TRANSCRIPT: 'On the Trail' with Sen. John McCain

Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain of Arizona sat down with George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" today for a wide-ranging interview.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You're a superstitious man.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Let me say that I'm the luckiest man. You know, I don't like to use superstitious. I just feel that I'm very lucky, and I like to have things that make me luckier.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So when was the first moment you let yourself believe "I'm going to be the nominee"?

MCCAIN: I haven't yet.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You haven't yet?

MCCAIN: Well, I think we've got to go through it. I think we've got a very good shot at it. I'm optimistic. But I think the time to do that is when [former Arkansas] Governor [Mike] Huckabee and the party decides that I am the nominee. He's still in the race, and he said he's going to stay in, and I respect that. So we'll compete.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Back in 2005, you said, "I have no doubt that Sen. [Hillary] Clinton would make a good president."

MCCAIN: Well, look, here's -- Sen. Clinton and I are sitting next to each other, and we're asked, "Would she," quote, "be a good president?" She would be a good president in the respect that I think she has integrity, I think she has all of the qualities that are necessary, but she has a very different philosophical view, the liberal Democratic view, than I have, which is conservative Republican.

So when you say "good," she's a good person. But we have strong differences in our views of government. I think she is a very good person. I think that Sen. [Barack] Obama is a good person.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But not good presidents?

MCCAIN: They certainly wouldn't make the kind of president that I would be or I wouldn't be running. You see my point? It's not a, quote, "good." I think they would work hard. I think they would be dedicated to the things that they believe in and stand for. I just have different fundamental philosophical views than they do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it sounds like you wouldn't say the same thing today?

MCCAIN: I would say that they would be good in the respect they're people of good character, honesty, integrity, when you look at that. Would they be good from a governing standpoint? Certainly not what I would do for this country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Sen. Obama focused on you on Tuesday night.

MCCAIN: I heard.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The first issue he raised was Iraq.

OBAMA: I will offer a clear choice. John McCain won't be able to say that I ever supported this war in Iraq, because I opposed it from the start ... Senator McCain said the other day that we might be mired for 1000 years in Iraq... 100 years.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He says the wrong war, the wrong time, not worth the cost in the blood and treasure. You obviously have a very different view.

MCCAIN: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And the country seems to agree, at least right now, with him. Can you win that argument? And can you win the White House if you don't?

MCCAIN: I am confident that I can convince the American people that the consequences of a date for withdrawal are catastrophe and al Qaeda trumpets that they win.

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