The top Republican senator on the Armed Services Committee says a Pentagon study on how to implement the repeal of the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy doesn’t go far enough.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Sunday that he wasn’t willing to accept leaked results of a study that found most US troops don’t care whether gays are allowed to serve openly.
“I will listen, as I’ve said for years, to our military leaders and not a study that is leaked,” McCain told NBC’s David Gregory.
“[The study] said seven in ten members of the military think it would be just fine to have it lifted,” noted Gregory.
“You and I have not seen that study. And this study was directed at how to implement the repeal, not whether the repeal should take place or not,” McCain said.
“More importantly, we have people like the commandant of the Marine Corps, the three other — all four service chiefs are saying we need a thorough and complete study of the effects, not how to implement a repeal but the effects on morale and battle effectiveness.”
“That’s what I want,” McCain added. “And once we get this study, we need to have hearings and we need to examine it and we need to look at whether it’s the kind of study that we wanted. It isn’t in my view because I wanted a study to determine the effects of the repeal on battle effectiveness and morale. What this study is designed to do is to find out how the repeal could be implemented. Those are two very different aspects of this issue.”
Last week, McCain’s wife, Cindy, appeared to break from her husband when she participated in an ad backing the repeal of the gay ban.
But on Saturday, Cindy McCain indicated that she sided with her husband on the issue.
“I fully support the NOH8 campaign and all it stands for and am proud to be a part of it,” Ms. McCain Tweeted Friday. “But I stand by my husband’s stance on DADT.”
That stance, McCain said Sunday, “is a complete and thorough study and review on battle effectiveness and morale.”
“By the way, I respect the First amendment rights of every member of my family,” he added.
This video is from NBC’s Meet the Press, broadcast Nov. 14, 2010.