McCain Explains Everglades Vote, Campaigns With Crist

(CBS)

From CBS News' John Bentley:

Walking a narrow line between burnishing his image as a reformer who hates pork barrel spending and supporting Everglades funding, John McCain explained why he voted against a bill that would have given $2 billion to the Florida national park. "The WRDA bill had a large number of projects in it that were unnecessary and unneeded," McCain said. "This is the way we do business in Washington, we take a worthy project and load it on with pork barrel and unnecessary projects."

The swing state of Florida will be very important to McCain in November, so he made sure to explain that he would support stand-alone funding for the Everglades. "Isn't Everglades of sufficient urgency that we don't have to tie it to a whole bunch of other projects?" McCain asked. "If we see the drastic consequences of the further detioration of the Everglades, it will not only affect Florida, it will not only affect the United States of America, it will affect the globe." McCain's campaign also pointed out that Barack Obama's campaign co-chair, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., opposed the bill as well.

Joining McCain as he campaigned in south Florida today was Gov. Charlie Crist, who has been mentioned as a possible running mate. Crist has been a vocal supporter of Everglades funding, but agreed with McCain that the bill had too many earmarks.

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