Sen. John McCain appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday and continued to slam Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul that recently announced his intention to spend a possibly “unlimited” amount of money to aid Mitt Romney against President Barack Obama in the 2012 election.
It continued McCain’s diatribe this week against Adelson and the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case, which prevented government regulation of individual and corporate contributions to political campaigns and aided the rise of so-called super PACs.
Sunday, McCain measured his criticism more broadly, saying he was worried about “many others,” and not just Adelson.
“I think there will be scandals as associated with the worst decision of the Supreme Court in the 21st century. [It was] uninformed, arrogant, naive,” McCain said.
On Thursday, McCain appeared on PBS’ “NewsHour,” where he took specific aim at Adelson. Alone, Adelson has already spent more than $20 million on the 2012 election — first keeping Newt Gingrich’s candidacy alive with more than $10 million in contributions to super PACs that supported Gingrich. Now, he’s aiding Romney’s candidacy in the general election.
On PBS, McCain said it was troubling that Adelson was bringing “foreign money” into American elections, since a large chunk of Adelson’s fortune was grown through foreign casinos. Here’s the relevant part of the transcript:
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Mr. Adelson, who gave large amounts of money to the Gingrich campaign. And much of Mr. Adelson’s casino profits that go to him come from this casino in Macau.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Which says what?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Which says that, obviously, maybe in a roundabout way, foreign money is coming into an American campaign — political campaigns.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Because of the profits at the casinos in Macau?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Yes. That is a great deal of money. And, again, we need a level playing field and we need to go back to the realisation that Teddy Roosevelt had that we have to have a limit on the flow of money, and that corporations are not people.
That’s why we have different laws that govern corporations than govern individual citizens. And so to say that corporations are people, again, flies in the face of all the traditional Supreme Court decisions that we have made — that have been made in the past.
The comments on corporations are also a break from Romney. Last August in a now-famous clip, Romney clashed with some hecklers at an Iowa campaign speech and said, “Corporations are people, my friend.” Romney, though, was not specifically referring to the issue of campaign contributions.
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