Saturday Night Live Transcripts


  Season 28: Episode 3





02c: Sen. John McCain / The White Stripes

Meet the Press

Tim Russert.....Darrell Hammond
.....Sen. John McCain

Tim Russert: Good morning. Our issue this Sunday: a test of will, for the president, as he waives invading Iraq. And for the Buffalo Bills, as they head to Miami. [ cracks up in laughter ] Joining us to discuss Iraq, the next move, is Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Former P.O.W., maverick Republican whose presidential candidacy stressing campaign finance reform nearly up-ended our eventual president, George W. Bush. Senator, welcome.

Sen. John McCain: Thanks, Tim.

Tim Russert: Senator, this administration.. seems hell-bent.. on confrontation.. with Iraq. You staying with the President?

Sen. John McCain: Tim, I believe we need to show our resolve at this time. We can't underestimate the potential threat Saddam Hussein poses to this country.

Tim Russert: Senator, we have to ask: Are you considering running again in 2004?

Sen. John McCain: No, I have no plans to run for higher office. The President's doing a fine job.

Tim Russert: No plans, but you wouldn't say no.

Sen. John McCain: Tim, I have no interest in running.

Tim Russert: You didn't answer my question, Senator.

Sen. John McCain: What was the question?

Tim Russert: Whether you would say no, unequivocally, to running for president of the United States?

Sen. John McCain: Tim, I haven't even considered running.

Tim Russert: But you haven't ruled it out. [ pauses ] Saddam Hussein. Do you believe he'll use his chemical weapons, if udner attack?

Sen. John McCain: I think we have to operate under the assumption that he's capable of anything.

Tim Russert: Spoken like someone running for President. So, if you were President, that would be your assumption?

Sen. John McCain: I think that's the President's assumption.

Tim Russert: So, you would not disagree with the President, were you to debate him in 2004?

Sen. John McCain: I have no interest in running.

Tim Russert: No interest.. but you're open to the possibility?

Sen. John McCain: No, I would rebut any offers to run.

Tim Russert: In other words, you're available? so, can we say on this program.. that John McCain.. is ready.. for offers to run?

Sen. John McCain: [ shakes head ] No.

Tim Russert: Then, if elected, would you serve?

Sen. John McCain: I don't see that happening, but, yes, I would serve my country.

Tim Russert: You heard it here first! John McCain, ready to serve as our next President!

Sen. John McCain: That's a mischaracterization. Look, Tim.. we're on the brink of a war. I think the American people would rather we discuss Iraq.

Tim Russert: I understand. It's a awkward subject. Let's talk about Iraq. Most would like to see.. a new regime there. Would you consider running for the Presidency of Iraq?

Sen. John McCain: No, Tim.

Tim Russert: The presidency of Iraq is on the table! does John McCain take the challenge?

Sen. John McCain: I do not want to run for President of Iraq!

Tim Russert: So, you'd be willing to accept the draft?

Sen. John McCain: Tim, I don't want to be President of anywhere!

Tim Russert: Alright. Senator, I want to read you a quote.. from the Washington Post.. October 2nd, 1999: "I am a candidate for President of the United States." Your word, Senator.

Sen. John McCain: Well, Tim, that's from the last election, when I was a candidate.

Tim Russert: So, you're flip-flopping?

Sen. John McCain: I'm not flip-flopping, Tim.

Tim Russert: So, you're a candidate? We can definitively say, on this show, that John McCain-

Sen. John McCain: I was a candidate in 200. I am not in 2004. I will not challenge President Bush as a leader of my party.

Tim Russert: What if President bush does not run?

Sen. John McCain: I don't see any reason-

Tim Russert: What if he forgets to run?

Sen. John McCain: Alright, Tim.. alright, Tim..

Tim Russert: The President forgets to run for re-election.. and the Republicans are without a candidate. Does John McCain then step in to fill that void?

Sen. John McCain: I would call the President, and remind him to run.

Tim Russert: So, you're running?

Sen. John McCain: No!

Tim Russert: You're a candidate?

Sen. John McCain: I am not a candidate!

Tim Russert: John McCain is running for President in 2004?

Sen. John McCain: No.

Tim Russert: 2008?

Sen. John McCain: No.

Tim Russert: 2012.

Sen. John McCain: No!

Tim Russert: 20-16?

Sen. John McCain: No.

Tim Russert: 20-20?

Sen. John McCain: No!

Tim Russert: Let's talk about 20-28.

Sen. John McCain: I'll be 90.

Tim Russert: Alright. It's 2028.. genetic engineering has extended the human lifespan to 200 years. Would a relatively young John McCain challenge a re-animated Jimmy Carter zombie?

Sen. John McCain: Now, President Carter's been a great humanitarian.

Tim Russert: So, John McCain would back down? Are you afraid of Carter eating you?

Sen. John McCain: I don't think that's an accurate-

Tim Russert: So, you're a candidate?

Sen. John McCain: No.. no..

Tim Russert: Senator, we have to move on, but one question: Any interest in running for President in 2004? [ chuckles ] Thanks for watching. If it's Sunday, it's "Meet The Press". Go Bills!

[ fade out ]


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