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McCain talks policy, Palin

From NBC's Ali Weinberg
In an interview with NBC's David Gregory, Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) declined to "nitpick" President Obama's first eight months in office, although he did offer some specifics on how he would have governed differently had he been elected. He also offered his views on Sarah Palin's new memoir, "Going Rogue."
 
On Obama's health-care plans, McCain said that the administration has "overlearned the Clinton experience," where President Bill Clinton and then-First Lady Hillary Clinton put forth a detailed package, which "in their view was picked apart by the opposition."
 
"This administration has yet to come up with a specific proposal from the president," McCain said. "We read in the media, and hear there is a plan being developed in the White House, but we have not seen it yet."

He explained how he would have built a health-care plan. "I would probably start with what we could agree on and then add on rather than have an encompassing proposal that obviously has led to the kind of gridlock we're in," McCain said. 
 
When asked by Gregory how America would be different with a President McCain in the White House, the senator responded, "I'd love to answer that question and spend a couple hours on it" and proceeded not to answer the question. "I respect the results of the election."
 
McCain also offered his views on the debate over troop levels in Afghanistan: "I am confident that we can succeed if there are sufficient resources to do so... I really think we are faced with choices, only two. And if we don't do what is necessary and implement half measures, I'd just say get out."
 
On the current tone of discourse among politicians and commentators, McCain criticized the "continuous news cycle. There are people on both sides making very extreme comments and statements. What happens when you do that? You quickly rise from obscurity to notoriety, and some people obviously enjoy that."
 
McCain was also asked what parts of his former running mate Sarah Palin's new memoir, "Going Rogue," he was looking forward to reading.

"The part I'm looking forward to most is the part where it energized our campaign and put us-- the selection put us ahead in the polls," McCain said, adding he looks least forward to "some of the disagreements that took place within the campaign." He praised Palin, saying that he thinks she "will play a significant role in the Republican party in the future."