John Mccain, Barack Obama, Mister Cain discussed on WSJ What's News

WSJ What's News
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

I diagnosed in July of twenty seventeen joining us now from Washington to talk about McCain's life and legacy is Wall Street Journal reporter, Chevron Hughes Chevron, as you write in your piece for the Wall Street Journal McCain's life was in many ways a life that defied the odds and there are elements. Certainly, here that have become legendary. He came from a navy family and during the Vietnam war was captured and spent five and a half years in prison, undergoing torture and conditions. Most of us cannot imagine. Can you tell us a little bit about that experience and how it came to share. His views and his life. That experience was one of the defining experiences of his life. It taught him how to rely on other people. He was confined in solitary confinement, and so the way prisoners would communicate with each other was through. They had a special code. They were tapping along the walls. It taught him a lot of moral fortitude. The North Vietnamese knew that his father was a very prominent Admiral and they tried to coax him into early release in McCain refused because he was convinced that it would have been terrible for morale. If someone who was shot down last or later as Ted ended up getting out earlier and cutting in line, it also taught him a lot about torture and the reasons why torture might not be a good idea. And that was a theme that would come up again and again, particularly after September eleventh. And of course, he very vocally opposed towards her and the practice of waterboarding when McCain was freed in nineteen Seventy-three. Soon after returning to the US. Began his life in congress, winning a house seat and in nineteen Eighty-six winning the Senate seat vacated by Barry Goldwater. He had some political setbacks to though including his involvement in the Keating five. Can you tell us about that experience and how it came to shape his politics thereafter, don't experience to me is when he starts seriously. Thinking about the role of money in politics, Charles Keating was a very prominent banker and John McCain among other senators had intervened on behalf of Mr. Keating with federal banking regulators, and it turned out that that perhaps not such a great idea because the Mr. Keating's banking business wasn't stable. It went belly up and ended up costing the government several billion dollars. Although mister Cain was reprimanded for showing poor judgment. He didn't suffer the punishment that some of the other senators had, but it left him filled with enormous shame and it was something that if he even thought about it for a moment. He could be taken back instantly to that second where he felt he had really let the public down. And so what you see later on is him mount very strong effort in favor of campaign finance reform, trying to really think hard about the role of money in politics, getting to another milestone in his life by two thousand. He had launched a bid for the GOP presidential nomination. And this is where we also see his willingness to challenge the ideas of his own party. That bid was ultimately unsuccessful, but in a way, set him up for the next time around in two thousand eight when he challenged Barack Obama. And there are moments during this campaign that people point to as emblematic of McCain's character, particularly in those cases where he defended Obama his opponent against false claims, that Obama was a Muslim and not born in the United States. So there are really two separate campaigns. We're talking about here. One is in two thousand when he was absolutely the under dog. He wrote around in a bus called the straight, talk express. He took hour after hour of questions from reporters. And really cast himself as an authentic open. Tell like it is different type of candidate later on in two thousand eight. He ran what a lot of people considered to be a much more conventional campaign, but there were moments when he really was swimming against the tide. And one of those was when there's a particular video that encapsulates what people mean when they talk about this campaign, someone said that they thought Barack Obama was a Muslim and John McCain in front of the cameras looks at her and says, no, ma'am. No, ma'am. He's just someone who happens to have different views than I have, but he's not a Muslim. And that was just a huge act because it really stood against what a lot of people in the Republican party felt. And even if it cost him the election,.

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