HUDSON, Wis., July 13 (UPI) -- Presumptive Republican U.S. presidential candidate John McCain says his views are closer to Theodore Roosevelt's than to more conservative presidents.
When asked which U.S. leaders his political philosophy most closely reflects, Sen. McCain, R-Ariz., chose the moderate Republican Roosevelt over such conservative stalwarts as Presidents George Bush and Ronald Reagan or 1964 Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater, The New York Times reported Sunday.
Roosevelt, U.S. president from 1901 to 1909, was known for his progressive social policies -- he was an early environmentalist -- and his willingness to let government intervene in financial markets when necessary, coupled with an aggressive and muscular foreign policy. McCain told the Times in Hudson, Wis., he admired that combination in Roosevelt.
"I believe less governance is the best governance, and that government should not do what the free enterprise and private enterprise and individual entrepreneurship and the states can do, but I also believe there is a role for government," McCain said.
His willingness to go against some of the basic tenets of the conservative movement illustrates his challenges in energizing their support for the November election, the Times said.