McCain says he'd veto farm bill over subsidies

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McCain says he'd veto farm bill over subsidies

Post by greymouse » Sat May 03, 2008 4:06 pm

Republican presidential candidate John McCain used the nation's leading corn-producing state as his backdrop Thursday to announce he opposed new federal farm legislation.

The presumptive GOP nominee also suggested he would run a different general election campaign in Iowa than did President George W. Bush, who was the first Republican in 20 years to carry the state in winning re-election in 2004.

The Arizona senator's afternoon stop in Iowa was part of a swing through states expected to be competitive in November, as the Democratic nomination remains unsettled. During his first trip to the state since his fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses in January, McCain headlined a Des Moines forum aimed at discussing his health care plan.

But McCain said at the outset of the event at the Polk County Convention Complex that provisions in the farm bill to increase payments to farmers were bad economic policy.

"I'd like to start out by saying to you that I have to give you a little straight talk about the farm bill that is winding its way through Congress," McCain told the audience of about 250 people. "I do not support it. I would veto it. I would do that because I believe that these subsidies, the subsidies are unnecessary."

McCain, who has long opposed agricultural subsidies, said later in an interview that he was willing to risk the political backlash in heavily agricultural states such as Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, which also have been among the most competitive electoral battlegrounds in the previous two presidential campaigns.

"At this time, to have an increase in agricultural subsidies when farmers are having higher incomes than at any time in memory, I just think it's legislation that's not in keeping with the economic hard times of America where people are losing their homes and their jobs," McCain said later in a Des Moines Register interview.

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Good for him. This type of honest talk is what we need to hear from Washington more often. Will he get any credit for this from the Republican pundits?

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