Monday, May 7, 2007
McCain Talks Tech Policy at the Googleplex
This year we've invited all the presidential candidates to come visit Google, and last Friday we hosted Sen. John McCain for the second of these candidate visits (Sen. Hillary Clinton was here in March). Googlers are pretty engaged in the presidential campaign already, and are anxious to hear where the candidates stand.
Lucky for us, the candidates seem eager to accept our invitations. Over the weekend, the AP even suggested that "the Google Interview could become the 21st century equivalent of the candidate's pilgrimage to the General Motors plant."
As you might have guessed, Googlers had lots of interesting questions for Sen. McCain, on topics including Iraq, climate change, and genocide. But one of reasons we've invited all the candidates to Google is to hear their views on some of the issues that affect our company and the technology industry as a whole. Here's what Sen. McCain had to say about some of Google's policy priorities (and where you can find it on the video):
Internet Access (35:40): "Eric just showed me that globe of the world and the places where all of this activity is taking place. And you know, it's wonderful, but as he pointed out, it's also kind of sad, when you look at vast blank spaces on Earth, where still people are unable to share in this incredible, incredible thing that's happening. I lose the ability to describe it, but you look at the whole continent of Africa, as Eric showed me. Isn't that terrible, that those billions of people are unable to have the same privileges that we have, the ability and access to information? I think our job ought to be that some very short time from now, I look at that globe and it's uniform, all over this Earth."
Immigration (59:42): "If Google is going to be able to maintain its supremacy in the world, it's going to have to continue to get the best and the brightest from all over the world. We have to have a comprehensive solution to the immigration problem and we have to enforce our borders, every nation in the world...There must be a temporary work program, it means we must have H-1B visas that meet the requirements...We've got to make sure that young people from all over the world who want to come to our country and are qualified to study in our best institutions have the opportunity to do so."
Competitiveness (35:00): "When I look at what this organization is all about, I think I identify with it more closely than a Democrat does. I believe in less government regulation. I believe the Internet is the greatest invention since the printing press. We all know that. And I believe that the less regulation, the less oversight, and the more that this can flourish...the reason I opposed Internet taxes. The more that this new information technology can flourish, can spread all over the world, the better off the world is going to be."
Trade (61:20): "I'm a free trader. I believe that America can compete with anybody in the world, as long as those markets are open, and as along as there is not barriers to our products. Obviously if someone is blatantly abusing patents, blatently abusing intellectual property rights, etceta...But I think the worst thing that could happen to the United States of America is for us to go into protectionism. I hope we understand the benefits of free trade, and the fact that American products, American ingenuity, American knowledge can prevail any place in the world, and we will and we can. A lot of Americans don't know that 50,000 Americans today make their living off eBay. A lot of people don't appreciate what this information technology has done for America and the world. I'd like to see world free trade, I'd like to see the Doha round succeed."
P.S.: In addition to the complete video of Sen. McCain's talk, be sure to check out CitizenTube's exclusive interview with McCain, where the Senator fielded a few questions from the YouTube community.