March 10, 2008

John McCain’s website tells visitors, “Too often the special interest lobbyists with the fattest wallets and best access carry the day.”

It’s become an increasingly amusing line as the senator’s presidential campaign has unfolded. We now know, for example, that McCain’s campaign staff is dominated by corporate lobbyists, and he adds new ones all the time.

The subject came up briefly during McCain's “60 Minutes” interview.

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Pelley: You point your finger at other senators and claim that there is culture of corruption on Capitol Hill. But you take money from lobbyists who have business before your committee, as other senators do. So how is it that you call the system corrupt?

McCain: Well, one of the reasons why I call the system corrupt is because we have members of Congress who are in jail, who are former members of Congress. But it’s not the individuals, it’s the system we have today. I believe that I serve with honorable men and women. And I believe the people who bring their case to government, the overwhelming majority of them are honorable people.

Pelley: The lobbyists?

McCain: Retirees have a lobbyist, firemen have a lobbyist. Your business has a lot of lobbyists, a lot of lobbyists.

So, when McCain blasts the role of lobbyists in the political process, he’s only talking about the bad lobbyists (the ones he doesn't like); not the good lobbyists (the ones who give him money and run his campaign operation).

As for McCain's examples, it's true that there are lobbyists for firemen and senior citizens, but those aren’t the folks running his campaign.

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