WASHINGTON--Sen. John McCain (R-Az.) covered a range of topics at a Wednesday morning breakfast--from the looming government shutdown, to Libya, to the influence of Facebook, to political baggage plus Snooki and Twitter.
"Americans don't like government, but they don't want it to shutdown," McCain said at the session with reporters, sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, as the Obama White House and congressional leaders look for a deal to avoid the first shutdown since 1995.
McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee on other matters:
THE 1995 SHUTDOWN: "We all know from history it was a disaster for Republicans."
THE 2011 POTENTIAL SHUTDOWN: "The president is going to have to engage and engage seriously with some proposals of his own."
LIBYA: McCain said Obama should not have waited to get the approval of the UN and NATO before launching U.S. military on a mission to create a no-fly zone in Libya. Moammar Gadhafi would be gone now, McCain asserted, if the U.S. acted sooner.
"Unfortunately, this administration felt it was vital to get (UN) Security Council and Arab League and other organizations, everybody but the World Food Organization to approve any action that might be taken, so we lost great opportunity there."
2012 GOP PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY: McCain said he will not endorse.
POLITICAL BAGGAGE: Advice to GOP 2012 presidential candidates--or anyone running for office with some baggage:
"You have to take the issue head on, whatever it is, and try to put it behind you," Do opposition research on yourself and if there is stuff there, "You have got to confront it directly and then when (someone) ask(s) the question again the answer is 'I already addressed that issue' and not keep the story alive."
"As a candidate you have to have some honest observers and task them and say okay, what are my vulnerabilities? What do I have to address and confront thoroughly?"
SEC. OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: "I think the international star is Secretary Clinton." McCain said.
FACEBOOK: On a recent visit to Egypt McCain said he was told about the Facebook founder, "the national hero in Egypt is a guy named Mark Zuckerberg. I called him and told him that." Facebook helped fuel the Egyptian uprising. "Young people want him to visit," McCain added.
TWITTER: When McCain--who said he was on Facebook and Twitter "all the time" wanted to call on Egypt's Hosni Mubarak to step down, he said, "I tweeted it. .....That got me a lot of criticism, an issue that serious. But I was able to immediately reach 1.7 million people, and the press release would have taken a long period of time, and events were transpiring rapidly."
TWITTER AND SNOOKI: "You heard about my Tweet with Snooki?
"...I got more coverage from tweets with Snooki than any foreign-policy or major national-security statement that I have ever made in my life."