McCain On Obama's Defense Pick: "I Don't Like It"

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. John McCain said Sunday the confirmation of President Barack Obama's choice for deputy defense secretary should move forward despite concerns about the nominee's role as a former defense lobbyist.

The Obama administration considers William J. Lynn, Obama's pick for the No. 2 job at the Pentagon, to be an exception from its own ban on hiring lobbyists. As a lobbyist for Raytheon, one of the military's top contractors, Lynn worked on matters with far reach across the Pentagon.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has said that even the toughest rules require "reasonable exceptions" for "uniquely qualified individuals."

"I don't like it," said McCain, the Arizona senator and Obama's Republican competitor in the 2008 presidential race. "I think it's a bit disingenuous to announce strict rules and then nominate someone with a waiver from the rules that you just announced in one of the most important jobs in Washington."

But McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, added: "I have asked to see which areas that Mr. Lynn will be recused from. But I think we need to probably move forward with his - with his nomination."

The Pentagon announced Friday that Lynn will sell his stock in Raytheon. But he won't be forced to step back from decisions related to his former employer. Instead, his dealings at the Defense Department will be subject to ethics reviews for one year, the Pentagon said.

The administration wants to waive Obama's ethics pledge for Lynn in two specific areas: a two-year prohibition on employees from participating in decisions related to their former employers, and a more specific section banning individuals from taking jobs in the agencies they recently lobbied.

"The fact is that there are a lot of talented people who have been in the lobbying business that could serve the country well, and I guess every rule has a goal, and that's to show the government's going to be run differently," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and a committee member.

"And Mr. Lynn has a resume that shows he could serve in a very important role now, so it's just the reality of policies versus governance," Graham said, adding that he applauds Obama "for trying to change the culture of government."

Lynn "is very good at what he would be assigned to do, so I'm willing to let it go if he's willing to make the waiver," Graham said.

McCain appeared on "Fox News Sunday," while Graham spoke on CNN's "State of the Union."


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  • by Anonymous on Jan 29, 2009 at 01:03 AM
    Where is Belhaven? What a backwater!
  • by Coach M Location: Rocky Mount on Jan 28, 2009 at 11:48 PM
    Brad: Actually President Obama came from Hawaii. Danny: The Constitution is flawed. How else do you explain the 100 years or so between the founding of our country and the freeing of slaves, the mistreatment of Native Americans, the encampment of Asian Americans during WWII or various other prejudice against races other than white down through the generations? Alpha: I find only one thing wrong with your statement. President Obama is not running this country, politicans are. We should be so lucky if they actually give him the reigns and let him put in place the ideas and/or ideals he has in mind. I fear that he will be as others before him, limited by the Senate and House. And I like the phrase, 'If you can't run with the big dogs, stay UNDER the porch.'
  • by ~ALPHA female~ Location: O84P on Jan 27, 2009 at 07:47 PM
    Oh my goodness...I see the crybabies are still crying...diapers still need to be changed. LOL@what McCain likes....didn't he loose something?..ah ah ..Oh I remember.. the presidential race. He handed it to us when he brought ole folksy palin on broad...thanks McLame! You betcha, by golly.. gee! Here is something to look at...http://www.boston.com:80/bigpicture/2009/01/the_inauguration_of_president .... look at them all. Now you puppies can't take your defeat with honor. Can't run with the big dogs..stay on the porch. Cry for 4 years..LOL...I love it....you can't change the fact that President Obama is running this country. All the people who SAY they are going to Canada...please do...who or what is stopping you? Adios, Salam, Arrivederci, Ciao, Au Revoir, Shalom, Hasta La Vista, zai jian, Auf Wiedersehen. LOL@try to keep palin alive...and leave us Belhaven people alone... I wonder which educated idiot...will respond first?!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 27, 2009 at 07:39 PM
    Ignorance is bliss huh Windy? Model Democrat!
  • by Danny Location: NC on Jan 27, 2009 at 07:35 PM
    A great Obama Quote "CONSTITUTION IS FLAWED " -- Obama in 2001 Why is anyone surprised with Obama no wealth redistribution now? You can listen to all the Obama double-talk about everyday now. Thanks again Dem Libs
  • by Gator Location: NC on Jan 27, 2009 at 07:01 PM
    Keith, sorry but that is what was said about President Reagan. He is just some actor. And all you Catholics out there, what did you think he was going to do when he voted against saving botched abortions, come on!
  • by Keith on Jan 27, 2009 at 06:14 PM
    Brad you talk like some one with a paper A/H. As for brainless Palin she is history, yesterdays news.
  • by Brad Location: Winterville on Jan 27, 2009 at 05:15 PM
    Windy, You obamaites blasted Bush and Palin, especially Palin, like no one ever has been so just sit back and take what you dished out. So far as obama; he came from the most corrupt state in the nation and there is a better than average chance that he is as crooked as al capone was. Also, due to his slip ups over the past year along with the content of his book, the chances of him being Muslim are better than average, which means he's nothing more than a lieing, smooth talking empty suit that has so far reversed on several of the promises he made to you and you fell for them. BAAAAAAH Just stay with your flock and be prepared to be slautered morally and financially.
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane on Jan 27, 2009 at 05:03 PM
    Obama Snake Oil: 8:33AM post. Read right thru it no problem, GOOD post. So we mispell a word now and then, did the meaning get across? Comes down to a few wanting show how educated we are. Non of us are idots, the idots are in washington dc.
  • by Helen Location: NC on Jan 27, 2009 at 04:15 PM
    Hi Look At Your Self - Some of you talk like you are mentally deranged. Who in their right mind would want the President of the United States to fail at his job? Great question why did 75% of Americans want Pres. Bush to fail? The poor guy got blamed for everything except the Great Flood. Some people even blamed him for 9/11 go figure.
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