Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOvernight Defense: Pompeo lays out new Iran terms | Pentagon hints at more aggressive posture against Iran | House, Senate move on defense bill Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA Sarah Sanders: ‘Democrats are losing their war against women in the Trump administration’ MORE (R-Ariz.), the GOP's 2008 presidential contender, on Sunday said the Republican Party needs to do more to persuade voters to vote for their candidates besides simply opposing the Obama administration.
Speaking on "Fox News Sunday" to host Chris Wallace, McCain sidestepped a question about the influence of the Tea Party on Republicans but said the party will "do well" in the November elections.
"I think that's obvious. The question is, 'How well do we do?', and then we get down to, I believe, the point where Republicans have to come up with a contract for, with, of, whatever you want to call it, America and I think a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution has to be a part of it, along with an elimination of earmarking and pork barrel spending, repeal and replace Obamacare -- we have to have a short-list of promises we'll make to the American people and keep it," McCain said.
"I think this election could be a seismic election. But we've got to give Americans a reason to be for us, rather than just against the Democrats and the president... Senate and House Republicans should come forward with an agenda before the election, yes. As happy as we are about the outcome of the elections, when you look at the approval ratings of Republicans, they're just as bad as Democrats. We've got to give [voters] a reason to be for us."
McCain this summer survived a primary challenge from former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, but was heavily criticized by many observers for a perceived rightward slant to his political positions.