John McCain: Corporations Are Not People

Hey, Obama campaign, here's your next campaign ad. Get on it and keep hammering it. After Sheldon Adelson announced a $10 million donation to a Romney SuperPAC with the promise of "unlimited funds" to come, Senator John McCain sat down for

up

Hey, Obama campaign, here's your next campaign ad. Get on it and keep hammering it.

After Sheldon Adelson announced a $10 million donation to a Romney SuperPAC with the promise of "unlimited funds" to come, Senator John McCain sat down for this interview with Judy Woodruff.

After making the declaration that "corporations are not people", Senator McCain says that Adelson's profits are largely from his casino in Macau, and therefore it's likely that Romney's campaign is being funded with foreign money as a result. He goes on to criticize the Citizens United decision as the "most misguided, naive, uninformed, egregious decision of the United States Supreme Court" and predicts many scandals as a result of their decision. Ya think?

Key points:

JUDY WOODRUFF: This question of campaign money highlighted today by this -- the announcement that there's a huge amount of money coming in from one donor in the state of Nevada.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Mr. Adelson, who gave large amounts of money to the Gingrich campaign. And much of Mr. Adelson's casino profits that go to him come from this casino in Macau.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Which says what?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Which says that, obviously, maybe in a roundabout way, foreign money is coming into an American campaign -- political campaigns.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Because of the profits at the casinos in Macau?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Yes. That is a great deal of money. And, again, we need a level playing field and we need to go back to the realization that Teddy Roosevelt had that we have to have a limit on the flow of money, and that corporations are not people.

Full transcript below the fold.

JUDY WOODRUFF: You have long been passionate about the idea of restricting the amount of money that flows in campaigns.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Yes.

JUDY WOODRUFF: But in the wake of the Supreme Court decision Citizens United, we are seeing enormous sums of money going into this campaign, to the campaigns themselves, to outside supporters.

Is this -- is it just inevitable that we're now in a period where money is going to be playing this dominant role in American politics?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: I'm afraid, at least for the time being, that's going to be the case, because of the most misguided, naive, uninformed, egregious decision of the United States Supreme Court I think in the 21st century.

To somehow view money as not having an effect on election, a corrupting effect on election, flies in the face of reality. I just wish one of them had run for county sheriff. So what we are. . .

JUDY WOODRUFF: You mean one of the justices?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: One of the five Supreme Court justices that voted to invalidate what we know of as McCain-Feingold.

Look, I guarantee you, Judy, there will be scandals. There is too much money washing around political campaigns today. And it will take scandals, and then maybe we can have the Supreme Court go back and revisit this issue.

Remember, the Supreme Court rules on constitutionality. So just passing another law doesn't get it. So I'm afraid we're in for a very bleak period in American politics. You know, we all talk about -- and you just did -- about how much money is in the presidential campaign.

Suppose there's a Senate campaign in a small state, and 10 people get together and decided to contribute $10 million each. You think that wouldn't affect that Senate campaign?

JUDY WOODRUFF: This question of campaign money highlighted today by this -- the announcement that there's a huge amount of money coming in from one donor in the state of Nevada.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Mr. Adelson, who gave large amounts of money to the Gingrich campaign. And much of Mr. Adelson's casino profits that go to him come from this casino in Macau.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Which says what?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Which says that, obviously, maybe in a roundabout way, foreign money is coming into an American campaign -- political campaigns.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Because of the profits at the casinos in Macau?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Yes. That is a great deal of money. And, again, we need a level playing field and we need to go back to the realization that Teddy Roosevelt had that we have to have a limit on the flow of money, and that corporations are not people.

That's why we have different laws that govern corporations than govern individual citizens. And so to say that corporations are people, again, flies in the face of all the traditional Supreme Court decisions that we have made -- that have been made in the past.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Sen. John McCain, we thank you for talking with us.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: It's nice to be with you again.

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