March 13th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama slams McCain for reverse on tax cuts

 Obama had some sharp words for McCain on his campaign plane Thursday.
Obama had some sharp words for McCain on his campaign plane Thursday.

(CNN) - Barack Obama suggested Thursday John McCain reversed his position on the Bush tax cuts in order to win the Republican nomination.

Speaking with reporters on his campaign plane, Obama noted the Arizona senator was a onetime opponent to the tax cuts, and said he has since reversed his position for political reasons.

"That was how, I guess, you got your ticket punched to be the Republican nominee," he said. "But he was right then, and he's wrong now."

McCain has said he supports the tax cuts now because of the economic slowdown and the stimulus potential they offer.

Obama also said he is against the tax cuts because they are an example of a "flawed fiscal policy."

"The notion that we would pile up more mounds of debt, literally borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars to pay for tax breaks for people who don't need them and weren't even asking for them I think is unfortunate," he said. "And I think it's an example of the kinds of flawed fiscal policies that have gotten us in such a hole under this administration and a republican congress."

UPDATE: Responding to Obama's remarks, McCain said later Thursday "it’s very clear that I voted to make those tax cuts permanent on several times."

"Senator Obama has stated very clearly his desire to increase Americans’ taxes," he added. "That will be one of the great debates we have if he is the nominee of his party. He wants to raise Americans’ taxes and put more of their money into the hands of the government. I want to keep it in the wallets and purses of the American people."

– CNN's Chris Welch contributed to this report


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Sarah L, Fayetteville, AR

    Charlotte, Sylvia, and NEVEROBAMA:

    The fact that you people use every thread to post something spiteful, divisive and off-topic is truly spectacular. It's fine if you don't like Senator Obama, but, at least, focus on a real issue–not just Clinton talking points. This article doesn't have anything to do with Clinton vs. Obama. Get over yourselves.

    March 13, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Carl

    Obama has also failed to mention that he would do the exact same thing in the exact same situation because it would mean a presidential lock.

    How dare he say one thing, when he would really do the other because it's common sense.

    March 13, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. LMDJ

    Fact are facts: McCain reversed his opinion.

    Now let's talk about the real problems Obama haters: George Bush and the republicans

    March 13, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. BUTCH

    WHATS WRONG WITH THE ECONOMY, ONLY THE LIBERALS SAY ITS BAD,,. THEY WANT ELECTED, WHAT ELSE CAN THEY SAY, IT IS GOOD. COME ON PEOPLE, LOOK at THE MO9NEY BEING RAISED TO CAMPAIGN ON. COMING IN PRETTY FREELY ,ISNT IT.. GO TO THE MALLS AND SUPER STORES AND THEN TELL ME THE ECONOMY IS BAD... THEY ARE PACKED,,, WHERE DID THE MONEY COME FROM... WAKE UP PEOPLE, LOOK AROUND,SEE FOR YOURSELF. OBAMA AND HILLARY ARE GOING TO RAISE OUR TAXES CONSIDERIBLY, HOW CAN YOU DO THAT WITH A BAD ECONOMY,,DONT MAKE SENSE,THEN AGAIN WHEN DID ANY LIBERAL IDEA MAKE SENSE.

    March 13, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. G.moody, Alabama

    Finally CNN post a topic not spinning it off as race motivated! I'm sick and tired of all the spinning! Let's just get down to what matters! What are the real issues facing this country.

    Obama is correct..it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see McCain is painting himself differently to win over a wing of republicans.You have plenty of Obama haters out there. The one thing they haven't noticed is the fact Obama is taking a beating from two candidates..not one!

    Both McCain and Hillary are constantly firing on him. I give him credit for keeping the fight as clean as it has been. There's been plenty of low blows thrown. He's still my choice for President. His race has nothing to do with it either unlike some of you posters!

    The ones the can't see the direction this country is headed in are the ones that refuse to see where we are headed if change doesn't come soon! Thanks republicans for voting in Bush and Cheney TWICE...I just love paying nearly $4.00 a gallon for gas!!

    And some of you people are worried about some taxes!!! Hell you'll never see the money any way, if we keep sending it all over seas!

    March 13, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. colorado

    oh brother...like a democrat has never changed their mind on an issue before. spare me. they change their minds as often as a baby has its' diaper changed! they are the pioneers of it, for goodness sake. it's like they wake up every morning and wonder what side they will take that day on any given issue.

    March 13, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. Bob Stephens

    Mr Obama,

    THAT IS THE REASON THEY CALL HIM "WEATHER VANE McCAIN". He switches his positions as the wind changes direction. Always has, always will!!!

    March 13, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. Allen

    I thought this article was about MCcain and Obama?.... Why are so many of the HillBill Zombies comments here, that don't have anything to do with the article?.... SPAMMERS!!!!

    March 13, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. From PA

    Blah blah blah.............what a complainer, ....whiner!!

    yeah Obama hasn't flip floped on:

    1. Going to war in Iraq
    2.withdrawing troops in Iraq
    3.NAFTA
    4.Healthcare
    5.Nuclear powerbill
    6.Florida votes (he initially wanted it counted, until he found out he lost)
    7. All of the above

    Answer: 7. All of the above

    March 13, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. Kevin in NC

    Taxes seem to be a very big issue when it comes time for an election. Truth be told, I have no problem paying taxes as long as....#1 the tax is used to benefit all Americans and #2 after taxes are taken, I have enough money left to support myself and family. The wealthy do not mind paying taxes....they have more than enough money left to live a very nice life. To me the real issue should be how to keep and bring good paying jobs to America.

    March 13, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. Rose - Baltimore, MD

    Charlotte, Sylvia, and NEVEROBAMA

    I think these 3 are paid volunteers in the clinton campaign just to keep an eye and post negative comments on every blog, even when it has nothing to do with the topic being discussed.

    March 13, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. sacto joe

    Senator Obama is absolutely correct in attacking McCain's position.

    1. Making the tax cuts permanent will have ABSOLUTELY NO POSITIVE EFFECT on the present economic situation.

    2. The present economic situation can be seen to have resulted from cheap money/weak dollar caused by a Fed that decided to stimulate a falling economy by dropping rates to HISTORIC LOWS. Why did the Fed step in? Because the Bush administration, instead of increasing the debt and stimulating the economy by spending, decreased the tax base by giving tax breaks to those who did little or nothing to stimulate the economy.

    3. People have been duped and had it slipped to them for years now and don't even have the common sense to realize it.

    March 13, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. Albo

    HAS SENATOR OBAMA THOUGHT THAT WHEN McCAIN OPPOSED THE ORIGINAL TAX REDUCTION, HIS ARGUMENTS WHERE CORRECT, BUT THAT NOW, GIVEN THE SITUATION, IT SREVERSAL
    WILL DAMAGE EVEN MORE THE ECONOMY AND ACCELERATE THE
    FLIGHT OF CAPITALS F L I G H T O F C A P I T A L S TO OVERSEAS ????

    WITH ATTACKS AS THIS ONE HE IS SUPPORTING THE ARGUMENT THAT YOUR INSIGHT IN ECONOMICS IS NOT SATISFACTORY OR, WORSE, THAT THIS IS ONLY A 'OLD WASHINGTON" WAY TO CAMPAIGN (AS OBVIOUSLY HILLARY IS DOING TOO !!)

    THE SAME IS VALID REGARDING YOUR NAFTA ATTACKS, WHERE
    MEXICO AND CANADA ARE INVESTING THEIR DOLLARS OBTAINED BY EXPORTS BY PURCHASES IN THE US, INSTEAD TO ADDRESS THEM TO THE SCARCELY MENTIONED CHINA, WHERE THE PROBLEM REALLY LAYS !!

    ALBO

    March 13, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. Greta

    McCain is unelectable. His positions on illegal immigration, NAFTA and tax cuts have made it so.

    Clinton is the ringmaster of the corrupt and shameless Clinton family circus riding back into town, scorching the earth.

    Obama is a man who thinks for himself and is beholden to no special interest group. That's where the future of this country lies.

    March 13, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. Bill

    CNN, you must really enjoy putting morons in a round padded room with wiffle bats, and watching them go at it. That pretty much sums up these little forums. Unfortunately, that is what America is reduced to. I'm thinking about moving north. Aye?

    : )

    March 13, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  16. king from toronto

    and why should he concentrate on hillary?????????she's already lost,incase you was'nt payin attention

    March 13, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. JV

    Forget tax cuts. How about $5.00 a gallon of gas?

    March 13, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. VOTER FOR TRUTH AND DIGNITY IN AMERICA

    Now Pres, Elect Obama. The vicious attack dog will not realease
    her records and you have already done so. Oh, My God! Cover
    your head! Duck? The bamblaster is coming.

    Obama 2008

    March 13, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. justme

    OK, guys..I won't pretend to know it all, like some, so what's the story about Obama and the preacher? If Obama should win (shudder) it would be an obamanation!!

    March 13, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. Robert NYC & Miami

    The Obama Cultists are out in full force.

    God Obama can do no wrong.

    and this is for Sarah L. in Arkansas – Senator Clinton is way more precise than Obama could ever hope to be.

    March 13, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Raise taxes during a recession. That always makes sense...if you don't have a clue about economics.

    March 13, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  22. Eric

    I have watched this election and have followed the canidates closely. It amazes me that some American people are so brainwashed and bigoted. Obama has never said he would raise taxes he speaks of fiscal responsability. So I ask why these bigoted republicans are and some uninformed independents keep saying that he will? Let us be real about this people do not want an African American or White female to be president!

    March 13, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  23. kd

    Thought Mr. Obama was not negative. If this is not negative, then what is? OH, only Obama can decide what is?

    March 13, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. DaveP

    Wow great idea Dems! increase taxes while the whole country is slidding into a recession.That will surely get it moving again. Full steam ahead! lets get them taxes moving! without more taxes this country will never sustain itself and then all you Dems can finally shut up after you have nothing left to spend on yourself since you have given it all to the government. Hell rather than raise taxes why don't you Dems just give the government all of your money that would fix the deficite. I think 50% of my money going to taxes at many levels of government is more than enough? If it's not the Feds it's the state or the county or the local city or the schools. Bunch of socialist tax crazy idiots. I am tired of government digging into my pockets every day.

    March 13, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  25. Debra

    I would kind of like to get a tax break. Nothing will make up for the rise in gas prices but it might help.

    March 13, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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