McCain says we have to track down the people who want to destroy America.
John McCain: I think that 9/11 probably, for a few good reasons, made the government more secretive so that we wouldn’t betray some of our sources and methods to the enemy. But I do believe that on the signing statement issue where the president has basically made a statement when he signs a bill into law saying that he either will not obey it, or will not implement it, or will only partially implement it, it’s a terrible turn of events. I think it’s a fundamental assault on the balance of powers. I will never as President of the United States issue a signing statement that has anything to do other than how I will implement the law to its fullest degree. On the other aspect of the issue about sources, and methods, and phone records and all that kind of stuff, that’s another manifestation of the gridlock we hear . . . we have here. Why shouldn’t the relevant committees, the intelligence committees and the Executive branch sit down and work out the best way to track down people who want to destroy America, and at the same time preserve individual liberties? And all of that is complicated by the dramatic changes in telecommunications capabilities as we see almost on a daily basis. But we should be able to adjust to that, and in a balanced and bipartisan fashion. Unfortunately we’re not. I’d call over the intelligence committee members, and I’d sit down with them and I’d say, “What’s your problem?” I would try to point out to them what our national security interests are. And I also would tell them that I respect their role. There is a role for Congress in the formulation of these policies, and I will respect it. And I will appeal to their angels . . . better angels of their nature because this is an issue of national security. It should not spill over into national partisanship. Recorded on: 11/20/07