Sen. McCain touts Indian experience over Obama
Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), the presumptive Republican nominee for president, said he has more experience with Indian and other Western issues than Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois).

McCain has served two terms as chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Besides sponsoring key legislation such as the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994 and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, he defended tribal sovereignty during the 2000 presidential campaign and opposed former Sen. Slade Gorton (R-Washington), a noted tribal foe, as a possible Bush judicial nominee.

"I believe as a Western senator I understand the issues, the challenges of the future for these ... states, whether it be land, water, Native American issues, preservation, environmental issues," McCain told the Associated Press. He said Obama "has no experience, no knowledge or background" on these issues.

Obama is a first-term senator whose campaign has drawn a lot of support in Indian County. He is a co-sponsor of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

Get the Story:
Obama signaling he will fight for Western states (AP 5/27)

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