Fast talkin’ John McCain

Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s in Iowa and this afternoon he sat down on the "Iowa Press" set out at Iowa Public Television for an interview by yours truly & the DM Register’s David Yepsen that will air on Friday evening. 

McCain was a tad late for the taping.  His campaign explained they’d taken a wrong turn in Atlantic. The "Straight Talk Express" arrived and the candidate who emerged was more than a straight talker, he was a fast talker.  At one point, McCain himself said he was "talking too fast" as he answered a question about ethanol. 

As the show’s host, Dean Borg, introduced Yepsen & I to the television audience, Borg said, "And you know the two journalists, I think, from the campaign trail."

"Yea," McCain said.  "Jerks."

There was laughter — all around the table.

My first question referenced last night’s GOP candidate in Michigan.

Henderson:  "You were asked about Iran and you made sort of a cryptic comment that perhaps intervention there is closer to reality than we might think.  Could you expand on that, explain what you meant?"

McCain:  "Well, there’s varying expert option on where the Iranians are in development of a nuclear weapon.  There are many experts who say that in two years, they would reach a tipping point.  It would be inevitable that they would have a mass of fissionable material and that would make it inevitable that they would make a nuclea weapon — fissile material, I’ll get it right. Plutonium!  There!  — Those experts say that within two years & if that’s the case it could trigger scenarios which could be very dangerous and I’m not predicting military action on the part of the Israelis or the United States of America, but what I am saying is that this administration’s policy, and I agree with it, that it is unacceptable for the Iranians to have a nuclear weapon and the Israelis have stated basically the same thing."

Other questions focused on Iraq, the controversy over the Blackwater contractors providing security in Iraq, the health of the US military as well as some domestic issues.  Once the transcript is ready, I’ll put a link here.  UPDATE:  no transcript yet, but here’s a link to showtimes. After it airs, they’ll put the entire 30-minute video up on the website.

Here are two Radio Iowa stories (McCain on tax reform, McCain on health care reform).  AP’s Amy Lorentzen wrote this about matching funds and the Des Moines Register’s Tom Witosky wrote this.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.