Washington DC – While Democrats in Congress fight for a budget that will help American families in this struggling economy and help displaced workers find new jobs, John McCain put his lobbyist buddies and campaign advisors ahead of the American people. Despite claiming lobbyists don’t have any influence on him, John McCain helped a European company win a $35 billion Air Force tanker contract – a company that many of his top campaign advisors lobbied for. With John McCain’s help, the European company beat out an American company that would have kept these jobs here at home. [U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on the Budget, 2/4/08; Associated Press, 3/7/08; Associated Press, 3/11/08]
McCain reportedly pressed the Pentagon to ignore the fact that EADS, the foreign-owned company that received the contract, receives government subsidies from European governments that give it an unfair advantage over its U.S. rivals.
After the Pentagon awarded the contract, McCain defended the process, saying he’s “never believed that defense programs, that the major reason for them should be to create jobs.” This isn’t the first time McCain has helped ship American jobs overseas. McCain has been the leading opponent of “Buy American” rules that encourage the Pentagon to buy American-made goods for the American military. [The Hill, 3/7/08; Associated Press, 3/3/08; Senate Vote 191, 5/21/03]
It’s no surprise, considering that McCain himself has said he doesn’t understand the economy. Just last week, despite record-breaking gas prices, skyrocketing health care costs, and a housing crisis that has many Wisconsinites struggling to pay their mortgages, McCain said the “fundamentals of our economy are still strong” and that the loss of 63,000 Americans jobs in February was “not terrible.” [“60 Minutes,” 3/9/08; McCain Town Hall, Atlanta, 3/7/08]
“John McCain doesn’t understand the challenges facing Wisconsin’s working families,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Joe Wineke. “If he did, he would fight to keep their jobs here at home, not send them overseas. With so many families struggling to get by, Wisconsinites quite literally can’t afford a third Bush term of failed economic policies that have hurt America, and that’s why they’ll reject John McCain in November.”