Arizona Sen. John McCain was the Republican Party's 2008 presidential nominee and he still wants the keys to the Oval Office. But he is beginning to sound more like a fan of likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
"She's a rock star," he said in a newly released interview. "She has, maybe not glamour, but certainly the aura of someone widely regarded throughout the world," he added in a reference to her work as secretary of State.
McCain, reportedly trying to win back his reputation as a GOP maverick, was asked by the New Republic about who he would vote for in 2016 if the race came down to Clinton and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. "It's gonna be a tough choice," he said with laughs.
In the scattered interview, the magazine asked McCain about several issues, including the immigration debate and the positions of Fox owner Rupert Murdoch and the cable network's coverage of the issue.
New Republic: You have had conversations with people at Fox, The New Yorker reported, about immigration. There is a real divide in the party. What do Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch say about whether the party can come along on this issue?
McCain: It is well known that Rupert Murdoch is a strong supporter of immigration reform. Roger Ailes is also a realist. He believes that immigration reform is vital to the country first, but also the GOP. Yet he does not dictate. [Sean] Hannity has come out against it and kept his job. I don't think Roger Ailes is ham-fisted.
New Republic: But if you watch Fox, there are all these segments on immigrants and crime and so on, and people get riled up, and then they want reform. It's a difficult dynamic in the party.
McCain: I think that Fox News is a bit schizophrenic. I saw a guy on "Hannity," maybe "Huckabee," and the guy said, "You know, the Chinese are coming across our border, and they are going to commit cyber attacks."
New Republic: They have to cross the border to do that?
McCain: Honest to God! "They are going to commit cyber attacks."
He was also asked if he is "happy," to which he answered: "Am I happy? I'd like to be president of the United States."
Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.