May 5th, 2008
06:30 PM ET
7 years ago

McCain: "I channel surf like every body else"

Sen. John McCain said he has no opinion on the Democratic battle for a nominee.
Sen. John McCain said he has no opinion on the Democratic battle for a nominee.

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (CNN) – John McCain, who consistently avoids commenting on the Democratic horserace, was forced to discuss the ongoing fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on Monday when a voter asked him: “What scenario is best for you?”

McCain admitted he watches cable news coverage of the Demoratic race “like everybody else.”

“I observe with interest,” McCain answered. “I have heard one argument that says this that the competition between Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama allows me a chance to establish roots, unite the party, et cetera.”

“And then I have heard the other argument on the other side, and I channel surf like every body else, that this is a chance for the Democrats to sign up new voters and invigorate their party,” he said. “I really have no opinion because I really have no influence on it.”

Despite McCain’s ability to get his message out relatively unfettered as the Democratic candidates do battle, he suggested his current advantage ultimately may not matter.

“I do believe that most Americans do make a decision generally after the conventions,” he continued. “They watch the conventions and then they start watching the campaign.”

On the issues of health care, judicial appointments, taxes and national security, McCain rattled off a litany of policy differences between himself and the Democrats. He said the general election will offer “as probably as stark a choice as Americans have ever had.”


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. American Girl

    So does my 77 year old father, my 83 year old aunt, my 69 year old mother-in-law and every other senior citizen in the USA.

    Please do us a favor and retire.

    May 5, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  2. Barbara McIlroy

    How can Clinton promise that there would be a gas tax rebate over the three months summer period.....she's not in power and I'm sure President Bush won't go for it!!

    May 5, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  3. Wow America, Are You Kidding Me?

    Obama was correct when he said that Americans would save about 30. for three months.

    Hillary had been saying they would save about 70. over three months. But today she rephrased her lie...er statement. She said that HOUSEHOLDS would save about 70 dollars. I guess some reporter pinned her down to the 70 dollar explanation. Everything she says will have to be researched because she will say anything to win.

    Don't trust her America, she lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies ,lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies ,lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies and..... she lies.

    May 5, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  4. stefan, Barstow, Ca

    McCain watching TV, because he doesn't have to campaign because he has Hillary do all his negative work, what happened to Cindy watching the foodnetwork to get new family recipes? Oh thats right neither have to do anything they have Hillary on the payroll, how else will she get money.
    Thrity dollars off your summer driving bill from uncle Sam, well uncle Sam's brothers work at shell, exxon, bp,..etc they'll get so much more as each and every day they twist and squeeze your limp wallet for your childrens lunch money.
    Bill is happy he can get all the new Walmart Democrats to the polls, you know the ones who have money coming from their employer that ran all the mom and pop businesses away and then recruited China to build Lead Poisoned toys for your children to choke on and get brain damage.
    Yep vote on the twins of harlem the sheik of harem and the freak that will rain nuclear bombs on top of the earth next time Iran spits at us.

    May 5, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  5. Belle

    No pundit has looked at HOW Clinton CAN win....

    Win Indiana by 54%
    Keep NC within 1 or 2 percent
    Sweep Kentucky
    Sweep one other state
    Keep Oregon within 2 percent
    Keep SD within 2 percent
    Win Puerto Rico by 70%

    She winds up with 8 more delegates than Obama....everyone is saying the math is impossible....but it really isn't.....

    May 5, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  6. Richard, FL

    McCain can't remember meeting with Bud Paxson about a communications favor, can't remember meeting twice with controversial host Bill Cunningham, can't remember saying he wasn't good at economics, can't remember the difference between Shia and Sunnis FIVE times, and now can't remember that he voted to establish English as our language before opening his all-Spanish website today.

    May 5, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  7. JC

    For each major primary. Hillary has a ploy. It was the NAFTA leak from Obama's camp just before the OH primary. Then it was reported that Hillary camp told Canada exactly what she criticized Obama's camp did. And, then her chief strategist Mark Penn went further to secretly meet with Columbian officials on proposing a free trade agreement.

    Now Hillary's ploy is the gas tax holiday. That is the carrot on the stick for Indiana. You people should ask your neighbors in Ohio how they were cheated by Hillary.

    May 5, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  8. chicagotrauma

    I suspect McCain is pandering and flip-flopping on certain issues from t he past to get elected.

    All three candidates are flip-floppers and panderers.

    I like McCains senate voting history, check out citizens for government waste. He is good at "no pork" unlike Clinton and Obama. Coming from Illinois I know Obama was worthless regarding his service to the state. I'm from Illinois and I don't know or trust this get at all. Clinton is guilty of a lot of wasteful spending, and I suspect that my taxes would
    go up to pay for her ideas.
    All three have their scandals, so fundraising scandals and pandering should not be used to decide which one to vote for.
    I think Mc Cain will do what he wants when he gets to the white house, and I'm OK with that. At least he is not a socialist.
    By the way.... there is only one o in "losing".

    May 5, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  9. 5

    you all suck
    McCain 08

    May 5, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  10. Judy

    I hope that the teamster’s union members were channel surfing today and listened to the interview where Obama (who had won the support of the union by promising to lift sanctions) is now saying that he would examine the issue (of lifting sanctions) when he becomes president. The person who was interviewing Obama could not get him to commit to his promise to the teamster’s union members. I guess that now that he has their backing he does not see the need to keep his promise.
    This shows that while Obama accuses Clinton of playing the same old Washington politics he is doing a good job playing the same game.

    May 5, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  11. American Girl

    For God so Loved the WORLD that he gave his only begotten son that WHOSOEVER believes in him shall not parish but have everlasting life.

    To my conservative right wing Christians... It is seriously time you check yourselves against the WORD of God. Be careful of your rhetoric, because by the same measure you dish out it will come back on you. It is God you need to answer to first and not even your Country, Political Party and Pastor. I know this seems 'Anti-American"

    Muslims are apart of this WORLD and considered WHOSOEVER
    Gays are apart of this WORLD and considered WHOSOEVER
    Poor Americans are apart of this WORLD and considered WHOSOEVER

    Check your statements about people and ask yourselves are you apart of these False Prophets that God will say depart from me you workers of iniquity, I know you not!

    May 5, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  12. Vicky Avare

    THANK YOU HILLARY FOR THE GAS TAX SAVING SUGGESTION!
    I'LL TAKE WHAT I CAN GET AND BE GLAD FOR IT. OF COURSE YOU PLAN ALOT MORE THINGS TO HELP KEEP PRICES DOWN BUT OBAMA WOULD HAVE US BELIEVE THAT IS YOUR ONLY SOLUTION! HE KNOWS BETTER! OBAMA IS THE DO NOTHING CANDIDATE WHO GIVES MOSTLY " LIP SERVICE" WITH HIS GIFT OF GAB!
    YES, OBAMA WILL PROBABLY WIN NORTH CAROLINA, BECAUSE OF THE 92% BLACK VOTING AND IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CLINTON. IF HE WERE WHITE THEIR VOTES WOULD BE MORE FAIR AND FOR HILLARY. THE AFRO AMERICANS WERE HAPPY AND PROSPERED UNDER BILL BUT THEY ARE LOYAL TO THEIR
    OWN AND ABANDONED THE FAITHFUL CLINTONS FOR NO VALID REASON! IF HE WINS THE NOMINEE BECAUSE OF THEIR ONE SIDED VOTES CAST, I WILL SURELY VOTE FOR MCCAIN! TURNED OFF DEMOCRAT VIVIENNE AVARE

    May 5, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  13. JC

    "Clinton is guilty of a lot of wasteful spending, and I suspect that my taxes would go up to pay for her ideas." – chicagotrauma

    Hillary has no ideas for her expensive earmarks.
    Earmarks are paybacks for votes to stay in Senate.
    Who are at loss? The taxpayers.

    May 5, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  14. Richard Bell - Winston-Salem, NC.

    You can't be more polarizing than a man who has a 20 year pastor who hates white people, jews, and Americans. You can't be more polarizing than a man who gets into the Illinois state senate by kicking all his opponents off the ballot to run unopposed. You can't be more polarizing than a man who has a 17 year friendly relationship with a corrupt political fixer. You can't be more polarizing than a man who tells the Teamsters union to give him an endorsement and he'll put an end to the oversight to root out corruption in the Teamsters union. You can't be more polarizing than a man who had a 15 year relationship with an American terrorist couple who wishes today, that he could blow up more government buildings. Obama… The great uniter. SURE…………

    May 5, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  15. Michael Ray Thompson

    Wow, I really don't think it makes a whole lot of difference who the Democrats nominate. They've blown it. They've given Democrats the choice between a rookie Senator from Illonois and a veteran liberal from New York. John McCain will coast to victory in November. Thanks Democrats!

    May 5, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  16. David S.

    “I really have no opinion because I really have no influence on it.”

    Huh? Does John McCain want to be the President of all Americans or just enough to squeak by in November. He ought to be trying to win over independents and libertarians in North Carolina who can choose what ballot they want tomorrow. He ought to be trying to convince Democrats that neither of their choices tomorrow is worth voting for. For all the talk of the Democratic Party being "torn" apart by the drawn-out primaries, Dems are registering a heck of a lot of new voters. John McCain shouldn't be be so non-chalant about that.

    May 5, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    McCain is smart not to get involved cuz the Dems are doing all the trash talking for him. Hopefully they will split Indiana/NC so they can continue there stupitity while I see no way Clinton can get the nomination. Then again, Bush stole the 2000 election from Goore, so Clinton can do the same to Obama.

    May 5, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  18. LT for Obama

    John Smith: I hate to break it to you, but not all people with degrees are informed. I have two years of college with no AA and I managed to do the research and become informed. Your argument that only those with a minimum of an AA degree is ridiculous.

    As for those with even 4 year degrees, I have worked with those people for years and I can tell you that many of them are very ill informed. I even have a friend who is so ill informed, she buys into conspiracy theories instead of actually looking at the candidates closely and doing the research.

    May 5, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  19. Sharon Minnesota

    Hillary 08 or McCain 08

    No Obama not ever

    May 5, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  20. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Obama is Chicago Politics which makes Louisiana Politics look saintly so when it comes to the general election he will send out his surregates as Al Capone send out his hitmen to rub out his rivals. Next thing you know we will have a Friend Of Obama's list of strange events. Obama is no saint!

    May 5, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  21. Boosdad

    My family has been in America since before the Revolution 1720 to be exact. If Obama or Clinton becomes President I'm thinking of defecting to UK or Canada.

    Thank God the country's forefathers set up the electorial college back then it was because the general public wasn't educated enough to vote. Today it still holds true. They may have degrees but they are stupid and can't think for them selves.

    May 5, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  22. linda from South Dakota

    mccain=baby bush,, like someone here said,, hillary will do snything to get what she wants ,, just like her husband,, and BILL,, your looks do not sway me one bit,,,, Obama, tells the truth,, americans havent heard the truth in so long ,, most dont know what it it anymore with canidates (be gone bush) and did you know that hillary is realted to the bush family? sooooo that tells you that they(hillary and gill) will either be swayed or act like he does , so is tht what you want americans??? to be swayed by someone? i think not,, vhange is good.... its time to trust ,,, and obama is the one to trust,,,,,,,,, dont be prejidiuce,, If he was so "bad: would illinois have elected him governor?? i think not again,, GO OBAMA,,,,,,,!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 5, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  23. Smart Thinker

    McCain watches war movies over and over and over.............

    May 5, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  24. xtina

    Even if we win in Iraq tomorrow we need a long-term plan for fighting Islamo-fascist terror. The order in which these people are equipped to continue to keep us safe is :

    -McCain
    -Hillary
    -Obama

    May 5, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  25. Aces full of Kings

    Let's just get it over with, give the whitehouse keys to McCain and let him "bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran." Oh and while you're out, can you raise the gas prices a couple more dollars, it's too cheap, and my money is starting to burn a hole in my pocket. Congratulations, Hillary supporters, you have just screwed the country for the third straight time! Viva McBush!

    May 5, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
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