Republican candidate John McCain says if he were president, he’d veto the new Farm Bill that congressional negotiators hope will soon be signed by President Bush. “As you know, I’ve always been known for taking noncontroversial positions on issues and always try to just go the easiest pass,” McCain said, joking with the crowd before turning serious. “…I have to give you a little sraight talk about the Farm Bill that is wending its way through congress. I do not support it. I would veto it.”

McCain spoke Thursday afternoon to a crowd of about 250 in Des Moines and he was twice interrupted by applause from the crowd during his brief remarks about the Farm Bill. “The subsidies are unnecesary…I do not believe we should have tariffs against imported products, but I want to promise you as president of the United States of America I will recognize one fundamental fact and that is the farmer in the state of Iowa and the United States of America is the most productive, the most efficient and the best and I will open every market in the world to your products and I will sell them,” McCain said. “…The Iowa farmer as well as any other agricultural interest can compete with any other agricultural interest in the world.” McCain closed the discussion on the topic with a brief reference to the price of food “going up dramatically all over the world” but then said nothing more, other than to say he “just thought I’d start out with that non-controversial statement.”

McCain’s primary topic of conversation, though, was health care. McCain promised to work with Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and “even vegetarians” to try to accomplish reform. “Americans want us to sit down and work together,” McCain said.

AUDIO: McCain talks about Farm Bill (mp3 runs 1 min 36 sec)