.

The Double-Talk Express

From tax cuts to torture, John McCain has flip-flopped on a host of issues — including his own immigration bill

April 5, 2010 2:58 PM ET

Bush Tax Cuts

THEN
2001:
"I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans."

NOW
2007:
"I will not let the Democrats roll back the Bush tax cuts."
2008: "I think that what we need is more tax cuts."

Photo: Richards/AFP/Getty

Border Policy

THEN
2006:
Wrote McCain-Kennedy bill, which would have given 11 million illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.

NOW
Jan. 2008:
In GOP primary debate, was asked whether he would still vote for his own bill: "No, I would not."

Photo: Hamann/Getty

Financial Regulation

THEN
March 2008:
Told The Wall Street Journal, "I'm always for less regulation." Called for "removing regulatory, accounting and tax impediments" to financial markets.

NOW
Sept. 2008:
As Wall Street melted down, declared, "We're going to enact and enforce reforms to make sure that these outrages never happen in the first place."

Photo: Platt/Getty

Waterboarding

THEN
2007:
"It was used in the Spanish Inquisition, it was used in Pol Pot's genocide in Cambodia, and there are reports that it is being used against Buddhist monks today....It is torture."

NOW
2008:
Voted against bill that would prevent waterboarding by requiring all U.S. interrogators to comply with legal standards imposed by the Army Field Manual.

Photo: Wilson/Getty

Talking to Our Enemies

THEN
2000:
Favored "normalization of relations" with Cuba.
2003: Called U.S. talks with Syria "appropriate."
2006: Approved of U.S. talking to the Palestinian Authority.

NOW
2008:
Said Obama's willingness to meet with enemy regimes shows his "naiveté and inexperience and lack of judgement."

Photo: Wilson/Getty

Lobbyists

THEN
1997:
Wrote legislation to ban lobbyists from political campaigns. Said lobbyist fundraisers "clearly represent a conflict of interest."

NOW
2008:
Campaign relies on more than 170 lobbyists to raise money and serve as aides and advisers.

Photo: Wilson/Getty

Pursuing Al Qaeda in Pakistan

THEN
February 2008:
Called Obama's insistence that America can track down and kill Al Qaeda in Pakistan the "confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate."

NOW
September 2008:
Voiced no objections when Bush ordered U.S. special forces to invade Pakistani territory in pursuit of Al Qaeda militants.

Photo: Moore/Getty

AIG Bailout

THEN
Sept. 16th, 2008:
"I do not believe that the American taxpayer should be on the hook for AIG."

NOW
Next day:
Backed bailout: "There were literally millions of people whose retirement, whose investments, whose insurance were at risk here."

Gay Marriage

THEN
October 2006:
Tells Chris Matthews of Hardball, "I think gay marriage should be allowed."

NOW
Minutes later:
"I do not believe that gay marriages should be legal."

Photo: Sullivan/Getty

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