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. Steve

    If you think Obama is speaking down to you, you probably are one of those unfortunate people who think he's "uppity". Hillary cannot, under any circumstances, get the gas tax holiday pushed through. That's one small detail she hasn't felt the need to address. The rest of congress and the lobbyists will not let her do it. End of story. Hillary may not call you "bitter" but in proposing this nonsense, she is most definitely calling you stupid. She knows she can't get this pushed through, and she thinks you'll vote for her simply because she can. Now THAT, my friends, is talking down to you. Don't buy into her nonsense. She voted the taxes in. She voted for tax shelters for oil companies. And now, because she wants your vote, she's telling you she's on your side. Unbelievable. I'll be happiest when she and Bill are picking up trash on the side of the freeway after their Peter Paul indictment and trial.

    May 5, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  2. sacto joe

    Sorry, old style politicians – it's time for Change. All the media moguls are on your side, but the TRUTH is on Barak Obama's side. Your filth and slime will slide off this man, and puddle at your feet. Through your own deeds you will be seen as the Enemy of America, and you will be brought low.

    Your time is coming to an end, and a new age is about to dawn.

    May 5, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  3. Kris from AZ

    Well Gawwwwleyyyyyyy Wally. As the beaver looked confused. He is just a person like you and me?...gimme a break. Obama 2008!

    May 5, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  4. California Girl

    Hey McCain, what's up with 100 years in Iraq?

    May 5, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  5. Mary Howard

    It's so amazing how the American people can crucify a Black man for running for President of the United States mostly by the remarks of someone else and when a white woman straight out lie about (1) being under sniper fire in Bosnia, (2) the treatment of a woman in a hospital among others, it gets a short spread on the news and that's it. Then we have robot McSame with a short memory and the same Bush tactics and everybody thinks America is better off with one of the latter. I say Obama let them have it and when they don't come through on their promises and the American people ask why, the first thing clinton is going to say is that she couldn't because she was under sniper fire and trying to make sure that woman was being treated.Of course the American people will then realize that she only "misspoke" when she was campaigning. McCain won't even remember what promises he made.

    May 5, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  6. Tim from Ohio

    I agree with an earlier post that says McCain must be doing something right because he is holding his own against both Senator Clinton and Senator Nobama is the latest national polls. The guy really isn't that bad. However, if he wants to win the presidency, he's going to have to sell the American people on the idea that staying in Iraq is a good move. If he cannot accomplish this task, he will not get elected president. It's pretty plain and simple and he knows that.

    May 5, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  7. sacto joe

    The media moguls have done their best to play the race card, firing up the racists and trying to foment fear.

    But they have failed. Their campaign of smear and fear has come sliding off Senator Obama, and lies puddled at the feet of those who did the smearing.

    This good man is about to become a GREAT man!

    May 5, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  8. Sydney, MA

    His call to action is running up the hill, alone.

    We are through with war unless it is a direct threat to us.

    May 5, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  9. Seth

    why aren't you reporting Obama's recent endorsements?

    May 5, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. June W in Canada

    I can't wait to see Obama and McCain on the Presidential Campaign trial. The 21st Century candidate of the future and the 20th Century candidate of the past. The visuals alone will tell the story. Trying to make peace, not war will be the America of the future I hope.

    May 5, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  11. 2012

    Today is Karl Marx's birthday. Where's the party, Barry??? Why didn't I get an invitation??? I bet Jerry and Larry are there......oh, yeah, that explains it....I ain't on the down low.......

    May 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  12. KE

    The country diveded back in the 60' under the socialist government, took about 20 years for people who followed the idealogy to realized that this "government by the people" was a failed promise.

    Remember Communism was lead by the group of elitists. Stalin was supported by the elitists and Hitler too. I'm sure they were sincere men, but sincerely wrong. They were human beings just as faulty as everybody else. The government works well under the leaders who believes in the intelligence and the potentials of common people.

    Those who mistakenly pride themselves as the "educated" and look down on people who they think "uneducated" can misjudge things. Remember a little education can be dangerous also for the educated.

    You've got to come down from the high places in the 21st century.

    May 5, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. Brian, RI

    From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
    Obama has picked up four more superdelegates today; Clinton has picked up none.

    How was 9 supers the other day an opening of the flood gates, but this doesn't even get on the ticker today?

    May 5, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  14. Drew, FL

    Channel surf? This dude is ancient! How does even move those arthritic digits? need to check this out. Look at all the videos.

    May 5, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  15. rachel

    All the people who say Hillary is just like McCain should not be surpised if all her supporters vote for him then. All the Obama supporters will whine and cry that we are real democrats if we do, but then they are so arrogant that they feel they don't need any help from Hillary supporters. They better wise up, or all the bitter small town gun carrying , religous blue collars go straight to mccain.

    May 5, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  16. Fannie

    I wonder why Hillary Clinton was featured on FOX and CNN the day before the PA election and now the same has occurred with the IN and NC campaign? I wonder.....

    May 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  17. Hillary-liars-a-lot

    OMG, the thought of listening to that lying witch for the next four years is giving me a serious migrane. Some people should not be allowed to vote, they are just so ....

    That's why we are paying $4.00 a gallon for gas now–crazy people roaming around voting for witches like Hillary.

    Understand this...she lies, and anything she says we can not trust. So heck, she can SAY anything, but liars don't deliver.

    Send that witch back to NY, asap.

    May 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  18. Samual Adams

    yipity yipity yah McCain is gay.

    May 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  19. Wendy, MO

    LOL, Hillary is perfect for Bill. He sure as heck isn't going to heaven and he needs Hillary to keep him company. They're both liars, kick em to the curb.

    May 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  20. deborah jeane, Boston

    where's the DC madame's list, CNN?
    Who killed the madame, literally or figuratively, CNN?
    oh, wait, what am i doing here, instead of googling? LOL

    May 5, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  21. MBFLA

    Let's all vote for the candidate who is most apt to tell us the truth. We know that is not Hillary who will sell her soul for a chance at greater power and it's not McBush who only knows how to tell about how he is different from Dumbya in spite of his old brown nose.
    We may not like what Obama says but he is going to tell us when a gas tax holiday is ridiculous pandering that will hurt us more than help us. Obama is not patronizing. It's Hillary who talks to us as if we are in kindergarten.

    May 5, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  22. jim


    May 5, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  23. Jodie, Idaho

    Wow!!! I am a republican who is not voting for McCain. I will tell you why. I am a teacher who watches students struggle everyday, as republicans try and destroy the public school system. Education is the only thing that Americans have that put them all on the same playing field. It is the only chance some Americans have to make it in life. If we take that away from them than they have nothing. Please think about the future of your children. I agree with the republicans on some things, but I agree with the democrats on the most important things. Some conservatives vote republican because of abortion and gay marriage, and I am against those things too. But what about killing all those people in Iraq? Sometimes you have to look beyond labels and think about the future.

    May 5, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  24. noemi in los angeles

    PeopleMag: John Edwards doesn't much care for Clinton's "old politics." In their first joint interview since John, the Democratic former senator and 2004 vice presidential nominee, dropped out of the race in January, the couple named what they liked and disliked about each of the remaining Democrats – and Mrs. Edwards didn't hesitate: "I like Hillary's health care plan." What doesn't she like about the senator from New York and former first lady? "The lobbyist money," she adds. On Obama, she says: "The fact that he has motivated so many young people to be involved, I think is fantastic." What doesn't he like about Clinton? "Um, still a lot of the old politics," John Edwards said. As for Obama, he says: "Sometimes I want to see more substance under the rhetoric." But he cited two things he likes about the charismatic young senator from Illinois: "One is, I think he really does want to bring about serious change and a different way of doing things. And secondly, I think it's a great symbolic thing to have an African-American who could be president."

    May 5, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  25. Judy

    Its strange that I did not hear Obama say that the rebate that the government is givng back was only a "short term fix"! Maybe for those who only use $20 worth of gas a week would not see much of a savings if the gas tax was lifted however; I am a volunteer advocate for children and have to fill my car up at least twice a week, since this money comes out of my own pocket it would be nice to save a little because at this point I am facing either having to cut something out of my own budget or stop helping my kids as much as I do. What this means is that I will not take a vacation this year or weekend trips because I believe that helping these children is more important. I could use the help, Clinton has never said that this was a perement fix to the problem and in fact she has a plan to fix the problem long term, I have not heard anything from McCain or Obama about any long term plans. Obama says that Clinton represents the same old politics in Washington; I say that Obama really represents the same old politics in Washington; talk, talk, talk but don't offer any solutions.

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