Despite the fact that he might have wished he had been the man who just finished his first address to a joint session of Congress as president, Sen. John McCain had kind words for President Obama's address this evening.
"The president gave a very effective speech," McCain told Katie Couric on CBSNews.com's presidential webcast following Mr. Obama's address. "His delivery and the theme of the speech was excellent."
Watch the interview here:
Still, McCain said, "now I would like to know how we are going to implement it."
"I don't know where Social Security was," McCain said. "I don't know how you increase all of these programs and still cut spending to a point where you cut the deficit in half."
Couric asked McCain if his former political rival "convinced him at all" to support his policies.
"He makes a compelling case that we need to work together and reform healthcare," the senator replied.
"But when he says there are no earmarks - I just picked up a bill that we are going to take up tomorrow that has 9,247 earmarks in it," a combative McCain continued. "What am I supposed to believe here?"
He explained that "technically" the stimulus bill did not have earmarks in it "but actually it had tens of billions of dollars of earmarks in it."
The problem with the legislation known as TARP I, McCain argued, was that due to "perceived urgency we rushed into this legislation..we felt we had to act. We were assured there would be sufficient oversight, which there clearly wasn't."
Couric then posed a question for McCain that came through the Twitter: "Where was the after election John McCain during the election?"
"Its the same," he said. "When people say that I say 'how was I different' and they can't identify it."
"I am proud of our campaign," McCain added.
Of his running mate Sarah Palin, McCain said: "I think she will continue to play a role in the Republican party and an important one." He said it was a little early to tell whether she will be the GOP nominee for president in 2012.
One thing McCain wanted to make sure Couric knew was his ability to Twitter. He joked around with Bob Schiefffer, the webcast's co-moderator, teasing him on his age but adding that Schieffer is the most "fair and objective journalist that I have known in television."
More CBSNews.com Coverage Of President Obama's Address To Congress:
- Obama: The "Day Of Reckoning Has Arrived"
- Full Text Of Obama's Speech |
- By Topic: Economy | Bank Bailout | Energy | Health Care
Education | Budget And Taxes | Foreign Policy
- Analysis: Obama Miniseries Enters Part Two
- Poll: Positive Reception For Obama Address
- GOP Response: Jindal Stresses Small Government
- Video: Katie Couric's Web-Only Special
- McCain: Obama Speech Lacked Detail
- Gibbs Praises Boss' Speech
- Holder Is "Odd Man Out"