Senator McCain initially jokes that he’s non-committal on making Canada his first foreign visit, however, he followed this up with the following,
“Certainly, I think that that [first POTUS foreign trip to Canada] is a precedent that there’s every argument to follow that”
“I think it was very appropriate that both President Reagan and President Clinton took a trip to Canada before they took any foreign travel.”
— Senator John McCain
Senator McCain’s visit to Canada as a presumptive nominee for President is unprecedented in history. Before yesterday, no other such candidate for President, Democrat or Republican, has come to Canada during an election cycle.
I wanted to ask a question that was simple, and had the potential for headlines. I believe that McCain’s answer to my question indicates that he sees no reason not to follow the precedents set by Presidents Clinton and Reagan to make Canada his first foreign visit.
Three reporters focused on NAFTA-related stories even after McCain mentioned that he would not address the red meat of the NAFTA-leak story that many Canadian national reporters were after. I felt that these questions were guaranteed to provide non-answers.
Another question regarding Omar Khadr was important and elicited a somewhat uncomfortable shift of burden upon the Canadian government; McCain had mentioned his policy to shut down Guantanamo Bay as a detention facility but may have put Foreign Affairs on guard when he mentioned that Canada has not actually sought to intervene for Khadr.
I felt that Global reporter Ben O’hara-byrne’s question elicited one of the more interesting exchanges as Senator McCain formulated his own on-the-spot policy regarding the exportation of Canadian water and water-security. McCain indicated that it was not a strategy that he would likely be supporting.