- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sen. John McCain has given Barack Obama — his opponent in last year’s presidential election — overall high marks during his first five months in the White House, but said the president has failed on a promise to bring bipartisanship to Washington.

The Arizona Republican, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation” program Sunday, said that using a legislative scorecard to judge the presidency so far, Mr. Obama has achieved all his legislative goals.

“I think he’s done well,” Mr. McCain said.

But the president’s legislative success has come as the result of ramming Democratic measures through Congress with minimal Republican support.

“Unfortunately, it’s [been achieved] by picking off a couple of Republicans — it’s not been bipartisan,” Mr. McCain said. “So there really hasn’t been that change in the climate in Washington.”

On the issue of national security, the Arizona senator has given Mr. Obama a grade of incomplete, saying that it’s too early to tell how the administration’s handling of North Korea, Iran and other international trouble spots will pan out.

“The president is facing a major challenge here,” he said.

But Mr. McCain said he would prefer Mr. Obama to take a tougher stance on Iran and its crackdown on protesters opposing the country’s recent elections, which have been accused of massive fraud.

“I’d like to see the president be stronger than he has been [on Iran], although I appreciate the comments that he made yesterday,” Mr. McCain said in reference to comments the president made Saturday urging Iranian leaders to stop its “violent and unjust actions.”

• Sean Lengell can be reached at slengell@washingtontimes.com.

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