Category: Archive

Dems take swipe at McCain’s big day

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

One hour before John McCain addressed the forum, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said John McCain had done nothing to help turn the tide in the Northern Irish peace process and that McCain did not deserve the votes of Irish Americans.
“John McCain was not in meetings, he didn’t do any of the heavy lifting,” necessary to get the peace process on the right track said Leahy.
Also on the call were other members of Obama’s Irish advisory committee including, Congressmen Richard Neal (D-MA) and Joseph Crowley (D-NY). Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) took time from critical meetings on U.S. government bailouts for Wall Street investment firms, and Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD) offered the most caustic observation of McCain’s Irish bona fides.
“We see the Straight Talk Express now becoming the Blarney Bus,” O’Malley offered.
The credentials of the Obama surrogates on the call are impeccable as advocates in the historic bipartisan effort by Washington to assist Belfast, Dublin and London in the establishment of devolved government in the North, but when asked what Barack Obama had contributed in his role as an Illinois state representative, or even a freshman U.S. senator, there was a muted response.
It was noted that as a community activist, Obama had worked with some in the Irish community in Chicago in finding jobs and that then State Senator Obama had offered support for “Irish immigration.”
Senator Dodd redirected participants on the call towards Senator McCain’s record on Ireland in the 1990s.
Dodd said that even when many recognized that then President Bill Clinton was making progress with the North’s leaders, Senator McCain remained firmly opposed to U.S. intervention in the peace process.
Dodd said that McCain did not support the U.s. role. “He only said it was a terrible mistake.”
Governor O’Malley said Senator McCain’s appearance at the Irish presidential forum and assurances that a McCain presidency would support continuing the role of a special envoy to the North was “twenty years too late.”
The group made assurances that if elected president, Barack Obama, as his campaign stated last week, would continue the special envoy role in the North.
They said doubts over the commitment by the Obama campaign to the continuance of the envoy position was merely “cautionary staff language” and that there was never any wavering by the Obama campaign in the need for an envoy.

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