April 23 (Bloomberg) — Republican John McCain, saying the nation is in a recession and “families are hurting,” retraced Lyndon Johnson’s steps in eastern Kentucky and pledged to mount a war on poverty different from that waged by the former Democratic president.
“I have no doubt President Johnson was serious and had the very best of intentions” in 1964, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said at a town-hall event in Inez today as he continues his week-long courtship of voters in America’s economically hard-pressed areas.
“Government has a role to play in helping people who, through no fault of their own, are having a hard time,” McCain, an Arizona senator, said. He defined that role as offering choices on education, health care and job training, rather than providing handouts.
Government “can’t pay lost wages. It can’t dig coal from the earth,” McCain, 71, said. “It can’t buy you a house or send all your kids to college. It can’t do your work for you.”
As he did earlier this week in Selma, Alabama, and Youngstown, Ohio, McCain recited his prescriptions for economic revival, including tax cuts and reducing the cost of medical insurance, while emphasizing that he is there to “listen and learn” from local residents so he can be a more effective president “for all the people.”
What no hope? No change? No goody bag of promises for the future?