U.S. senator John McCain visited northern Arizona communities all week, making Thursday stops in Kingman and at the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. McCain and his wife Cindy enjoyed a boat tour through the refuge to get a first hand perspective on controversy surrounding a suspended effort to impose severe restrictions for access and use of the waterway.
Earlier in the day, McCain addressed a variety of topics during his 30 minute speaking engagement at a Chamber of Commerce hosted luncheon in Kingman Thursday. About 100 people attended the event at Beale Celebrations downtown.
McCain mastered the obvious when he noted too many wildfires and a dwindling supply of water are key issues confronting Arizona and the southwest. He also noted Kingman’s rich heritage associated with Historic Route 66 and the training of 35,000 servicemen and women when the Kingman Airport served as the Army Airfield during a period of war decades ago.
“The world is on fire”, McCain said of terrorist attacks around the world. He also expressed regret with deadly attacks upon law enforcement personnel across the nation.
McCain said he was unable to answer an audience question about his ideas for quelling racial tension in America. He said, racial angst has no doubt escalated.
McCain said a 2008 poll had 68% of Americans feeling good about race relations, while a new poll shows that number has declined to 18%.
McCain expressed the view that economics is connected to domestic and international violence. He said in many instances terrorists and Americans attacking fellow Americans on U.S. soil are frustrated individuals acting out in despair and defeat, feeling they have no future.
Asked another question about a ballot proposal to legalize marijuana in Arizona, McCain said he’d respect the outcome of the November vote, but that he is personally opposed to the measure because he believes pot is a gateway drug.