|Angry Boeing supporters are vowing revenge against Republican presidential candidate John McCain over Chicago-based Boeing's loss of a $35 billion Air Force tanker contract to the parent company of European plane maker Airbus.|
.....McCain said he is keeping an open mind on the contract, but in the past he has boasted about his role in blocking an earlier version of the tanker deal that gave the contract to Boeing. The deal was killed in 2004 after a former Boeing executive improperly recruited an Air Force official while she was still overseeing contracts involving prospective Boeing deals.
The former Air Force official, Darleen Druyun, and a top Boeing executive both served time in prison, and the scandal led to the departure of Boeing's chief executive and several top Air Force officials.
McCain has run ads touting his role in fighting "pork" such as the tanker project and cited the deal in a recent GOP debate.
"I saved the taxpayers $6 billion in a bogus tanker deal," he said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., echoing the thoughts of many congressional Democrats, sees McCain's role in a less positive light. She said the earlier tanker deal was "on course for Boeing" before McCain started railing against it.
"I mean, the thought was that it would be a domestic supplier for it," Pelosi told reporters. "Senator McCain intervened, and now we have a situation where the contract may be — this work may be outsourced."
Even Boeing's Republican supporters are critical of McCain.
"John McCain will be the nominee and I will support him, but if John McCain believes that Airbus or EADS is the company for our Air Force tanker program he's flat-out wrong — and I'll tell him that to his face," said Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash.
Rep. Todd Tiahrt, a Kansas Republican whose district includes a Boeing plant that could have gained hundreds of new jobs from the tanker program, said McCain's role in killing the earlier deal is likely to become an election issue. Both of the leading Democratic candidates for president, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, have criticized the Air Force decision.
"I think we absolutely will hear more about it," Tiahrt said. "We'll hear it mostly from the Democrats and they have every right to be concerned."
McCain called such criticism off base.
"In all due respect to the Washington delegation, they vigorously defended the process before — which turned out to be corrupt — which would have cost the taxpayers more than $6 billion and ended up with people in federal prison," he said. "I'm the one that fought against that ... for years and brought down a corrupt contract."
Keith Ashdown, with the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, said Boeing executives who broke the law were to blame for the demise of the tanker contract — not McCain.
"This was theirs from day one," he said. "This idea that any lawmaker is to blame is a joke."
Let me see if I have this correct. Boeing supporters are pissed off at John McCain because he stopped a corrupt bidding process that sent people to jail and fired from their jobs.
The same Boeing as everyone has pointed put out an inferior plan than Airbus who blew them out of the water because Boeing wanted to push on the Air Force a dead plane line.
The same Boeing who was too arrogant to think the military wouldn't dare go with a foreign supplier with a superior tanker plan who would get more planes in service faster than Boeing.
The same Boeing who can't get their new 787 line put out in service on time should get a multi-billion dollar order for planes that are needed now.
The Boeing supporters say this is all John McCain's fault. I thought the military was supposed to get the best equipment not the best equipment made by an American company that can't get the job done and wanted to give them a plane the Air Force didn't want twice(767 and 777)
Go ahead and try putting out a meme that McCain is bad because he stopped a billion dollar boondongle. All it would do is make McCain straight shooter message all the more powerful.