The president has become more centrist, which makes him easier to work with, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday. Speaking with Bloomberg Television a day after a private meeting with President Obama, McCain said he could picture working with Obama on several issues going forward.
“I think there’s a number of issues we could work on together, and I think it’s pretty clear that the president has really pivoted to a much more centrist position, which I think makes it much more for us easier to work with him,” McCain said.
McCain said his meeting with Obama was “cordial,” as his relationship with the president has been.
“The relationship I’ve always had with him is cordial,” McCain said. “We had strong differences on ObamaCare, on the stimulus package – and they were passionate differences – but we’ve always had a cordial relationship, and that’s based on my respect for the office of the presidency of the United States.”
Since the 2008 election, McCain has been one of Obama’s biggest critics, particularly on government spending and repealing the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring gays from serving openly in the military. After the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), though, McCain praised Obama’s speech at the memorial service for the victims of the shooting.
McCain said he thought he and Obama could work together going forward on issues like immigration reform and enhanced rescission.
McCain’s meeting with Obama was their first one-on-one discussion since right after the 2008 presidential election.
Some observers have called Obama’s decision to extend all the Bush tax cuts and his appointment of former JPMorganChase executive William Daley as his chief of staff signs that he is moving to the center.