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McCain Thanks ‘Corrupt, Unscrupulous Lobbyists’

Sen. John McCain must be feeling a bit frisky. Before dropping a self-deprecating joke about his campaign’s near-bankruptcy last fall into this morning’s speech before a conference of small business owners, the Arizona senator cracked wise about his relationship with lobbyists — a prominent campaign issue of late — at a fund-raiser last night in Washington. According to the Wall Street Journal:

The expected Republican nominee spoke before 150 attendees, and after thanking celebrity guest, actor Robert Duvall, McCain turned his attention to the lobbyists.

“I’m gonna thank some corrupt unscrupulous lobbyists that are destroying America as we speak, everything we stand for and believe in,” McCain quipped, which got the crowd laughing. “You can’t even eat a piece of apple pie any more without being corrupted.”

Last month, five McCain campaign advisers and officials resigned after the campaign instituted new rules requiring all campaign officials with a background in lobbying to sever those ties or leave the campaign. McCain has pledged to reduce the influence of special interests in Washington, as recently as this morning:

"When both parties carry on like this, there is only one proper response — a presidential veto. That is exactly what I will do as president, with any bill that serves only special interests and corporate welfare. On my watch there will be no more subsidies for special pleaders, no more corporate welfare, no more throwing around billions of dollars of the people’s money on pet projects, while the people themselves are struggling to afford their homes, groceries and gas. We are going to get our priorities straight in Washington — a clean break from years of squandered wealth and wasted chances."

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