May 5th, 2008
06:30 PM ET
10 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. Joe

    Hey McCain. Want a prayer to be elected President in 08? Then develope a real plan to withdraw from Iraq within your first four year term. Otherwise MY FREIND. You are toast!

    May 5, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  2. No McCain

    You actually look like a Couch Potatoe surfing the channels and yelling at the TV set why it has no more Vietnam war movies.

    May 5, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. DAN

    He's doing somthing right, He beats or ties Obama in almost every poll and looses to Hillary but not by much and all the while Bushes numbers are the worst of any president.

    May 5, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. MP-Pennsylvania

    McCain Vs Obama will take our country to a new political culture.

    From gutter to descency

    President of the united states of america is one of the highest office in the world.

    We need to set examples for others

    Our political culture is not what we can be proud of.

    Prmaries have been no different than third world countries

    It is time to show we americans have descency

    May 5, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. Soupy

    As much as I dislike McCain's politics he isn't that bad of a guy. Just a bit out of it sometimes. He would have made a better president than Bush eight years ago. Today, not so sure.

    May 5, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  6. Navy Vet

    No wonder he channel surfs, Sen. Clinton is running a republican campaign better than Sen. McCain, and he should take lessons from her.

    Cavaet Emptor with Sen. Clinton, you get what you pay for.

    She would make a good running mate for him!

    May 5, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |

    John McCain like all republicans want Hillary Clinton to win, they are doing all they can to help her to include making it hare or harder than it has to be even with rev. wright and everything else. Media has been doing all they can by looping the soundbites recking havoc on weak minds.

    May 5, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. Ken

    Only when Jeopardy isn't on...

    Obama '08

    May 5, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  9. Griff

    The 'Big Wave' is Coming, in the size of John McCain..

    May 5, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  10. Ardnuas

    I look forward to seeing you and Obama debate!!!

    May 5, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  11. An American in Canada

    John McCain don't you think you should be resting up, H.R. Clinton will be coming to debate you very shortly.

    She will be the democratic nominee and has been getting ready for her final hurdle.






    May 5, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  12. hillary= war, hate, racism, intolerance,

    McCain and Hilary one and the same,

    Go Obama

    May 5, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  13. Indiana for Barack

    He said. “I really have no opinion because I really have no influence on it.

    Don't worry Johnny McSame, you will not have influence on the general election either. Let Barack win the nomination and then see him come after you.

    May 5, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  14. jd

    Maybe Hillary should change her party to Republican. OBAMA/o8

    May 5, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  15. Jane, NC

    He's right. There is a litany of differences between the Republican candidate and whomever is the Democratic nominee. There are stark differences, as Sen. McCain says. And one of those differences is that the vast, vast majority of Americans are going to support the Democratic candidate.

    May 5, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  16. GloriafromPA

    I still think he should ask Hillary to be the VP on his ticket. They speak a differnt tale, but they are not far apart on most things. Hey, Hillary thinks he would make a great president, and she takes her economic plans from him – even though he admits, and shows, he knows nothing about the economy. Now that's a dream ticket. Google Paul vs Clinton and learn why the superdelegates are picking Obama. He changed Hillary's lead from 22 to 14.

    May 5, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  17. Juan Grain

    A little help for undecided voters. Sometimes it is hard to make up your mind when you are being bombarded from every angle. It gets tough because your hart strings sometimes get's tangled with your mind logic.

    There are some fun & simple things that you can do to make a good sound choice for President! And with the internet you can find plenty of good info. in a quick easy way.

    1. Define what it is that you want in a President. by making two list, matters of the hart and matters of mind.

    2. Measure the candidates on those issues on a score from 1 to 10, 10 being the high score.

    3. Analyze the score by totaling your scores in each list and then review the two list and the scores.

    4. Score each list by level of importance to you, same scale (1 to 10)

    5. Score each list by your satisfaction factor of scores on the list, same scale (1 to 10) and total all scores on list.

    Then chew up the list and swallow it so now one can tamper with the results. Get a goodnight's sleep, get up in the morning and make some coffee, eggs, bacon and toast with jelly or butter and go vote for Barack Obama 😉

    May 5, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  18. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Read Roland Martin on the front of CNN right now – He says it all – Let's get behind Roland Martin and don't forget to vote for Obama no matter what other people say.

    May 5, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  19. Hillard

    What is wrong with Hillary? Does she not know decency? I think she is being used by the Republicans to distract Democrats from real issues and the presidency.

    May 5, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  20. Ric

    Democrats for Mc Cain '08 !!

    May 5, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  21. Mary May King

    Haven't figured out how we descend from gutter. Is that a McCain plan or an Obama plan? Or maybe a Bosnian tailspin? Or is that "talespin?"

    One way to provide an example to the world would be in our command of the English language.

    If McCain needs prayer, please don't call on Rev. Wright. He has a tendency to lose his temper and order God to curse people with his skin pallor.

    So, if caveat emptor applies to Clinton, does caveat venditor apply to Obama, since we know he's selling something? Clean hands doctrine works well with McCain, don't you think? Especially if he washes his hands of Bush?

    May 5, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  22. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    You better make sure your name is included in the secret "bunker" for hiding if this McCain wins the presidency. All of his family will be hiding in the "bunker" what about yours and mine? Remember all the things our government told us to do in a nuclear disaster or chemical and then decided it was up to each state to determine what's best. Which came down to cover your own ..... because the duct tape won't protect you.

    May 5, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  23. Lonnie

    Whats up with the polls CNN is putting out there, Hillary up by 4% in Indiana, Barack loosing ground, Something is up, none of the other polls show this information. Also, why is Barack drawing 13,000 at a time and Hilary only 1,200 to half an auditorum. The numbers are not adding up!!! And CNN's total delegate count do not match MSNBC's and other stations.

    May 5, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  24. She cannot be trusted

    Hillary has gas lobbyists campaigning for her, so who do you think profits from this hypothetical gas holiday? You might save $30 over the course of the summer, but you'll be paying up to $5 a gallon AFTER the holiday.
    SHELL and CISCO say: If you give me a dollar, I'll give you 5 nickels and you'll have more money in your pocket..

    One last thing: why is she offering a gas holiday THIS summer knowing full well she doesn't have the power to give it? Hypothetical talk to get votes is a very cheap way of pandering.

    May 5, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  25. K

    Obama is an arrogant putz who sat in a racist church for 20 years. Do you enjoy when he talks down to you?

    May 5, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
1 2 3 4