Hardball
updated 10/19/2006 6:06:42 PM ET 2006-10-19T22:06:42

On Wednesday, Sen. John McCain joined Chris Matthews at Iowa State University for the second stop on "Hardball's" College Tour, facing tough questions from the MSNBC host and students in the audience.  You can find highlights of McCain's responses below.

On Rumsfeld:
“I do not have confidence in him.”

On gay marriage:
“On the issue of gay marriage, I do believe, and I think it's a correct policy that the sanctity of heterosexual marriage, a marriage between man and woman, should have a unique status.  But I‘m not for depriving any other group of Americans from having rights.  But I do believe that there is something that is unique between marriage between a man and a woman, and I believe it should be protected.”

“I think that gay marriage should be allowed, if there‘s a ceremony kind of thing, if you want to call it that.  I don‘t have any problem with that, but I do believe in preserving the sanctity of a union between man and woman.”

"On the issue of the gay marriage, I believe that people want to have private ceremonies, that‘s fine.  I do not believe that gay marriages should be legal."

On the potential use of torture allowed by the Military Commissions Act:
“We had quite a period of strong, spirited discussion with the administration about that.  We passed, as you know, some months ago a thing called the Detainee Treatment Act, which prohibits any cruel, inhumane treatment, and in this legislation we made it very clear that that still pertained.  I won't go through all the details of it, but it does not allow torture, and it will not allow torture. 

“And at the same time, I think you do understand that there are some people who are very, very bad people, and I think that to continue a program for some of them, without torture, is something that we can't deprive the President of the United States of.  But I think we struck the right balance, and I can assure you I would never agree to anything that I believe could allow torture.  I promise you that.”

On losing the 2000 Republican primary:
“After I lost in South Carolina, I slept like baby, sleep two hours, wake up and cry, sleep two hours, wake up and “cry.

On when he will decide whether or not to run for president in 2008:
“After Thanksgiving”

On Barak Obama:
“I have worked with him on a broad variety of reform issues.  He is a serious legislator.  He has a great deal of charisma.  I don‘t know if he runs for president or not this time, because I don‘t know that much about the Democratic Party or his ambitions.  But he is a future leader of this country.  I have great respect for him.”

On securing the borders:
“Obviously, we must secure our borders.  They are broken and since 9/11, it's a national security issue.  But I believe we also need to do other things besides secure our border.  I think we need a temporary worker program.  And I think we need to address the issue of 11 or 12 million people who are here illegally.  I think we better be humane about it and I think we ought to be sensitive.  But I also think national security is our first priority and I think we can work out an agreement on that issue.  And I think we should all sit down, because it's a major issue in America today, and a cause of great concern.  If some bad people came across our border, we would all regret it very badly.  And so we need to secure our border, but I think, as our president does and many others do, we need a comprehensive approach as well."

On our image in other countries:
“I think that Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are terrible for our image.  I would want to shut down Guantanamo Bay if at all possible.”

On telling reporters he would "commit suicide" if the Senate went Democrat:
"I thought that was a pretty good line. "

"I think it‘s important to America, but I think it's — every once in a while, we should have a little levity."

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