The investigation ended in early 1991 with a rebuke citing “poor judgment” but the Senate ethics committee also determined McCain’s actions “were not improper nor attended with gross negligence.”
Reflecting on what he said were his lessons from the scandal, McCain told the AP: “The appearance of wrongdoing, fair or unfair, can be potentially as injurious as actual wrongdoing. Also, when questions are raised about your integrity or for that matter anything involving your public career, even, for example, a controversial position on the issues, it is best not to hide from the media or public.”
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