McCain: ‘Don’t ask’ repeal will work

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday he would work to help implement the repeal of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, despite his opposition to that legislation.

McCain signaled he had made peace with the lame-duck bill to do away with the military’s ban on openly gay and lesbian service members, which he had sharply criticized.

“I think I have to do everything I can to make sure that the impact on the morale, retention, recruitment and battle effectiveness of the military is minimized as much as possible,” McCain said on Fox Business. “It is a law and I have to do whatever I can to help the men and women who are serving, particularly in combat, cope with this new situation. I will do everything I can to make it work.”

The Arizona senator and 2008 presidential nominee has been an outspoken critic of repealing the policy right up through its passage. But in a reverse of course on Thursday, McCain said he would do whatever he could to help implement the policy’s repeal.

McCain showed additional signs of softening the harsh rhetoric he’d used over the past two years against another Obama administration priority: On NBC’s “Today” show on Wednesday, McCain said he’d welcome comprehensive immigration reform once the borders had been secured.

During 2008’s Arizona Senate campaign, McCain moved to the right on a number of issues in response to then-Arizona Rep. J.D. Hayworth’s challenge for his seat.

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