August 5th, 2008
05:10 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain: Obama 'confused' on energy positions

Sen. McCain slammed Sen. Obama at a press conference held in the shadow of a nuclear energy plant.
Sen. McCain slammed Sen. Obama at a press conference held in the shadow of a nuclear energy plant.

NEWPORT, Michigan (CNN) – A day after Barack Obama released a television ad that accuses John McCain of seeking tax breaks for big oil, McCain struck back Tuesday, calling Obama “a little bit confused” because of their divergent votes on the 2005 energy bill, which contained tax breaks for oil companies.

Watch: McCain slams Obama on energy policy

McCain made the remarks to reporters after touring the Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant, a facility that provides power to 2.3 million customers in southeastern Michigan. McCain is an ardent supporter of nuclear power.

“I saw that Senator Obama's latest attack has got to do with oil and campaign contributions,” McCain said, referring to Obama’s new TV spot. “I think he might be a little bit confused because when the energy bill came to the floor of the senate, full of goodies and breaks for the oil companies, I voted against it. Sen. Obama voted for it. People care, not only what you say but how you vote.”

Obama was one of 25 Senate Democrats to support that energy bill, which the Illinois senator has said represented a compromise that removed several of the Bush administration’s original proposals.

McCain also tweaked Obama for his newfound openness to offshore oil drilling.

“I noticed that there’s confusing now information from Sen. Obama as to whether he actually supports offshore drilling or not,” he said. “The fact is we have to drill here and we have to drill now and we have to drill immediately.”

Related: Obama teases McCain on drilling

McCain acknowledges that “nuclear power isn't enough and drilling isn't enough,” reiterating his regular proposals for a comprehensive approach to energy reform that includes wind, solar and tide production.

Flanked by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Fred Upton of Michigan, McCain chided Congress for taking their annual summer recess without focusing on fuel prices.

“People are paying four dollars a gallon for gas, are sick and tired of a Congress that won't act in their behalf,” he said. “So I'm urging Senator Obama to urge the Democratic leaders of Congress to call Congress back into session.”


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. Eric-PA

    What do you say to that Obama!?

    August 5, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  2. jfs Memhis, Tn

    The only one who is confused....and also trying to confuse the American voter is Sen. McCain. I have expected SO MUCH MORE from a person of this experience. These silly ads ......... the suggestive and degrading rhetoric.........INCREDIBLE. I also understand that he leads only by 5% in his home state of Az. That is not good. Guess Arizonians are confused also ???

    August 5, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. MikeH

    McCain is a poster boy for confused states, just watch his 'Viagra Moment'.

    So, Non Believer, who do you follow? I agree, Obama is a Politician, and he is going to say self-serving things that's what all politicians do, but didn't he say the gas tax holiday was a gimmick that was proven to be a correct statement even though he was ridiculed for it, likewise checking tire pressure, likewise drilling for oil, likewise withdrawing troops from Iraq in about 16 months,... He says things that make sense to thinking people. I'm not so much following Obama as I am repudiating McCain, he doesn't make any sense at all, he keeps changing his story.

    By the way, the use of the word "hater" in your post pegs you as a Republican operative, that's a talking-point word you are told to use by the Repub. Central Committee.

    August 5, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. McCain’s PHONY EXPRESS

    McCain better not talk as there are youtube clips of McCain staring into the sky and totally confused.

    McCain the PHONY EXPRESS

    August 5, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. BT

    @ Bipartisan Intelligence – it is the HOUSE Republicans that are staging the protest, not the Senate.

    I don't understand how Obama can claim to be new politician while purposefully confusing his own record. Obama voted for Big Oil, John McCain didn't... lets continue to set the record straight.

    John McCain. Right on Energy Solutions. Right for the United States.

    itsalldicta.blogspot.com

    August 5, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. LT for Obama

    Why is he not demanding them to come back? Why is he laying this only at Obama's feet? This man is always attempting to call out Obama on one thing or another without any real action on his part.

    August 5, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. Matt

    Obama has no plan to be confused about.

    hope and change doesn't fill my tank Mr. Uhhhhhbama!

    August 5, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. KE

    A tried and tested candidate should withstand any negative campaign. This is Obama’s first major public accomplishment he can put on his resume but all depend on how he ends it.

    August 5, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. Kirby Alexander

    Non believer whats so astonishing is folk like u who see the chaos the country is in yet still wanna follow the same ol same ol. You like seeing america in the sad state its in due to moronic leaders and voters like yourself.

    August 5, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  10. Paul

    I started out not liking Nobama because of his positions on issues. Now I do not like Nobama because I don't know what his positions are on any issues. Anyone else having this problem?????

    August 5, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. Pam

    That's funny coming from the man who thinks Czechoslovakia is still a country and doesn't know who we're fighting in Iraq.

    August 5, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. McCain:SmallWeakCowardlyManOffersMoreOfTheSame TearsOthersDownToBuildHimselfUp

    Somone needs to inform McCain that his potential VP pick from Alaska just endorsed Mr. Obama's energy plan! Oops!!! Ouch!!! That must have hurt so good, JohnnyMac. Old, out of touch relic from yesteryear that you are!

    August 5, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. Lorna, NY

    John McCain is an idiot!

    August 5, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Non- believer, all politicians are like that why hold it against Obama? Even Bush has 'blind' followers..................

    August 5, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. karen-phoenix

    I am a 50 year recovering republican so I still notice republicans. Cindy seems to be "hovering" over John the way Nancy hovered over Ronald when he first got alzhiemers. McCain seems very, very confused and he had 26 years to change things in Washington but didn't. Time for a big, new change!!! Go Obama

    August 5, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  16. Linda from Prescott AZ

    He needs to drill his way back home to Arizona and retire. We don't like him as a Senator and we sure as heck don't want him as the Pres.

    August 5, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  17. Obamalism

    "McCain acknowledges that “nuclear power isn't enough and drilling isn't enough,” reiterating his regular proposals for a comprehensive approach to energy reform that includes wind, solar and tide production." – now, shut it Obamatards.

    The simple fact is that we are A LONG WAY from getting off oil (gas, diesel, plastics, etc...) and EVERY PIECE OF MACHINERY that uses it today. We are still only reasearching possible alternatives and whether they're economically feasable. You can't just stop importing oil to develop alternatives...the country has to run in the mean time.

    Reality check is that oil will be a major portion of our energy policy whether Bush or even Al Gore is the president for the next 20 years. The goal is to get off oil, the realistic path is to increase the supply so we can save our economy and security and begin the move to alternatives....like nuclear...hello Obama, why not nuclear?

    August 5, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. NotFallingInLine.org

    Why does the world's most confused man call others confused?

    McCain couldn't find the toilet paper if you handed him the roll. I hope he can still remember how to use it.

    Because, all you hear from his mouth is crap.

    August 5, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. lamar of springfield,mo.

    My point exactly Senator McCain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JUST LIKE HOW YOU VOTED AGAINST DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY.

    August 5, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. Enlightned voter

    Time for the libs to begin the name calling when confronted with the facts. Let's see and watch.....

    August 5, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  21. Sherry, Atlanta

    McCain continue to use the term of 'Confused, or Inexperience', relating to Senator Obama.

    This goes to show just how SENILE, John McCain truly is!

    August 5, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. Kirby Alexander

    For those MCcain voters ... your candidate is actually making fun of obama's suggestion to keep your tires properly inflated on the vehicles you drive to save gas. THATS COMMON SENSE AND MCCAIN IS MAKING FUN OF A COMMON SENSE SOLUTION TO A COMMON PROBLEM. WE DONT NEED ANYMORE IDIOTS IN THE WHITE HOUSE !!!! MCCAIN VOTERS !!!!

    August 5, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. This is not American Idol Folks

    And you're comparing an old man who made a mental slip to a young and intelligent Obama who thinks there are 57 states?

    The same super smart man who wants to take more money that we've spent on the world and send it off to countries around the world... Oh, while paying for you college tuition, paying your utility bills and inflating your tires....

    You guys make about as much sense as he does... Give me a break an do some research first.

    American Idol Dems... Pathetic...

    August 5, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. soy

    Obama hasn't wavered on his opposition against drilling but rather is willing to compromise if the bill includes enough for alternative fuels. I wouldn't expect Republicans to know anything about that since its always their way or the highway. Obama recognizes that a compromise is needed in our democracy sometimes and you can't always strong arm people to go completely your way. Compromise is something Republicans can't understand that's why they make domestic and foreign policy mistakes all the time because they resort to strong arming people into supporting their proposals and there's only so much you can do that way.

    August 5, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  25. This is not American Idol Folks

    And you're comparing an old man who made a mental slip to a young and intelligent Obama who thinks there are 57 states?

    The same super smart man who wants to take more money that we've spent on the war and send it off to countries around the world… Oh, while paying for you college tuition, paying your utility bills and inflating your tires….

    You guys make about as much sense as he does… Give me a break an do some research first.

    American Idol Dems… Pathetic…

    August 5, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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