McCain Jokes Around With Jon Stewart

(CBS)
From CBS News' Dante Higgins

NEW YORK -- On John McCain's 13th appearance on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," the two men joked about the new members of candidate's entourage since he's become the expected Republican nominee.

"I cannot tell you the difference. Normally you show up. It's you, your bookie, a couple of other guys. You have a security detail now. This is serious business," Stewart said. McCain recently acquired protection but held off for as long as he could.

"I just resisted that because of the fact that it does separate you from people. And it's a necessary thing and they are great people and I am glad to have them," McCain said.

McCain and Stewart threw ideas back and forth on possible codenames that his detail could use. "I think mine is JERK," McCain said. Stewart offered up "McDreamy", "McSteamy", and "Grumplestiltskin."

Stewart turned serious for a minute, quizzing McCain on his charge that Hamas endorsed Obama. McCain made the statement recently on a conference call with bloggers. Stewart asked him if he felt bad about it.

"A spokesperson for Hamas said they wanted Senator Obama," McCain said.

"And you take Hamas at their word?" Stewart shot back.

"No, but it's indicative of how some of our enemies view America," McCain said.

Stewart also made light of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial remarks and their effect on Barack Obama's campaign.

"You, sir have your own person, religious...I don't want to say zealot but a religious person endorsing your campaign that Americans have expressed greater concern about your relationship with him," Stewart started, seemingly referring to the controversial evangelical pastor John Hagee, who has endorsed McCain. But then came the punchline: "Will you take this opportunity right now to repudiate and denounce President Bush?"

The room roared and McCain faked "technical difficulties" with his microphone to get out of answering that question. Eventually McCain answered, "I have to run my campaign and present my vision."

Then, McCain announced Dwight Schrute, a character from "The Office" - one of his favorite television shows - as his VP choice. Stewart, in turn, recommended Hillary Clinton as his VP choice.

"That's one I have never contemplated," McCain responded.
  • Andante Higgins

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