August 5th, 2008
05:10 PM ET
10 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. Dameun Strange

    McCain was probably most confused about what state he was in at the moment. We can't allow more "senior moments" to ruin our economy and weaken our security. Why isn't McCain holding a press conference from the Capitol if he is so concerned about this energy vote and let's see where has he been the last few votes on energy? Not voting, that's for sure.

    August 5, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  2. How does CNN determine who gets posted?

    Where's Cindy?

    August 5, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. Dem

    26 years of "experience" means experiencing more of the same.

    What would our children think if we "drilled here, drilled now"???

    war drill war drill war drill – the real John McCain

    August 5, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. Angi's mom

    Protect our oceans. NO OFFSHORE DRILLING!

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

    Can you imigaine someone like McSane calling saying someone is a little confused?? Geez
    Is this OLD MAN for real??
    Tell him to go sit down before he hurt himself or go take a nap.

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

    "This is a man who does not know Sunni's from Shiites, and he says Obama is confused?"

    Umm yea, kind of like how Obama doesn't know how many states are in the US.

    August 5, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  7. wake up

    yet McCain does NOT deny the charges of taking money from big oil after he flip flopped, he has the nerve to call an ad based in truth an attack ad yet McCain himself confuses Paris Hilton and phallic symbols as humor. McCain offers an "all of the above" approach...what is that? cuts and perks to oil companies is that above, corporate welfare, is that above? war with Iran is that above? nuclear waist is that above? come on John...American is NOT for sale, you are on the auction block ALONE.

    August 5, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. Robert in Seattle

    Why isn't Phoenix solar powered yet? Republicans just cut funding for Solar research. Republicans want to give more money to big oil. Big oil makes record profits. The US economy is in the toilet. Where did the electric cars go? Why is John McCain accepting big donations from oil companies?

    Add it up and it equals Republicans do not care about the USA! This is patriotism? This is family values?

    Obama 08 Republicans never again!

    August 5, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  9. McShame On You

    And McLame is just confused.

    He doesn't know that Czechoslovakia doesn't exist, but Barack is confused. He can't remember what his stance is an insurance vote that caters to men, but Barack is confused. This man is a jerk. A confused jerk.

    August 5, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  10. Travis

    It is convenient to lie for McCain in situations concerning the public eye. If he were to tell the truth then people would push him off as a post traumatic victim who is clearly ill equipped for this global stage. He has no plan aside from burning Obama.

    Blindly follow Obama? No, we follow with eyes open because we are the educated, NON ignorant group of americans who come through and pick up the trash left behind by swindlers and the corrupt. Reagen F**D up all of Ford and Carter's hard work for Solar. Obama will once again bring Solar back to the proper funding it deserves providing energy freedom, and energy abundance.

    McCain has no solution but to "STAY THE COURSE" of FAILURE. This, friends, is not a course which we can afford to follow. Do not ignorantly follow McCain to failure. Do some research and you will come to the true hope for not only America but the entire world.

    Global Warming is not only clear, but a growing present danger. Ignorance may be bliss to the McCain followers, but for those of us who actually try to make this world livable for future generations, and enjoyable for current generations, for those of us ignorance is inexcusable and unaffordable.

    August 5, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  11. Fazio

    It's almost amusing to learn of McCain calling Obama "confused"... He will do anything, say anything to look superior...

    If only McCain were to listen to what the energy experts are saying about drilling... that it will take years before any oil will be available from such endeavors. McCain's attempt to pander to the oil industries is disgusting .... McCain, it is you that are confused, and are not willing to consider the scientific and logistical facts.

    I hope the US population will see this.

    August 5, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  12. Banned from CNN

    "are sick and tired of a Congress that won't act in their behalf,” he said."


    Yep, and you've been there 26 years NOT acting on our behalf.

    August 5, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. Dorian in NC

    I love America! But we are idiots!!

    We have a potential presidents who wants a comprehensive energy policy WHICH MEANS higher fuel standards in cars and INVESTMENTS in alternative energy (i.e. wind & nuclear).

    So he willing to COMPROMISE for the republicans by letting companies drill off-shore (and 60% of the country believes in off-shore drilling) even though it will take 2 decades to reap ANY benefits. He's willing to COMPROMISE if republicans are willing to agree to invest in alternative energy initiatives.

    If you don't understand this COMMON SENSE approach to governing, then you are officially an American Idiot; and G.W. Bush is but a mere reflection of your stupidity!!! God Bless America...

    August 5, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  14. wake up

    @no mcsame...listen, i am a great Obama supporter, i hope he wins and proves a lot of people who try to berate him wrong, now that being said....your comment is just a little inappropriate.

    August 5, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  15. McLame is Crazy

    This man stands in fromt of cheese and talks trash, and says Barack is confused. Maybe someone can help him to a rocking chair and he can take his meds and shut up.

    Hello, earth to McSame, you are the one confused.

    August 5, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  16. Timothy

    All this corruptions coming out of the Bush Administration from Republicans is shameful lying about war coming to the for front and Obama was right to oppose going to war. Elect another Republican in office we will be very sorry bottom line. Please American people don'nt make the same mistake again not this time.

    August 5, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  17. JHal

    3 months before the election McPain wants an energy plan.
    Lord help us if he's there in December.

    August 5, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  18. Carl Johnson

    "We have to drill and we have to drill now?"

    What will this accomplish except to use fear in order for Exxon's record profits to catapult higher? Folks, much of that $4.00/gall you're wasting at the pump is going into so much profits the oil companies don't even know what to do with it.

    1) They take their 11B/quarter profits and buy back stock vs investing in alternative energy research
    2) They sit on 60 million acres of drillable land already and for some reason don't use it but demand to drill offshore and in protected areas like Anwar Province? Oh, there won't be an oil spill, the technology's better, just trust us! Right.
    3) If they were to drill today you wouldn't see additional oil for 10 years.
    4) Once we get that additional oil we'll see a 2 cent drop in gas prices.

    Is it worth it to ignore what Obama is saying (T.Boone Pickins too, by the way) and blindly follow the oil-funded candidate?

    August 5, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  19. Vietnam Vet

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    This is a riot! Mcbomb was talkin to some bikers today and they were
    saying their woman were going to sign up for a dance contest. McBomb opens mouth and inserts foot volunteering his wife to compete. This contest is a topless dance contest!!!ROTFLMAO

    August 5, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  20. Len in Washington

    So what are his two "Cheshire Cat" compadres doing standing idly beside him. Waiting for Obama to tell them to get back to Washington?
    How about this, McCain. YOU tell them to get back to Washington if it's so important to you!

    What a joke!

    August 5, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  21. Down with McWar

    McWar no rest room stalls for him he depends on Depends its that other public change door he uses .
    Didn't he look cool at the Bullalo Chip party he had his shirt sleeves rolled back trying to be one of them well John try as you may you sure don't live as these folks do with the Oil donated Millions and miss goody two shoes,

    August 5, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  22. jayhawk

    “The fact is we have to drill here and we have to drill now and we have to drill immediately.” – 'now' or 'immediately'? Pick one.

    August 5, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  23. Ralph

    Why is it that all the negative trashy comments are made by Obama supporters.. It seems the polls are right and that the less someone reviews the issues and comments of the 2 candidates, the more likely they will vote Obama... The man that stands for change.. if he could ever figure out what change is.. everything he says he changes when he sees that his statements are totally wrong or he perceives the polical winds are blowing the other way.. what the heck does this man stand for.. other than the stock liberal energy policy, no iraq policy, and all he says is let's give people $1,000 of oil money which would be illegal even if appropriate..

    Come on.. what does he stand for?.. do not reference it against the current people or policies.. Just tell me what his ideas are..
    and then check in 3 weeks to see if they are still his beliefs..

    August 5, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  24. Jeff

    Isn't it crucial to point out that McCain flipped on his stance to offshore oil drilling? How highly ironic.

    This is a summary transcript, not a news article.

    August 5, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  25. Carl Johnson

    Forgot to mention the 700 million barrels in strategic oil reserves that we could tap into for immediate relief on gas-prices. Don't see McCain taling about that.

    August 5, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
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