Ed Koch May Back McCain


Well-Known Member
Apr 6, 2008
The people's republic of Eugene
This made me very happy to hear......

Monday, May 19, 2008 7:30 PM

By: Phil Brennan

Former New York City Mayor Edward Koch, one of the country’s most prominent Democrats, says he may cross over and back Republican Sen. John McCain for president.
In an exclusive Newsmax interview, Koch says McCain “has no equal” when it comes to opposing Islamic terrorism. Though Koch says he disagrees with most of McCain’s positions on domestic issues, he could support him because of his strong national security credentials.
Koch carries significant weight with many Jewish Democrats in New York and across the country. He also has a history of playing the maverick and crossing party lines.
He has backed several New York Republicans, including Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg for New York City mayor, Al D'Amato for the U.S. Senate, and George Pataki for New York governor. In 2004 he endorsed his first Republican for president, George W. Bush. Koch actively campaigned in several states, including Florida and Ohio.
Bush won both states.
Koch, a regular Newsmax pundit, also says in his interview that he still endorses Sen. Hillary Clinton for the White House and believes she should stay in the race. He says he is bothered by Sen. Barack Obama’s relationships with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and terrorist bomber William Ayers, and agrees with McCain that a pre-emptive strike against Iran may be necessary.
Newsmax: You've been an ardent supporter of Hillary Clinton. Do you think that the time has come for her to drop out of the race?
Koch: No, definitely not. I think that she has done a splendid job so far and that the people who want to drive her out of the primaries are anti-democratic. Why shouldn't the people in every state have an opportunity to cast their vote? I think she's very brave, and while the chances of her ultimately succeeding are limited, nevertheless she can succeed. Her audience is now the superdelegates.
Newsmax: In the event that she is not able to win the nomination, should she join the Obama ticket?
Koch: If that can be arranged, sure. I think she would be a fine addition, but I hope that she prevails as the presidential candidate. That seems not to be in the cards, but you never know when it comes to politics.
The Wright Controversy
Newsmax: Do you think Barack Obama has gone far enough in distancing himself from the Rev. Wright?
Koch: No one believes that he agrees with the positions of Rev. Wright. The problem is that he sat there for 20 years like a potted plant, and that is a distressing matter that has to be considered when and if he becomes the Democratic candidate.
Newsmax: Are you bothered by his links to Louis Farrakhan and William Ayers?
Koch: Obama has no links to Farrakhan. I am bothered by his not speaking out [about Rev. Wright] for 20 years.
Newsmax: What about his links to Ayers?
Koch: It bothers me that he still has good words for a non-repentant terrorist who says they didn't bomb enough.
Newsmax: How do you feel about John McCain?
Koch: I know him personally. I like him very much as a human being. I don't agree with most of his domestic policy positions, however.
Newsmax: Who would be the better candidate against McCain — Hillary or Obama?
Koch: There's no question that Hillary would be a tougher candidate for him. I think that the odds are that she would beat him, primarily because the Republicans are saddled with a record of non-achievement over the last eight years, and a president who I personally like but who is perceived by, I think it's now close to 80 percent of the public, as a failure. I don't think he's a failure on the issue of Islamic terrorism — I think he has stood up like a giant. But on all domestic issues he has a record of failure.
Newsmax: What about his position on taxes, which is shared by McCain?
Koch: I'm opposed to tax cuts for the wealthy, and I'm one of the wealthy. Tax cuts should be for the middle class and the wealthy should pay more.
Newsmax: Overall, what's your opinion of McCain and his chances of winning this election?
Koch: I would say that he's a very decent man. On the issue of standing up to Islamic terrorism, which is the No. 1 issue I think for the country for the next 50 years, he has no equal. With respect to domestic issues he is regrettably doing what President Bush has done on a whole host of important social issues, and basically their approach is a failure — on health insurance, on the environment, although McCain is seeking now to change the position of the administration on that issue, to his credit.
NATO Ultimatum on Iraq
Newsmax: Do you agree with McCain’s stand on staying in Iraq?
Koch: My position is somewhat nuanced. I believe we were right to go in. I believe that if our allies, Arab and NATO, were willing to support us with troops and treasure to pay the cost, we should stay. But because they are not willing to provide troops in Iraq at all, and not to the full measure in Afghanistan, and not willing to defray the cost of the war, I believe that we can’t do it on our own and we should get out.
My own belief is -- and I've said it now for two years -- that if the president issued an ultimatum to NATO and to the Sunni countries in the Gulf, to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, etc., and said we're getting out unless you come in, I believe they would come in because they're terrified of our getting out.
I also believe that what was proposed by Hillary, and one of the reasons why I believe Obama is wrong in attacking her on it, is that we should be offering to the Sunni Arab allies and to Israel a NATO-like treaty arrangement that they could join.
We could put down conditions as they do in the European Union on what they would have to do to be eligible and if they became members of such a NATO-like organization, then we would issue a statement that a nuclear attack on them would be comparable to a nuclear attack on us, and we would destroy the country that engaged in such an attack.
Newsmax: How do you feel about a pre-emptive strike against Iran?
Koch: I agree with John McCain’s statement that “If someone is about to launch a weapon that would devastate America, or have the capability to do so, obviously, you would have to act immediately in defense of this nation's national security interests."
Newsmax: You supported Bush in the last election. I assume you'll be supporting the Democrat no matter who it is this year.
Koch: No. I may, but that is not a certainty. When I'm asked about my allegiance, my allegiance is to the United States. At this moment in the Democratic primary I believe the best candidate for the United States is Hillary. When and if that option is removed, and I have to decide between McCain and Obama because they have become the federal candidates, I'll make that decision at that time and not before.
The Oil Crisis
Newsmax: If you were president of the United States, how would you handle the current gas crisis?
Koch: That's not hard. To me it's amazing that none of the candidates has supported a [program like the] Manhattan Project, which created the nuclear bomb in World War II and cost in those days $2 billion — which in true dollars today would be $21 billion.
I would create such an agency with new powers to come up with alternative fuels and to regulate gas prices and to have the authority, which is key, to bring an anti-cartel suit against the OPEC countries and the American distributors.
If you bring a lawsuit you'll ease the situation, but the courts have said that United States policy forbids such a lawsuit and unless the authority is given to such an agency, you can't bring the lawsuit. But I believe that if a lawsuit were brought — an antitrust action — you would see the price of gasoline fall immediately.
No candidate, Republican or Democrat, has publicly supported such a position. They're wrong. They should.
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