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Thursday, October 18, 2012

 12:36 PM 

McCain, Graham join Thompson to knock Baldwin's record on national security

Appearing with fellow Republican Tommy Thompson, U.S. Sen. John McCain said Dem Tammy Baldwin’s voting record on national security does not keep up with most Americans' views on the issue.

“When you vote against sanctions on Iran, that’s not on the fringe, that’s over the edge,” the Arizona Republican said.

McCain and Thompson were joined for a press conference at the Milwaukee War Memorial by U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Ron Johnson.

Graham, R-S.C., questioned Baldwin’s views on Iran, saying the Iranians are attempting to get a nuclear weapon. He said if they were pursuing a peaceful nuclear program, they would not build power plants in the bottom of mountain.

“I hope Tammy doesn’t believe otherwise,” he said.

Graham also praised Tommy Thompson for understanding “the world as it is” and said he would be able to help balance the budget.

“I know Tommy Thompson will sit down with Democrats and Republicans and find a way to get our budget house in order without gutting our military,” Graham said.

Thompson said the Defense Department should be given the opportunity to reorganize and become more efficient.

“That’s what I did in the state government, and it worked out extremely well,” he said.

He added he wouldn’t do anything to harm any of the branches of the military.

“You still can accomplish a reduction, which is what I want to do,” Thompson said.

McCain agreed there are ways to find savings at the Pentagon, but it has to be done selectively, not through automatic cuts or sequestration.

“We can find further savings in defense, there is no doubt about that,” McCain said.

UPDATE: Baldwin spokesman John Kraus responded by pointing to a series of votes since 1999 supporting sanctions on Iran.

“When it comes to foreign policy the facts matter," Kraus said. "But they aren’t interested in facts, they are here to play politics for Tommy Thompson’s desperate campaign. The fact is Tammy Baldwin has a consistently strong record over the last 14 years of taking the fight to terrorists, keeping America safe from terrorist attacks, supporting Israel’s security, and voting 28 times to take a tough stance on Iran, including votes for tough sanctions this year.”

-- By Arthur Thomas


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