WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Republican presidential candidate John McCain says he's no "Miss Congeniality" and has what it takes to take the United States in a new direction.
Speaking Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation," the Arizona Republican senator responded to GOP rival Mitt Romney's comment that it will take some one new to Washington to lead the country to greater heights. McCain said he is no Washington insider.
"Well, I'd like to say that I have never been elected 'Miss Congeniality' in the U.S. Senate, because I have tried to eliminate waste and unnecessary spending, defense procurement reform, etc.," McCain said. "You know, if you think I'm an insider, ask Jack Abramoff, ask the lobbyists for Boeing and the Air Force guys and the people that are in jail now, because we saved them $2 billion -- the taxpayers ... on a bogus tanker deal."
In a Sunday appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," McCain praised President George W. Bush while criticizing him.
"He led this nation after (Sept. 11, 2001) and united us," McCain said. "... At least he's had the good judgment, finally, to change the strategy in Iraq so that we now have a winning strategy.
"Look, I think the president of the United States has made mistakes, but I would say the biggest one is spending."