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McCain Compares Presidential Debates to Vietnam


McCain and Graham are in synch with their presidential debate jokes. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
McCain and Graham are in synch with their presidential debate jokes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

During the Feb. 6 Republican presidential debate, Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John McCain, R-Ariz., reacted and joked for an Independent Journal Review video , notably relating McCain’s Vietnam War experience with debates.  

Graham asked McCain about his 2008 presidential debate experiences: “Do you think they treated you fairly when you were up there debating?”  

“I’ve been treated better,” McCain said.  

“By who?” Graham said. “The Vietnamese,” the former Republican nominee, who spent five-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, said. Graham laughed as McCain tried to contain his laughter.  

The two senators continued to make jokes throughout the three-minute video. McCain said, “Lindsey, you grew up working in a bar … so what’s harder, being a bartender or being on the debate stage?”  

“Well, in one you’re being yelled at by a bunch of loud-mouths, in the other you’re tending bar,” Graham said.  

McCain said, “they all would” when Graham said someone would make a great V.P. and later, Graham joked about not listening to McCain talk about his run for president.  

The two poked fun at Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton as a waiter gave them popcorn. “You know, Hillary would be very uncomfortable at this debate,” Graham said.  

“Why is that?” McCain said.  

“Because she’d find her server,” Graham said.  

They also picked on fellow Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., when McCain said, “Hey Lindsey, do you think Bernie might be watching this debate?”  

“I don’t think so,” Graham said.  

“Why not?” McCain asked.  

“You can’t get TV this time at night in the Soviet Union,” Graham said.  

Graham dropped out of the Republican primary in December. His one congressional endorsement was McCain.


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