In the midst of an answer on climate change, McCain said:
Now, how — what’s — what’s the best way of fixing [climate change]? Nuclear power.
Sen. Obama says that it has to be safe or disposable or something like that. Look, I was on Navy ships that had nuclear power plants. Nuclear power is safe, and it’s clean, and it creates hundreds of thousands of jobs. And I know that we can reprocess the spent nuclear fuel. The Japanese, the British, the French do it. And we can do it, too. Sen. Obama has opposed that.
Now, set aside the preposterous notion that nuclear power is going to “fix” climate change. The transcript doesn’t convey it, but this line — “Sen. Obama says that it has to be safe or disposable or something like that” — is delivered with a kind of bemused sputter, like he’s trying to figure out some peculiar idiosyncrasy of Obama’s.
High-handedly dismissing safety concerns about nuclear power struck me as jarring and a little bizarre. I’d be curious to hear how it played with independents. Was anyone watching CNN’s little squiggly audience-reaction lines at the time? [UPDATE: Joe says uncommitted voters were not enthused.]