From CBS News' Andante Higgins:
John McCain talked politics with the ladies on "The View" today, and claimed he knows more about the economy than Senators Clinton and Obama. He said he would skip Olympic opening ceremonies in China if he was president, and admitted to a questionable voting record on apartheid in the 1980's, a time when he voted against a Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday.
McCain sat on the couch with hosts Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and Elizabeth Hasselbeck, pretending to fidget with his clothes like Barack Obama did when he sat in the hot seat recently. The ladies jumped right in and asked questions on the economy, his past votes, and the war in Iraq.
"I do know more about the military, I hope I do. I spent 22 years in the service of it but I know the economy better than Senator Clinton and Senator Obama do. I have been there for many years. I was involved in every major economic challenge we faced," McCain told Barbara Walters as she reminded him of his admission that he's not as strong on the issue as military matters.
McCain said he would not go to the opening of the Olympics in China based on their current behavior. "I would say to the Chinese, clean up your act, this is not acceptable. Unless they change something pretty quickly I would not go the opening ceremonies of the Olympics….You can't have a nation that is a world super power behave like this in an oppressive and brutal fashion," he said.
The Arizona Senator also made a new confession when Whoopi Goldberg asked him why he voted against a holiday for slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. "I said at the time because a national holiday, the expense, etcetera, and it was wrong," he said. McCain said he was proud to have been part of a later effort to recognize him in Arizona and then added, "Back in the 80's I voted, I wouldn't say for apartheid but I voted in a way that was questionable and then I went to South Africa. I met with people and I came back as an outspoken opponent of apartheid. We all grow. We all have to grow and mature and if we are wrong on an issue then we have to admit it."
Behar then asked him if he would admit the war was wrong. He declined to do so, saying the problem with the war was not going in but how it was mismanaged for 4 years. He explained how he saw progress and a decrease in US casualties and assured Behar that he was not interested in instituting a draft even though he wants to increase the size of the military. McCain said it could be done through better incentives including education for those who serve.