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. independent now

    WOW WHAT A CONCEPT, CHECK THE CANDIDATES VOTING RECORD... WHEN HILARY TRIED TO BRING IT UP DURING THE PRIMARIES YOU ALL SAT BACK AND DRANK THE KOOLAIDE. HOPE YOU GUYS CAN GET THE SOUR TASTE OUT OF YOUR MOUTHS.CAUSE MCCAIN IS GOING TO BRING HIS LACK OF VOTING AND HIS POOR JUDGEMENT VOTING INTO THIS ELECTION, AND IT IS FAIR GAME. I DONT LIKE MCCAIN EITHER, BUT HES RIGHT IN THIS CASE. OBAMA HAS TO OWN UP TO HIS FLIP FLOPPING, HES CALLING HIM OUT ON IT. I AM VOTING FOR HILARY CLINTON ANYWAY, AS A WRITE IN VOTE. I ENCOURAGE ANYONE OUT THERE DISGRUNTLED BY OUR TWO CHOICES TO DO THE SAME. I WONT VOTE MCCAIN BUT I WANT PELOSI AND DEAN TO KNOW WHY I AM VOTING FOR HILARY CLINTON. SHE IS THE BETTER CANDIDATE HANDS DOWN.

    August 5, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. JA Cook

    Support the Drill Surge

    McCain 08
    Better Than Bush

    August 5, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  3. J Kay - KCMO

    To NoMcSame......................Remember Dirty Rotten Scoundrels?

    Ruppert comes to mind..............I like that nickname for McFuddled and McFused. It is really sad!!

    August 5, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  4. Paula in WI

    Mcain's VP will be a full time babysitter.He can't get through any speech unless he looks down and reads it.

    August 5, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. Ian MN

    hmmm, well i'm glad the world is going to end soon, because wow, this presidential election has become completely stupid and annoying. I really wish they would just talk about whats important. I don't care what you think about what "they" said. I only care about what YOU say, and in a positive way. Thats for both candidates.

    August 5, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  6. McCain is a joke or senile

    I know he's joking? Confused – McShame's confused 24/7. Will someone inform him that Checkoslovokia no longer exists? How about reminding him for the 5th time the difference between the Sunni's from Shiites? What a joke or is he senile? My grandfather has experience, as a matter-of-fact he is considered a war hero, but he did not get caught. Grandpa will tell you that that does not mean he's qualified to be President. We need brilliance, vision, a leader and yes, we want our President to be admired throughout the world.
    Obama 08 & 12

    August 5, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. kayla

    mcsame is the one confused. he has no substance, that is why he keeps attacking sen obama. wait for the debate. people will see through you MY FRIEND. all you have over sen obama. is AGE. not experience. old age.

    August 5, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. Irma in North Carolina

    Senator Mccain you are the one who is confused. You just want the people to vote for you so there will be four more years of Bush. The american people are seeing through you. Hope you get all the puma people who are so stupid and childish and racits, they would like four more years of Bush.

    August 5, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. Independent

    Last week, John McCain just had a town hall meeting in NV and in CO.

    It was absolutely pathetic. All this guy says is "my friends I know how to fix that" but then he gives not even the slightiest solutions to the problem he was asked about.

    Wake up America! Not again, not again!

    YES WE CAN!

    August 5, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  10. MBFLA

    McBush doesn't know Shiite from Shinola and you expect him to know about energy? Look up dementia. It only gets worse.

    August 5, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  11. Chris from NY

    Who in the world could be more confused than McCain is on this issue. Please forgive me this man is way out of it.

    August 5, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  12. The Nabi

    John McCain is old and is easily confused. He can remember his father telling him the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. Face it, the guy was actually in elementary school during WW II.

    He has been confused since he graduated in 1958 from the US Naval Academy. He ranked 790 out of 794, I guess that is why he crashed three planes before he was shot down over Hanoi.

    August 5, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. aaa

    mccain you are confused your whole life what are you talking about

    August 5, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  14. edw

    In 2007, McCain missed all 11 energy-related Senate votes considered key by the League of Conservation Voters, including votes related to automobile fuel economy, offshore Virginia drilling, refinery construction, renewable electricity mandates, energy efficiency, liquefied coal and support for biofuels. The absences prompted the League to give McCain a "zero" rating for the year—–WOW and he has the nerve to demand congress to "get back to work"…..this man is unbelievable.

    August 5, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  15. Windy/Canada

    This country USA is confused for real,Mcsame read from papper somewere ad nobody question his intellect.Bush did the same BS and you re voted him to the office.

    August 5, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  16. Jeff, South Bend, IN

    McIdiot. McSenile. McNoIdeas.

    August 5, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  17. Tejano

    Obama is never confused. He is just plain stupid and arrogant when it comes to matters of foreign and domestic issues. He does not have enough experience to deal with these issues and relies on his cronies to tell him what he has to do on an hourly basis. That is why he is all over the map. He sways whichever way the winds blow.

    The major issue we have to consider this election year is this one...
    Nothing else matters.

    Will the United States and Western Europe have the intestinal fortitude to defeat the forces of Islam that are intent on killing all of us.
    because we don't adhear to their beliefs or will we allow them to win by default and live in bondage as the Jewish Nation lived in Bondage
    in Egypt for 400 years and Spain for 800 years.
    Answer that one for me and then decide who is the better candidate.

    August 5, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  18. Jeff, South Bend, IN

    We don't blindly follow Obama. We just think he is a MUCH better choice – than Hillary, or certainly John McCain.

    August 5, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  19. victorhill

    Remember when Sen. McCain Said This;

    "McCain said in April, “I’m sorry to tell you that the price of oil — as far as I can tell — is not gonna go down anytime soon until we eliminate our dependency on it. We can do that as a nation — we can turn out the lights five minutes earlier, we don’t have to drive the extra block.”

    What’s wrong with this? Nothing in particular. In fact, it’s probably about as sensible as what Obama said about inflating our tires and getting regular tune-ups.

    The difference is, Dems didn’t spend a week getting “giddy” about using lightbulbs as a political prop and insisting that McCain’s entire energy policy is composed of turning off the lights.

    Confuse I Don't Think So!

    Obama 08

    August 5, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  20. Bill

    Uh, Denise, he didn't ACTUALLY mean Obama was confused...that was political sarcasm. But to your point, Obama has made blunders just like McCain, and he changes his mind just like McCain.

    I personally don't mind if people change their mind–it isn't necessarily "flip flopping" and especially when the former position/statement was from years ago, to suggest that people should be lambasted because they change their mind is ridiculous...situations change, new data/information emerges, etc. and people SHOULD be able to change their mind without being criticized for it if they have a reason. But as noted by a nationally syndicated columnist, the only "crisis" that is causing Obama to change his positions on oil is a drop in his poll numbers. He'll do anything and say anything to get elected, and the sad thing is that there are so many...shall we say..."uncomplicated minds" out there that cannnot even remotely be objective about the situation but rather see him as the second coming....it's really sad.

    By the way, the poll numbers ARE representative. Obama folks, keep talking about how Obama's going to kill McCain, etc....then watch the numbers continue to change. McCain does a very good job in debates, does well under pressure, and isn't going to crack the way he does in your fantasies. And by the way, aren't you Obama folks concerned about how little the big overseas trip did for Obama?? _I_ was sure surprised. An indication that more and more people are seeing Obama as a smooth-talking politician and little else. Just wait for November!

    August 5, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  21. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Were those tire gauges made in China?

    McCain shouldn't be tossing that word "confused" around. It will only reming the general populace that the old fogey is the one who is confused.

    August 5, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  22. Shannon

    He's must be confused on every issue, that's why he keeps flip flopping back and forth. First he voted to give big oil huge tax breaks, when he voted for the Cheney Energy Bill, now he's whining that they make to much. Weren't they making to much when he gave them the tax cuts. He flipped on FISA, gun control, public financing, abortion, he hates BIll Clinton, Bill Clinton is a racist, now his campaign says he is exactly like Bill Clinton. He wants time tables, he doesn't, now he does again. I would say Obama is confused. Not as confused as those who would vote for him though!

    August 5, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  23. Dave

    Interesting how when Obama releases a negative ad the word "accuses" is used. When McCain releases a negative ad it is called a negative ad, and then the next several article describe how McCain is going negative. What ever happened to an unbiased media?

    August 5, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  24. Paul

    John McCain is arrogant? Who does he think he is giving speeches and running for president?

    August 5, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  25. Obamamama

    I was wondering when someone would say something about how the two voted on that bill. What Obama is saying is opposite of how the two voted.

    August 5, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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