January 24th, 2008
09:44 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain: I am not weak on the economy

(CNN) - Republican John McCain brushed aside suggestions the emergence of the economy as an issue on voters' minds could harm his presidential chances.

"I am very well versed in economics," he said during Thursday's presidential debate. “I was there at the Reagan revolution. I was there just after we enacted the first tax cuts and restraints on spending. I was chairman of the commerce committee in the United States Senate, which addresses virtually every economic issues that affects the United States."

Long viewed as a respected voice on national security, McCain has not made economic issues as much of a driving force in his presidential bid. Political observers have questioned whether the issue's new prominence in the campaign may shift votes towards successful businessman Mitt Romney - who has made economic policy a centerpiece of his run.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. wale azeez

    paul got mccain fumbling with his question....mccain has no clue what he was talking about...i thought that was funny!!!! mccain is weak on economy and strong in iraq

    January 24, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  2. robert mitchell

    I wish that John McCain would just shut up. I don't understand for the life of me how any of these dweebs with the exception of Ron Paul can get any traction at all. I don't understand what has happened to the conservative voice in our country any more. I have never seen such a lackluster group of candiates in my life. God help our country if this all we can offer up to steer our country forward. And the media is a party to it it is painful to watch the media carry water for these people.

    January 24, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  3. Ed

    McCain is ready to start drawing his Social Security check. He is too old for this job.

    January 24, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  4. Lee

    Are they stating Clinton as the candidate to beat in the democratic race? Sure sounds like it to me. I wonder if the papers tomorrow will note how many times they used Hillarys name like they did with McCain the other night. I sure hope they do.

    Hillary is the candidate thats in it to win it and the republicans obviously got it tonight 😉

    January 24, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  5. lynn R.

    say what you want–McCain has the best chance to win.

    January 24, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  6. Joe D

    I thought that Ron Paul nailed McCain on the economic question. It's obvious McCain knows nothing about economics. Look at his face was like he got caught with his pants down. Better think of some general answer quick! lol He couldn't even answer the question. He'd rely on his circle of advisors? That means he doesn't know. lol

    January 24, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  7. Lee

    How many names is John McCain gonna throw around tonight. It is like whos who of who he knows. Speak about you not about all those you know. hello.'

    January 24, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  8. Doom

    He sounds confused.

    January 24, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  9. Mark G., BBH, ME

    He did not have a clue about the PPT, plunge team Dr. Paul asked him about.

    best and most telling part of the night.

    January 24, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  10. David

    Yes you are McCain....you are weak on the ecomnomy

    January 24, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  11. Patty, somewhere

    I also agree with previous posters that it was obvious McCain had no clue as to the question posed to him by Ron Paul.
    Also I stated in another thread here that I almost choked when McCain started talking about the stimulus package and he was sorry Bush's tax cuts were not made permanent because those people who are planning their 2010 budget now will have problems. Tell that to the thousands upon thousands who don't know where next month's rent will come from.

    January 24, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  12. What's Economy

    McCain spells economey double U.. A.. arrrr..
    that spells WAR

    Who cares if you have a job we have lots of wars and go back to veitnam and find the people who tortured him.

    January 24, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  13. Carol

    Ouch! That one didn't go so well.

    January 24, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  14. Steve

    Typical of each of the candidates stealing from Ron's platform. Because the economy is the topic of the day, all of the sudden they bring up the same or very similar responses that Ron has been saying all along. Furthermore, now we have McCain stealing the "revolution" slogan (which wasn't a Reagan slogan at all).
    Cheap imitators. This is pandering at its finest people. Use your brains! Look at the facts and not he smoke screen.

    January 25, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  15. James

    the funny thing is that mccain first denied that he knows nothing about the economy saying that he has extensive knowledge of the economy and just as much or more than any other candidate. Then he looked like a dunce when ron paul asked him a question about the economy. So much for all that extensive knowledge he has.

    January 25, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  16. Richard, FL

    McCain, responding to Tim Russert about whether he said he knew a lot less about economics than the military said, "I don’t know where you got that quote from."

    "I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues," McCain told Wall Street Journal's Steve Moore in 2005. "I still need to be educated."

    It was like when Bush lied during his 2004 debates and claimed he hadn't said that he wasn't all that concerned about Osama bin Laden.

    January 25, 2008 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  17. Pedro

    I'm guessing that Mr. McCain could have done just as masterful a job at nailing Ron Paul on some of his weaknesses – particularly on foreign policy, national defense, trade, etc. etc. etc......to think that none of these guys have weaknesses would be like...well, like a fairy tale. Where have we heard that before?

    January 25, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  18. ED

    McCain will WIN anyway...........guaranteed.

    McCain 2008!

    January 25, 2008 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  19. Geoff

    "At a recent meeting with the Wall Street Journal editorial board, Republican presidential candidate John McCain admitted he “doesn’t really understand economics” and then pointed to his adviser and former Senate colleague, Phil Gramm – whom he had brought with him to the meeting – as the expert he turns to on the subject, The Huffington Post has learned."

    January 25, 2008 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  20. Foreign National

    McCain would be better suited for National Security Advisor or Secretary of Defense, but he might be OK with Huckabee or Paul on the ticket!

    I agree Paul is the only viable candidate, but he does not look likely to get the nomination, so I could support McCain with Huckabee or Paul on his ticket!

    The tax plan of Huckabe is genius and he has all the basis well covered, just the opinion of someone with an advanced degree in Economics!

    But to suport Mc Cain or not would definitely depend who is on the ticket with him! He is so pro Bush and his policies, I am afraid we might have a diaster in Foreign Policy with McCain?

    He is banging the war drums, and I would have loved to see Ron Paul ask McCain about Operation Cyclone, and I bet Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate that knows anything about it!

    January 25, 2008 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  21. Rob

    McCain is a decent guy and he's been a great senator, but he is completely unprepared to be our president. He is a master compromiser, but he has never worked in the economy or lead any organization. I say let's keep him in the senate where he will be most effective. We need a true leader who understands financial matters and has experience in business, potitics, and international affairs. Mitt Romney is the most intelligent, capable, and experienced candidate from either party in years. A vote for Romney is a vote for a better America.

    January 25, 2008 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  22. Colby

    Where's the ticker post about McCain denying that he said the exact quote that Rustert read to him during a question about his lack of economic knowledge. No one should expect these guys to remember everything they ever said, but they caught McCain in a fib that time! Tonight was a bad night for McCainiacs

    January 25, 2008 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  23. dave

    I think John McCain was made out of the same mold as Rumsfeld he is a bully and a war monger. I think this country would be in for a rude awakening if he was elected President. I am a true democrat and I am voting for Romney any more ?'S.

    January 25, 2008 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  24. Jason, El Segundo CA

    McCain – you know squat about economics. Give me a break. The choice is clear people: with McCain you get 'old world' power, with Romney you get 21st century power. The world isn't ruled by guns and bombs anymore McCain! McCain is a product of the Cold War – it's all he knows. Romney is a product of the present.

    January 25, 2008 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  25. Tim, Minnesota

    I'm tired of hearing about the "bridge to nowhere". If you stopped it from happening, chances are you were doing your job. Why brag about what you were paid to do?

    January 25, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
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