Sen. John McCain on $1 trillion spending bill

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," January 15, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, once again, it looks like the government will avoid a shutdown or any disruption at all, the House just spending a trillion-dollar spending bill. I say that. It is not all done just yet, because not all Republicans are necessarily jazzed about it.

We're going to be talking to Arizona Senator John McCain about all of this.

But you may recall it started a fight within the Republican Party, those who wanted to risk a government shutdown to push for still bigger cuts, and those like John McCain, who said that is playing with fire.

The good senator, former presidential candidate joins us right now. Senator, happy New Year to you. Are you happy about this?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: I'm -- yes, but there is still pork in it and a lot of unnecessary projects.

But, overall, I guess it is about as good as you can expect. But, look, it is better than shutting down the government. And, hopefully, maybe, when next year rolls around and we have control of the Senate, we can enact some really meaningful spending cuts. There is -- there's some smoke and mirrors in this one.

CAVUTO: Yes, it wouldn't be the first time, as you have reminded me, Senator.

But a lot of Tea Partiers, the more conservative members of your party, Senator, are saying, boy, we're giving up the fight. We're just giving up the fight.

What do you say?

MCCAIN: Well, I say that, when we win elections, we can really do what we need to do.

When we're in a minority, and two of the three branches of government, the presidency held by a Democrat, the Senate majority being Democrats, there's -- it is hard for us to be as -- real effective. And when you shut down the government, it -- it really is harmful to a lot of innocent citizens, particularly when there was no way we were going to succeed in defunding ObamaCare, because it would have taken 67 votes in the United States Senate to overturn a presidential veto.

So it was a fool's errand, and it hurt my state a great deal. For example, in Arizona, we turned away 600,000 people from our national parks. You know, we don't want to do that to people. You know how it hurts the lives people who are not government workers, but are permanently out of that in -- lose that income.

CAVUTO: You mention, Senator, it's a fool's errands. Does that make Ted Cruz a fool?


Look, I -- I respect Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and Mike Lee and these people that wanted to do that. I just think it was -- we just had a disagreement about strategy and tactics. The goal is the same. We share the same goal.

And -- and, so, look, these are people who are representing their state. They ran saying that they would do everything in their power to defund ObamaCare, and they're keeping their promises to their constituents.

My difference with them was is that this won't work and the American people heartily disapprove of it. They don't like government, but they don't want it shut down.

CAVUTO: So, let me ask you about this effort on the part of your colleague. Marco Rubio has a measure out there to not bail out insurance companies if they're up against the wall, as we did with many of the banks five years ago.

Are you -- are you for that?

MCCAIN: Absolutely I'm for it. And I appreciate Marco's leadership on this.

Look, we bailed out the car companies. I believe it was Chrysler that cost us, I have forgotten how many billion, now owned by an Italian company. But people like cars.

CAVUTO: Wait a minute. You got something Italians?


MCCAIN: Nothing, nothing.


MCCAIN: But I don't like bailing out Italian companies. That's all.

CAVUTO: I hear you.



MCCAIN: But the fact is that it's just people whose name end in a vowel that I'm -- that I have concerns about.




MCCAIN: But the...


CAVUTO: But, in other words, his fear is that, you know, that's what the administration is bucking for, and we have got to stop it.

MCCAIN: Sure. Absolutely.

CAVUTO: Do you think that he's right?

MCCAIN: I'm absolutely sure he's right.

Already, the handwriting is on the wall, my friend. These -- they're not going to get the -- enough young people that are going to subsidize older people and their health care needs. And we -- we see that coming, among a lot of other problems.

So I think Marco Rubio is really ahead of the curve here. And I think we should do it.

CAVUTO: All right.

MCCAIN: And if we had 51 votes in the Senate, we might be able to achieve that, Neil.

CAVUTO: Yes, you might be able to.

John McCain, your Italian comments notwithstanding, it's always a pleasure and an honor.

MCCAIN: I love my Italian friends.

CAVUTO: There you go. Be good. Thank you, Senator.

MCCAIN: Thank you. See you.

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