Aug 9, 2011 8:44 PM
TUCSON-U.S. Republican Senator John McCain was in Tucson Tuesday for a town hall meeting. And, boy did he get an earful from constituents.
McCain expected a rough meeting and he got it.
The meeting room at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, 1431 W. Magee Road, was packed.
The crowd was mixed with people on all sides. There were Tea Party conservatives, moderate Republicans and liberal Democrats. All sides challenged McCain.
Asked about entitlements, McCain said, "With Social Security we should be raising the retirement age gradually, not for present day beneficiaries." And some in the audience yelled back "no".
The question of taxes caused the loudest outbursts.
McCain recommended, "Let's cut the corporate rate from 35 percent to 25 percent." Some in the audience cheered. Others booed. One man screamed at McCain, "You're an idiot."
Another speaker begged McCain to raise taxes on wealthy Americans like him. He said, "I'd rather pay higher taxes so that man can live, rather than take another trip to Italy." Many in the audience applauded. But McCain said "no." He believes tax hikes would further damage the economy.
It was clear. People are frustrated with Washington. A woman told McCain, "We have a huge mess in our House. I have to keep my house under control, okay."
McCain says he's taking his cues from voters. Repeatedly he said, "Last November that election overwhelmingly said ‘stop the spending'."
McCain called on President Obama to put together a detailed spending plan and then to call Congress back from vacation to debate it.