McCain On Similarities To Bush, Myanmar

CBS News anchor Katie Couric asked Sen. John McCain about issues ranging from the situation in Myanmar to the Democratic field in the first of a two-part interview. McCain's 96-year-old mother, Roberta McCain, also joined them. She spoke candidly about her marriage to another distinguished senator, their lives during WWII, her son's captivity in Vietnam, and coming up Friday, her thoughts on the "age issue" her son might face with voters.

Watch more of the interview Friday on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric at 6:30 EDT.

Couric: Some of your opponents, Senator, have said that you are the equivalent of a third Bush term. How can you convince voters that you're not going to be more of the same?

John McCain: Well, obviously, a view of my record, which there has been differences on climate change, or the war, or spending. But the important thing I think about every election, and this one probably more so than many recently is that how we're gonna have a plan of action and vision for the future.

Americans are going through a very tough time now… People are sitting around the kitchen table who have just lost their jobs recently and suddenly. So I think they're very interested in what you can do to help them better themselves and … their lives and their futures. And I think that's what most voters would focus on. And I have to give them that vision. And I have the vision and the plan of action. But I've got about six months now, I think, in order to convince them. And it's gonna be a tough job.

Couric asked McCain what he would do about the situation in Myanmar. He said he'd enlist the help of the Chinese.

Sen. John McCain: I would start putting some pressures on ... appealing to them to have this junta - at least allowing aid to care for these people. This is a very bad government. And right now I think that we should ask the other countries in the region, as well as China, that they have close ties to, to really put some pressure on them for humanitarian purposes.

Couric: Do you think enough is being done now?

McCain: I don't know. The Chinese have an image problem right now, as we know, over Tibet. I think we could tell them that it would help their reputation if they weighed in heavily to ... get the - I use the word government loosely - to help in this; let assistance come in in this humanitarian effort.

Couric also asked McCain's mother about her life during the Vietnam War, when her son was held as a POW.

Couric: How were you able to get through all those years when your son was in captivity?

Roberta McCain: Well, I do have faith. I have faith in God's will and that's all I ask for. I don't have particular things I ask for. And if I profess that I have faith then I have to do it. It's like these … all these other things, people, they go … those things weren't very hard for me.

If you can't do something about something, don't waste your time on it. And I couldn't do anything about that. I could maintain my dignity and the things that I'd always claimed that I believed in, God and my country.