Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who over the past year made himself into the Senate’s most rabid opponent of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, has softened his tone and now says he’ll do anything he can to help repeal go smoothly.
“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, according to The Hill.
“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,” he said. “I will do everything I can to make it work.”
President Obama signed the repeal of DADT, which bans openly gay men and women from serving in the military, at the end of the year. The repeal will actually go into effect once Obama and the two top military leaders certify that the armed forces are ready.
During the debate, McCain — who used to say he’d support repeal if top military brass also supported it — advocated against repeal, often growing visibly angry and dismissive in hearings. During one hearing after the Pentagon released a nearly year-long review into how the military would cope with lifting DADT, McCain scoffed at Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Adm. Mike Mullen and said the review wasn’t done right. He demanded dozens more hearings and was responsible for blocking the bill on the Senate floor.
But his tone immediately began to soften once it passed. When the Family Research Council claimed that McCain would lead a continued fight against repeal, a source in McCain’s office told TPM it was a lie.
“The law has been changed,” the source said.