John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls (2018) Movie Script

I want a broadcast network.
And I wanna see what other
news operations we can sweep up.
Local TV?
Why shouldn't we do
all the news?
Well, Kim Jong-Pop,
that's not how things work
in this country.
If he's not careful,
he's gonna destroy the company.
Anyway, are you
gonna do something?
I think I'm the best option.
Oh, right, 'cause you like
playing boss?
This is my vision. I take over.
You two, under me.
Take out the old man,
in with the new guard.
It's rebellion!
It's my company.
You are a nobody.
(birds chirping)
John McCain:
I have lived an honorable life,
and I am proud of my life.
I think all of us
think about death,
but I think more about life.
There are so many days
in my life
that are more
than coincidental,
that it has made me believe
that I am here for a reason.
I've been tested
on a number of occasions.
I haven't always done
the right thing.
And I think I understand,
given my family's history
and given my experiences,
the important thing is not
to look back and figure out
all the things
I should've done,
and there's lots of those...
but to look back
with gratitude.
You will never talk to anyone
that is as fortunate
as John McCain.
(insects chittering)
You ready or not?
You ready? Huh?
One, two...
(Cindy laughs)
Isn't she so great?
I love that.
Yeah, just look at her.
Come on, honey, come on.
Come on.
That's a girl.
(Cindy laughs)
John: Come on.
Come on.
Cindy: Bring the ball.
It's all right.
Come on, Burma.
Come on, Burma.
Come on, honey.
Jack McCain:
I got a phone call
from my mom that said,
"Jack, you're gonna see
some stuff in the news."
Um, "Your father
has brain cancer.
"I'm with him right now.
"He knows his diagnosis,
and he's the same
as he's always been."
He said, "All right,
let's push forward."
You know, these doctors
keep talking to me
about people
who if you tell 'em the truth,
then they just give up and die,
that you really want to--
and I... I keep saying to 'em,
"Just tell me.
Just tell me.
That's all I want to know."
You know?
Some say,
"Well, it's not good."
And then they'll say, "Well..."
You know, its just bullshit,
and it really drives me crazy.
But then I talk
to other doctor friends
of mine and say
that most people,
that's not what
they want to hear.
I-- Why wouldn't
they want to hear, you know?
Why wouldn't they want to spend
a few more days here, you know?
Yes, honey, I'll throw
the ball in a minute.
Meghan McCain:
He's better in Arizona,
I think, health-wise,
but we sort of collectively
made the decision
that if he doesn't work,
that he would...
he would probably
get sick faster,
because work feeds him
and it's so much of
a part of who he is,
so I'm very supportive
of him being in DC.
All right, guys,
good morning, good morning.
Good morning, good morning.
Good morning.
Good morning.
Hup! Back! Back!
Come on!
Come on!
Good morning.
You can-- you can--
Good morning, Senator.
John: Good morning.
How are you,
my friend from TMZ?
Did you watch
the football game
last night?
Yes, I did. That's why
I'm in such a bad mood
this morning.
Well, I hope
things get better.
John: Thank you.
How about that catch
from Larry Fitzgerald?
Mark Salter:
He's authentic.
He can't help himself.
Sometimes his authenticity is
a political problem,
and other times
it's a great advantage.
David Brooks:
None of us like to be
unpopular in our workplace,
and I've seen McCain be
unpopular time and time again,
sometimes for excellent reasons,
sometimes for not great reasons.
Lindsey Graham:
We don't always agree.
I've got a job to do,
he's got a job to do,
but I never doubt his motivation
as to why he's doing it.
We're not gonna bet against
the United States of America.
You know?
Hillary Clinton:
He tries to study an issue,
he tries to come to a conclusion
that's in keeping
with his values
but, also, you know,
rooted in reality.
Now it's 3,500 troops,
all this kind of stuff.
Grant Woods:
He knows this is not
a straight line in life.
There's gonna be
curves and corners,
and that's the way it goes.
Nobody's perfect.
You're gonna make mistakes.
The question is: How do you
handle those mistakes?
What's going on in Syria?
Yes, good morning.
How are you? Good morning.
Joe Lieberman:
I wouldn't bet against him.
He faces his mortality now
with the same...
kind of fearlessness
that has characterized his life.
We're gonna keep
people waiting here.
I'm gonna grab
the elevator right over here.
If you want
to really know him,
his favorite book is
For Whom the Bell Tolls,
and the protagonist in that,
Robert Jordan,
goes to fight
in the Spanish civil war.
And he knows that
it's a hopeless cause,
and yet he gives
his life for it.
Senator McCain?
John: Yeah?
Army nominee, secretary, are
we gonna get a hearing soon?
That's a very McCain-esque view
of himself in the world.
The harder the cause, even lost,
the better the cause.
Man: Senator,
on health care--
I gotta go.
When I was 12 years old,
I found a four-leaf clover.
I went to my father's library
to put that four-leaf clover
in a book.
I started reading that book,
and I was mesmerized,
and I didn't stop reading
until I was finished.
It is still the lodestone,
the guide that I have,
and it's called
For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Robert Jordan is my hero,
then when I was that age,
and Robert Jordan
is my hero today.
Nothing is better than a story
of someone who sacrifices
for causes greater
than themselves,
and Robert Jordan was that.
I was born on the 29th
of August, 1936,
at a naval base
in the Panama Canal Zone.
My family goes back
militarily all the way
to the Revolutionary War.
And my life seemed
to be charted out for me.
I did feel pressure,
from the time I was
very small, to do well.
As a young man in going
to the Naval Academy,
I was following
in the footsteps
of my father
and my grandfather.
Yes, I was once one of you,
six decades ago,
in the age of sail.
I was...
I was an undistinguished member
of the class of 1958.
My superiors didn't hold me
in very high esteem
in those days.
Their disapproval was measured
in the hundreds of miles
of extra duty I marched
in my time here.
But I realized
a little later in life
that I hadn't fully appreciated
all that the academy
was trying to teach me.
Lessons about sacrificing
for something more important
than yourself.
Lessons about courage
and humility.
God only knows how I graduated
from the Naval Academy.
I didn't enjoy studying.
I just knew what
I had to do to get by.
There's no doubt
that I was a rebel
and always breaking the rules.
Everybody knew
who my father was,
and so, I'd thumb
my nose at 'em.
But at the same time,
I didn't want to embarrass
my family.
John's father just emanated
power and strength.
One day, his father
came down on a Saturday
to take us to lunch,
and for some reason
they got into a bit
of an argument.
John was walking
at a fast pace,
swinging his left arm,
and I remember
his father was walking
the same way,
swinging his left arm.
I said, "These guys
are so much alike."
They're combatants
with a penchant for leadership.
It was just a natural ability.
You can't teach
that kind of leadership.
You have to be born with that.
Admiral McCain,
what would you say
about the importance
of leadership in the Navy?
Leadership is the single
most important factor
as far as achievement, success,
and the completion
of a job to be done.
And furthermore,
you have got to have
a tolerance
for the failings
of individuals
because all of us
have them.
My father was
a submarine commander
in World War II in the Pacific.
My grandfather was
the commander of the aircraft
carriers in the Pacific.
But I always knew that I was
gonna be a naval aviator.
I was gonna go out there
and fly airplanes
and shoot down MiGs.
(helicopters whirring)
So far in 1967,
the number of US troops
killed in Vietnam has
nearly doubled.
Airpower is the one thing
we most conspicuously have
and the enemy has not.
During that period of time,
they decided to escalate
the air war over North Vietnam.
We started striking targets
inside Hanoi,
which we had never done before.
I got over the target
and rolled in,
and just as I released
my bombs,
a missile took the wing
off the airplane...
so I ejected.
When I hit the airstream,
it broke my arms
and also my leg.
Strangely enough,
I landed in a lake
in the center
of the city of Hanoi.
Someone took a picture
of the Vietnamese pulling me
out of the water...
and they were not happy.
One of 'em stabbed me
with a bayonet
and another one
smashed my shoulder.
And then some
North Vietnamese Army came
and they took me
to the prison camp
that we called
the Hanoi Hilton.
David Brinkley:
Yesterday over Hanoi,
three American planes
were shot down
and at least two
of their pilots captured.
One of them was
Lieutenant Commander
John McCain III,
the son of the US
naval commander in Europe.
Boy: Okay?
Boy 2: Go.
Doug McCain:
I came in from school one day,
and my mother was sitting
at the kitchen table,
crying, and I said,
"What's the matter?"
And she said,
"Well, your father's
been shot down.
"And that's all
I know right now,
but I expect to hear more
from your granddad pretty soon."
Carol McCain:
When I first found out,
I didn't understand
it all myself.
I was dumb and happy.
I didn't really understand
what it was all about.
It never occurred to me
that anything
would happen to him.
He was always
kind of invincible in my mind.
Joe McCain:
I got a call
in the middle of the night,
and my father and mother
were both on the phone,
which was very unusual.
Usually one would call me,
not the other.
And they told me
that John had been shot down.
And I remember pausing,
and I said,
"Well, what do we do now?"
And my father said,
"We just pray for the boy."
It's hard to describe
the military heritage
of my family.
Yes, my dad was
worried about me,
but the fact is, he knew
that McCains were doing
what McCains were bred to do.
And if it takes you
into harm's way,
that is our profession.
The injuries
that I experienced
were severe,
and they said,
"We'll give you medical help
if you'll give us information."
I said, "I can't."
A few hours later,
the interrogator
came in and said,
"Your father is a big admiral."
And I said, "Yes."
He said,
"We're gonna take you
to the hospital."
I got a letter
from a Frenchman
who said he'd been
in North Vietnam
and he'd seen John.
What is your name?
Lieutenant Commander
John McCain.
He'd made
a film about him.
He gave me a copy of it.
John's folks watched it,
I watched it.
Who is your father?
Yes, his name is
Admiral John McCain.
And his dad kept telling me,
"Carol, this could be years."
I didn't believe that,
but he kept telling me,
it could be years
before he gets home.
I would just like to tell...
my wife...
that I... will get well...
and I love her...
and I hope to see her soon.
And I'd appreciate it
if you'd tell her.
One day, the interrogator
came in and he said,
"Our doctors tell me that
you are not getting well."
They took me into a room
with two other Americans.
They wanted me to die there
rather than in the hospital,
and those two literally
nursed me back to health.
And the love and affection
that both of those guys
bestowed on me
was something
I will never ever forget.
But as soon as the Vietnamese
found out I could walk,
the next day, I found myself
alone in the cell.
I was about two
and a half years
in solitary confinement.
Solitary confinement's
great strength is
it makes the person
feel alone.
And when you're alone,
then you don't have
the encouragement,
the camaraderie, the strength.
There's a reason
why throughout history
they have used
solitary confinement.
And then one day,
I was taken up
to interrogation.
There was a guy there--
erudite, spoke perfect French,
perfect English.
I sat down,
and there was cigarettes
and there was tea.
And finally he said,
"Well, you know,
"everybody wants you
to go home
because the doctors say
that you can't live."
And I said,
"Our code of conduct says
that we go
by order of capture."
He said,
"Except for sick and injured."
And I said, "But I'm not
that sick and injured.
"I'm getting better,
I can get around,
"and I know what this is.
I know it's
for propaganda."
And he kicked over
the chair behind him,
and then he said,
"They taught you too well,"
and walked out
and slammed the door,
leaving me and one
of the interrogators
in dead silence
for about two minutes,
and he said,
"Things will be very bad
for you now, McCain."
And the fun began.
John Fer:
We call it either
the bar and strap
or the bar and ropes treatment,
and that has to do
with putting my arms,
with my wrists opposed,
behind my back
and fastened with handcuffs.
They took the strap
and they tied it
to the handcuffs.
Each time
he laced that strap,
he pulled and pulled
and pulled until my arms
are virtually parallel
to one other and touching.
John McCain:
They were really, really rough.
I mean, to the point
where they re-broke my arm,
they did all kinds of stuff.
It was so bad that I thought
I was gonna die,
and so I wrote out
a confession,
a war crimes confession,
and I will be ashamed
and embarrassed
about that for my whole life.
I was aware that
they were gonna use it
for propaganda purposes,
and I thought about
the honor of my family.
Henry Kissinger:
I knew his father.
His father was
Pacific Fleet commander,
so all the military action
we ordered in Vietnam
was carried out by him.
But I never heard
Admiral McCain
talk to the president
about his son.
It would be against
the code of honor
of the McCains.
My dad never talked about John,
and he especially never asked
anybody to do anything
for him or about it.
But Dad made a practice
every year that he was
commander in chief.
On Christmas,
he would helicopter to the DMZ,
where the North
and South Vietnamese
were officially divided,
and he would walk away
from those escorting him,
and he would just look
across that border,
trying to somehow feel John
or send a message to him.
I want you to understand
that for those of you--
and there are many
in this command--
who will spend this
Christmas away from home
and your loved ones,
that what you have done
and the sacrifices
that you have made
in the pursuit
of your individual duties
will more than make up
for this separation.
Sidney McCain:
I was a year and a month
when he was shot down.
My recollection of him is
next to zero.
It was my mom
and my brothers and I
for a really long time.
Those memories I have.
John Laurence:
Mrs. McCain has received
several letters
from her captured husband
but none in six months.
The most recent one I have
was written last June.
It says, "Dear Carol,
I hope you can still think
"of the really great times
we had together.
"It is time
for our fifth anniversary
this year,
and I am hoping
I will see you soon."
How does he sound
in that letter?
He sounds kind of depressed
to me when he says,
"I hope you can still think
of the really good times
we had together."
It sounds like he--
you know, he's worried
that I might forget
or something,
and that bothers me,
it makes me feel very badly.
There isn't any way
I could possibly forget.
Carol: You know what?
You don't really know
but in your heart,
you're like, "Of course
he's gonna come back.
He told me
he's coming back."
Doug, how long
do you think
that the Vietnamese
are gonna keep your
daddy prisoner?
Probably till
the war's over.
How long will that be?
Probably until summer.
To me, nothing else
mattered materially
other than I was told
my dad is still alive.
Laurence: Do you think,
it'll be over sooner, huh?
We want it to be
over sooner.
We just want him back.
After about four years,
they changed the treatment
and put us into
large rooms with,
say, 20 or 25 in each cell.
The beatings stopped
and there was clearly a change
in policy
towards the prisoners.
All of a sudden
on the 18th of December,
the whole sky just lit up
with explosions,
and from then,
round-the-clock bombing.
The Christmas bombing
was the use
of B-52s against
tactical targets in Hanoi.
President Nixon decided,
and I agreed,
that we had reached a point
where only a shocking event...
would show to them that
we were absolutely determined
to bring the war
to a conclusion.
John McCain:
We applauded
and we cheered,
and we sang
"The Star-Spangled Banner."
And the North Vietnamese
were panicked.
They were panicked.
When that bombing was over,
there was
a very strange silence,
and then an announcement
on the radio that on the--
they were gonna sign
an agreement to end the war.
John McCain:
And a few days later,
all the prisoners
were called out,
and the commanding officer
of the camp read off
the provisions
of the settlement.
And one of the--
part of the settlement is
"Prisoners will be returned
by order of capture."
While we were waiting,
they said, "McCain, come in,
we need to talk to you."
And there was
about eight Vietnamese
in this room-- officers--
and they had a tape recorder,
and they said,
"McCain, you are going
to be leaving now,
"and we saved your life,
as you know.
"Don't you want to have
a parting message of thanks
for the doctors
who took such care--
good care of you?"
And I looked at 'em,
and I said,
"You want me
to thank the doctors?"
They say, "Yeah."
"Well, first of all,
I'd like to say,
"Where the fuck have you been
for the last five years?
Could I say that?"
(Vietnamese officer
calling out names indistinctly)
Going home was
something that we'd looked
forward to for so many years.
I hate to tell you,
but it was almost anticlimatic,
been waiting so long for it.
Vietnamese Officer:
John Sidney McCain.
In some ways, it was
almost hard to believe
we were gonna do it.
Nobody cheered until
the airplane actually
lifted off the ground
and the landing gear
was retracted.
I remember, really clearly,
him stepping off that plane
into Clark Airfield.
And I'll tell you,
when he appeared
in that hatchway...
(voice breaking)
it was hard.
Lieutenant Commander
John S. McCain III,
United States Navy.
(cheers, applause)
His wife Carol,
sons Douglas and Andrew,
and daughter Sidney
live in Orange Park, Florida.
I just remember
he was really skinny.
He was just kind
of all bones in his face,
and he was limping
quite noticeably.
One of his arms he couldn't lift
any higher than about this.
But I just remember
the smile was the same,
the humor was the same,
there was still a twinkle
in his eye.
It was like
right out of the movies.
I don't think
I really understood
what was going on.
I was really like,
"Who is this guy?
What is he doing here?"
Did not understand
the whole concept
of his return from...
from Vietnam.
John was not angry.
He was just happy to be home.
He told me every single thing
that he could remember,
and I wanted him to.
I wanted him to just talk
and talk and talk,
to not keep
that stuff locked up.
When we came home,
I wanted to know what happened
during all those years.
Think of yourself
going five and a half years
with only information
provided to you
by your communist captors.
I wanted to know how
the anti-war movement began.
(crowd murmuring)
(gavel pounds)
Senator Fulbright:
Will the committee
come to order?
The committee,
continuing its hearings
on proposals relating
to the ending
of the war in Southeast Asia.
John and I were
on different paths
with respect
to the war in Vietnam.
My war was
down in the Delta, mostly,
and seeing the war
on a ground level
led me to believe
we were on a quixotic errand.
And it weighed on me
in a way that made me
a very vocal and determined
anti-war activist
after I came back.
Each day to facilitate
the process
by which the United States
washes her hands of Vietnam,
someone has
to give up his life
so that the United States
doesn't have to admit something
that the entire world
already knows,
so that we can't say
that we've made a mistake.
It didn't change my mind,
but what was very revealing
was how mishandled
the conflict was
and how there was never
a strategy for victory.
Someone has to die so that
President Nixon won't be--
and these are his words--
"the first president
to lose a war."
The most offensive to me
was that we didn't tell
the American people the truth.
The American people
become disillusioned
when they're being told
that victory is just
around the corner...
And we will
not be silent!
...which it was not.
Though it hardly
seems possible,
it's been more
than five years
since the nearly
600 American POWs
came home.
280 of them gathered
for an anniversary celebration
this weekend.
We've been treated
very, very well,
and we've been
a few times embarrassed
by the attention
we've received,
because we don't feel
that we did anything
that any other American
wouldn't do under
the same circumstances.
but as far as our adjustments
have been,
all the studies indicate
we've done very well.
The period of adjustment
was not as hard
as you might think.
I was able to go back
to a squadron,
be the commanding officer
of a squadron,
which is what
I always wanted to do.
It was important for him
to be able to fly again,
so he did very aggressive
physical therapy
to get his body back in shape.
Then he went to be
the liaison for the Senate,
and I think he got
a real bug for politics there.
Joe Biden:
I ended up in the United States
Senate in 1973,
John came shortly thereafter
as the Navy liaison.
When you travel abroad,
you have a military escort
with you.
And every time I traveled,
I tried to make sure
I had John,
and I think
John did the same thing,
and we traveled
all over the world together.
I went everywhere.
That's where
I really became familiar
with the Senate
and how it works.
I learned one heck of a lot.
As Dad progressed,
he was gone a lot.
He was doing a lot
of international travel,
and it was
putting a little stress
on the marriage.
I talked to one shrink
since I've come home.
He asked me
how my marriage was,
I told him it was fine,
and then he told me
about the fact
that he was getting a divorce
for a half an hour.
(audience laughs)
I was a teacher
of special education
at the time in Arizona,
and it was spring break,
and we were invited
to a reception
that was being held for a group
of United States senators
on their way
through Hawaii to China.
He introduced
himself to me,
and I just didn't know
what to expect,
and what I saw was just
this incredible human being
that's a lot of fun
to be around.
This is about the time
our marriage was falling apart.
He was looking for a way
to be young again,
and that was
the end of that.
I didn't know
anything about it.
I had no idea
what was going on.
I was pretty much blindsided,
and it broke my heart.
I think it was the last thing
that she was expecting.
We were all shocked
and heartbroken.
It caused quite a...
a rift within the family.
It left a bad taste
in my mouth
because I knew it wasn't
what my mother wanted,
but by the same token,
you know that sometimes things
are beyond your control.
I think the divorce rates
among the POWs were
extraordinarily high.
So, in hindsight,
it's probably not unexpected.
I really didn't think
that he would propose.
You know, he was older.
I knew he cared very deeply
for me, I did know that.
Cindy, I think--
she was very young too,
and you can't help who you
fall in love with.
I truly believe that my dad
is very much in love
with Cindy,
and I think she is
very much in love with him,
and I think there's something
really beautiful about that.
But at the time,
it was... really awful.
I got a telephone call
from the Navy.
They wanted to know
did I know where John was.
And I said yes,
I did know where he was.
He was now remarried.
I had the phone number
and I called him.
And he knew by my voice
that something was wrong,
and he said, "What is it?"
And I said,
"Your father has died."
We hadn't even
been married a year.
No one ever wants
this kind of insight
into a family,
but what I observed was
a family of great strength,
great honor,
great dignity.
The importance
of legacy and tradition
was never more apparent
to me than that day.
It's not a exaggeration
when we say "Navy family."
There's a lot
to the Navy family.
My grandfather was commander
of the carriers in the Pacific
during World War II.
The day of the peace signing,
my father and grandfather
were together.
My grandfather flew
home the next day,
had a heart attack and died.
My father was
a very dedicated
naval officer.
I never got as close
to my father
as perhaps I would've
under normal circumstances,
but I was so proud
of what he and my grandfather
were doing.
John had retired from the Navy
just during that week,
and so finished
the retirement process
during the days
of the funeral,
and we left the next day
to go home.
That's a lot to absorb.
I was unable to maintain
flight status.
That puts a ceiling,
and I had to make
a tough decision,
and I decided that, since
I was not gonna be able
to reach all the heights
that I wanted to,
that I'd get out of the Navy,
and that we'd go to Arizona.
I felt he had
some political ambitions,
although he hadn't really
outwardly said it to me.
But I knew
that he was good
at what he does.
He was engaged in Washington.
He was a smart thinker.
I think if he had
his choice,
he would have gone on
and become an admiral,
and there would have been
that symmetry there
with his father
and grandfather.
And whether
he likes it or not,
that would have been
something, okay?
But that wasn't possible.
However, he was going to serve
his country in some way.
I'm announcing today
my decision
to become a candidate
for the Republican nomination...
He was running for what
had been John Rhodes' seat,
and one of the first things
I remember
was a gentleman
at a Rotary Club that said,
"Well-- well,
you're not from Arizona.
What do you know about Arizona?
You're not a native Arizonan."
He threw a line on them
in the first debate
that ended
the carpetbagger controversy.
He said, "Well, you know,
sorry, but the longest
I've ever lived anywhere
in my life is in Hanoi."
And... that was the end
of that discussion, frankly.
The idea was to get him
in front of as many people
as you could.
So he, every day,
was out knocking on doors,
door to door
to door to door to door
all summer long.
He would just engage with them.
He'd just talk with them.
Now, if someone was rude,
John being John, you know,
he'd walk down, turn around,
say, "Thank you very much,"
and turn around and go,
"What an asshole.
Fuck that guy."
I mean, pfft! That--
That happened a hundred times,
you know, but that's John.
If he would've had the energy
of a regular candidate,
then he would've lost,
but we won so that was--
that was awesome.
But our goal from day one
was for John to be
in the Senate,
not to be in the House.
It became known
that Barry Goldwater
was gonna retire
some two years,
three years later.
And so, right then,
I started positioning myself
for running
for Barry's seat
in the Senate,
and I didn't make
a lot of bones about it.
I was always looking
the next step down the road.
When he came
to the Senate,
he was already
a well-known commodity.
He was already respected.
I don't think John missed a beat
coming over to the Senate.
When John was first elected
and we started
having children,
it was a conscious
decision by both of us
to raise our children
in Arizona.
Hi, this is John.
Can I speak to Deb?
Jimmy, let me see
your phone there.
(phone plays tune)
Where did you get
that phone, huh?
Hey, how you doing?
Oh, the kids are
getting ready to go for
their swimming party today
for the last day of school,
and one of those parties
is here.
We knew there was going
to be a huge sacrifice,
mainly for him,
because, I mean, he's--
he's the one
that had to commute.
The way I portrayed it
to the kids is kind of
a deployed manner:
He's serving his country,
he's away,
he has to be away,
but you know you'll see him
on the weekends.
With that said,
he never missed a weekend.
(indistinct chatter)
Yes, it's the first time
that I had, uh,
that I had done that,
and, um, and I, um...
(snaps fingers)
Cindy: What?
leave the cat alone.
John: I promise you,
the cat will come out
if you leave her alone.
I know that people think
it's sort of an unorthodox way
to grow up,
having your parents divided,
but they made such an attempt
to make sure
that we had family time
and traveled together
that it just is,
when it's your normal,
you don't think
of anything different.
Good. Okay, good.
Okay, see you later.
All right, hon.
Bye, see you later.
When my dad was in DC,
it was mostly my mom.
She has a very kind
demeanor, generally,
but when the mom needs
to come out, she will.
But depending on how much
we had misbehaved,
it was always the threat of,
"All right, well I'm gonna
call your father."
He has the ability
to out-argue or outthink
any member of our family,
which is very frustrating
when you're young.
This man is
a United States senator,
and you are about
to hear him say something
that very few senators
have ever said before.
It was a very serious mistake
on my part.
John McCain is talking
about the role he played
in Charles Keating's
attempt in 1987
to secure senatorial protection
against the federal government
taking over his
Lincoln Savings and Loan.
Charles Keating was
a very big builder.
He was probably at that time
the biggest in Arizona.
He also was very patriotic,
and he took a liking to me,
and he helped me
with my campaigns.
He was a big Arizona player.
He would support candidates
and get behind candidates
and raise a lot of money.
And then he bought
some savings and loans,
and that's where it all
kind of went south on him.
Examiners from the Federal
Home Loan Bank
found what they described
as a ticking time bomb.
The examiners also
uncovered evidence
of improper bookkeeping
and possible fraud.
Then the federal examiners
were summoned
for an extraordinary meeting
with five United States
Each senator had gotten
large campaign donations
from Keating, his family,
and their associates.
Newsman 2:
In the most explosive
testimony yet,
Edwin Gray, the former
chief regulator of the savings
and loan industry,
told Banking Committee Chairman
Henry Gonzalez
that four US senators
asked him to ease
regulatory pressure
on troubled Lincoln
Savings and Loan.
John still tells me
when he walked in the door
of that meeting
that had been
arranged for this,
he knew that this was
gonna be a problem.
I'm doing everything
that I can to try and set
the record straight,
again, admitting
that I made mistakes
and serious ones,
but I did not abuse
my office,
and I think that's
the key to this issue here.
You told me this was
the political crisis
of your life.
Tell me why it is.
Because my reputation
is at stake here.
I've never had
my ethics or my standards
of conduct questioned.
Do you think
you'll survive it?
I hope so.
Hearings begin this week
into what is already
being called a major
congressional scandal.
Never before have
five senators been accused
of intervening
with federal regulators to help
a campaign contributor.
This case raises troubling
questions about money,
power, and political influence
in Washington.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Once again, I'm glad to have
the opportunity to fully
and publicly account
for my relationship
with Charles Keating.
The hearings took place
day in and day out.
watching my husband
being dressed down
by people, in my opinion,
that couldn't hold a candle
to him killed me.
I mean, it broke my heart.
Mr. McCain and his family
took several flights
on ACC corporate aircraft
and chartered aircraft.
Two, prompt reimbursement
was made for only one
of the flights.
He is his own worst critic
and holds himself
to a higher standard.
He really does.
He tries his hardest
to be the best
but do the most
honorable thing.
And that was just a...
it was a mess.
To me, that statement does
not show an evidence of intent
to reimburse
for family members.
Once again, I have nothing
to gain personally by--
It was not a good time
for any of us.
I mean, I became ill.
I-- I was medicating myself.
I mean, it was all--
it-- you know, it did
a number on both of us.
Now let's talk
a little bit about--
Senator 2:
Would it be a proper time
we take a recess?
Senator: Yes.
Senator 2:
Ten minute recess.
Biden: John would
come over to my office
in the Keating Five,
and we'd sit and talk,
and I'd say, "John, look,
"you've just gotta--
you've just gotta--
"everybody's gonna
understand and ta--
and just tough it out here,
tough it out."
But it killed John.
First and foremost,
it was a matter of honor.
The second thing it challenged
was his restlessness
and his impatience.
It just dragged on.
He needed to get to a place
where he could put it
in his rearview mirror,
like he put every bad thing.
Senator: The committee
concludes that Senator McCain
exercised poor judgment
in intervening
with the regulators.
Senator McCain has violated
no law of the United States
or a specific rule
of the United States Senate.
Therefore, the committee
concludes that no further action
is warranted with respect
to Senator McCain
on the matters investigated
during the preliminary inquiry.
I was found guilty
of bad judgment.
That will always be
a black mark on my record,
even if it was only using,
quote, "bad judgment."
It was wrong.
Until we abolish soft money,
Americans will never
have a government
that works
as hard for them
as it does
for special interests.
That is a sad
but undeniable fact
of contemporary politics.
I think campaign
finance reform
was a result
of what happened
at the Keating Five.
He saw a system
that was really corrupt
and really needed
to be reformed.
The process must begin.
Campaign finance
reform has contributed
to the level of cynicism
that is prevalent
in the American citizens today.
He stepped out,
he stepped away
from most members
of his party.
He formed
a bipartisan coalition
with Russ Feingold and others,
and he fought like hell for it.
I think we're doing
the right thing
by trying to do this
on a bipartisan basis,
because I think
it's the only way
that campaign finance
reform can occur.
The basic John McCain
public image
is the tough guy,
the maverick, the fighter,
or if necessary in your face,
maybe occasionally
showing temper.
But visions of him
as the stubborn,
immovable McCain
don't allow for the reality
that he's had a very
productive career
as a US senator
because he's not been
stubborn and immovable.
Vicki Kennedy:
Teddy loved working
with John McCain.
He said they could
sort of go at it
and then come back
and still be friends,
and I think that was
the essence of being able
to really do a deal.
I think that's why
they worked so well together.
They were all moving
towards something that
was good for the country,
and they might
have a different way
of getting there,
but if they talked it out,
if they worked it out,
they could find
that common ground
to move things forward.
Around the mid-'90s,
John and I used to sit
on the floor together
when there's a debate.
I'd go over and sit
next to John at his desk,
and he'd come over
and sit next to me.
And some senator said,
"Why are you sitting
with McCain?"
I said, "He's my friend."
"Well, it doesn't look good."
I mean, my God.
He was always open
to doing something that people
didn't expect him to do,
like support
campaign finance reform.
And McCain, I think,
both for noble motives
and out
of practical experience,
was always willing to break
the mold he was in
if it was clearly
the right thing to do...
and that's
an invaluable commodity.
Campaign finance reform
made him very unpopular
in the conservative movement,
but I really don't think
he cared.
He was driven by a sense
that something
dishonorable was going on.
He was really
a missile that aimed itself
at anything dishonorable,
and wherever he saw a stain,
he was driven to go after it.
Richard Nixon: Within 60 days,
all Americans held prisoners
of war will be released.
There will be the fullest
possible accounting
for all of those who
are missing in action.
I would like to say a word
to the families
of our prisoners of war
and the missing in action.
Nothing means more to me
at this moment
than the fact
that your long vigil
is coming to an end.
We're here
because almost 19 years
after the formal termination
of the war in Vietnam,
the POW-MIA issue
still haunts America.
The task of this committee,
over the next year is clear.
It is to prove
to all concerned that we will
leave no stone unturned,
no question unasked,
no effort unexplored
in order to try
to resolve this issue.
Some might ask
what will make--
John Kerry and I were
in strong disagreement
concerning his activities
against the war,
but I also respect the fact
that John Kerry served.
John, in his spirit
of trying to reach out
and put history
in its proper place,
became friendly
with a lot of people
who had opposed the war.
And we began a conversation,
which ultimately led
the two of us
to the same conclusion,
which was,
the war still raged
in too many hearts
in our country,
we were not at peace
with ourselves,
and both of us saw
a strategic value
in trying to move
to a different place
with respect
to the relationship
with Vietnam.
We agreed to work
to get a full accounting
of those who were
missing in action
and normalize relations
between our two countries.
There are
too many families who,
for whatever reasons,
are not getting the answers
that they deserve to have,
not being treated the way
that they deserve to be treated,
and that has to change.
John and I understood that
whatever strategic interests
we might have had in moving
to a different relationship
with Vietnam
would never be possible
unless those questions
were put to rest.
Tonight, the US government has
new information from Vietnam
that could help determine
what became of many
of these Americans.
Mr. Minister.
The promise to come clean was
made over the weekend in Hanoi
to retired General John Vessey
and Senator John McCain.
Vessey and McCain returned
from Hanoi last night
carrying an inventory
of documents and photos
hidden away
in the Vietnamese archives.
The Vietnamese provided us
with a lot of photographs.
They were kind enough
to give me several that, uh,
that I had not seen before,
which I'd like to show you.
I'm much better-looking
in those days than I am today.
And I want to stress
what General Vessey
said just again,
this is a beginning,
a beginning.
There was this theory
that the Vietnamese were holding
thousands of Americans
still prisoner,
which McCain
intellectually understood,
informed by experience,
was highly implausible.
May I say, Mr. Chairman,
that Mrs. Alfond's remarks
in her written statement
are far stronger than what
she just alleged.
Quote: "The recent
four thousand, eight hundred
photograph fiasco
is yet another example
of committee duplicity."
I'd like you to tell that
to some of the families
who have finally had
this nightmare ended,
Mrs. Alfond.
I've been speaking to them, sir.
I've been speaking to them.
No, I've been talking to them,
and they are grateful
and they are happy,
and this is a-- this is a--
in the view of most experts,
a significant breakthrough.
What we did
was put together
the single most exhaustive,
most transparent accounting
for missing in war
ever performed
by any country in the world.
Daddy, Daddy, Daddy,
Daddy, Daddy!
Newsman: Is there
any evidence that there
are any more alive missing?
There's still no evidence
that would prove that there's
Americans alive.
We're getting down
to not a whole lot of cases
that are still unresolved,
and we're continuing
to get cooperation
from the Vietnamese.
Senator Kerry and I
are gonna meet
with the president next week,
and we'll give him a report,
and he'll have to make up
his mind from there.
Senator. Senator,
come over and talk to us.
In the last meeting
about the normalization
of relations with Vietnam,
they still hadn't
convinced Clinton to do it.
Kerry made
the informed, logical,
compelling case for it,
and then Clinton turned
to McCain--
and I'll always
remember it--
he just said, "Mr. President,
"I am tired
of looking back at Vietnam,
"and I am tired
of my country looking back.
"It's time to move forward,
"and if you normalize relations,
I will defend you
every step of the way."
Today, I am announcing
the normalization of diplomatic
relationships with Vietnam.
Bill Clinton:
I realized, because
I hadn't served in the military
and because
I had openly opposed
the Vietnam War,
I had to have the support
of American veterans.
If McCain hadn't been there
and been willing to step up,
I don't think any of it
would've happened.
Let this moment,
in the words of the Scripture,
be a time to heal
and a time to build.
Thank you all,
and God bless America.
My dad called me
and told me,
"I'm gonna run for president,
and I wanted to give you
the heads-up,"
and I was like, "Great,"
and inside, I'm like, "Oh no."
(laughs) It's just...
I was very happy for him,
and I think you could kind
of see it coming
that that was gonna
be his calling.
America doesn't owe me anything.
I am the son and grandsons
of Navy admirals
and I was born
into America's service.
It wasn't until
I was deprived
of her company
that I fell in love
with America,
and it has been my honor
to serve her
and her great cause,
It is because I owe America
more than she has ever owed me
that I am a candidate for
president of the United States.
Rick Davis:
In the run-up
to the 2000 campaign,
there were lots of candidates.
And, of course, the one person
that sort of stood overtop
of that entire field,
you know, was George W. Bush.
We started out
a decided underdog.
We thought that
the best way to campaign
was to have total access
to the media.
That's what
the Straight Talk Express
was all about.
He wanted to do politics
a different way.
We had modeled the campaign
on being completely transparent,
and every day,
18 hours a day,
John McCain
would be surrounded
by the press corps
that was covering him,
in the back of that bus,
holding forth on every issue
that was on the table.
I'm against gun
registration, and so--
Newswoman: Why?
Because I don't think
it's necessary in America,
but I-- obviously we would--
as I've said before,
we would be glad
to examine proposals but--
So the bus was
this freewheeling exercise
in public discourse.
Let's do
a lightning round.
Your favorite book.
"For Whom the Bell Tolls."
Favorite movie?
"Viva Zapata!"
Charlton Heston?
Marlon Brando.
Close enough.
Senator, how do
you reconcile the fact
that you were one
of the most vocal critics
of pork barrel politics,
and yet while you were chairman
of the Commerce Committee,
that committee set a record
for unauthorized appropriations?
I'm just kidding!
(audience laughter)
I just-- no,
I don't even know
what that means.
The 2000 presidential campaign
was the most fun
I've ever had
as a political journalist.
Everything was transparent,
so we got to see
absolutely everything.
All right, now--
now, America, what's--
what's secret plan
number Z27?
In those rides, the way
to get McCain talking
was to find somebody
he didn't like and just
remind him of it.
And so you'd get in
at like 6:00
in the morning and say,
"Senator, did you see
what Rick Santorum said?"
And he'd go,
"Ah, fucking asshole."
And then he'd go off,
and his tooth--
his mouth would just go,
and he'd talk and talk and talk,
and who he didn't like,
who he did like,
and it was great.
Yes, he says the odds are long,
but to someone who survived
years of torture
and solitary confinement,
nothing seems impossible.
Some people have asked
why I'm running for President
of the United States.
My wife says
it's because I received
several sharp blows to the head
while I was in prison.
Reporter 2:
Is there a whispering campaign
against John McCain?
"Absolutely not,"
say the senators accused
of spreading rumors
that the Arizona senator
returned from captivity
in Vietnam
too unstable to be trusted
with the presidency.
But McCain's friend,
Democrat John Kerry,
says he's heard
the whispers.
Tacky, tawdry, petty.
It was very important for us
to stand up for the truth,
for the reality of what
was being done here.
I picked up the phone
and called him.
I said, "John,
where do you want me?
"Where do you want me?
I will testify to your character
before anyone in the country.
You just tell me, pal."
And he started
laughing, he said,
"Well, you'd hurt me
more than you'd help,
Joe, by testifying."
It was a failing of mine
that I was short-tempered.
Part of it is,
I am in some ways
a perfectionist,
and I want people
around me to be that way,
and so when they're not,
I get angry about it.
Why would you say
something that stupid?
Why would you
ask something that dumb?
I remember one time
going to his office
and walking in,
and he was screaming
at someone,
And I was like,
"Oh my God,
Dad talks like that?"
He can be
an asshole one minute
and your dearest
friend the next,
but the thing about him is
that you know he loves you.
McCain thinks the release
of his medical records
has put to rest speculation
that his years in prison camp
made him unstable.
In fact, some voters
like hearing about
his explosive temper.
I'd rather have a man
as the commander-in-chief
with a little bit of temper
than a wuss in office.
(crowd chants)
Bush! Bush!
I was kind
of the presumptive heir
to the--
to the nomination.
(crowd chants)
George Bush! George Bush!
George W. Bush:
I never ran scared
I was gonna lose,
but I knew John
would be a tough competitor.
Nobody was supposed beat
George W. Bush,
but if you could actually
beat him in a primary,
it could create
enormous momentum.
So the whole idea was,
just win in New Hampshire
and start the campaign
basically from there.
We had these
town halls everywhere
where he took any questions,
and they let him go
for as long as people wanted
to ask him questions.
I will do as we have
been doing all over
the state of New Hampshire,
and that is to respond
to your questions, comments,
and occasional insults
that you might have.
New Hampshire's
all about retail politics.
They want to see you,
not just once but two
or three times.
They want to touch you,
they want to ask you questions,
and John's really good at that.
And he likes it, he loves it.
I'd like to introduce
our four children,
Meghan, Jack,
Jimmy, and Bridgett McCain,
who are here--
I was a freshman
in high school,
and I just remember
that all of a sudden
he was super famous.
Well, we were getting
a lot of coverage,
and that was drawing crowds
to the town halls,
and they were getting
bigger and bigger and bigger
spilling out into the streets,
and you could just sense
something was happening.
The last event we did was
in Bedford, New Hampshire,
and I went upstairs
to give him the exit polls,
and he was in the bedroom
rehearsing his speech.
I said, "I got the exit polls."
And he said,
"What are they?"
And I said,
"You're gonna win."
"Oh yeah, how much?"
he goes.
"You're gonna clobber."
"Well, that has implications."
I said, "Yeah,
like you could be President.
It has that implication."
Look at this.
I remember just
that hotel going crazy--
just people everywhere crying
and screaming on this elation,
'cause he-- you know,
he whooped George Bush's ass.
My friends, in the weeks
and months ahead,
I may say things
you want to hear,
and I may say things
you don't want to hear...
Man: Yeah!
...but you will always--
you will always hear
the truth from me,
no matter what.
(cheers, applause)
George W. Bush:
Well, first of all,
I was surprised.
I thought
I was gonna whip him.
Of course, he thought
he was gonna whip me.
It was a turning point for me,
because he outworked me,
and he had a better message
for New Hampshire.
And so I told my team,
"Look, let's view this
as a blessing,
not a defeat."
And for that I'm thankful,
because I needed to show people
I could get off the mat.
John: Michael,
wait a minute-- Michael,
I would be glad to--
I would be glad
to examine that--
that proposal but I'd also--
Davis: Everybody knew
in the Bush campaign
and the McCain campaign
that whoever came out
of South Carolina was likely
to be the nominee of the party.
I'm glad to be
back down here.
I want you
to know, loud and clear,
we're going into battle.
New Hampshire's campaign
was basically void of a lot
of negative campaigning.
By the time we got
to South Carolina,
it was bare-knuckle politics.
This is George Bush's ad
promising America
he'd run
a positive campaign.
Davis: We were
running negative ads
against George Bush.
George Bush was
running negative ads
against John McCain.
Announcer 2: plan isn't true,
and McCain
knows it.
It was the fight
of the century.
Reporter: The war of words
between George W. Bush
and John McCain
is heating up
even further as they battle
for votes in South Carolina.
McCain is accusing
the Bush campaign
of making misleading
phone calls to voters.
Reporter 2:
Governor George W. Bush
still denies
that anyone in his campaign
is making negative phone calls.
But McCain's supporters are
now pointing to a conversation
videotaped on Saturday
between Governor Bush
and a supporter
in South Carolina.
They claim it shows
the Governor promising
more negative attacks
on McCain.
Hey, y'all haven't
even hit his soft spots.
I know.
We're going to.
Mmm. Well, they need to be.
Somebody does.
The phone calls went out
all over South Carolina,
"Do you know the McCains
have a black baby?"
John and Cindy
had adopted
from one of Mother Teresa's
orphanages in Bangladesh,
a baby daughter,
a person of color.
And people were
getting calls, saying
that she was
his illegitimate daughter
from a relationship with
an African-American prostitute.
I just remember it getting
really dark really fast.
It was like-- the last time
I was truly innocent
in politics was before
that happened.
Reporter: In South Carolina,
proof that negative
campaigning works.
McCain support here
has dropped 10 points
in less than two weeks.
At a McCain
town hall meeting Thursday,
Donna Duran described
how her son idolized
the former Navy pilot and POW
until the 14-year-old Boy Scout
answered a phone call allegedly
from a Bush pollster.
But he was
so upset when he came up
the stairs and he said,
"Mom, someone told me
that Senator McCain is a cheat
and a liar and a fraud."
And he was almost in tears.
Are you saying
that Governor Bush was
responsible for that call?
I don't know
who was responsible for it,
but I know that
the attacks go on.
He accused me
of dirty campaigning,
and I pulled out
some flier that said,
"Paid for by John McCain."
This is a--
this is an attack piece.
That is not
by my campaign.
Well, it says,
"Paid for by John McCain."
That is not
by my campaign.
McCain confirmed, John.
That is not
by my campaign.
Well, then somebody's
putting stuff out.
It was getting bad.
And he says,
"Look, I want to take off
all the negative campaign ads.
I want to go positive."
I said, "Well, what do you mean,
"take off negative
campaign ads?
"We're in a slugfest
of our lives.
This is, you know, you know,
a battle to the death."
And he said, "Nope."
He said, "I want
to run a campaign
"that my daughter
would be proud of.
"I'd rather lose
an honorable campaign
than win a dishonorable one."
(crowd cheers)
Reporter: Senator McCain
and Governor Bush
are running neck and neck
in South Carolina
with the primary there
now only eight days away.
On the most divisive issue
in South Carolina,
the Confederate flag
atop the state capitol,
both candidates have
staked out a position
of calculated ambiguity.
When you roll into a state
like South Carolina,
you're gonna
get asked every single day
by state reporters,
"What do you think
about the issue
of taking down
the Confederate flag?"
And so we worked out
some wording.
We said, "Well,
it's a state issue.
It's not what
we want to get into."
You know, "It was
a symbol of heritage."
When we sat down and talked
to John McCain about it,
he's like, you know,
"That's bullshit." (laughs)
He argued with it,
was angry about it,
had crumpled it up at one point
and stuffed it in his pocket.
Senator, can you clarify
one thing? Your position
on the Confederate flag
flying over the South.
I've already done that.
I've already done that.
Can you clarify
that position?
I've already done it.
Can you tell me
what that is?
Yes, I'll give you
the piece of paper.
Reporter 2:
Senator, one moment.
Could I get you--
oh, excuse me.
Let's stop right here.
"I understand both sides.
"Some view it
as a symbol of slavery,
"others view it
as a symbol of heritage.
Personally, I see
the battle flag as a symbol
of heritage."
(indistinct chatter)
It was one of
the very few instances
where we didn't follow
our instincts
rather than following
the polling data.
The only bad period
of the campaign
is when we did something
out of political expediency
rather than just telling
the truth and-- and we lost.
Anne Thompson:
John McCain, the maverick
who rocked
the Republican establishment
with dramatic wins
in New Hampshire
and Michigan,
today chose
an equally dramatic setting
to halt his campaign.
I am no longer
an active candidate
for my party's nomination
for President.
McCain says he will now
go back to the Senate,
his presidential bus ride over,
but he vows
his crusade will go on.
I would say he's
one of the few politicians
I've ever covered
who has
an authentic inner voice.
Even when he does things
that are not great...
embracing the Confederate flag
while running for--
in South Carolina,
he knows he's not
doing something great.
Most politicians I cover,
they rationalize it
to themselves,
and so there's
no honest interior voice there.
McCain has never been able
to lie to himself very well.
And so even
when he compromises
for political reasons,
he knows he's compromising
some piece of himself,
and I think there's
some piece of himself
that feels pretty bad about it.
I promised to tell
the truth always
about my intentions
and my beliefs.
I fell short of that standard
in South Carolina.
And I want to tell
the people of South Carolina
and all Americans
that I sincerely regret
breaking my promise
to always tell you the truth.
I was asked
during the course
of my campaign
how I personally felt about
the Confederate battle flag
that flies
above your state capitol.
I answered
that it was an issue
that the people
of South Carolina
could decide for themselves.
I did not answer
the question I was asked,
"How did I personally feel
about the flag?"
My ancestors fought
for the Confederacy,
and I'm sure that many,
maybe all of them,
fought with courage
and with faith
that they were serving a cause
greater than themselves.
But I don't believe
their service,
however distinguished,
needs to be commemorated
in a way that offends,
that deeply hurts people
whose ancestors
were once denied
their freedom by my ancestors.
That, my friends,
is how I personally feel
about the Confederate
battle flag.
I should have
done this earlier.
I did not do so
for one reason alone:
I feared that
if I answered honestly,
I could not win
the South Carolina primary.
So I chose to compromise
my principles.
I broke my promise
to always tell the truth.
I am not so naive
to believe that politics
must never involve compromise,
but I was raised to know
that I should never sacrifice
a principle for personal
He grew up
with a moral code,
and it was a code
that preached honor, glory,
sacrifice for country.
We all have the one virtue
we aspire to most.
For McCain, it's courage,
and courage comes
in many forms:
the kind he displayed
in Vietnam,
but also intellectual courage
and moral courage
in politics.
Even though we lost in 2000,
he was able to go back
to the United States Senate
a much more
powerful individual
than when
he started that campaign.
(indistinct chatter)
The best cure for losing
is get to work, get busy.
That's the only way
to get over this.
Yeah, we had some fun.
Yeah, how you doing?
So I redoubled my efforts
and my energies.
The battle over
campaign finance reform
is poised to play out
on the Senate floor this week,
but it's also shaping up to be
a fight between George Bush
and his formal rival,
Senator John McCain.
Chances are better
than they've ever been before.
Two years ago,
no one gave this a chance.
Every special interest
in this town
that uses money
in order to buy
access and influence
is apoplectic about the prospect
of losing that influence.
Tom Brokaw:
And a major victory tonight
for Senator John McCain
in his crusade to clean up
campaign financing.
On this vote, the yeas are 59,
the nays are 41, and the bill
as amended is passed.
The fact that--
When you work on
a senate staff and you've had
a big accomplishment
or something--
say McCain-Feingold passes,
the next day it's done.
You know, "What else?
What else?" is what he's
always saying to you.
"What else? What else can--
what do you-- tell me--
tell me something else."
He's wired differently
from other people that way.
Hillary Clinton: He is
the perpetual-motion machine,
and traveling
with him requires you
to keep up with him.
When he said, "I want to go
and study climate change,
I want to see for myself
what I'm reading about,"
I jumped on board.
And when we were
on these trips together,
he really zeroed in.
"Well, how did this happen?
Tell me a specific story.
What did that mean to you?"
And he'd listen to people.
You read in the paper,
"500 protesters killed
in Blank-stan."
John says, "Let's go."
And we met with dissidents and
John spoke up on their behalf,
and thank God
we got out of there.
He believes that human rights
are the birthright of all,
and-- and we ought
to speak up for people
that are being deprived them.
I have a daughter
in the Peace Corps
in Cambodia,
and a Cambodian said,
"We need more influence
from the United States.
You know, John McCain,
he'll try to help us."
There's just some--
some random guy...
some random guy
in a rural province
in a third world country...
that know-- knows who he is...
knows he'll fight for him.
Okay, guys, here we go.
US Senator John McCain
has returned
to the infamous prison known
as the "Hanoi Hilton."
I think a light bulb
had hung down
and a loudspeaker
in every cell.
McCain was accompanied
by his son Jack.
He was diplomatic
about what he'd seen.
It hasn't upset me
because my dad's never said
anything negative
towards this thing.
It's just...
where he was kept.
Reporter 2: Do-- do you
think you could've stay--
stayed there like he did?
Uh... I don't think so.
He's a lot stronger
of a person than I am.
Oh, that's good, okay.
Jack: If you ask him
about his experiences,
he will tell you
but it's a short, frank--
"Okay, well, what was it like?"
"Well, it wasn't great."
"What did they feed you?"
"Well, they fed me
cabbage soup."
Oh, it's nice to be back.
I've-- I've been here,
again, on many occasions,
and it's always nice to check
on the condition of my statue.
It's the only one I got.
It was important for John
to show Jack
what had happened,
'cause there are
several lessons in that,
not just what
happened to him...
(indistinct chatter)
...but what happened as
a result of this occasionally
mismanaged war.
Not everything I base my views
on is about Vietnam,
but one heck
of a lot of it is.
With the experience
of Vietnam,
I always have a template
which to judge
whether we have
a strategy for success.
(soldier laughs)
Slow down! Regroup!
In both Iraq
and Afghanistan,
the strategy was,
"Don't lose."
If the strategy
is "Don't lose,"
then you don't win.
He is a passionate believer
in an exceptional America
that embodies its ideals,
protects them at home,
and advances them abroad.
That, he thinks,
is the greatest cause
anyone can serve.
Barack Obama: American
leadership in the world
John, I think, recognizes
is not just a matter of us
having the biggest Air Force,
the mightiest ships,
or the latest weaponry,
it has to do
with people thinking
we're more likely than not
to do the right thing.
This is a picture
of an Iraqi prisoner of war,
and according
to the US Army,
Americans did this to him.
The Army confiscated
some 60 pictures
of Iraqi prisoners
being mistreated.
I'm gravely concerned
that many Americans will have
the same impulses I did
when I saw this picture,
and that's
to turn away from 'em.
And we risk losing public
support for this conflict.
As Americans turned away
from the Vietnam War,
they may turn away
from this one
unless this issue is
quickly resolved
with full disclosure,
so that we can be
assured and comforted
that something that
we never believed
could happen
will never happen again.
The Bush administration's
about what constituted
"appropriate treatment"
of a prisoner of war
drove John over the edge.
What were
the instructions
to the guards?
That is what
the... investigation...
that I've indicated
has been undertaken
is determining.
But, Mr. Secretary,
that's a very simple,
straightforward question.
Well, the-- the--
as Chief of Staff
of the Army can tell you,
the guards are--
The thing John understands
better than anyone else,
it's not only wrong,
it also is damaging.
It goes to the essence
of what it is to be an American.
We are a product
of our values.
Hillary Clinton:
He was just beside himself
with anger and frustration
and with the excuses
being given
by military
and civilian leaders.
He wants names, and he wants
people to be held accountable,
because he wants
to send a signal
this is not only unacceptable
for what happened in Iraq,
this is always unacceptable.
And he was not shy
about linking
that kind of outrageous,
dehumanizing behavior
with the collapse
and the repudiation
of American values.
My friends, we face
formidable challenges.
I'm not afraid of 'em.
I'm prepared for them.
I'm not
the youngest candidate,
but I am
the most experienced!
(cheers, applause)
I know how to fight,
and I know how
to make peace.
I know who I am
and what I want to do.
(cheers, applause)
Davis: He was, I think,
legitimately the right man
at the right time
to lead a nation
in a post-9/11 environment.
9/11 had a profound impact
not only on the country
and security
and the subsequent wars
in Afghanistan and Iraq,
but, also, on the American
Now, that was
a wonderful opportunity
for Senator McCain,
who had always been
steeped in national security,
foreign policy,
and I think the early polling
demonstrated that.
He was significantly
in the lead.
And of course
at this time,
it was John McCain
and Hillary Clinton,
that was the narrative
of the 2008 campaign.
Little did we know,
that narrative would be
turned upside down.
(crowd cheering)
I think John had great appeal
among independents.
John obviously had
the extraordinary biography.
He looked the part
and had the experience
of not just 18 years
in the Senate
but having run
for President before.
Because you decided that change
must come to Washington,
because you believe
that this year must be different
than all the rest.
(crowd cheering)
But we weren't really running
against John McCain.
We were running
for... a new direction
for the country.
(crowd cheering)
It's been my honor
to welcome my friend...
(cameras clicking)
John McCain as the nominee
of the Republican Party.
I wish you
all the best.
Thank you.
I'm proud
to be your friend.
Thank you, sir.
John McCain's running
for President,
the Iraq war's
about as popular
as a toothache,
and John says,
"No, we can't leave.
We've got to win."
And he stood
behind President Bush,
the surge,
adding more troops
at a time when everybody
wanted to get out.
If the 2000 campaign
was known as freewheeling,
easy access
to the media,
the 2008 campaign was
completely the opposite.
Okay, pal. Okay, guys.
We're having fun now.
I wanted to bring the media
back on the bus.
I wanted them to be there
and have the same dialogue
we had before.
But they'd get on the bus,
and then it would be--
the challenge is:
Who can ask the
worst "gotcha" question?
I remember
I got on the bus one time
and one
of the questions was,
"What do you think
about the economy?"
And I said,
"Well, you know, I'm
working hard on the economy,
"because that hasn't
always been my top priority,
armed services,"
et cetera, et cetera.
The next day
in the "New York Times,"
"McCain said he's not familiar
with the economy."
What was the-- I'm--
So-- you know it.
You know it,
so I don't know--
even know why you ask.
Well, I ask 'cause I just--
No, you do know it.
You do know it.
No, I just read in the "Times"
that in May of '04--
I don't know what you me--
read or heard of
and I don't know
the circumstances.
Our coverage was annoying,
'cause we're trying to tell
the truth as we see it.
it's never quite
the truth as the candidate
and the campaign sees it,
so it's just always
gonna be annoying.
And I think if you react
to it at-- with hostility,
you end up
making it worse.
Can you recall--
I don't know,
but it's well known
that I had the conversation.
It was absolutely
well known by everyone,
so do you have a question
on another issue?
I think in 2008,
the environment
was much more toxic
than it was in 2000.
Salter: We were
out there doing everything
we could to sort of show,
"Hey, this is
a different kind
of Republican."
But... it was a change election,
the country
was deeply unhappy,
and Barack Obama was
the biggest change on offer...
on the face of it,
on the face of it.
I have known
and been friends
with John McCain
for almost 22 years.
To those who still
believe in the myth
of a maverick
instead of the reality
of a politician,
I say let's compare
Senator McCain
to candidate McCain.
Candidate McCain says
that he would vote
against the immigration bill
that Senator McCain wrote.
Are you kidding me, folks?
(crowd cheering)
The stakes could not be higher,
because we do know
what a Bush--
what a McCain administration
would look like.
There's a slip.
Davis: George Bush was
the single least popular
sitting president in history.
His approval rating
was 25%,
and we were the third term
of the Bush administration.
Just this morning,
Senator McCain
said that, actually,
he and President Bush share
a common philosophy.
That's right, Colorado.
I guess that was
John McCain finally giving us
a little straight talk.
(crowd cheers)
If Senator Obama wants
to run against George Bush,
he should have run
for President four years ago.
(crowd cheering)
One of the things
that was the key to us
was to be able to regain
the mantle of "the maverick"...
and one of the most
critical decisions that
John McCain had to make
was who was going
to be his running mate,
and we had a lot
of good options--
at least we thought we did.
When Rick Davis called me
and said John wanted to put me
on the shortlist for VP,
honestly, my reaction was,
"Are you kidding?"
(cheers, applause)
I think John felt there would
be a big message in this,
which is, this was gonna be
a bipartisan ticket.
You may ask,
"What's a Democrat doing here
supporting a Republican
for President?"
(cheers, applause)
Bill McInturff:
John wanted to pick
Joe Lieberman.
If you're just sitting
around the abstract,
that's sort of interesting,
but I said, "Okay, here's--
"like, time-out. Time-out.
"Has anyone in this room
actually read the Republican
National Convention rules?
We're gonna have a blood bath
on the convention floor
just to nominate him."
He was unhappy
with that point of view,
and resisted it,
argued against it,
and kept maintaining it,
but, hey, you can't start off
the general campaign
with a convention that rejects
your vice-presidential choice.
How are you gonna win
in November?
John: I should've said,
"Look, we've got a hell
of a campaign anyway.
Joe Lieberman
is my best friend,
we should take him."
But I was persuaded
by my political advisors
that it would be harmful,
and that was another mistake
that I made.
My friends
and fellow Americans,
I am very pleased
and very privileged
to introduce to you
the next Vice President
of the United States...
(crowd cheering)
...Governor Sarah Palin
of the great state of Alaska.
(cheers, applause)
She was not chosen
because of her position
on any particular issue.
She had gotten
into politics as a reformer.
It was rightly noted
in Denver this week
that Hillary left
18 million cracks
in the highest, hardest
glass ceiling in America...
(cheers, applause)
...but it turns out
the women of America
aren't finished yet,
and we can shatter
that glass ceiling
once and for all.
I understand the choice.
It was a gamble,
my dad is a gambler,
and he always
rolls the dice.
I think they understood
that they had
to fight change
with change.
That Friday we had erased
a 20-point margin
and for two weeks
we had a campaign
that was winning
the presidential election.
Our opponent is someone who sees
America as imperfect enough
to pal around with terrorists
who targeted their own country?
Politics is about serving,
and you can't serve
if you don't win.
And he was behind.
It was a long shot,
so he could justify
the pick by saying,
"I had to Hail Mary pass.
I had to try something."
And I don't think
he could have known
this at the time,
but in picking Sarah Palin,
he basically took a disease
that was running
through the Republican party--
not Palin herself,
she's a normal human being--
but a disease that
I'll call anti-intellectualism,
disrespect for facts,
and he put it right
at the center of the party,
and so she was a chapter
in the rise
of a cheap kind
of populism.
Okay. I gotta
ask you a question.
I do not believe in--
I can't trust Obama.
I got you.
I have read about him,
and he's not--
he's not-- he's a...
He's an Arab.
He is not--
No, ma'am. No, ma'am.
No, ma'am.
No, ma'am.
No, ma'am.
He's a-- he's a-- he's
a decent family man, citizen,
that I just happen
to have disagreements with--
on-- on fundamental issues,
and that's what
this campaign is all about.
He's not. Thank you.
Thank you. Yes, sir?
Obama: In an environment
in which he was already
having an uphill battle,
where the energy
of the party
was being captured
by his vice presidential
nominee, Sarah Palin,
and it was a much more
red meat, populist, angry tone.
For John, in the middle of that,
to say, "You know,
hold on a second.
"We don't demonize
each other.
We're all Americans,
we're all on the same team,"
I thought was an indication of--
of who John fundamentally was.
First of all,
I want to be President
of the United States,
and obviously I do not want
Senator Obama to be.
But I have to tell you--
I have to tell you,
he is a decent person
and a person that you
do not have to be scared
as President
of the United States.
(scattered booing)
Now, I-- I just--
now I just-- now look,
I-- I-- if I didn't think
I wouldn't be one heck of a lot
better president,
I wouldn't be running, okay?
And that's the point.
That's-- that's the point.
On September 16th,
the entire campaign changed,
and that was the day
the economy collapsed.
People were being
thrown out of their jobs,
we were going
through a global upheaval,
and we were running
a presidential campaign
right in the middle of it.
It was a terrible,
toxic environment
for anybody that had
an "R" next to their name.
John was carrying
an 800-pound rock up a hill.
I mean, talk about
"good year, bad year."
It was a bad year.
My friends, we have--
we have come to the end
of a long journey.
The American
people have spoken,
and they have spoken clearly.
A little while ago,
I had the honor of calling
Senator Barack Obama to
congratulate him--
to congratulate him
on being elected
the next president
of the country
that we both love.
He could not have been
more gracious.
He could not have been
more generous
about... wishing...
my administration well.
It's natural tonight to feel
some disappointment,
but tomorrow,
we must move beyond it
and work together to get
our country moving again.
We fought--
It was gracious.
It was futuristic.
It was about the country.
He was saying,
"Come on now, come on.
"Everybody get in here, man.
Help this man.
I'm gonna help him.
I'm here. I'm here."
And I call on all Americans,
as I have often
in this campaign,
to not despair
of our present difficulties,
but to believe
always in the promise
and greatness of America,
because nothing
is inevitable here.
Americans never quit.
We never surrender.
We never hide from history.
We make history.
Thank you, God bless you,
and God bless America.
Thank you all
very much.
(cheering continues)
Sidney: My dad's calling
is to make America
a better place,
and my father is
very conservative.
I am not. I'm very liberal.
But we still managed to meet
on some issues that--
that are important
to both of us, so--
his heart is to make
a better country.
His heart is
what he believes in.
He's not doing this
to be self-serving.
He's doing it
because he's a true believer
that the country needs him.
(cheering continues)
A lot of people tried
to get me to say bad things
about him during that time,
and I was like,
"Are you crazy?
I would never do that.
You don't know me
or you wouldn't ask me."
I mean, I love the man.
I would never do anything
to harm him in any way.
I'm very sad
that he's going to be
leaving us in the next year.
It's heartbreaking.
It's not fair.
Reporter: The office
of Senator John McCain
has announced tonight
that the Arizona Senator
has been diagnosed
with a brain tumor.
Reporter 2:
The 80-year-old Republican
from Arizona
has the same type
of cancer that took the life
of Senator Ted Kennedy.
Median survival is somewhere
between 14 and 15 months.
That said, people
with a fighting attitude,
such as Senator McCain,
tend to do better.
I suspected something,
'cause there were
just little things that
were telling me things--
something wasn't right
with him.
Well at least in the minds
of this member,
there's a whole lot
of questions remaining.
He was complaining
of being very tired.
And he had be--
gotten wrapped
around the axle
on a question to FBI--
then FBI Director Comey
in a hearing.
I don't-- you're gonna have
to help me out here.
In other words, we're complete
in the investigation
of anything that former
Secretary Clinton had to do
with the campaign is over,
and we don't have to worry
about it anymore?
With respect to secret--
I'm a little confused, Senator.
With respect to Senator Clinton,
we investigated--
John: Yeah.
He had
a physical coming up,
and we made sure
that the schedule was such
that it couldn't be pushed--
it couldn't be,
'cause we thought, "He needs
to be looked at."
I'm in the middle of lunch,
and I get a call
from Senator McCain.
He was in a car
driving to Sedona...
and in a very nonchalant way,
he says, "You know,
I had my checkup today,"
and he said,
"They just called me
and told me
to turn my car around
and come back."
80-year old Senator John McCain
is resting comfortably at home
after surgeons
successfully removed
a small blood clot
above his left eye yesterday
at the Mayo Clinic Hospital
in Phoenix.
Now Senate Majority leader
Mitch McConnell says
the Senate will defer
a vote on the healthcare bill
until Senator McCain returns.
He walked out
of the hospital
the day after brain surgery,
but he felt fine.
Now, did he feel fine
or did he convince you
that he felt fine?
Here's a guy who's gone
through enormous physical
challenges early in his life.
His knees are all busted up,
but he out-walks everybody
who ever tries to do
a campaign event with him.
You know, his shoulders
don't function properly,
he can't comb his own hair,
but he gets by through
the day looking just fine.
He called me,
and he goes, "Look,
I want to give
this speech, you know,
about the healthcare vote
that's coming up."
I said, "Okay." I said,
"What-- have-- have they
got the results back?"
And he-- "Yeah, I got--
yeah, it's not-- not great."
The measure of the man...
(clears throat) is...
how he responds
under significant adversity.
And look at John.
Look at him. I mean...
He's a...
He's a good friend.
He said, "I have to go back
for the healthcare bill."
And I said,
"What could possibly happen
if he gets on a plane?"
And the doctor said that
he could, like, hemorrhage,
it can be dangerous if he still
has air in his brain,
and all this crazy stuff,
so I freaked out,
and I screamed at everyone
that he couldn't get
on the plane and that
I didn't agree with it.
And my dad snapped
at me and said,
"It's my life,
and it's my choice."
I stand here today looking
a little worse for wear,
I'm sure.
I've been a member
of the United States Senate
for 30 years.
My service here
is the most important job
I've had in my life.
Brooks: His public service
has been so deeply entwined
with friendships,
and a lot of the friendships
have been with Democrats--
Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden.
And so out
of that sense of friendship
came a belief
that party was not everything,
and out of that came
a direct experience
with crafting
compromised legislation.
Let's trust each other.
Let's return to regular order.
We've been spinning
our wheels on too many
important issues,
because we keep trying
to find a way to win
without help
from across the aisle.
That's an approach
that's been employed
by both sides,
mandating legislation
from the top down
without any support
from the other side
with all the parliamentary
maneuvers that it requires.
We're getting
nothing done, my friends.
We're getting nothing done.
He decries the partisanship,
the ideological rigidity,
the refusal
to work together
and get something done
for the people
who were good enough
to send members of Congress
to Congress.
We tried to do this
by coming up with a proposal
behind closed doors
in consultation
with the administration,
then springing it
on skeptical members,
trying to convince them
that it's better than nothing.
"That it's better
than nothing"?
I think the vast majority
of Republicans and Democrats
know better.
They gotta start
to stand up and...
as John would say,
get back to regular order.
All "regular order" means
is you introduce a bill,
you have hearings,
you let the public see
what's going on,
you show the press,
you have witnesses,
you have amendments,
and you make up your mind.
That's how democracy
is supposed to work.
I will not vote
for this bill as it is today.
(scattered applause)
I think the Republicans felt
that he had marshaled
all his physical strength
to come back
after the surgery
and that, naturally,
he would vote
with the Republican party...
but they totally misread John.
He came back
for a different reason.
He came back
to do the right thing
and to send a message
to his colleagues
and to the country.
John: I'll be here
for a few days.
After that I'm going home
for a while to treat my illness.
I have every intention
of returning here
and giving many of you
cause to regret
all the nice things
you said about me.
And I hope to impress
on you again
that it is an honor
to serve the American
people in your company.
Thank you,
fellow Senators.
Mr. President,
I yield the floor.
It's hard not to be proud
of John McCain, right?
He-- (clears throat)
he takes chances
that nobody else takes,
both with his health--
you know, to get on a plane
and go to Washington
to have an impact.
He takes chances
with his message,
you know, to tell people what
they probably need to hear
but don't ever want to hear.
And-- and he does it all
because of his insatiable desire
to have an impact
for the positive.
It's hard not to be
respectful of that guy.
(insects chittering)
I saw things
that I didn't agree with...
that I thought was wrong.
The American people
don't hold Washington
and the people who work there
in very high esteem.
We need to make sure
that we give the American people
what they deserve, and right now
they're not getting it.
I know that this is
a very vicious disease.
I greet every day
with gratitude...
and I will continue to do
everything that I can...
but I'm also very aware
that none of us
live forever.
I'm confident
and I'm happy
and I'm very grateful
for the life
I've been able to lead...
and I greet
the future with joy.
My grandfather loved his life
and he loved the fact
that he had to leave.
My father,
the same way.
I am the same way.
I love life, and I want
to stay around forever,
but I also believe
that there's a great honor
that you can die with.
And by the way,
I reread Hemingway...
and Robert Jordan
is still my hero.
And Robert Jordan's
last thoughts were,
"It's been a great life
and well worth fighting for."
A hero is somebody who...
who does the right thing
no matter what,
and I think John,
throughout his life,
has been heroic
so many times.
So we shouldn't
be surprised
that, as he faces this
at the end of his life,
that he's still heroic and that
if he showed us how to live,
he's also--
he's also showing us
how to die.
I've had the good fortune
to spend 60 years in service
to this wondrous land.
Its not been
perfect service
to be sure,
and there were probably times
when the country
might have benefited
a little less of my help.
But I've tried to deserve
the privilege as best I can.
And I've been repaid
a thousand times over
with adventures,
with good company,
and with the satisfaction
of serving something
more important than myself,
of being a bit player
in the extraordinary
story of America,
and I am so grateful.
To fear the world
we have organized
and led for three-quarters
of a century,
to abandon the ideals
we have advanced
around the globe,
to refuse the obligations
of international leadership
and our duty to remain
the last best hope of Earth
for the sake
of some half-baked,
spurious nationalism
cooked up by people
who would rather find scapegoats
than solve problems...
(cheers, applause)
is as unpatriotic
as an attachment
to any other tired dogma
of the past
that Americans consigned
to the ash heap of history.
With all its suffering
and danger,
the world still looks
to the example
and leadership
of America
to become
another better place.
What greater cause could
anyone ever serve?