Video: McCain on Bolton, 2008 bid

msnbc.com
updated 5/27/2005 11:01:45 AM ET 2005-05-27T15:01:45

On Friday, Arizona Senator John McCain joined MSNBC's Randy Meier for a live interview to discuss a variety of topics, including the TV movie "Faith of my Fathers," based on McCain's book of the same title, which will air on A&E on Monday at 8 p.m. ET.

Among the issues the two discussed were the impact of the delay in the Senate in approving John Bolton for U.N. Ambassador and how that relates to the deal McCain brokered earlier this week to avoid filibustering several of President Bush's judicial nominees. The two also discussed McCain's 2008 Presidential aspirations.

To watch the full interview, click the video box above. An excerpt of the interview follows:

Randy Meier: Let's start with the issue of John Bolton. I want to talk to you about the Democrats refusal to debate John Bolton, basically delaying it to early next month. Is this a betrayal of the bipartisan compromise that you were able to, along with other senators, reach just the other day?

John McCain: No, this fight started before we reached that agreement. Long before. It's primarily between the Democratic senators led by Joe Biden and Chris Dodd over their demand for documents that the administration says are not appropriate to turn over. Yesterday, that vote was kind of the culmination of that. It's not connected to the agreement that we made. Now, does it help when we have that thing? Of course not. It hurts. I am guardedly optimistic that we will get it resolved when we come back. John Bolton deserves to be an up-or-down vote and I believe he deserves to be the President's choice for the Ambassador to the United Nations.

Meier: I don't think that Americans actually - and I think I've heard you say the same thing -- separate the two incidents. I think they see this all as an inability of the Senate to come to terms on what should be, in the public's mind, fairly simple issues. Are you concerned about the message this is leaving? Not only the judges, the Federal judges, but now the U.N., and as we move forward, possibly Supreme Court judges?

McCain: I'm confident that the agreement we've made on judges - we've already agreed to move forward  with Judge Brown and Judge Prior as soon as we get back, and we'll move forward with the others -- I'm confident that with consultation, the President will send over a conservative candidate for Supreme Court Justice but one that I think will not be filibustered. I'm confident that I think we're on the right track here and that we've preserved the institution of the Senate in that the majority does not rule. That minorities rights are protected.

There still is a lot of bitterness in America and in the Senate over the elections and other things that have happened in the past. But we are beginning to get the message, I hope, that only 33 percent of Americans approve of Congress and 58 percent of them say we're acting like spoiled children. They think they deserve better, I think they deserve better. A majority of my colleagues are honorable men and women and I hope they will respond to that.

Meier: Senator I know you've said you'll take another year or so before you'll decide if you will run for the presidency in 2008, but let me ask you slightly differently today. Why wouldn't you run?

McCain: I think that one of the major reasons is assessing whether I can win or not. That would be one of them. Second of all, is the country ready for a candidacy such as mine. That's why I think that the 2006 elections will give some indication of that. There are a lot of factors. My family, how they would react to another run, such as that is, and frankly, how I can be most effective. I am in line to become the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2007 and that's a pretty big job -- one I've aspired to all my life. So I think It'd be more appropriate to make that decision after the 2006 elections.

Watch Randy Meier and Amy Robach weekdays from 9 a.m.-Noon on MSNBC Live.

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